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9 best hot sauces to bring the heat

From mild to melting, we've got you covered

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
kumana hot avocado sauce

If you have a cast-iron stomach and aren't afraid of a little burn, oh man, do we have a fiery list of hot sauces for you. And because we take pity on those of you who think you can handle the heat but might actually be in over your Scoville depths, the lava-like concoctions on this list range from relatively mild to a full-throttle, five-alarm intestinal fire. If you’re looking for some extra heat in the cold weather, here are a few recommendations that will add some kick to your next meal.

Kumana Hot Avocado Sauce

kumana hot avocado sauce
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 900
  • Keto and paleo approved
  • 13.1 oz.

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Anyone who’s watching their weight and carb intake would be well-advised to grab a bottle or two of this ketogenic and paleo diet-friendly, avocado-infused hot sauce. Made with zesty herbs and chili peppers packing the right amount of punch (hot, but not overpowering), Kumana Hot Avocado Sauce spices up your food without bulking up your calorie intake.

Inner Beauty Hot Sauce

inner beauty hot sauce
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 445,000
  • Caribbean-style hot sauce
  • 7.2 oz.

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If you like a bit of fruity tang with your heat, this Caribbean-inspired hot sauce delivers the goods. With ingredients like scotch bonnet peppers, mustard, papaya and pineapple juice chucked into the mix, a dab or decent pour of Inner Beauty Hot Sauce over your meal delivers a respectable amount of burn without reducing your taste buds to ashes.

Wicked Nightmare Hot Sauce

wicked nightmare hot sauce
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 2,000,000
  • Hotter than reaper peppers
  • 15 ml

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WARNING! HANDLE THIS HOT SAUCE WITH CARE. The Wicked Nightmare in the title is a dead giveaway that this pure chili pepper extract isn't for the faint of heart. Since this extract clocks in at more than 2,000,000 Scoville units, just add a drop or two to a thick sauce or a mixture of grub (like a big stir-fry). Never pour directly over your food. If you love Carolina Reapers, ghost peppers and scorpion peppers — and if you’re brave enough to tackle out-of-control heat — then this chili pepper extract is for you.

Huy Fong Sriracha 6-Pack

sriracha
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 1,000 - 2,500
  • Made from sun-ripened chiles
  • 28 oz.

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Everyone loves smooth-tasting Sriracha. You’ve likely seen this ubiquitous chili sauce at one of your favorite Asian food joints. And what could be better than a bottle of Sriracha at home to add some garlicky pep to your meals? The answer: six bottles, of course! Whenever the meat or veggies on your dinner plate seem kind of bland, reach for Sriracha to spice up your culinary life.

The Reaper Puree

the reaper puree
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 1,474,000
  • Made with the Carolina Reaper
  • 2 oz.

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We're back at it with a hot sauce that pushes the boundaries of what a human being can endure. The vinegary Reaper Puree, made with Carolina Reaper peppers with tinges of cinnamon and chocolate added in, might knock your socks off with its overwhelming heat. While there might be a few hotter sauces on the market, this fiery condiment should be handled with extreme caution. But if you love a scorching (yet flavorful) slap in the face now and then, go ahead and give it a try.

El Yucateco Habanero Green Hot Sauce

el yucateco habanero green hot sauce
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 8,910
  • Habanero-based
  • 4 oz.

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A little 4-ounce bottle of this Habanero Green Hot Sauce goes a long way in adding zest to your eggs, Tex-Mex or Mexican cuisine. The habaneros of El Yucateco bring a manageable heat to your meals but should still be mild enough that you can use this hot sauce regularly without wreaking havoc on your gastrointestinal tract.

Zombie Apocalypse Ghost Chili Hot Sauce

zombie apocalypse ghost chili hot sauce
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 500,000
  • Featured on Hot Ones
  • 2.5 oz.

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Should a zombie apocalypse become a reality, you might be able to fend off those brain-hungry zombies with a few dabs of this blistering hot sauce. To be fair, this sauce, featured on the internet interview show “Hot Ones,” is pretty darn palatable. While it’s made with ghost chili peppers and habaneros, anyone with a decent tolerance for heat should be able to handle this sauce without too much fuss. It does have some kick, though, which should be enough to keep those pesky zombies at bay.

Harissa Hot Sauce From France

harissa hot sauce from france
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 40,000–50,000
  • Imported from France
  • 4.2 oz.

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Why not try a tremendous hot chili paste from France? This paste, inspired by recipes from North Africa, infuses chiles with caraway, coriander, garlic and other spices into a tangy blend. Harissa Hot Sauce is perfect for adding some burning excitement to couscous or rice, making your meals immensely more satisfying.

Mad Dog 357

mad dog 357
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Scoville units: 357,000
  • Available in travel size
  • 5 oz.

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Let’s end our hot sauce journey with a real scorcher, shall we? All “handle with care” warnings apply to Mad Dog 357, which uses a 3 million Scoville unit pepper extract. Even the fumes from the bottle are dangerous. Only professional heat connoisseurs should attempt to work with this sauce, and even they should tread with caution. A small dab sets fire to your taste buds, stomach and intestines — but if you adore a challenging heat, this hallucination–inducing hot sauce might be the one for you.

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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.