Since it was first commercialized in 1807, the popularity of American hot sauce has done nothing but grow. With the rise of Tabasco sauce and southern styles, Americans now use hot sauce on just about anything. They’ll drizzle it over meats, popcorn and even candies.
Created with spicy cayenne peppers, American hot sauce can also be added to a variety of recipes to give homemade meals a fiery kick. This can include chilis, curries, or a spicy shrimp dish. With the sauce bringing so much variation to American food, there’s no wonder it’s become a staple in the food cupboard.
History of American Hot Sauce
Hot sauce dates to 7000 BC when the Aztecs decided to create a sauce out of chili peppers and water. They used this to spice up their foods and for medicinal purposes. Since then, the hot sauce recipe has been added to by numerous countries. They’ve added ingredients such as garlic, herbs and vinegar to create different variations, which are now used across the globe.
A major turning point in hot sauce history was when it first became commercialized in 1807. It was first known as cayenne sauce and bottled and sold in Massachusetts before being distributed across the U.S.
As its popularity grew, the sauce was bought by a business called J McCollik and Company and sold as a bird pepper sauce. Soon after this moment, Tabasco sauce was created. It was invented by Edward McIlhenny who grew peppers in Louisiana to create the Tabasco hot sauce. McIlhenny sold it for just a dollar a bottle. As Tabasco sauce sales rose, recipes started to appear in cookbooks and soon, people were creating their own spicy curries and tangy BBQ sauces .
Popular Types of American Hot Sauce
Crystal Hot Sauce
Crystal Hot Sauce was founded in 1923 by Alvin Baumer in New Orleans. Coming from Louisiana, this Southern hot sauce was, and still is, created with a mixture of cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar and salt. It can add flavor to any dish but works particularly well with pork dishes or drizzled on top of oysters .
A popular recipe using Crystal Hot Sauce is for buffalo wings. You can coat the wings in hot sauce and then place them under a grill to cook. This will give them a hot and tangy taste and it will work well served with a bleu cheese dressing .
Tabasco Hot Sauce
This is one of the most popular hot sauces in America. Its ingredients include peppers, vinegar and salt. These ingredients are left to ferment in barrels for up to three years. Fermenting for so long allows the prominent taste of Tabasco sauce to come through on any food it’s added to.
Frank’s Red Hot
If you’d like a sauce to compliment your buffalo wings, then Frank’s Red Hot should be your go-to. It originated in New York in 1964 and has been packing flavor onto chicken since. The sauce has been created from all-natural ingredients of fermented cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, garlic and water . With its unique blend of ingredients, it’s sure to add plenty of flavor and heat to your chicken wings. You can drizzle it over your meat, use it as a condiment or even bake your chicken in it.
Health Benefits and Nutritional Information
With its natural ingredients, hot sauce can hold some health benefits. The peppers are packed full of vitamins, which work at keeping our bodies in order. Vitamins C, A and E are all found in American hot sauce. These vitamins work at making sure our immune systems are healthy, promoting our eye health and protecting us against free radicals. It’s important to make sure we’re regularly consuming these vitamins as they’ll help to prevent heart disease and forms of cancer .
Not only this, but American hot sauce is also an anti-inflammatory. It helps to relieve any pain that you could be feeling, especially if you have a sore stomach. Thanks to its fiery qualities, hot sauce can help to speed up your metabolism, which can even contribute to weight loss. This is common with spicy foods as the heat prevents you from wanting to eat so much.
If you struggle with high blood pressure, then hot sauce could also help to lower it. Capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers is scientifically known to lower blood pressure.
Along with all these health benefits, the nutritional value of American hot sauce is also good for you. Chili peppers are low in carbohydrates, sugar and calories. There’s also zero amount of cholesterol and the peppers feature little amounts of fat .
Cooking with American Hot Sauce
It’s easy to cook with American hot sauce. You can incorporate it into many everyday meals such as pouring it over nachos or popcorn and using it to marinate meats. Frank’s Red Hot is a diverse sauce that you can use in plenty of recipes . You can add some spice to a burger by grilling the meat, adding to the bun along with lettuce and cheese, and then pouring the hot sauce over to give it some heat. You can also cook it with your meat in a roasting bag. It would allow the flavors to soak into your food and keep your cooking mess-free.
If you’re feeling creative, then why not make your own American hot sauce recipe? A Louisiana-style hot sauce is simple to create. The ingredients you’ll need are:
- A pound of red chili peppers
- 1-quart unchlorinated water
- 3 tablespoons of salt
- ½ to 1 cup of distilled vinegar
Firstly, you’ll want to ferment your chili peppers. This will mean leaving them to stand in a jar for a week in the unchlorinated water and salt. You should also make sure they’re kept out of direct sunlight. Once the week is up, pour the chili peppers along with the water and vinegar into a pan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for fifteen minutes. Let the mixture to cool and then add to a food processor and blend until you have a smooth sauce .
American hot sauces are a great way to add spice to any food. You can pair the sauce with sweet or savory foods to give them an extra kick. America was the first country to commercialize hot sauce in 1807, and it’s come a long way since. You can add it to favorite recipes, drizzle it over any food, or even have a go at creating your own American hot sauce.
 African Dream Foods. “The History of Hot Sauce.” African Dream Foods.
 Buckingham, C. “The 10 Most Popular Hot Sauces in America, According to Instacart.” Eat This, Not That, 2021.
 Crystal Hot Sauce. “Pepper’s Smoked Buffalo Wings.” Crystal Hot Sauce.
 Tabasco. “Tabasco Recipe Collections.” Tabasco.
 Hirsch, D., and Hirsch, M. “12 Best Hot Sauces in America.” 2 Food Trippers, 2023.
 Secret Aardvark. “Is Hot Sauce Good for You?” Secret Aardvark.
 Donatelli, J. “The Health Benefits of Hot Sauce.” Livestrong.
 Frank’s Red Hot. “Frank’s Red Hot Spicy Food Recipes.” Frank’s Red Hot.
 Hultquist, M. “Homemade Louisiana Hot Sauce.” Chili Pepper Madness, 2021.