What makes hot sauce hot

Which chilli sauce goes well with food?

Chili sauce is definitely the hottest thing in the world. But which sauce goes well with which dish? After all, choosing them is half the battle for the perfect snack. The aim should be a perfect harmony of food and hot sauce, which complement each other.

Beginners do not initially recognize the subtle nuances of savory sauces. Everything tastes spicy to them. There are countless combinations of dishes and spices. We find complex fruit notes in habanero sauces. Other chilli sauces taste salty, sweet, sour or smoky.

Becoming aware of the flavors and combining them with a delicious dish takes some experience. As with wine, gourmets and hot eaters have to work hard to acquire this knowledge with a lot of sweat.

A sauce should emphasize the flavors of the dish. The fruity Habaneros is a fantastic addition to rice and exotic dishes. Roasted aromas of grilled meat are intensified by smoky flavors. If several courses follow, the sauces served should become stronger and stronger. This avoids boredom at the table. Since there is an incredible abundance of different degrees of spiciness, a prepared sauceier will master this task with ease.


There is hot chilli sauce like chillies in Mexico. Some are mild, others brutally spicy. To get an idea of ​​how sharp the object of desire is, a value is given. A simple variant is to give the degree of spiciness a number between 1 - 10.

Degree of sharpness

Severity level 0 - 3 are considered mild. Products from supermarkets with the label “very hot” conjure up a gentle yawn on the face of experienced hot eaters. Often it is ketchup with minimal heat. Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce is mild and has the typical taste of jalapeño. Very tasty with fish and many Mexican recipes.

Severity level 4 - 6 are pleasantly spicy. A pleasant burning sensation spreads in the mouth. The well-known red Tabasco falls in this area. When eating, happiness hormones are slowly released because the body reacts to pain impulses. The capsaicin contained in it ensures this effect. Friends of chilli know that the burning sensation is not a flavor, but the capsaicinoids stimulate pain nerves.

Severity level 7 - 9 falls under very sharp. Even practiced chilli routines are gradually realizing that things are getting serious. In Asian countries, dishes with this degree of spiciness are often eaten. With a healthy diet and spicy seasoning, life expectancy is higher than in countries with a greasy fast food tradition.

Severity level 10 to 10 +++ tend to be inhumanly sharp. However, a few people are lovers of hot sauces or even chilli extracts. There are many reasons. The addiction to the body's own endorphins, macho behavior, last man standing syndrome or just the love of sweaty food.


If the division into degrees of sharpness is too rough for you, there is a more precise method with the Scoville scale. The researcher and pharmacist Wilbur Scoville presented his idea for a scale in 1912. Chilli is diluted with water. If their burning is no longer perceived through a dilution, the SHU value can be calculated based on the drops. The method was just as simple and groundbreaking back then.

This made it possible for science to determine the capsaicin content with some degree of accuracy. Today the Scoville Heat Units value is determined in the laboratory.


A harmonious food pairing is the fine art that can be achieved. Seasoned sauces with a strong vinegar taste just don't go well with sour dishes. This can trigger heartburn and the delicious food goes bathing. A balanced combination of flavors and spices is better. A classic example are salty Sriracha sauces with shellfish. The fullness of the aromas increases admirably.

These are now our top favorites. If you miss a sauce, write it down in the comments below. Please indicate which dish you think it goes best with.

Chili sauces

Tabasco original sauce

Tabasco® Sauce has been produced unchanged for 146 years. The recipe was invented by the company's founder himself. After the hard times of the American Civil War, Edmund Mcilhenny's food was not spicy. So he created a wonderful product with chillies from his garden and salt from the company headquarters.

Tabasco chilies were crushed and mixed with Avery Island salt. Today this mash comes in barrels. Back then, Edmund McIlhenny probably took glasses or bottles to fine-tune the recipe. After the chilli mash had matured for 30 days, it was mixed with the best French wine vinegar.

The Tabasco® sauce was patented in 1870. The original recipe from 1868 is still made today. However, the maturation period has been increased to three years for better taste. Stored in oak barrels, as is done with good wine.

Cholula Hot Sauce original

A particularly tasty Mexican chilli sauce made from arbol and pinquin chillies. It is made in Chapala and has the reputation of offering perfect aromas there.


On the Scoville scale, the original cholula is 500 - 1,000 SHU. We like this sauce for its fresh taste and the aroma of the special types of chilli. In America the brand is quite common. In many sports bars, you will find Cholula at hand for burgers, tacos and pizzas. Probably because the company sponsored many sports events, football teams, and auto racing events.

Chilli Sauce Mega Death 500,000 Scoville

Incredible hot sauce made from habaneros, cayenne and chipotle ancho chillies. Other ingredients are sugar cane molasses, vinegar, guava fruit, ginger and garlic. It is extremely hot and spicy and best of all spices up curry sauce, chili con carne and pizzas just drop by drop.

Mega Death Sauces come in a small coffin and come with a skull keychain. Some claim that after consuming this product, they feel particularly alive. With a sharpness of half a million Scoville, the sharpness level 10 is reached at the threshold 10+.


Sriracha are Thai chili sauces, which originally come from the coastal town of Si Racha. Mainly the ingredients vinegar, salt, sugar and of course plenty of chili peppers are used. There are also other secret ingredients such as ginger, garlic, lemongrass - depending on the manufacturer's recipe.

The Flying Goose and Huy Fong brands have become very popular in America over the past 20 years. Presumably Sriracha put all other varieties out of place.


Flying Goose Sriracha Chilli Sauce hot

Originally, Sriracha was served with fish and shellfish in Thailand. Today it is eaten around the world with all kinds of dishes and as a dip. Pasta, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, just to name a few dishes. Tastes good, degree of spiciness about 5.

Huy Fong Foods Sriracha

As with the aforementioned Sriracha, we first taste a slight sweetness, then there is a burning sensation accompanied by a sour taste on the underside of the tongue.

Maybe this sauce has a little more garlic flavor. Both are fantastic and equal on. One of these two belongs in every kitchen.

Flying Goose Lemongrass Sriracha

My favorite Sriracha chili sauce! Heat with a refreshing lemon note. Whoa, with chicken, yummy. Fastest Roast Chicken Recipe? Mix equal parts sunflower oil and lemongrass sriracha and smear the chicken with it. In the oven for one hour at 200 ° C. Without that one sauce, I feel excruciatingly withdrawn.


Jalapeno is a thick-fleshed variety of chilli from Central America. The predominantly green chilli peppers have an impressive fire, which can also be handled by moderate chilliists.

Blair’s Death Sauce- Jalapeno

In my opinion the most delicious jalapeno chili sauce. Nicely spicy and therefore ideal for seasoning all dishes. In addition to jalapenos, there is also tequila, shallots, coriander, garlic and lime juice. In the morning, season the hard-boiled egg with Blair’s Death and the day starts well.

The packaging also says the reason: It's made with great karma.

Heinz Hot Sauce Green Jalapeno

There is hardly a kitchen in England and America that does not have products from the Heinz brand in-house. Heinz tomato ketchup should also be known to every German.


This sauce is available in many stores. Also tastes pleasant. In addition to jalapeño, it also contains peppers, onions, garlic and really a shame, herbal extracts and coloring. These added extracts and dyes are understandable. Otherwise, uniform and repeatable quality would hardly be possible with the masses produced.

Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce

The green alternative to the red has only a third of the heat. It is delicious with all kinds of dishes. But especially when mixing drinks. Practically, the jalapeño sauce goes well with every drink you can get at the stands in Copacabana.


We always add a few drops to the dressing of salads. Their fire is not intrusive and their fresh vinegar note goes well with salads.


Chipotle are smoked jalapenos. In Mexico and a popular specialty. The Aztecs probably already smoked their chillies in earth ovens. The chillies take on an incomparable aroma from the smoke. The fired woods are preferably from the mesquite or nut tree.

Heinz Hot Sauce Chipotle & Garlic

My aunt always has a bottle of it in the fridge. The taste is sour with a slight smoky note. The degree of burning is pleasantly mild. The fascination with the Heinz Chipotle is not easy to explain because on the one hand it is quite vinegar-heavy, on the other hand it tastes good on pizza, pasta and when grilling. Not a highlight, but you can't go wrong with your purchase. Severity level 2.

Mexican Tears® - Red Pepper Sauce Chipotle

Oh my God. What an experience. The quality of the chipotles used must be devilish. I would hold my hand in the fire for this if these are ripe jalapeños that were traditionally smoked. Many friends of chilli sauces often complain that the vinegar aroma is too superficial. This is by no means given here. In our opinion, the sauce goes best with a steak grilled over charcoal. It wraps juicy meat in an amazing aroma experience. Smoke and fiery pungency occupy the tongue and palate for too short an eternity.


There are 12% chipotle jalapeños in the bottle, which speaks for itself. There is also a kick of sweetness.


Habaneros are among the chillies with the highest capsaicin content. They were widespread in the Caribbean until the discovery of America. In Africa and China, the inhabitants were really hot for these spirited fruits.

TABASCO Habanero Pepper Sauce

When the original Tabasco is no longer enough, this bottle is usually used: TABASCO® Habanero Sauce. It has a nice fruity taste that is reminiscent of papaya, mango and vacation in the Caribbean.

Its spiciness is not bad, it is around 7,500 Scoville.

100% Pain Habanero Sauce

Okay, this hot chili sauce is not for wimps. A knife point is enough to lure even a trained sharp eater out of the reserve. It is said to have a little over 40,000 Scoville, not much more than a cayenne chili. If you are planning a particularly hot chili con carne, add a good load of this substance. 100% Pain has a felt 100,000 Scoville, which explains the promised, perfect pain. Sweats are guaranteed. The taste of the sauce is reminiscent of BBQ.


Before every Taco Tuesday, we hectically check whether there is enough minced meat, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and 100% pain in the house.

Mexican Tears® - Red Habanero Sauce

Presumably, the meteoric rise of the North German company Mexican Tears® began in the lion's den. The still young start-up makes fat in hot sauces. And damn well too. The products are hand crafted. Your appearance on Amazon and Fairmondo looks professional. But the best are their delicious chilli sauces on which they are measured.


The fruity taste is typical of good habanero sauces. The fruity note is difficult to describe. Imagine a cross between peach, pineapple, lime, and mango. It is precisely this taste that catapults you into gourmet heaven. We prefer to use red habanero sauce with white meat from the grill. Their aroma and reddish color come into their own here. Their spiciness is probably 7 or 8.


Garlic tastes piquant and hearty. Chili and garlic form a healthy liaison.

HotMamas® Chilli Sauce MIX with a little garlic

HotMama's chilli sauces all taste pretty awesome. Maybe it's the combination of delicious chilies. After all, these make up 35%. No flavor enhancers are used. After all, garlic alone enhances the taste in a natural way.

We would tap a 6 or 7 as the degree of sharpness. It actually goes well with all kinds of fresh dishes.

Pain is Good Garlic Style Hot Sauce

Those who like to eat spicy, like garlic and love full aroma will be delighted with this sauce.


The ingredients habaneros, carrots, garlic, mustard and lemons taste great together. Presumably it is a spiciness level of 6. Milder than the well-known 100% Pain from the same manufacturer Orginal Juan

Chilli extracts

Chilli extract 1 million Scoville 3 ml

Perfect for sharpening food or homemade sauces relatively neutrally. With the glass pipette built into the lid, dosing shouldn't be that difficult.

Otherwise, except for the brutal burning, quite unspectacular. This extract does exactly what it is supposed to.

Mad Dog 357 Extract 5 million

Sometimes the chilli lovers and the hothead argue whether the information on the spiciness on the packaging is correct. There is nothing to interpret with this extract, because it is HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) certified.

Hard to believe that someone is doing the torment voluntarily. But with the Mad Dog 357 Plutonium No 9 with 9 million Scoville there is still room for improvement on the scale. The highest value that can be achieved is 16 million SHU and is only achieved by pure capsaicin.

Chilli Sauces Hotness Chart

The values ​​are partly estimated due to the lack of manufacturer information. Please get in touch if a value doesn't fit at all.

chiliSHU units
pure capsaicin16 million
Mad Dog 357 Extract No.99 million
The Source7.1 million
Mad Dog 357 Extract No.55 million
Chilli extract 1 million Scoville1 million
Hottest chilli in the world2.2 million
Naga Morich1 million
Mega Death0.5 million
Habanero pods100.000 – 350.000
100% Pain Habanero Sauce30.000 – 40.000
Mexican Tears® - Red Pepper Sauce Chipotle30.000 – 40.000
HotMamas® MIX garlic20.000 – 30.000
Pain is Good Garlic Style10.000 – 15.000
TABASCO Habanero Pepper6.000 – 8.000
Flying Goose Sriracha Chilli Sauce hot2.500 – 3.000
Tabasco original sauce2.000 – 2.500
Huy Fong Foods Sriracha2.000 – 2.500
Blair’s Death Sauce- Jalapeno800 – 1.200
Tabasco Green Pepper600 – 1.200
Heinz Hot Sauce Chipotle800 – 1.000
Cholula Hot Sauce original500 – 1.000