Field Notes

Basic Hot Sauce Recipe

This is a base recipe for hot sauce that you can add to and mold depending on the flavor you’re after.  This is also the base recipe for our Homemade Hot Sauce Kit and Hot Sauce Field Guide. Use just one type of chili, or layer flavors of multiple chilies by using a blend. Toasting the chilies first helps bring out their oils.


Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the chilies and toast for a minute just until they are warm and fragrant.

Turn the heat to high. Add the vinegar and bring to boil.

Remove the mixture from heat, and let cool. Transfer to a blender and blend for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is a smooth puree. Strain into bottle using a fine-mesh sieve set over a funnel. Refrigerate for three days before using; store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Basic Hot Sauce

 Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 ounce whole dried chilies, stems removed 
  • 1 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • Funnel, fine-mesh sieve and 8 ounce hot sauce bottle

Check out our Hot Sauce Field Guide for all sorts of iterations on this basic recipe.