Making Hot Sauce

From growth to mason jar.

Making Hot Sauce.

I’ve never had much of a green thumb (not for lack of effort, more for lack of trying) my plants have almost been exclusively succulents. Aloe and those small fractal shaped plants (echeveria elegans and haworthia fasciata) have always been my go to as I love the practical uses of aloe as a pale white dude and the other plants just look cool. This year I decided to try something a little different and challenged myself to grow some habaneros.

Now, I don’t want to get into the whole life story of what was done with the gardening portion (mostly because it would quickly take over this post with everything that was done.) So I’ll boil down the experience to a little tl;dr. I have little room to work with for a garden, the weather fluctuated a lot this year, I lucked out with the soil I used and my plant exploded with peppers when I migrated it inside. Basically, there were a couple challenges I didn’t see coming, but in the end it was fun, educational and successful. Now onto our main topic.

A small garden with a couple plants.
A modest amount of room for activities!
A pepper plant set up indoors.
A modest indoor setup!
A hand full of habaneros on a paper towel.
A modest amount of peppers!

Habaneros are one of my favorite peppers. Not too hot, plays well with a variety of flavors and there’s something appealing about that bright orange color they get. Now, full disclosure, I have made hot sauce before. This was roughly 4-5 years ago and was with a handful of jalapenos and chipotle peppers. I’m not going in blind, but I’m in no way a pro in the field of sauce. That said, making hot sauce is really really easy.

Step one of my attack was to look into some base recipes and get an idea of the flavor I wanted. I kind of cherry picked bits and pieces from several to get where I wanted and improvised as I felt like. Once I had an idea for what I wanted to do I gathered and prepped my ingredients.

  • 5 habaneros
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 rings pineapple
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup lime juice

Ingredients on hand, I preheated the oven to 425F and chopped up the peppers and tomatoes; putting them on a baking sheet and evenly coating them in olive oil. Once the oven was ready I put the baking sheet in to roast for about 10 mins (until the peppers started to get brown on the edges.)

Once the habaneros and tomatoes where nice and toasty I threw them onto a pan over medium high heat and added the chopped onion, garlic, lime juice, white vinegar, pineapple juice, salt and a little water. I let the mix come to a boil, then covered, reduced to a medium low heat and let cook for around 10 mins.

Finally I packed it all up in a food processor, adding the 2 pineapple rings, and pureed everything. The liquid was then stored in a mason jar and put in the fridge to seal.

A mason jar filled with hot sauce.
Tasty and aesthetically pleasing.

That’s all there is to it! Super easy and not too time consuming. It was nice to play around with a flavor profile and in the end the sauce didn’t turn out too bad. Next I’d like to play around with dehydrating the peppers to help with storage, flavor and spice. But, in the meantime, it was fun to grow something new and turn it into something.