This article is for all my fellow chiliheads out there who love their hot sauce scorching hot. If you’re a fan of artisan Carolina Reaper hot sauces, you’re in for a treat. While there are plenty of amazing options available, there’s something special about making your own hot sauce. And today, I’m going to share with you my very own Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce recipe.
The Heat of Carolina Reaper Peppers
This hot sauce is exclusively made with Carolina Reaper Peppers, which currently hold the title of the world’s hottest peppers, according to Guinness World Records. These peppers have a mind-numbing heat of 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units, making them incredibly hot. To put it into perspective, a regular jalapeno pepper is about 440 times milder than the Carolina Reaper. Even the infamous ghost pepper pales in comparison.
About the Carolina Reaper
Let’s take a moment to learn more about this fiery pepper. The Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® is currently considered the hottest pepper in the world. It was developed by crossing a Pakistani Naga with a Red Habanero type from St Vincents Island. This hybrid pepper was bred in South Carolina and has been tested to reach over 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units. Despite its intense heat, it offers a surprisingly fruity and slightly sweet flavor, making it an excellent choice for hot sauce.
Learn more about the Carolina Reaper – Discover its flavor profile, heat levels, and more.
Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
To make your own homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce, you’ll need:
- 8 ounces of Carolina Reaper peppers
- 1 head of garlic (top slices off)
- 1 onion, halved
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the Carolina Reaper peppers, garlic, and onion on a baking sheet. Roast them for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins slightly char.
- Transfer the roasted peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of their skins and add them to the food processor.
- Add vinegar and salt to the food processor. Process until you achieve a chunky mixture. Be cautious of the fumes!
- Gradually add half a cup of water and continue processing until the sauce starts to smooth out. Adjust the thickness by adding more water if desired.
- Optional: Strain the sauce for a smoother texture or use it as-is. If you strain it, you can discard the pulp or dehydrate it to create a superhot seasoning powder.
- Pour the hot sauce into sterilized bottles and let it sit. The flavors will meld together over time.
Safety Tips for Working with Carolina Reaper Peppers & Other Superhots
When handling such spicy peppers, it’s crucial to follow these safety tips:
- Wear Gloves: Superhot peppers contain oils that can cause a burning sensation on your skin. Protect your hands by wearing gloves while working with them.
- Avoid the Fumes: These peppers emit fumes that can irritate your respiratory system. Cook them in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or near an open window.
Recipe Tips & Notes
Here are some additional tips and notes to enhance your hot sauce-making experience:
- Cooking Method: I chose to roast my Carolina Reapers alongside onion and garlic for this recipe, but there are various other methods you can try. From pan-cooking to boiling and pureeing raw peppers, the possibilities are endless. You can even ferment the peppers to create a unique flavor profile.
- Other Ingredients: This basic starter sauce allows the flavor and heat of the Carolina Reapers to shine. However, feel free to experiment with additional ingredients that complement the flavors. Fresh or dried herbs, ginger, cumin, chili powders, mango or habanero fruit, and citrus juices like lime or lemon are excellent options.
- Vinegar: The choice of vinegar affects the final taste of your hot sauce. Opt for high-quality vinegar that suits your preferences. Distilled white vinegar works well, or you can try apple cider vinegar for an extra tangy and slightly sweet note.
Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about hot sauces:
How long will my Carolina Reaper Hot sauce keep?
This hot sauce can easily last a few months in the fridge, or even longer. The acidity plays a crucial role in preserving the sauce. The ideal pH level for shelf-stable foods is below 4.6. However, for home cooks, it’s recommended to aim for a pH of around 3.5 to ensure longevity. If you want it to last even longer, add more vinegar or citrus juice to lower the pH. Fermented chili pepper sauces have an even longer shelf life.
Where can I find hot sauce bottles?
You can find hot sauce bottles locally or through online platforms like Amazon. Here are some glass bottle options I recommend: Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce – Set of 4. For smaller bottles commonly used by hot sauce makers, check out these Woozy Bottles: Hot Sauce Bottles (Woozy Bottles), 5 Oz – 24 Pack.
Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage?
Absolutely! Just make sure to follow proper canning/jarring safety procedures. If you plan on using a water bath canning method, lower the pH to 3.5.
What should I do with hot sauce?
Besides drizzling it over anything you please, you can refer to my post on How to Cook with Hot Sauce for endless culinary inspirations.
Try Some of My Other Popular Carolina Reaper Recipes
If you’re craving more recipes featuring the Carolina Reaper, give these creations a try:
- The Hottest Damn Hot Sauce I Ever Made (made with Carolina Reapers and other superhots)
- 5-Alarm Superhot Chicken Wings
- Reaper Chips (superhot tortilla chips)
Try Some of My Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes
If you’re a hot sauce enthusiast, explore these tantalizing recipes:
- Homemade Sriracha (both fermented and non-fermented varieties)
- Roasted Red Jalapeno Hot Sauce
- Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce
- Ti-Malice – Hatian Creole Hot Sauce
- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
- Habanero Hot Sauce
- Datil Pepper Sauce
- Devil’s Tongue Hot Sauce
- More Hot Sauce Recipes
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I’m here to help. And if you enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment and rating. Don’t forget to share it on social media and tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. We’d love to see your creations!