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Hot Sauce Ingredient Proportion

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

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 : 

 

Help with Hot sauce?????

 

Love hot sauce but new 2 cooking it, need some guidance!

 

Hot Sauce

 

good hot sauce

 

Another Hot Sauce recipe

 

Need Recipes for Habanero hot sauce

 

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. 

 

Solids : 

 

Chilies

Habaneros

Serrano

Thai short green

Jalapeño

There are many others but these are the most available. 

 

Fillers

Onion

Carrot

Garlic

Garlic Paste

Tomato, canned and fresh

Bell peppers

Sometimes poblano

Tomatillo to make it green, but not required

 

Liquids : 

Distilled white vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Red wind vinegar

Dash of balsamic vinegar

Lime juice

Worcestershire sauce

Honey

Water

Sometimes orange juice, but mostly as flavor - see flavor additives below

 

Herb, aromatice, and sweetness additives : 

Brown sugar

Molasses

Cumin

Cilantro, fresh or as ground coriander

Paprika, smoked and not

Cayenne

allspice

Tumeric

Ground thyme

Garlic powder

Onion salt

 

Flavor additives : 

Either in fresh fruit or juice

Mango

Pineapple

Orange 

Pear

 

Outliers : 

Caramelized onions. 

Dark rum

Raisins

(any others?)

 

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. 

 

Technique : 

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.

 

Cheers!!!

post #2 of 24
Hi we are looking at doing a warm sauce pot to go with our hot baguettes in our sandwich shop do you think it would be best making out own or buying and using from a bottle?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

No responses. Hmmmm

 

I guess it was too much to read?

 

Either that or hot sauce isn't that popular. . . :(

post #4 of 24

Yes, a lot to read but also not a very specific question. You note that much is subjective. That is pretty much your answer. Hot sauces are all over the place with amounts and there really are not specific proportions. I've made hot sauce using fresh hot peppers in vinegar and added fruit purees. As the information you have provided shows, there are endless ways to make hot sauce. You could start with the Ball Blue book or similar home preserving book to get the pickling process down and become familiar with proper amounts of vinegar and salt for general preserving. Then experiment to develop your own style. 

     Guar gum should be available online but thickening the sauce or emulsifying it can be done in different ways without guar gum. There is also no requirement that the hot sauce be emulsified or thickened. Again it depends on what you wish to end up with. 

     Bottles can be had several ways. Have a local restaurant save the bottles for you instead of throwing them out.  I purchase some from my local coop. THe local dollar store near me often has them on hand. You don't actually have to have thin necked bottles. Small canning jars would work as well, with the sauce spooned out in servings. 

     Given all the options you have listed, I would start with small batches and work from there. Keep a note book to record your efforts so you can keep track of what you like or don't like. Many here can provide you with opinions but there is no substitute for experience and personal preference. Just have fun giving it all a try. 

post #5 of 24

Add me to the list of those who may have been overwhelmed and confused.

 

My hot sauce production tends to be rather basic with the variation primarily being the chile type:  mash, salt, ferment, vinegar, and bottle.  Not much else except a touch of sugar to balance since I have no intention of trying to improve on the "rooster" sauce or the myriad other commercial alternatives.  Thickener/emulsifier not necessary... a quick shake of hte bottle before using is all that is required.  My goal is to highlight the unique flavor of the chile in a sauce that is reminiscent of the famous Tabasco sauce, but with a less pronounced vinegar flavor.  I use chile varieties that are "not common" in commerical hot sauces.

post #6 of 24

When I have made hot sauce in the past I never cook anything.

 

all I need is a Jar, enough peppers to fill the jar, and enough white vinegar to fill the space between the peppers and salt.

 

Fill jar with peppers cut in half including seeds. Fill jar to just under the brim with white vinegar. Add salt till liquid is at the brim of the jar.

 

Let the jar sit in the fridge for 2 weeks.

 

Pour contents of the jar into blender, and blend until smooth.

 

As for proportions... Chefwriter hit it on the head. They are subjective. if you find a proportion you personally like, use it.

 

Mine work for me. It is far from exact, but it is delicious every time.

 

Just keep it simple

post #7 of 24

I'll also say that there are no hard and fast rules about hot sauce. A favorite of mine at one time was Melinda's. One was made with habaneros and carrots, the other one with carrots and habaneros.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #8 of 24

I'm with the others, make it so you like it. I find many commercial hot sauces too harsh. Not too hot, but just harsh. Tabasco for instance. I don't know if it's too much vinegar, a product of fermentation, or the chiles, it just has a harshness about it. A bit metallic; medicinal; a sort of abrasiveness on the tongue, not of grit, but of eating away at me. 

 

Melinda's is OK. For all the habanero hype of the label, it's not too hot. The sweetness of the pepper and the carrot come through. My current favorite is quite mild actually, Garlic Cholula. It's milder than the regular Cholula, but I like the garlic note. I use hot sauce a lot in the correcting of seasoning of a dish rather than salt. I'm on a sodium restricted diet so this is a good way to intensify flavor without getting hot about it. 

 

I like Franks Red Hot a lot too. It's fairly mild, has good flavor, but is a bit high in salt for my flavor correcting uses. If I want heat, I tend to reach for dried chiles, most often Guajillo of late, even where cayenne is called for. It takes more guajillo to equal the intensifty of cayenne, but I think it has more flavor than cayenne. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses, everybody.

 

Chefwriter - thanks for the info about bottles, preserving, and guar gum.

 

I don't have any experience with Habaneros. I do with the others, and have a rough idea how hot each type is, and am able to adjust the heat. Some recipes call for 5-10 habaneros to 1 1/2 cup of vinegar but I think that's excessive. Another called for 1 pound of scotch bonnets, and 28 oz of (combined) liquid.  Also seems excessive. I wasn't looking for hard and fast rules, but general proportions based on experience using habaneros or somehow using the scoville scale as a gauge. It exists for a reason, after all. 

 

How do commercial sauce makers gauge heat? The only thing I know that neutralizes capsaicin is yogurt or dairy products. That's why spicy indian food is sometimes served with raita, a cucumber yogurt sauce. 

 

Anyway, I understand the response of : experiment and vary ingredients; everybody has different tastes, etc

 

I'll update the post once I've finished and have time to detail the results. 

 

Thanks again. 

post #10 of 24
Quote:

How do commercial sauce makers gauge heat? The only thing I know that neutralizes capsaicin is yogurt or dairy products. That's why spicy indian food is sometimes served with raita, a cucumber yogurt sauce. 

In regards to what neutralizes Capsaicin , nothing truly will neutralize it to my knowledge. Things that can help with the heat are dairy products, which you have mentioned, Acids such as tomato or citrus juices. Fatty foods such as peanut butter or heavily buttered bread. Sugar can control the burning sensation temporarily. And finally, probably the worst method, ice cold spirits ( strong alcohols), must be cold because things like warm brandy can make the burning worse.   

post #11 of 24

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-worlds-hottest-pepper-scoville-heat-units-20131226-story.html
 

 

Water is probably the worst thing to combat capsaicin as it is not water soluble and water just spreads it around the mouth more quickly. But fats absorb it. If your mouth is on fire, eat a tablespoon of butter. I'm sure I've mentioned this before here, but some time ago I had a cookbook where the author had an Indian food party one evening. As the guest arrived she pointed a large bowl of plain, full fat yogurt on the table. She informed the neophytes that if they ate something too hot to eat a big spoonful of the yogurt. What she did not realize was that one or grad students from India had taken a taste of the yogurt and found it incrediblt bland, like many American versions of Indian food. He dumped a copious quantity of some spices he brought with him into the bowl and stirred it up. It shouldn't take much imagination to figure out what happened during the course of the meal.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #12 of 24

Hot tea or hot water will wash the oils down so the fire burns in your belly, not your mouth. An old Asian woman handed me a cup of hot water once after I accidentally bit down on a hot chili pepper and I was obviously in distress. Despite not speaking any english, she managed to convince me to swallow it. It worked instantly and has ever since. Haven't been afraid of hot chilies since then. 

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesandwichstop View Post

Hi we are looking at doing a warm sauce pot to go with our hot baguettes in our sandwich shop do you think it would be best making out own or buying and using from a bottle?

 

You mean a hot sauce type thing? Most sandwich places have a choice of different sauces in my experience, commercial bottled stuff, and maybe a house sauce. The house sauce is usually a relabeled commercial sauce in actuality. A number of hot sauce sources will custom label or make a specialty sauce as needed. 

 

Mad Dog 357 is very hot, but usually popular in these sorts of places. I've sampled their 357000 and 600000 Scoville sauces. They're good, but oh so hot to my heat tolerance anyway. I'm good to about 50,000 Scovilles and after that it's no fun for me anymore

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

First batch

 

Thats a yellow carrot. Very sweet.

It's about 1 medium orange in total

with the two smaller orange ones.

3 jalapeños and three habaneros.

I 86'd the small green chills. 

Pan roasted peppers and crushed

garlic until skin was charred. 

chopped onion and carrots

Sautéed carrots for 2 minutes in

about 1 tablespoon grape seed oil,

then added onions, and continued

until the onions were transparent-

about 4 minutes on med-low heat.

Then added the de-seeded chili

peppers/garlic and cooked for

another minute. 

I roasted some tomatoes with olive

oil and S&P - added 1/2 cup,

including the tomato water. 

Simmered for 3 minutes & added

1 cup distilled white vinegar, and

3/4 teaspoon of salt. 

Simmered for another 5 minutes or

so until the vinegar reduced by half

Blended smooth with about 1/4 -

1/3 cup water. 

 

Not bad for my first try, I must say. Not too vinegary, not to hot, but I'd rate it at about a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10. 10 being mouth on fire. 

The jalapeños really came through, with the habaneros adding the heat. Definitely taste the pan roast. It is a bit sweet, but I don't think I added enough salt. 

 

This is going to be my first base sauce to flavor. I'm going to try another simpler method to create a second base sauce and see which I like. 

Then I''m going to blend with flavor additives - fruit, juices, etc. 

post #15 of 24

I cook a whole variety of cuisines and I can hardly think of one that does not feature some sort of hot sauce or hot condiment. Individually, chilies take up the most room my self of spices. Most of these are from Mexico, Peru, Chili, New Mexico, or California. Some are from Spain, India, Thailand, or China.

 

Sauces in Mexico are often very complex. My enchiladas sauce features many chilies (Ancho, Guajillo, Mulato, Morita, and mild New Mexico chile) with differing levels of hotness giving a spread of aromatics, flavors, and heat.

I use the Craig Dremann's Hotness Scale (see http://www.ecoseeds.com/Pepper.hotness.scale.html) to gauge heat or simply taste the chili.

 

There are over 500 varieties of chilies and to make matters worse, they may have different names if dried, or smoked, or harvested red or green. The more sun where the chili is grown, the hotter it is. New Mexico is also well known for its chile peppers especially Hatch which claims to be the “Chile Capital of the World.”

 

Chilies I grind my self are Cascabel and Puya as they are hard to find powdered and Goat Dick (aka goat's horn chile) peppers from Chile, which are an important ingredient in Mapuche Merkén - (http://www.tuchileaqui.com/memaspchgo50.html)

 

Hotness is something you will notice differs where it is perceived from chili to chili. Thai Bird chilies hit on the tip of the tongue and habanero in the back of the throat. Thai Bird hot fades in 10 minutes while habanero will linger 3 times longer.

 

Once one goes beyond habanero, these peppers must be diluted else could overwhelm anyone who is not a frequent hot chili consumer. Certain “immunity” occurs to those who frequently eat hot food; after a while, their ability to perceive hot is diminished. Labels do not indicate the real heat inside. XXX Hot may be mild or hot but not necessarily very hot. Dave’s Insanity or the product labeled “Holy Shxt” are exceptionally hot.

 

Factors I think making good hot sauce is to not overwhelm the chili pepper’s natural flavor and knowing what you want it to taste like or be used on. Sriracha is a very popular hot sauce in Asian cuisine but for my taste, it has too much vinegar.

post #16 of 24

I love how the original Red Hot is a fermented product and requires no refrigeration or preservatives. (Their buffalo wing sauce has preservatives).

 

I have yet to try this, but it's claimed you can get the same flavor results as aging (fermenting) in a minute in the pressure cooker: Instant Tobasco - 1 minute -I'm sceptical.

 

Here's a great program for windows / wine linux users to convert volume, temp, weights: Convert . I've heard of Convert Any Unit by Cider Software for Apple.

 

My sauces will tend to be about equal amounts of sweetener and sauce base like honey and cayenne (red hot or tobasco) / habenero. I'd then add colors and textures to it visually. Lime zest, and minced jalepeno or serrano would be an exception being a color and flavor for a tequila / agave sauce. Roasted garlic would be an alternative sweetener. I like variety and don't always go sweet, and sometimes just use a rub. A little heat and corn starch can thicken it up.

 

I'm not into de-seeding. Seeds offer more flavor, texture, and visual appeal. They're rumored to be hotter, but they're not.

post #17 of 24

Jake, I like the initiative you've taken to categorize and organize the basic components of salsa.

 

I'll be using this as a reference.

post #18 of 24

Hey Jake,

I didn't see your post till today.

I agree with the others in that there are many different ways and I suppose most of us wing it a bit as the chili's differ in heat during the season.

A favourite of mine is Sambal and again there are different ways from a "simple" sambal ulek, which is just crushed red chili's with salt to all different ones.

 

Lemme give you a link for some recipes: www.asiancook.eu/indonesian/sambalans (it seems to be down at the moment, don't know why)

Another couple of chili sauces pastes etc can be found on shesimmers.com.

I am sure you can get an idea about proportions from the recipes

 

I cook a lot of my sauces, just to make sure they stay good for a longer period.

I typically start by frying some onions and garlic, then fry the chopped chili's and add vinegar, soy, and sugar. No amounts, but I could measure next time I make it. I add the onions to make it possible for most people to eat the sambal (for myself, I omit them).

 

 

NB: I hope I am not repeating anything that is above. I wrote this a couple of days ago and then the internet bummed out on me, luckily with this text still on the screen

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post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

Second Batch : 

 

Five habaneros pureed in a food processor with 2 teaspoons

salt. I didn't de-seed. I let it "ferment" at room temp for 24

hours. Loosely covered.

 

Then I added apple cider vinegar to cover and a bit more. It's

been sitting for 12 hours. I will leave it like this at room temp

until Sunday - at which point I will refrigerate until I get back

from a week long trip.

 

That's when I'll add the flavor additives and create a

few different sauces. With this particular sauce, it'll go

back the blender with flavor enhancement, although it's

probably potent and flavorful now.

 

@butsy - I've made hot sauces Thai style - sliced Thai

bird chilies, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and some

vinegar. Proportions are different for dipping sauces

though. . . I'll definitely check out your links.

I also like the Sambal thingie. Excellent. Thanks

 

The rest of the habaneros are in the freezer, btw. I'll keep

this post updated, for those that are interested in my

Hot Sauce Adventure. : )

 

Thanks again everybody for your input. Tweakz for

the info. . .

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakz View Post
 

I have yet to try this, but it's claimed you can get the same flavor results as aging (fermenting) in a minute in the pressure cooker: Instant Tobasco - 1 minute -I'm sceptical.

 

I read that differently than you did. To me it says that 1 minute at pressure gives you flavor EXTRACTION equal to the TIME in fermentation. But not necessarily the flavors that would build in fermentation itself. Just raw flavor extraction akin to--as they point out--juicing. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

 

I read that differently than you did. To me it says that 1 minute at pressure gives you flavor EXTRACTION equal to the TIME in fermentation. But not necessarily the flavors that would build in fermentation itself. Just raw flavor extraction akin to--as they point out--juicing. 

 

Good point! I'm a sort of fan of fermentation which may lead me to such certain conclusions. Could freezing also extract such flavor by breaking cell walls?

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 

So.

 

Had a hard drive failure and got busy so I haven't been able to finish this post with the results.

 

For those of you following Jake's Hot Sauce Adventure, I offer the following conclusion : 

 

***********************************************************************************

 

Base Sauces

 

1. Roasted Habaneros and Carrots/Onions :

 

Sauce A. 1 cup

 

Added one whole roasted red pepper with leftover liquid

1/2 tablespoon of dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon of chili powder

 

Sauce B. 1 cup

 

1/4 lime juice

Two small dried ancho or chipotle chili’s ground up into powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/8 teaspoon pimenton – picante. 

 

2. Fermented : 

 

Added 1/3 lime juice to whole thing, 1/2 teaspoon more salt. 

 

Split in two and added a half a small mango and blended it all together. 

 

Left the second one alone

 

****************************************************************************************

 

Was told the roasted red pepper sauce (Sauce B) was a winner and should make it commercially available. 

 

I think they are all good with the exception of the fermented one without the mango. It doesn't have any depth of flavor other than fermented habaneros and apple cider vinegar. I am considering adding some fish sauce and make it a Nam Prik selection.

 

Thanks for your interest and support. 

 

Happy Capsaicin!!

post #23 of 24

Glad to see you are continuing your experiments. I would not have considered carrots. Thanks for the idea. 

Thought I'd share this. The last time I tried making hot sauce at home, I ran out of time to bottle it. The small bowl was left uncovered and forgotten about in the back of the fridge for many, many weeks. 

Eventually it dehydrated, becoming a rubbery,cracked mass. One day I pulled it out and set it aside to deal with later because I assumed I would need to figure out how to scrape it out without cracking the bowl. After another few weeks, I remembered it was there,  finally pulled at it, and it peeled off easily. The chunks are now sitting in a new dish, uncovered and have been for over a year. 

     In all that time, it has not molded or spoiled in any way and when I take a chunk and add water, it rehydrates easily and tastes fine. What began as about a quart of hot sauce ended up a mass about the size of a baseball. 

I have long forgotten the recipe but remember it was based on whatever fruit I had at the time.  Although the first time was a happy accident, I'll be doing it again on purpose. This time I'll take notes. 

post #24 of 24
After another few weeks, I remembered it was there

Made me laugh a bit! You must have quite the kitchen, experimental and the rest is just a little more time.

Autofill made that last sentence, technology!
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