To say I am a fan of chilli is a major understatement, years of living in the tropical countries eating fiery food has left me with the equivalent of an asbestos mouth and a serious passion for all things spicy. I cook with fresh and dried chillies, ferment them and make chilli vinegar and salts. But for me, the king of all chilli products is , be it Tabasco, Piri Piri, Aji Amarilla, Sambal,  Sriracha, African Pepper sauce or any other variation on the theme. I simply love them all. I have experimented a lot with my own chilli sauce recipes and those I have found elsewhere. So far, this recipe I found on the ‘Hunter Angler Gardener Cook’ blog is my favourite  (you can find the original recipe here). I have made some small changes to the original version. I use a higher ratio of chillies and homemade apple cider vinegar (rather than white wine vinegar) as it’s more sustainable for me and I prefer the taste. I also use 3% rather than 2% salt ratio to the weight of chillies used. Recipes for hot sauce generally use 2-3% salt to chilli, but I have found that using 2% sometimes leads to mould. Mould isn’t really a problem, you just skim it off and carry on, but it can change the taste and by scaling up the salt I have not had this problem (yet!). Given the length of the ferment, the salt mellows anyway and I personally cannot tell the difference between 2 and 3% in the finished sauce.

Choice of Chilli

In terms of the chillies, you may decide to select chillies based on what you have in abundance in the garden, the amount of heat required (measured in Scoville units) or by taste.  I like to use different mixes of peppers in each batch to offer variety and use what I have on hand. Habaneros make a superb hot sauce, as do Scotch bonnets, Pequin, Ghost peppers, Serrano and Chile de Arbol. I often add Lemon drop chillies to the mix, which are fairly hot and have a citrus tang. For a milder version leave out the seeds and/or opt for milder chilli varieties such as Jalapeno, Poblano or Ancho. If you need help deciding which chillis to use in terms of the heat and taste required, there is a helpful list here.

Ingredients

  • 1kg chilli peppers (variety dependent on preference)
  • 40g barrel oak chips
  • 30g salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum (if making the thicker sauce)

Methods

The recipe can be used to make a thin Tabasco style sauce or a thicker version. I tend to make a batch of both as I use them for different things.

Step 1. Wash the chillies and roughly chop them

Step 2. Place in blender then add water and salt

Step 3. Blend together until a chilli slurry is formed

Step 4. Pour half of the chilli mash into each litre/quart jar

Step 5. Store in a cupboard and burp (let air escape from lid) every day until stops. The length of is different each time and depends upon room temperature. When fermenting the mixture has bubbles and foam.

Step 6. Once fermentation is over, add oak chips and shake to combine

Step 7. Place in a cool dark spot and leave for 3 months

Step 8. After 3 months add the vinegar

Step 10. If you want a liquid tabascos style sauce after pouring in the vinegar, leave in the jar, shake daily for a month and then strain out the pulp and seeds to produce the finished product. If you want a thicker sauce go to Step 11.

Step 11. For a thicker sauce, strain out the Oak chips

Step 12, Place the mash and juice into a blender. Dissolve the xanthan gum in 1/2 teaspoon of water and then add into the blender. The gum will help prevent the sauce from separating over time.

Step 13. Blend everything together for at least a minute

Step 14.   Allow to rest for an hour to let air escape, then bottle.

The sauce on the left is the thicker sauce, which includes the seeds and pulp blended. On the right is the strained tabasco style sauce…both are well worth the time and effort!


Fermented and Oaked Chilli Hot Sauce Recipe
 
My favourite homemade hot sauce recipe made from chillies, vinegar, salt, water and oak barrel chips.
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment
Ingredients
  • 1kg chilli peppers (variety dependent on preference)
  • 40g barrel oak chips
  • 30g salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon After 3 months add the vinegar Xanthan Gum (if making the thicker sauce)
Instructions
  1. Wash the chillies and roughly chop them
  2. Place in blender then add water and salt
  3. Blend together until a chilli slurry is formed
  4. Pour half of the chilli mash into each litre/quart jar
  5. Store in a cupboard and burp (let air escape from lid) every day until fermentation stops. The length of fermentation is different each time and depends upon room temperature. When fermenting the mixture has bubbles and foam.
  6. Once fermentation is over, add oak chips and shake to combine
  7. Place in a cool dark spot and leave for 3 months
  8. After 3 months add the vinegar
  9. If you want a liquid tabascos style sauce after pouring in the vinegar, leave in the jar, shake daily for a month and then strain out the pulp and seeds to produce the finished product. If you want a thicker sauce go to Step 11.
  10. For a thicker sauce, strain out the Oak chips
  11. Place the mash and juice into a blender. Dissolve the xanthan gum in ½ teaspoon of water and then add into the blender. The gum will help prevent the sauce from separating over time.
  12. Blend everything together for at least a minute
  13. Allow to rest for an hour to let air escape, then bottle.

 


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