Spectacular. That’s the word one of our recipe testers used to sum up his feelings about this homemade hot sauce recipe. Spectacular. We’re not going to argue.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Pickling Salt Note
Don’t let a single potentially unfamiliar ingredient keep you from making this homemade hot sauce recipe. The ingredient in question is pickling salt. It’s simply pure granulated salt without any anti-caking agents. And it’s more readily obtainable than you may think. Go on. Google it. Then make this recipe.
Special Equipment: Mason jars with O-rings (that's the metal ring thinger)
Homemade Hot Sauce
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 7 D
- Makes 1 quart
- 1 pound fresh cayenne peppers, stemmed (about 4 cups)
- About 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1. Pack the peppers in a food processor and pour in the water. Pulse until the peppers form a chunky mass made of small pieces and then add the salt. (You’re going for about 2.5% salinity in your initial fermentation, if you pay attention to such things.)
- 2. Place the peppers in a large Mason jar, cover it with a square of paper towel, and secure the towel with the jar’s O-ring (that’s the metal ring thinger). Store the jar in a dark spot that hovers around 70°F (20°C)—a kitchen cupboard is good—and let it do its thing for 48 hours.
- 3. Skim any accumulated mold from the surface and stir the peppers. Cover again with the paper towel and the jar’s O-ring and repeat the skimming and stirring every day or so for 5 more days. The total fermentation time is 1 week.
- 4. After skimming any accumulated mold from the surface on the last day, dump the fermented peppers into the food processor and pulse a couple of times. Strain the mixture into a large pitcher or other container, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon or with a small spatula to remove all the liquid. Add the vinegar to the strained liquid and stir. Pour the hot sauce into jars, cover tightly with rings and lids, and refrigerate for up to several weeks.