What’s Your Top 10 Favorite Hot Sauces?

What Are  Your Top 10 Favorite Hot Sauces?It’s time for yet another list, but this time out it’s going to be quite the undertaking! To help out, I’ve asked several of my chilehead and industry friends to join in this gargantuan task. What’s the topic? It’s everyone’s top 10 favorite sauces of all time!

To some heat fanatics, it can be as easy as pie, and many already had a good idea in their noggin of what their top spicy items already were. For others, such as myself, it’s like trying to pick two or three favorite children out of a room crammed full of youngsters. It hurts like crazy, but the list had to be whittled down to a mere 10 (or 11 in a few cases…) choices.

What qualifies to be put on a favorites list? They must be amongst our top ten liquid “flavor enhancers” of most any classification, purpose or usage; they can be a hot sauce, BBQ sauce, salsa, condiment, marinade, cooking sauce, wing sauce and more. It is simply what the person considers to be the creme de la creme of spicy-type sauces. A qualifying sauce needs to have been commercially available at one point, but it does not matter if it’s still in production or currently defunct.

To further clarify, I’ve requested that everyone’s favorite products be “as is”, straight out of the bottle or jar. What I was NOT looking for were combinations of different products or different ingredients. We foodies sometimes dabble with items in the kitchen such as, just for example, taking three parts cayenne pepper sauce, mixing it two parts BBQ sauce, and then adding a pinch or two of habanero powder to make a terrific rib glaze. By eradicating these recipes it helps readers of this post better obtain the saucy suggestions instead of trying to play mad scientist in an attempt to duplicate what someone had liked.

Lastly, to make it a bit easier on everyone, I’ve given the stipulation that the sauces on any of these lists need NOT be in any particular order.

To see what everyone picked was fascinating. People were more than welcome to choose their own products (if they themselves were a sauce manufacturer), but I was still intrigued that so many picked others’ wares, showing a vast love and respect for their fellow entrepreneurs in the spicy foods biz.

Without further ado, here are what these fine folks consider to be their favorite spicy sauces of all time…

Jim Campbell

Jim CampbellJim, an Indianapolis-area firefighter, is the former owner of the Mild to Wild Pepper & Herb Company, as well as being a past chile pepper grower & expert, plus the organizer & host of the Open Fields chilehead event. He currently oversees Step Up For Charity, a charitable organization that aids a variety of worthy causes.

 • D’Train’s Habanero Sauce
• Chef Ivo’s Blasting Sauce
• Blair’s “American” Hot Sauce
• Mild to Wild Chipotle Sauce
• Texas Creek Chipotle Sauce
• CaJohns Oaxacan Hot Sauce
• Two Chefs Road to Hell Hot Sauce
• Blair’s Original Death Sauce
• Mild to Wild Original Finishing Sauce
• CaJohns Little Kick Hot Sauce

Tracy Carter

Tracy CarterTracy is the proprietor of JAC’s Tailgaters, which produces a wide range of spicy food products. He is also the organizer of the New Orleans Hot Sauce & Gourmet Show.

 • JAC’s Tailgaters Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
• JAC’s Tailgaters Bayou Blaze Habanero BBQ Sauce
• JAC’s Tailgaters Bayou Gold Mustard Sauce
• JAC’s Tailgaters Pineapple Orange Habanero Sauce
• JAC’s Tailgaters Jerk Sauce
• CaJohns Bourbon Infused Chipotle Habanero Hot Sauce
• CaJohns Holy Jolokia
• Captain Thoms Thai Monkey Sauce
• Panola Gourmet Pepper Sauce
• Cholula Hot Sauce

Vic Clinco

Vic ClincoVic, chilehead extraordinaire, owns the world’s largest private hot sauce collection, and is a product reviewer for Peppers and More.

 • CaJohns Holy Jolokia Hot Sauce
• Scotty B’s Oblivion Hot Sauce
• Mild to Wild’s Chipotle Sauce
• Jackson’s Death in the Desert
• CaJohns Oaxacan Hot Sauce
• Blair’s Pure Death Hot Sauce
• Melinda’s Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce
• Mild to Wild’s False Alarm
• Tijuana Flats Smack My Sweet Ass & Call Me Sally, Sweet Chili Sauce
• Miss Anna’s Hot Pepper Sauce

Danise Coon

Danise CoonThe Chile Pepper Institute‘s Program Coordinator, Danise is also Senior Research Specialist for the NMSU Chile Breeding and Genetics Program.

 • Arizona Gunslinger Hot Sauce
• CaJohns Big Kick Louisiana Style Hot Sauce
• Melinda’s Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce
• Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
• Jim Beam Bourbon Hot Sauce
• Huy Fong Sriracha Chile Sauce
• Frank’s Red Hot
• Cholula Hot Sauce
• Original Louisiana Hot Sauce
• Holy Jolokia Hot Sauce

Captain Thom Edwards

Captain Thom EdwardsThom runs Captain Thom’s Chile Pepper Company, which makes a vast array of excellent sauces and seasonings.

 • Captain Thom’s Thai Monkey
• Captain Thom’s White Zombie
• Captain Thom’s Dia de los Muertos
• Peppers Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce
• Wicked Cactus Headhunter’s Paradise
• Tabasco Jalapeno Green Pepper Sauce
• Lotties Red Hot Sauce
• Byron Bay Chilli Co. Mango Chilli Sauce
• Kato’s Island Sauce
• Captain Thom’s Cajun Alligator

Chuck Evans

Chuck EvansOne of the longest-lasting specialty sauce makers still on the scene, Chuck runs Montezuma Brand, a purveyor of sauces, salsa and spice mixes. He has helped popularize chipotle sauces, and is a respected fiery foods industry historian.

 • La Victoria Salsa Brava
• Caribbean Food Products’ Trinidad Habanero Pepper Sauce
• Montezuma Smokey Chipotle Pepper Sauce
• Green Bandit Cilantro Habanero Sauce
• Huichol Hot Sauce
• Cholula Hot Sauce
• CaJohns The Legend
• Marie Sharp’s Habanero Hot Sauce
• Susie’s Hot Sauce
• Tapatio Hot Sauce

David Floyd

David FloydDavid is a UK chilehead. He runs The Chile Foundry website and is the author of The Hot Book of Chillies.

 • The Upton Cheyney Chilli Company Oak Smoked Chipotle Sauce
• Sinful Sauces Wicked Red Pepper Tomato Serrano
• The Chilli Garden Toheno
• Mr. Vikki’s King Naga
• Gaby’s Hot Stuff
• Mr. Vikki’s Max’s Ketchup
• The Chilli Pepper Company Born to Burn
• Hot-Headz Naga Sauce
• ChilliPepperPete’s Naga Blue Headhunter
• Fire Foods Firemite

“Firehead” Thomas Gately

Firehead Thomas GatelyA reviewer for I Love It Spicy, Tom is a diehard chilehead and an avid griller.

 • Cajun Island Blackening Seasoning/Blackened Bourbon Sauce
• Bad Byron’s Butt Rub
• Deano’s Jalapenos
• Dragon’s Blood Elixir’s Unique Destiny Jolokia Sauce
• Loganville Shake
• Sticky Brand’s “Sticky Ghost” BBQ Sauce
• Heartbreaking Dawn’s Fiery Trail Preserves
• Fat Kid Sauces’ Black Bean & Corn Salsa (Hot)
• Heartbreaking Dawns’ 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Sauce
• DEFCON Sauces Defense Condition 1 Wing Sauce

CaJohn Hard

CaJohn HardJohn “CaJohn” Hard is the head honcho of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods, which is America’s most awarded hot sauce manufacturer.

 • Mike & Diane’s Ring of Fire Original
• Mike & Diane’s Ring of Fire X-Hot
• CaJohns Bourbon Infused Chipotle-Habanero
• Mild to Wild Chipotle
• Oaxacan
 • Hot Spots Sparky
• Krakatoa!
• Holy Jolokia Hot Sauce
• H.D.H. Harold’s Dangerously Hot Sauce
• Jolokia Sauce 10

Chef Michael Lampros

Chef Michael LamprosChef Mike owns Gunther’s Gourmet, for which he produces delectably flavorful salsa, vinaigrettes and marinades.

 • Wy’s Wings Asian Ambrosia
• Suck Creek Original Hot Wing Sauce
• Bonfatto’s Original Wing Sauce
• Cajun Heat VooDoo Ash
 • Todd’s Dirt Original Dirt
 • Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Sauce
• Captain Thom’s Thai Monkey
• Cindi’s Raspberry Habanero Pepper Jelly
• Intensity Academy Chai Curry Chup
• Gunther’s Gourmet Fiery Peri-Peri Dark Cherry Salsa

Joe Levinson

Joe LevinsonAn anesthesiologist by trade, Joe is co-owner and administrator of The Hot Zone Online, one of the oldest and most respected chilehead blogs.

 • My Favorite New Mexico Foods Hot Green Chile Sauce
• My Favorite New Mexico Foods Red Chile Sauce
• CaJohns Ace Hot Sauce
• Blair’s Original Death Sauce
• Ring of Fire X-Tra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce
 • DEFCON Sauces Defense Condition 2 Wing Sauce
• CaJohns Serrano Lime Hot Sauce
• Danny Cash Bottled Up Anger Hot Sauce
• Zane & Zack’s Three Brothers Hot Sauce
• Peppermaster Jerk Curry Sauce

Linda Levinson

Linda LevinsonOne of the “First Ladies” of the chilehead nation, Linda is co-owner and administrator of The Hot Zone Online, one of the oldest and most respected chilehead blogs.

 • CaJohns Hot Oaxacan Hot Sauce
• CaJohns Bourbon Infused Chipotle-Habanero Hot Sauce
• DEFCON Sauces Defense Condition 2 Wing Sauce
• My Favorite New Mexico Foods Hot Green Chile Sauce
• Sante Fe Seasons Tomatillo Salsa
• Peppermaster Straight Jerk Sauce
• Garden Fresh Salsa Jack’s Special Hot
• Marzetti Light Ancho Chipotle Ranch Dressing
• Rosetti’s Crushed Hot Peppers in Olive Oil
• Intensity Academy Chai Chipotle Chup

Sam McCanless

Sam McCanlessWith his wife Tina, Sam helms Zane and Zack’s World Famous Honey Co., a spicy food outfit where most of the products contain the sweet sting of honey and peppers.

 • Captain Thom’s Dia de los Muertos
• CaJohns Oaxacan Hot Sauce
• Danny Cash Ragin Red
 • Scoville Institute’s Red Savina
 • Blair’s Jalapeno Death
• Three Hot Tamales Cry Baby
• The Brothers BBQ Sauce Spicy Ghost Chile
• Zane & Zack’s Four Brothers Hot Pepper Sauce
• Zane & Zack’s Stinger X
• Big Dawg Salsa Burn Ur Face Off

Scott Roberts

Scott RobertsThat’d be me.;-) Did you think I would get out of creating my own list?

 • Ring of Fire X-Tra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce
• DEFCON Sauces Defense Condition 2 Wing Sauce
• Ott’s Wing Sauce
• Mild to Wild Fiery Hot Habanero BBQ Sauce
• Captain Thom’s Thai Monkey
• Intensity Academy Hot Cubed Hot Sauce
• Benito’s Original Naranja Hot Sauce
• Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Trinidad Scorpion Sauce or 1841 Ghost Pepper Sauce
• Cholula Hot Sauce
• Marie Sharp’s Original Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce
• Peppers Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce

Butch Taylor

Butch TaylorOwner of Zydeco Sauces, Butch is also a chile pepper grower and is credited with propagating seeds of the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, the world’s hottest chile pepper which is now named after him.

 • SOB Southern Style BBQ Sauce
• Zydeco Creole Fire Hot Sauce
• Fat Kid Sauces Habanero Hot Sauce
• Off Road Fire Forest Fire
• Tabasco Pepper Sauce
• Crystal Hot Sauce
• Melinda’s Chipolte Hot Sauce
• Dave’s Hurtin Habanero Hot Sauce
• Mild to Wild Fiery Hot Habanero BBQ Sauce
• Three Hot Tamales Cry Baby Hot Sauce

Cindy Reed Wilkins

Cindy Reed WilkinsCindy is a renown chili cookoff champion, and is the only person to sweep back-to-back wins at the Terlingua International Chili Championship. She and her husband, Bruce, sell chili seasonings and sauces through their company, Cin Chili.

 • Cin Chili Chili Seasoning
• Cin Chili Hot Sauce
• Hell’s Passion Hot Sauce
• Devil’s Lightning Hot Sauce
• Perky Peppers Hot Sauce
• Carter’s Select Hatch Autumn Roast Salsa
• Ole Ray’s Apple Cinnamon BBQ Sauce
• Lunscomb Farms Jalapeno Jelly
• Slap Ya Mama Seasoning
• Texas Firecrackers

What’s on YOUR List?

What do you think of the choices? Surprised to see anything listed? Shocked to see your favorite hot sauce not represented? Feel free to comment or post your own top 10 list below!