How to Make Your Own Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is basically a mixture of chili pepper, salt, vinegar, herbs, spices and vegetables.  Good sauces are usually available in supermarkets and grocery stores and various brands have marketed it in different forms and names that all the consumers have to do is select from the shelves hot sauce products that ranges from mild to extremely hot. However, while hot sauce is generally available commercially, there are still individuals who prefer to make their own using homemade or family recipes since it easy to prepare and is usually half the cost of those bought at the store.

The main ingredient for hot sauce is chili pepper, and it is usually roasted or blanched. There are a lot of pepper species that one can use depending on one's preferred "heat" or intensity. It is advisable to use some protection in handling the spice during preparation as the capsaicin from the chili stings the eyes and clings to the skin even after washing. It is also advisable to remove the seeds and veins and to wash the chili in running water to get rid of excess dirt and pesticide. Fresh tomatoes and fruits like mangoes, as well as herbs, can also be added provided that the extra moisture is squeezed out as it can cause the sauce to turn into a soggy mixture.

Most people are familiar with hot sauce as a condiment for Mexican dishes like nachos or tacos; however, it has other culinary of uses. Hot sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken or fish, dips for snacks or an alternative spice ingredient for stews and homemade curries.

One common hot sauce recipe that is easy to try is Tabasco. The ingredients include twelve large Tabasco peppers, peeled garlic, salt, vinegar and sugar. The process starts by simmering the pepper vinegar and salt for a few minutes in a non-metallic pan until it becomes tender. Then remove the pan from the heat to cool for a few minutes then puree it with salt and sugar using a food processor or a blender. Add the garlic and extra vinegar until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Finally, pour the sauce in sterilized bottles and store in the refrigerator. You can also even try canning it. This mixture is different from the Tabasco brand as the brand ages their peppers in white barrels prior to bottling.   

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