The farmers market had a bunch of Habaneros, so I decided to make homemade hot sauce.
Asking the Cheftalk brain trust for some advice and help. Thanks for being patient as this post is also a way for me to think it through, so apologies if it's tedious. Maybe this can be the definitive Hot Sauce thread?
I've done research in regard to ingredients and technique and have a rough understanding of making hot sauce. However. I have not found any recipes, as usual, that outlines proportion. Only specific ingredient quantities. I've searched the Cheftalk website, but again. Only recipes. Although I stopped after I didn't see "hot sauce" in the title, these are some of those threads :
I don't have software that alters recipes for either larger or smaller quantities, but am more interested in proportion so I can design my own sauce. Specifically, liquid to heat and filler. What I want to do is regulate the amount of heat (besides de-seeding and veining) and vinegar taste while keeping the constancy right. Not to thick and not to watery. I also know that each chili or pepper varies in heat even within the Scoville scale, there must be a way to proportion them to the liquid. Vinegary taste is also subjective, and so is the level of heat - Mouth on FIre, Very Hot, Hot, Moderate, Mild, and Light. The amount of vinegar also depends on what you are using the hot sauce for. Some foods pair better with more or less vinegar. I also know that each chili or pepper has an innate flavor that is different than the the other, and that factors into the final product.
So far, this list of ingredients I have compiled. Not all are used at the same time, obviously.
Thai short green
There are many others but these are the most available.
Tomato, canned and fresh
Tomatillo to make it green, but not required
Distilled white vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Red wind vinegar
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Sometimes orange juice, but mostly as flavor - see flavor additives below
Herb, aromatice, and sweetness additives :
Cilantro, fresh or as ground coriander
Paprika, smoked and not
Flavor additives :
Either in fresh fruit or juice
And salt. I also found some recipes with Guar Gum, but have no idea where to find it. It thickness the sauce and keeps it from splitting, I think, as I've seen it listed with commercially made sauces.
Roast or pan roast the fillers and chilies
Boil solids - again, both fillers and chilies
Puree chili's and wait to ferment, add liquids.
Boil liquids with pureed solids
Sauté some solids and add pureed chilies and simmer
Pan roast lime halves
Anyway, there are other techniques, which can also alter flavor, but like I said, what I am most interested in is the proportion of those base ingredients. Chilies to filler solids to liquids. This doesn't mean this thread shouldn't include more techniques or ingredients!
I want to make two base sauces and add the flavor additives and aromatics to make four or five different sauces. Some of the solid fillers will also alter the flavor such as roasted bell peppers and poblano's/ caramelized onions or fruit.
Lastly, I've read in one of the Cheftalk threads that the sauces should be "sealed" in bottles or treated like canned tomatoes, jams, etc. I've also read that since it has so much vinegar and sugars that you can refrigerate for over a year. Do you need to "seal." How would I seal hot sauce bottles with a skinny neck? Where do I get those bottles? I also don't need them in bulk, maybe six?
Let me know if I've missed anything. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated since there is a wealth of knowledge here.
Once again, thanks for your patience.