This hot sauce is a choose-your-own-adventure sort of recipe. You can use any variety of peppers you like from “wow that has a little kick” to “OMG, I need a f***ing gallon of cold milk NOW.” This version is fermented which we think makes all the difference in taste, so patience is your friend here and you’ll want to play around with adding different flavors like cumin or mustard seed to the final product. We’ve added some suggestions in the recipe below.

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Homemade Hot Sauce

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  • Author: Liz Sloan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-7 days for fermenting
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups 1x


Adapted from the Curious Chickpea



226g (8oz) chili peppers, tops removed and coarsely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled

6g (1 tsp) coarse kosher salt*

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar


Add the peppers, garlic cloves, salt, and water in a food processor. Process until you reach the texture of a chunky salsa.

Transfer to a clean glass container and cover with a cheesecloth. Leave on the counter at room temperature for 24-48 hours.

After 1-2 days, stir in the apple cider vinegar. Leave on the counter, covered with a cheesecloth for 5-7 days (if you have time, go the full week!)

After 1 week, transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. If it’s very thick add more water (and/or vinegar to taste) to thin.

Optional: strain the sauce through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth lined strainer. Squeeze out all the juice from the remaining pulp. Straining will make a thinner sauce, so wait to thin the sauce if you are straining it.

Transfer to a clean jar or hot sauce bottle and refrigerate. It will last for several months.

Separation is normal, shake before use.


Make the sauce your own! You can sweeten or flavor the hot sauce by adding other vegetables in the first step (e.g. onion or carrots). Or add a bit of sugar to taste to the final hot sauce. Or try adding spices like cumin, coriander, or mustard seed to the final hot sauce.

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