Louisiana hot sauce

You can’t appreciate stateside hot sauce without acknowledging the essential contributions of the state of Louisiana to the hot sauce galaxy. 

Some even argue that Louisiana was where hot sauce originated in the U.S. because of its hot, humid climate—perfect for growing chilis—and its unique blend of Spanish, French, and African cultures. 

Before getting into our favorite Louisiana hot sauces, let’s explore the Bayou State’s central role in the history of United States hot sauce.

A History of Louisiana-Made Hot Sauce

Although there were expressions of hot sauce in Massachusetts in the early 1800s, Louisiana was where the hot sauce movement gained traction in the U.S. 

The Birth of Creole and Cajun Cuisine

The diverse peoples that lived in Louisiana as early as the 1700s—Native Americans, French, Acadians, Africans, and Spanish—laid the groundwork for a rich cultural and culinary environment.

Elements of these cultures combined with foods readily available on the bayou resulted in two unique cuisines: Creole and Cajun. Integral to both of these cuisines were heat and warming spices. 

Tomatoes and Peppers Hit the Bayou

The Spanish picked up pepper and tomato seeds throughout their 1700s colonial pursuits and carried them back to Louisiana. 

Additionally, when hundreds of Louisianans went to Mexico in the 1840s to fight in the Mexican war, they are thought to have brought the first seeds of Capsicum frutescens, also known as tabasco peppers, home with them. 

Louisiana’s First Tabasco Sauces

Louisiana plantation owner Maunsel White is credited with introducing the tabasco pepper to the Bayou Statue in the early 1800s, which he eventually mixed with strong vinegar to make a stripped-down, tangy pepper mash. 

Another landowner, Edmund McIlhenney, is thought to have coopted the recipe from Maunsel. His famously named Tabasco Sauce—you know it well—combined crushed tabasco peppers with salt before aging for up to three years in oak barrels. His creation resulted in a pungent and spicy condiment guaranteed to spice up the most bland post-civil war foods. [1]

Tabasco Pepper Sauce’s recipe has remained virtually unchanged, reaped worldwide success for over 150 years, and laid the foundation for what today represents a classic Louisiana hot sauce. 

Louisiana-Made Hot Sauces, Ranked and Reviewed

With such strong roots in Louisiana, it’s no surprise that so many hot sauces come to our tables straight from the Bayou state to this day. 

Many of our favorite Louisiana hot sauces mimic that original Tabasco recipe. They leverage a fermented cayenne or tabasco mash and loads of vinegar for zingy, piquant excellence. Others on our list stray from tradition by employing eyewatering ghost peppers or excesses of clear vinegar. 

Here are some of our favorite Louisiana-made hot sauces, reviewed:

10. Panola “Clearly Hot Sauce”c1tzj0C0W03rQ054c498xfy 85kGxgZ78QX5VHTYRyL0SJ2uw2 uZl2IX NwwfD HuASyrOWm5aJvc7R5OlKMeWUYHMInomRZqKVFHHYDXXzgCyAADNafSdpmkwHDDYjSzptD0l6Sz7D5MuS


HEAT: 75 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Vinegar, Peppers, Onion Juice, Garlic, Salt, Natural Flavorings

We love Panola “Clearly Hot Sauce” for the novelty of dashing a transparent condiment onto our dullest dishes. 

It is more of a pepper-flavored vinegar than a hot sauce, however, and it’s certainly not hot. With more heat than a bell pepper but less than a pepperoncini, this sauce doesn’t do much by way of spice. 

This quirky, colorless sauce has its uses, though. Dash it onto steamed vegetables or freshly made french fries for a touch of brightness. You can use it on anything as a substitute for vinegar.

Panola “Clearly Hot Sauce” is a genuine Cajun product in the style of the South, but if you don’t lovee vinegar, stay away. 

9. Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce

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HEAT: 5,500 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Aged Pepper Mash, Vinegar, Salt, Xantham Gum, Garlic, Other Spices

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce gets its outlandish name from the old Southern saying, “So good, it’ll make you slap ya mama!” 

Slap Ya Mama is a slightly hotter, more flavorful Tabasco. It’s an aged pepper mash, just like Tabasco. This liquidy condiment leans into Cajun spices and loads of deep garlic flavor.

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce is, however, very salty. Just one teaspoon of this stuff contains 9% of your daily value of sodium. So if you’re on a limited salt diet or have an aversion to salty foods, consider an alternative. 

Also, no matter how much you love this Cajun pepper sauce, we recommend you avoid slapping your mother after eating it. 

8. Trappey’s Bull Louisiana Hot SaucetmT5PExnel OSalGRSPx0ySOp8gYcU t61BB9C7a22c x7dg ZRrelhmw 8ZPFBsO8nsBOmLSnYidQ1PlEwbx4ujldhDqO1 KpBSvJgV1ti8MiqHMV2


HEAT: 2,500 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Distilled Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid (to preserve freshness), Red Dye 40

Trappey’s Bull is a household name across Louisiana, though it can be hard to come by elsewhere. It is one of the oldest hot sauces in the country, created in the late 1800s when a Tabasco employee left his job to create his own spicy sauce. 

Trappey’s is a vinegar-forward hot sauce with plenty of traditional Louisiana flavor and mild heat. Even the novice chilihead can genuinely use this on anything. 

While we love the tangy and slightly spicy flavor of Trappey’s Bull Louisiana Hot Sauce—it adds a lovely zing to the blandest of meals—this stuff is a salt bomb. One teaspoon is 6% of the recommended daily value of sodium. And we wouldn’t necessarily choose this hot sauce for its list of healthy, whole ingredients. Red Dye 40? Yikes.

Regardless, Trappey’s Bull could be the one for you if you like vinegar-led hot sauces with a mild Louisiana spice. 

7. The Original Tiger SauceJde77Mp4VDQuiPbqF2biTq6O07MgbAhgd 4vgZZUzMHbqIOnNEzWbIFnKvv3vpP6


HEAT: 500 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Cayenne Peppers, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, Crushed Red Peppers, Xanthan Gum, Chili Peppers, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavor, Oregano, Cumin, Garlic Powder. 

Tiger Sauce is a sweet condiment with tropical fruit flavors and cayenne pepper. While the recipe’s leading ingredient is cayenne, this hot sauce is about as mild as a hot sauce could be. At 500 Scoville Heat Units, Tiger Sauce will not make you sweat. 

Its flavor, however, is genuinely select. The cayenne peppers are met with a sweet and tangy flavor that makes the contents of this bottle disappear quickly. 

Tiger sauce reminds us of a sweet and sour Asian sauce, like the sticky and delectable General Tso’s sauce. We love this stuff on tofu, as a marinade for chicken or pork, or as a dip for fried coconut shrimp. 

If you love a sweet and tangy chili sauce and can’t handle too much heat, you’ll love Tiger Sauce. It’s an ideal option for the whole family. 

6. Poirier’s Louisiana Style Hot Sauce

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HEAT: 2,000 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Vinegar, Aged Cayenne Peppers, Sea Salt, Red Habanero, Celery, Garlic, Canola Oil

This fan favorite, created in partnership with UFC fighter and Louisiana native Justin Poirier, really packs a punch. 

Like any good Louisiana hot sauce, this recipe centers on high-quality cayenne peppers, mashed, fermented, and topped off with vinegar, sea salt, celery, and garlic. It’s got a watery consistency, a rich, buttery flavor, and a squeezy lid to make indulgence easy. 

With a stripped-down ingredients list and the inclusion of ripe habanero peppers, we recommend this sauce for the health nuts and hot heads of the Louisiana hot sauce-loving world. 

At 2,000 Scoville Heat Units, Poirier’s Louisiana Style Hot Sauce is just slightly spicier than Tabasco, so if you have any semblance of a capsaicin tolerance, this will be easy. 

5. Ass In The Tub Ghost Pepper Sauce7fi4zWu 8iRPImibdwwxMJlZ6jfiLzKV4JwF8R05n5H5eKhZ29PY7qEBaD3JyhV6unCU7cjgS3CuhkYyLtoJl3A7 qoQqx0prWCW9ZmscAWkPJiGLvOelPDz


HEAT: 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Bhut Jolokia (Ghost) Peppers, Carrots, Papayas, Lime Juice, Vinegar, Onions, Passion Fruit, Citric Acid, Garlic, Salt, Xanthan Gum 

So many of our favorite Louisiana hot sauces are mild, falling between a tame 500 and 2,000 Scoville Heat Units. We had to showcase something from the Bayou State on the complete opposite end of the spectrum: Ass In The Tub Ghost Pepper Sauce. 

With its inclusion of tropical fruits, including papayas, passion fruit, and lime, this hot sauce has all of the incredible, fruity flavors you could dream up for a hot sauce. 

However, at 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units, the makers of this hot sauce promise that “it’s sure to burn twice.” We’re assuming that’s where it got its name. 

Consume this ultra-spicy Louisiana-made gem at your own risk. 

4. Cajun Power All-Purpose Spicy Garlic Sauce2BWbNMhzs4cNQtaZW s6Uyi5mYwhlSwVC80YztzZfMKGb45Eky xr4Bza3F4wH gru6vBF0kKd0MLfH8j6Q41nWzRHa2l3G


HEAT: 1,500 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Red Ripe Peppers, Vinegar, Tomatoes, Spices, Garlic, Seasoning, Salt

Cajun Power’s All-Purpose Spicy Garlic Sauce is precisely as it’s named: all-purpose. We love this on Cajun-style seafood and dream of it on fried fish, shrimp, and oysters. 

This sauce has serious umami flavors with garlic and tomato that add profundity to anything you throw it on. We also love the ingredients list—it contains elements we know, love, and can pronounce. 

Cajun Power Sauce was founded by Cajun Chef Caro, and the team has been creating quality hot sauces for over 45 years without changing their recipes or bottle labels. 

With 1,500 Scoville Heat Units, this hot sauce is mild and agreeable for novice hot sauce lovers. 

3. Louisiana Brand “The Perfect” Hot Sauce


HEAT: 1000-2000 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Aged Peppers, Vinegar, Salt

You’ve seen this one, you’ve tried this one, and you’ve loved this one. (And if you haven’t, you really should.) 

Louisiana Hot Sauce claims that its hot sauce was one of the first Cajun food products to become commercially available when it was made and sold in 1928 by Bruce Foods. Since then, it’s grown to become one of the most iconic American hot sauces, indeed in Louisiana, but also everywhere.

In classic fashion, Louisiana Hot Sauce is a vinegar-forward, fermented cayenne pepper mash with lots of tang and authentic, ripe red pepper flavors. The heat comes on and leaves quickly, too, so don’t worry about a slow build here. 

We love putting Lousiana “The Perfect” Hot Sauce in our soups, jambalaya, and gumbo, of course. 

2. Tabasco Pepper Sauce 

PHOTO: TABASCO PEPPER SAUCEi8tEXx9I5t4LLY3G ibFuzpWzJzY24zw3zswOcAtkGBnm 60TARA5bFPzmJXsQY6i5T G hrfZqlHJZG0hG0rO1LcdIu c 1rMIAXQAXftGxGX6J3trhZw 9Goljqm2QNimqBsZJ8ufjewC

HEAT: 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Aged Red Peppers, Avery Island Salt, and Distilled Vinegar

Tabasco made it onto our list because it’s iconic, delicious, and a Louisiana-born staple on tabletops across the U.S. 

Tabasco’s recipe goes back to the mid-1800s and marks one of the earliest commercial hot sauces made, bottled, and sold commercially in the United States. 

It’s a classic Louisiana fermented pepper mash, but instead of cayenne peppers, this traditional recipe leverages the fruity tabasco pepper native to Southern Mexico. As for salt, Tabasco dishes out less than 2% of your daily value per serving (much less than some of our other Louisiana-style favorites).

This is a high-vinegar, light hot sauce with a kick that sneaks up on you. 

And what doesn’t Tabasco work with? It mixes perfectly dashed onto omelets, chicken fingers, and instant ramen. Enjoy. 

1. Crystal Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce

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HEAT: 2,000 to 4,000 Scoville Heat Units

INGREDIENTS: Aged Red Cayenne Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, Natural Flavorings, Xanthan Gum 

Number one on our list is the global phenomenon Crystal Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce. This one’s so popular for a very good reason, and it all starts with its ingredient list.

Aged red cayenne peppers are fermented in a mash before combined with distilled vinegar, water, and salt. (Lots of salt—one teaspoon gives you 6% of your daily value of sodium). 

Crystal’s flavor is incredibly balanced, deep, and long-lasting. Its heat is mild and comparable to Tabasco; we love it on almost anything. 


It is said that Louisiana is where hot sauce was born stateside. The Bayou State’s long history of fermented pepper mashes and tangy, spicy flavors lives on in its myriad hot sauces—both world-famous and under the radar—that we know and love today. 

Please excuse us while we peel off to throw loads of Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce into our bubbling pot of jambalaya. 


Milne, Larissa. “How Americans Fell in Love With Hot Sauce.USA Today, 2018.

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