There’s one thing I always keep in the pantry, and it’s hot sauce. If I’m completely out, I experience a kind of separation anxiety. It’s not that I use it on everything, but I strategically use it on things that are enhanced by an acidic kick in the mouth, like eggs, pizza (occasionally), and fried chicken.
Right now, I have a Louisiana Old Bay Hot Sauce, El Yucateco Black, sriracha, a Korean chili vinegar sauce (killer for sashimi), an unusual sweet potato habanero one from local company Soothsayer, and Lao Gan Ma chili crisp (more of a spoon-on condiment, but I occasionally sub it for hot sauce if I’m feeling frisky). I also have Mike’s Hot Honey on hand (full disclosure: I know Mike personally!), as well as gochujang, but I treat gochujang as an ingredient and not a condiment.
This list from New York Magazinecovers 17 of the highest rated hot sauces available on Amazon right now, and it’s pretty robust. The overall top pick is Mike’s Hot Honey, a versatile spicy honey that pairs well with nearly anything, if you like using honey. I particularly like the hot honey on fried chicken, pepperoni pizza, ice cream, and I add it to soy-based glazes for a touch of sweetness.
There are some sauces that are pretty much capsaicin extract, meant not so much for flavor, but for sheer heat, like Satan’s Blood Chile Extract sauce and Dave’s Insanity sauce. There’s only one sauce on the list that refers to butt stuff, and that’s Professor Phardtpounders Colon Cleaner Hot Sauce, under the mustard category. One time I went into a novelty hot sauce store at the mall and was overwhelmed by the amount of sauces whose names involved butt, toilet, and digestive system jokes.
Take a gander at the list. Now I’m curious: What are your favorite hot sauces, and how do you use them?