Chili Pepper Madness

May 22, 2015

Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce

Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce

Here we go again. More homemade hot sauce! This one is not for Patty, though she's been enjoying hotter anad hotter chili peppers. This one is more for me, using some nice and spicy ghost peppers, aka the bhut jolokia chili pepper. Ghost Peppers top 1 Million Scoville Heat Units, which is pretty darned hot. In a good way. That is if you're like me, who likes it crazy hot sometimes. I'm including a version of this recipe in the superhot cookbook I'm working on.

I've made versions of this particular hot sauce recipe with other peppers and it always turns out because of its simplicity. It is a tomato-pepper-based sauce with only 7 ingredients, pretty hard to go wrong. It works with habanero peppers, Scotch Bonnets, larger sweet peppers, Serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, though I tend to lean toward the more Caribbean style peppers that are sweeter. It also works with dried chili peppers if those are all you have on hand. Just be sure to rehydrate them as needed.

I included a bell pepper here for substance and to balance out the ratio of peppers to tomato. You can omit the bell, but I personally would add in more ghost peppers, or you're hot chili sauce will have more of a tomato base. Shake this on everything! I mean everything! Everything you eat, I mean. Don't splash it on your neighbor or anything. Bring on the ghost pepper hot sauce!

Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce Recipe

Here are some answers to the most common questions I get about this and other hot sauce recipes:

How long will this sauce keep? It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It's all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. I have not measured the ph of this sauce, but I won't have it around very long anyway. If you're concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph.

Where'd you get that sauce bottle? I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce - Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here's another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz - 24 Pack.

Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage? Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

What should I do with hot sauce? Aside from drizzling it over anything you please, here's a post I did about How to Cook with Hot Sauce. As if you need even MORE reasons to eat hot sauce. LOL. I hope you find it helpful!

Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce - Recipe


  • 6 bhut jolokia peppers (ghost peppers), chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer about 20-30 minutes to soften.
  3. Transfer contents to a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a container. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use. NOTE: The flavors will grow more intense the longer you wait.
Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce - Recipe

Don't Stop Here! How About Some More Chili Pepper Recipes and Info?


  • Comment Link Kat hanson September 18, 2017 posted by Kat hanson

    I LOVE this hot sauce! I made a ton of it last summer with my abundance of Ghost Peppers! I pressure canned quite a bit as well ⯑⯑ I chopped and froze a ton as well, as I wasn't able to keep up with them bc I had so many! I wasn't as blessed this year bc of all the rain, and I ran out of sauce, so I made a batch with some that I froze last summer, and let me tell you, I think they got hotter! Even the sauce that I canned was seriously hot, but thats how I like it! I like it thick like Sriracha, and have also made it thinner. Just depends what you want to have with it. Regardless, it is delish, and thank you for the recipe⯑

    REPLY: Thanks, Kat! Glad you like it! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Paul Muckenfuss September 10, 2017 posted by Paul Muckenfuss

    I have lots of Ghost and Carolina Reepers and want to can, should I add some lemon juice like when canning tomatoe sauce? Also I found using golden raisins and a dust of cinnamon is better over sugar when making tomatoe sauce and will try it with your recipe. Thx.

    REPLY: Paul, unless you are pressure canning, yes, it is good to ensure you are canning at the proper acidity level. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Eric August 25, 2017 posted by Eric

    Thanks. I don't know if I want to change it. My friend made a great point: the thickness is great for dabbing onto pizza. I was throwing it on Cheez-Its today. So good.Maybe I need two versions... What have I done?

  • Comment Link Eric August 24, 2017 posted by Eric

    Just made this last night. It is a bit thick for the tapatio (small tapatio) type bottles I bought for it. It tastes great. mildly hot for now on the next day anyway. Can't wait to see what happens next. It filled 5 bottles and if I did it again I would maybe add more water to fill 6 and thin it out a bit. It's the first sauce I have made out of peppers at all, and these came out of my garden. I have some habaneros coming up. Will probably get them into a few bottles too. Thanks for the recipe!

    REPLY: That's GREAT, Eric. Thanks. You can easily thin out this sauce with water or even a bit more vinegar to your tastes. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Julia July 25, 2017 posted by Julia

    How long does this last

    REPLY: Julia, It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It's all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. I have not measured the ph of this sauce, but I won't have it around very long anyway. If you're concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Lyndon Pousson June 14, 2017 posted by Lyndon Pousson

    Have you ever made Ghost Pepper hot sauce with the green Ghosts?

    REPLY: Lyndon, yes, you can do that. It will have more of a green/unripened flavor, but should still be delicious. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Luciano March 19, 2017 posted by Luciano

    Just made this recipe, still didn't have the courage to see if it turned out any good, I'll let it sit in my fridge for a couple days, this was my first try ever at messing with peppers in my kitchen! I can safely say I messed up the quantity of water, it's OK though, i did not intend to use it as a dip, but rather add it to other recipes (Such as a delicious Feijoada) where the watery consistency I got won't really matter. SInce I live alone and the recipe filled a 500ml jar, due to the amount of water, I ended up adding a bit more of Vinegar, hope I didn't make it TOO acid.

  • Comment Link Curt December 30, 2016 posted by Curt

    A little late for this batch but was wondering if you drain the can of tomatoes, do you chop them up and if you don't chop them up do you put in enough water to cover the whole tomatoes?

    REPLY: Curt, no need to drain the tomatoes. Also, the tomatoes will break down a bit while cooking, and you will be processing them, so no need to chop, but you can break them apart with a wooden spoon to assist with cooking. I hope this helps! Best, and good luck! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Roxanne December 19, 2016 posted by Roxanne

    Going to make this and gift it in bottles for christmas - how much will it yield? Thanks in advance!!

    REPLY: Great, Roxanne! This should yield you roughly 20 ounces or so. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Teena Smith October 21, 2016 posted by Teena Smith

    I have my first batch of this on the stove now. Hopefully it will be the perfect sauce that my husband and father in law will love!

  • Comment Link Anna October 16, 2016 posted by Anna

    Just made this recipe... I will be honest and say that this is HOT!! I found it a bit bland and added 2 more tbsp of sugar and about 1 tbsp of Himalayan rock salt and the zest and juice from one lime. Great recipe for a true HOT sauce!

  • Comment Link Jenny September 28, 2016 posted by Jenny

    Love you recipe, i did use Trinidad scorpion and habaneros, it turn out super delicious for my son, I'll probably die if i have some

  • Comment Link G Danish September 23, 2016 posted by G Danish

    Can you use Carolina Reaper peppers? Yes I did grow them, and now not sure exactly what to do with the scary little things

    REPLY: Absolutely! Get the extra heat. Let me now how it turns out. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Joe September 20, 2016 posted by Joe

    I'd like to make this sauce using a bunch of ghost chili's my father-in-law gave me. Some of the peppers are red but some are still green. Can I still use the green peppers or are they too immature? Thanks!

    REPLY: Hi, Joe, yes, you can use them. They MIGHT taste a little green, but you'll still get flavor and heat. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Julian September 15, 2016 posted by Julian

    Im going to make this sauce today and was wondering that when you chop the ghost peppers do you leave the seeds in or take them out?

    REPLY: Julian, you can remove them if you'd like, though it isn't necessary. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Daniel September 10, 2016 posted by Daniel

    Would it have a longer shelf life if put in canning jars?

    REPLY: Daniel, yes, it would keep much longer if your processed the sauce with proper preserving techniques. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Becky August 30, 2016 posted by Becky

    Just made your hot sauce. I used fresh tomatoes & ghost peppers from our garden. Wasn't sure about amount of water. Used 2 cups but will use less next time. Excellent recipe!! Very HOT!!!

  • Comment Link Tim koeglet March 09, 2016 posted by Tim koeglet

    I make sauces at home primarily a jalapeño tomatillo lime, Datil pepper sauce , scorpion ghost sauce, Jamaican jerk marinade, and habanero blend with pineapple or mango. I put my jars in a water bath(canning pot ) to seal them. They keep on the shelf for up to a year.

  • Comment Link Mark Daigneault December 17, 2015 posted by Mark Daigneault

    i make something similar with purple or red habanero peppers. i use more garlic though. it's the ultimate condiment!

  • Comment Link Lee December 01, 2015 posted by Lee

    Possibly a silly question, but what would the shelf life be for this sauce recipe? Don't want to poison my family haha!!

    REPLY: Not silly at all! I usually keep mine in the fridge around a month or so, though it can last longer because of the ingredients. I eat it pretty quickly, though. - Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link JAM November 07, 2015 posted by JAM

    I went with this recipe as a base to start from. Play with the vinegar and sugar a little. Used white wine vinegar 3 tbspns and two of sugar.. aded rwo of salt and butter. Came out better than great

  • Comment Link Mike from Chili Pepper Madness September 09, 2015 posted by Mike from Chili Pepper Madness

    Pasty, I make mixed pepper sauces all the time. Some blend together so nicely. Try mixing and matching not only different flavor styles, but different heat levels for a nice balance. Also, yes, some do not need to be cooked. You will get a fresher, more raw flavor, but sometimes that is the ultimate goal. They're much quicker to make!

  • Comment Link Patsy September 08, 2015 posted by Patsy

    I've recently started reading up on making hot sauce as my peppers are maturing in the garden and I came across this. This year, I've got some Naga Vipers, cayenne, mazzetti, and jalapenos. What are your thoughts on making a mixed pepper sauce? Also, I've come across some recipes that don't require cooking, but just assembling via food processor. Would you know what the effects/benefits of cooking via raw? There are so many recipes to try.. :)

  • Comment Link Phil Veverka June 08, 2015 posted by Phil Veverka

    I like the simple recipe (maybe minus the sugar). We had a lot of red jalapeno's last year and discovered making a mash with them. Really awesome!! This year we are growing Ghost peppers as well as a host of other hot peppers (serrano, lemon pepper,hot lantern, habanero, cayenne, tobasco, jalapeno) wife also found a Carlina Reaper and a Trinidad Scorpion at a local nursery. Of course we have the bells, carmans, cubanelle, pablano, new mexico, etc.. We put a serrano in bottle of Vodka to kick it up.

  • Comment Link Dini @ Giramuks Kitchen May 29, 2015 posted by Dini @ Giramuks Kitchen

    This is going to be made in our home!! We LOVE chilli and hot sauces!! :D

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US


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