7 Awesome Hot Sauces You Should Make Cabinet Space For

1. Dirty Dick’s Hot Sauce

Recently winning the First Place Screaming Mimi award at the New York City Hot Sauce Expo, this Vermont-based hot sauce is perfect for fans of bold and spicy flavor. Hosting a marriage of habanero peppers, mangoes, pineapple, bananas and brown sugar, Dirty Dicks offers a delectable balance of sweet and heat that’s no doubt going to enhance your dish, whether it’s for cooking or dipping.

 

2. El Yucateco Chile Habanero (Green)

You know how when you’re catching a rabid squirrel in an old “Nightmare Before Christmas” pillowcase, you have to approach it slowly, and from the side? It’s the same with El Yucateco Chile Habanero (Green), which we always refer to mentally simply as “Green Monster.” The first few times you try it, a few drops seems to overpower your food with its mighty habanero heat. But keep at it, applying it to shredded mole verdes, or dribbling it on quesadillas, and you’ll start to appreciate its bright, flavorful wallop. 

El Yucateco Chile Habanero

 

3. Yellowbird Hot Sauces

Yellowbird hot sauce isn’t just another spicy garnish — each dollop houses a number of flavors that go well beyond just heat. Depending on what type you prefer (I’m partial to the classic Habanero myself), there’s an abundance of taste, from smoky to citrusy, making this brand more than just the kind of hot sauce to clear your sinuses with (though it’s good for that too).

A beloved cult favorite made with quality ingredients in central Texas, Yellowbird seems to have some big ambitions. One glance at their website shows that they’re chasing after Sriracha to be the go-to condiment for making the most of those sad, day-old leftovers.

yellowbird hot sauces

 

4. Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce

If you haven’t had the Aardvark, it means one thing: You’ve never been to a hipster taco place in LA. Ever. Because this stuff has got a buzz bigger than America’s last remaining bee colonies.

Strange is the first thing you’ll think when you taste this Portland, Oregon, hot sauce, which describes itself as “Caribbean/Tex-Mex.” It’s strange enough that you’ll want to taste it again just to verify what you just tasted. Then you’ll try it again, and again, and again, and before you know it, you’ll be addicted. With almost 20 ingredients, it’s one of the most complex sauces in this lineup. It tastes like tomatoes. No, like mustard. No, like sweet chilies. No, like…I don’t know. I can’t describe it. It’s just great stuff, and one of the most versatile sauces I’ve had.

secret aardvark hot sauce

 

5. Momofuku Ssäm Sauce

David Chang is loved for just about everything he does, and for good reason. His cookbook changed the game. His food shook the industry. Now he’s doing his own bottled gochujang sauce and it’s fire (not literally, though — it’s actually very mild). You need this stuff in your repertoire it’s got a little fermented funk to it and a whole bung of tang. Korean (and Japanese) flavors can be obliterated by our American “hit you over the head” sauces. This stuff is subtle: meant to draw out flavors rather than dominate them.

 

6. Huey Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste

If you’re ready to graduate from Sriracha, allow us to introduce you to our new chunky friend Sambal Oelek. Sambal oelek is made with raw fresh ground red chili, vinegar, and salt, and packs a sharp heat alongside a bit of a sour note. Try it on scrambled eggs, or any godamned thing under the sun.

 

7. The Pepper Plant Chunky Garlic Hot Pepper Sauce

Put this on anything and it’s a wrap! Best hot sauce ever that doesn’t scorch your mouth.

pepper plant chunky garlic

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