How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

comments (18) November 10th, 2015

Pin It

WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
thumbs up 7 users recommend

Green Tabasco peppers make for a simple Southern-style vinegar hot sauce.
Hot pepper sauces are easy to make at home with a few ingredients and a little bit of time to steep.
Green Tabasco peppers make for a simple Southern-style vinegar hot sauce.Click To Enlarge

Green Tabasco peppers make for a simple Southern-style vinegar hot sauce.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

When the last warm days of fall started giving way to cold weather, I knew it was time to pick all the remaining hot peppers, whether they were ripe and ready or not.

This gardening season wasn't long enough or hot enough to help the Tabasco peppers ripen to the right shade of red. With the first hard freeze of the season heading my way, I knew I had to do something with that tall plant, loaded with hot green peppers.

I've written about using green tomatoes, but this was different. Tomatoes will continue to ripen on their own after they're picked from the plant; peppers won't.

Instead of covering the plant or trying to drag the container inside, I decided to turn the green peppers into vinegar pepper sauce. This is the same type of hot "peppa" sauce of sport peppers you may have seen on restaurant tables. From what I understand, vinegar pepper sauce is a Southern specialty that's used to flavor up all kinds of cooking.

If you grow your own peppers, it's easy to make your own hot sauce at home.

For vinegar pepper sauce:

  1. Remove the stems and caps from the hot peppers.
  2. Use a sharp knife to make small slits in one side of each pepper to help speed the steeping process.
  3. Place peppers into a bottle (recycled hot sauce bottle) or jar.
  4. Bring white or white wine vinegar to a near boil.
  5. Use a funnel to add the hot vinegar to the bottle, make sure all the peppers are covered.
  6. Optional: add your choice of seasonings, like salt, garlic or peppercorns for added flavor.

I knew I was onto something as soon as that vinegar hit those peppers because my eyes started watering and I couldn't stop sneezing. It'll be fun to taste that hot sauce after it steeps for a few weeks in the fridge.

If you have a large supply of hot peppers, and you're feeling generous, fill another bottle and give as a gift to a fellow pepper aficionado.


After you try it, show it off to other members in the
gardener's gallery.
Post your photos

posted in: peppers

Comments (18)

Teresarusso writes: Best wishes to you.
Posted: 12:07 pm on October 24th
ZacharyHarden writes: Nice way to store these.
Posted: 1:31 pm on August 10th
RobertCormick writes: good job keep it up
Posted: 1:03 pm on July 10th
jacobjohn11 writes: Hello buddy, i like your work.
Posted: 12:20 pm on July 7th
FelisaRussell writes: nice work.
Posted: 12:07 pm on July 5th
davidrayan writes: I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Posted: 1:19 pm on June 23rd
DorisNorris writes: nice try
Posted: 4:37 am on June 13th
charlosmarcos writes: thanks for the recipe
Posted: 11:22 am on May 18th
Ashtonjames writes: i love pepper sauce
Posted: 10:28 am on May 12th
stewardMblake writes: Great for tasty dishes and self-defence spray, haha!
Posted: 4:39 am on March 10th
CorinneHine writes: Great one shrare
Posted: 12:29 am on January 26th
WesternGardener writes: Thanks for asking about more pepper recipes--I've found that this same recipe works when using other kinds of hot chile peppers, once they've ripened to red.

My advice? Experiment with different peppers, and combinations of peppers, to create your own special brand of hot sauce!

Posted: 4:19 pm on December 8th
NatalijaBesic writes: Hello Jodi,
Thank you for the Hot pepper Sauce! That's really gonna be liked by my family. I was wandering if you can share or maybe suggest some other hot sauces! That would be lovely and very kind of you!

Best Wishes,
Posted: 7:54 am on December 8th
WesternGardener writes: Hi Jay: I'm so glad to hear you ventured into making your own pepper sauce--and that you found this recipe and had success with it.

It's funny, but I've seen pepper sauce kits in catalogs this season, selling for about $35 dollars!

Posted: 11:53 am on December 1st
JayHaynes writes: Best pepper sauce ever! Last week I was exploring the net to find a proper paper sauce recipe I see this, made it and after that I was amazed. Thank you so much :)
Posted: 7:42 am on November 25th
mariotroy writes: Well done..
Posted: 5:34 am on November 20th
WesternGardener writes: Hi Lina--Thanks so much for your comment and encouraging words about the vinegar hot sauce recipe.

I always appreciate hearing from other hot pepper fans!

Posted: 11:29 am on November 12th
LinHenderson writes: Hello Jodi,
Perfect recipe, one of my favorites. Well done!
Best wishes,
Posted: 7:05 am on November 11th
Log in or create a free account to post a comment.