Smoky Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe for Homemade Flavor

This homemade hot sauce recipe has a wonderful smoky flavor. Choose your favorite hot peppers to customize the flavor.

Fans of all things hot sauce will want to try this fermented hot sauce, too!

homemade hot sauce recipe - green - in a jar from above. Teal/wood background

Related: How to Grow Hot Peppers for Homegrown Fiery Flavor

Some of my best projects start with simple happenstance. Friends of mine recently adopted one of my extra roosters and toted him home in my all-purpose cat carrier. When they returned the cat carrier, they also brought me some wonderful sweet potato-filled rolls and hot peppers from their garden.

The peppers came with a serious warning: They are very, very hot. Kay didn’t know the variety but I poked around Google. I’m thinking perhaps Scotch Bonnets? Or Jamaican Yellow Peppers?

I didn’t have any problem figuring out what to do with the sweet rolls, but the peppers on the other hand, left me pondering the possibilities.

What to do with five very, very hot peppers? I posted a picture over on Instagram and there were several good suggestions (none of which, you’ll note, I followed). Ultimately, I realized that in addition to these mystery peppers, my own Mulato Isleno plants had a handful or two of hot peppers that needed to be harvested.

Related: Spicy Chipotle Hummus – Easy to Make at Home

hot peppers in process to make homemade hot sauce

Related: Homemade Chile Pepper Flakes 

The Handcrafted Pantry

Ready to DIY your pantry with healthier ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.

Homemade hot sauce recipe

My youngest son is a Tabasco sauce fiend; he loves his food spicy. So I thought, why not try my hand at homemade hot pepper sauce? Maybe a smoky hot sauce recipe? I was inspired by this recipe, though I changed the ingredients up a bit to increase the acidity.

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Make this Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning for Less

“It’s the perfect level of heat,” my son said after a couple of sample tastes. “It reminds me a little of chipotle peppers.”

We have a winner! He adds dollops of it to just about anything he eats. I use it to flavor dishes like enchiladas or chili. And I’ll give a few jars away, one in particular to the same friend who set me off on this exploratory adventure!

homemade hot sauce recipe - green - in a jar from above. Teal/wood background

★ Did you make this homemade hot sauce recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

homemade hot sauce recipe in a jar, green, from above

Smoky Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This homemade hot pepper sauce has a wonderful smoky flavor.


  • 15 hot peppers, (feel free to mix and match)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated organic cane sugar


  1. Consider using disposable gloves to protect your hands if your peppers are "very, very hot." And for the love of Pete, don't touch your eyes while you're making this.
  2. Remove stems from peppers and slice each in half. The seeds are the hottest part of the pepper; depending on how hot you want your sauce to be, you can leave the seeds in or remove them. I was concerned about the heat, so I did discard about 3/4 of the seeds. Place pepper halves, skin side up, in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Broil for about five minutes, until skin begins to blister and brown.
  3. Use tongs to move peppers into the bowl of your blender. Add all remaining ingredients and puree. Pour hot sauce into a recycled glass jar or portion into smaller containers for gift giving. Store in the refrigerator.


The color of the finished hot sauce will vary depending on the peppers you use. One batch may be very red (see it here), while another (as you see above) is green. 

This recipe makes about a half pint of hot sauce, but you can easily double it if you like.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 18Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 4gSugar: 2g

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Originally published in November 2015; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

14 comments… add one
  • John Carston Feb 15, 2022 @ 13:14

    I appreciate that you explained that there are infinite possibilities when making hot sauce. My family loves hot sauce and my father told me that he is hoping to taste a new one, and he asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks for the idea, I’ll be sure to tell him that we can try a well-known Canadian-made hot sauce.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 19:23

    Super easy to make. I’ll make this again.

  • Curtis Mar 12, 2018 @ 5:04

    The placenta in the pepper is what’s hot, not the seeds. If anything, the seeds will give it a bitter taste, but does nothing in regards to the heat.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 24, 2018 @ 13:28

      I stand corrected.

  • Heather Coen Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:09

    Do you think this could be processes for canning?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 14, 2017 @ 8:00

      It’s not a “canning approved” recipe and I’m hesitant to do so without that stamp of approval.

  • Liz Jul 8, 2017 @ 5:55

    Just made this sauce – used combo of homegrown jalapeños, cayennes, New Mexico heirlooms & a couple Thai chiles. CRAZY GOOD and SUPER HOT (even after taking out nearly all of the seeds). It was a snap to make, too. This will not see the end of the weekend! Thank you

  • [email protected] Sep 1, 2016 @ 5:32

    I made this today and recipes this fantastic shouldn’t be so easy!!! Thanks, Kris.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:11

      Oh, I’m glad you like it, Susan!

  • Faye Aug 20, 2016 @ 15:52

    Thank you so much. I have 1 pint in the fridge that I made 2 days ago and we are eating on …. and tonight I canned 12 – ½ pints and 1 – ¼ pint. And it is HOT! 😀 My husband and I love it.

  • Steven May 11, 2016 @ 7:44

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • Chelsey Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:33

    How long does this keep for? I’m trying to eat more homemade stuff without all the preservatives but the trouble is preservatives are handy lol. I’m finding that stuff keeps going bad before I can use it and my freezer is not very big.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:50

      We kept it for about 6 weeks or so, at which point it was used up. Not sure how much longer than that it would last.

  • Angi @ SchneiderPeeps Dec 3, 2015 @ 12:51

    oh my, this sounds delicious! I can’t wait for next years tomato crop.

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