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The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Taste Test Slideshow

The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Taste Test Slideshow


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Jane Bruce

This sauce was the reddest of the bunch, the least expensive at $1.89, and also the least favorite. "It tastes like a combination of hot sauce and ketchup," one taster said, and all agreed that there was no discernible smokiness. It had a thin consistency and was a bit too spicy, but one taster felt that it would be a better match for chicken nuggets or wings than barbecue.

Price: $1.89

10) Open Pit

Jane Bruce

This sauce was the reddest of the bunch, the least expensive at $1.89, and also the least favorite. It had a thin consistency and was a bit too spicy, but one taster felt that it would be a better match for chicken nuggets or wings than barbecue.

Price: $1.89

9) The Shed

This brand-new offering from pitmaster Brad Orrison didn’t rank as highly as we hoped it might. Our tasters thought that it might work better as a marinade, as it was a bit heavy on the sugar and vinegar, giving it a sour flavor profile. One taster found that it was well-balanced, however.

Price: $3.99

8) Kraft

Jane Bruce

This sauce had a bit too much of that "fake smoke" flavor, and also was cloyingly sweet but just sour and spicy enough. It was quite run-of-the-mill, as could be expected from Kraft, and most agreed that it was "nothing special."

Price: $1.99

7) Hunt’s

Jane Bruce

Most of the testers found Hunt’s sauce to be a bit too "ketchupy," with an overly viscous consistency. Surprisingly, we found it to have some notes of fruit, including apricot and citrus, as well as Worcestershire sauce, but it was "dull otherwise."

Price: $1.99

6) Bull’s-Eye

Jane Bruce

This sauce was a bit too sweet, without much in the way of smoke or spiciness. It was nicely balanced, though, and had a good consistency, but was considered to be "middle of the road." One of our tasters ranked this as number one, however, saying it’s "everything I look for in a sauce."

Price: $2.39

5) Jack Daniel’s

Jane Bruce

This sauce was heavy on the smoke and black pepper, without much of a spicy kick. "It kind of tastes like a campfire," said one taster. The smokiest of the bunch, and an all-around good choice.

Price: $3.39

4) Cattlemen’s

Jane Bruce

"Tangy and sweet, well balanced, and lots of flavor," said one taster, and just about everyone else agreed. Cattlemen’s had a nice blend of spice and a hint of brown sugar, but one taster found it "mono-dimensional."

Price: $2.69

3) KC Masterpiece

Jane Bruce

The original Kansas City barbecue sauce, this one still stands tall among the pack. Heavy on the smoke and not too sweet, spicy, or acidic, the only negative was that the smokiness was a bit too overpowering for some.

Price: $2.29

2) Stubb’s

Jane Bruce

A very popular pick, this bottle was also the most expensive. "A nice balance of sweet to spice," one taster said, and it had a noticeable spicy kick ("hot in a not very interesting way, but it grows on you," said another). All agreed that it tasted like its base was a good spice rub, and that it would be very good on brisket.

Price: $4.99

1) Sweet Baby Ray’s

Jane Bruce

The dark horse of the bunch, Sweet Baby Ray's emerged as the near-universal favorite. "A perfect balance of sweet to spice to smoke to tanginess," said one taster. It had a good acidity and a well-executed blend of spices, and it all came together without being overwhelming in any aspect. "It has all the quintessential characteristics of a perfect barbecue sauce," another said.

Price: $2.79


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


Hot Sauce Taste Test

W hether you&aposre looking to add extra alarms to your chili, give your omelets some oomph, or just put more spice in your life, hot sauce hits the spot. For many, it is a must-have condiment for a variety of homegrown and international cuisines, adding a dash of smoky heat to dishes as varied as pasta Bolognese, burgers, chilaquiles, lo mein, Buffalo wings, eggs, ramen, and fish and chips.

A great hot sauce shouldn&apost overwhelm food but bring out flavor while adding some fire. We wanted to find a sauce that had a good heat level without being outrageous, with a slightly smoky quality, a vinegary bite, and a subtle sweetness. Color and consistency were also considerations. A bright, vibrant sauce that wasn&apost too thick or too watery was just what we were looking for. After blind-testing 10 widely available varieties, we found some sauces that ignited our palates and a few that flamed out.

Best Hot Sauce Overall

Pros: Judges savored the tangy, bright taste and strong spiciness. "This sauce would be really chicken-wing-friendly," said one tester. "Addictive!" raved another.

Cons: Some tasters noted that this sauce was a little salty.

First Runner-Up

Pros: "A little lemony, very bright," noted one taster. Others enjoyed this sauce&aposs thinner consistency and bold red coloring. The general consensus? "Hot and tasty!"

Cons: Some judges found this sauce to be too acidic.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: Tasters were taken with the strong earthy flavors and smoky aroma of this sauce. "Lots of visible spices, great flavor," commented one tester. The thickness of the sauce was also very appealing to the judges, who noted that it would make an excellent topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Cons: Most judges felt this sauce was on the mild side—if your taste runs to fiery, look elsewhere.

The Other Contenders

Texas Pete was praised for its quick and potent heat, while Sriracha and Valentina were both admired for their complex flavors and thicker consistencies. Judges liked the straightforward burn of Tabasco and the strong but slightly less stinging heat of Red Devil, but both lost points for being highly acidic and watery. Louisiana earned points for its hints of sweetness but was ultimately judged too salty and tomatoey. And Tapatío lost favor among the tasters because of its unappealing dark brownish-red color and gritty texture.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hot sauce evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Frank&aposs Red Hot, Crystal, Cholula, Texas Pete, Sriracha, Valentina, Red Devil, Tabasco, Louisiana, and Tapatío.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of hot sauce. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).



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  7. Barr

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