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27 September 2019

This homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is incredibly hot, made with roasted Carolina Reaper peppers, the hottest peppers in the world, garlic, and onion. If you love your hot sauce “hot”, it doesn’t get any hotter!

This is for you, my true chilihead friends. I know you love your hot sauce HOT, and it really doesn’t get much hotter. I’m sure you have your own collection of artisan Carolina Reaper hot sauces in your stash, and there are a lot of great ones out there for sure. I’ve tried so many and enjoyed a lot of them

But like anything, it’s fun to make hot sauces on your own, like this one – my Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce. Yes!

This hot sauce is made exclusively with Carolina Reaper Peppers, the official world’s hottest pepper in the world at the moment, according to the Guinness world records. Yes, there are many other superhot peppers out there in the world and I have cooked with many of them. 

Some of them can match the heat of the reaper pepper when comparing pod for pod, and even seems hotter, but no other pepper has achieved the peak heat of 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units. That is incredibly hot!

If you’d like a comparison, consider it next to a typical jalapeno pepper, which averages about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units, and you’ll find that the hottest Carolina Reaper is up to 440 times hotter. Or consider the ghost pepper, which you know is very hot. It reaches around 1 Million SHU, making the hottest reaper over twice as hot. Talk about heat.

The Carolina Reaper is more comparable to other superhots like the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper or the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

Here’s a little information about the Carolina Reaper.

Carolina Reaper Pepper

About the Carolina Reaper

The Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® is currently the hottest pepper in the world. It is was developed by a grower named Ed Currie by crossing a Pakistani Naga with a Red Habanero type from St Vincents Island in the West Indies. It was bred in South Carolina and tested at over 2.2 Million Scoville Heat Units (with an aveerage of 1,641,000 SHU) by Winthrop University. It is also called HP22B pepper. As of 2013 it was over 7 generations old. 

Despite the heat, which some people love, it is surprisingly fruity with a touch of sweet. It makes an excellent hot sauce.

Learn more about the Carolina Reaper here, including flavor profile, heat levels, and much more.

Let’s talk about how we make your own homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce, shall we?

2 bottles of Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

 

Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe

  1. First, heat your oven to 400 degrees. Set 8 ounces of Carolina Reaper peppers, 1 heat of garlic (top slices off) and halved onion on a baking sheet. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins slightly char. Keep an eye on these. You don’t want them to burn, and watch out for any fumes. You may want to turn on the oven fan and open some windows. See my safety notes below.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and into the food processor they go.
  3. Add in the vinegar and salt. Process until you get a chunky mixture. Watch out for the fumes!
  4. Add in a half cup of water and process again until the sauce starts to smooth out. Check it for thickness. If you’d like a thinner sauce, add in a bit more water a little at a time, processing, until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. If desired, you can strain the sauce to smooth it out, or use it as-is. If you do strain it, you can discard the pulp or dehydrate it to make a superhot seasoning powder.
  6. Pour into sterilized bottles and enjoy. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will meld.

That’s it, my friends! This is pretty much the hottest sauce around. It will truly bring on the heat! Go for it, you crazy chilihead, you! I know you love cooking with hot peppers.

Safety Tips for Working with Carolina Reaper Peppers & Other Superhots

  • Wear Gloves. Chili peppers, and superhots in particular, contain oils that can cause burning sensations on your skin if you touch them directly, particularly when you chop them or cut them open. It is best to wear gloves when working with them. Try not to touch other parts of your skin, like your face or elsewhere. If you do, see my page on How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn.
  • Avoid the Fumes. You’re most likely cooking indoors in your kitchen, so beware of the fumes. These peppers give off fumes that can make it difficult to breath, a bit like pepper spray wafting into the air. Open up as many windows as you can, and use a fan to combat the fumes. Try baking the peppers outside, on your grill, for example, if possible.

See my page for further tips on Cooking with Superhot Chili Peppers.

A bottle of Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce in my hand, ready to spice things up!

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Cooking Method. I decided to roast my Carolina Reapers along with onion and a lot of garlic, but there are different ways to make this hot sauce. Alternative methods include chopping them and cooking them in a pan, boiling them and processing them, or processing them raw with other ingredients then cooking the resulting puree. You can also ferment the peppers to make hot sauce.
  • Other Ingredients. I kept this rather simple with few ingredients in order to focus on the flavor and heat of the Carolina Reapers. Consider this a basic starter sauce. Feel free to incorporate other ingredients to your preference that you feel will compliment the flavors. Some ideas include fresh or dried herbs, ginger, cumin, chili powders, fruit like mango or habanero, or perhaps a citrus like lime juice or lemon juice. Try it with roasted carrots. You’ll be surprised at the resulting body and mild sweetness.
  • Vinegar. I’ve made this and recipes like it with a variety of different vinegars. It just depends on your flavor preference. Just make sure it is a good quality vinegar you enjoy. Using cheap vinegar will result in a cheap sauce. I often use white vinegar that is distilled, but I also enjoy apple cider vinegar for the extra tanginess and touch of sweet.

Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get about other hot sauces:

How long will my Carolina Reaper Hot sauce keep?

This hot sauce 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 3.5 or so, to account for errors. This particular sauce measured 4.3 pH for me, so if you’d like it to last even longer, add more vinegar or a citrus (such as lemon juice or lime juice) to lower the pH. Sauces made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.

The best ph meters that I recommend are from Thermoworks. Get yourself a ph meter from Thermoworks today. I am a happy affiliate.

Where’d You Get those Hot Sauce Bottles?

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 (woozy bottles) that most hot sauce makers use, here’s another link: Hot Sauce Bottles (Woozy 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. Also, I would lower the pH to 3.5 if you’re running them through a water bath.

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. I hope you find it helpful!

Try Some of My Other Popular Carolina Reaper Recipes

Try Some of My Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes

A bottle of Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce in my hand

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

4.67 from 3 votes
Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
 
This homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is incredibly hot, made with roasted Carolina Reaper peppers, the hottest peppers in the world, garlic, and onion. If you love your hot sauce “hot”, it doesn’t get any hotter!
Course: hot sauce, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carolina Reaper, hot sauce, sauce, spicy
Servings: 60 teaspoons
Calories: 2 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Carolina Reaper peppers stems removed - NOTE: go by weight, not size. This was about 20 pods for me, but mine were small this year
  • 1 large bulb of garlic top sliced open to expose most of the garlic
  • 1 medium white onion sliced in half
  • 3 tablespoons good quality vinegar distilled white, champagne or apple cider vinegar for more tangy
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup of water or more, as desired
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Set the Carolina Reaper peppers, garlic and onion on a baking sheet and bake them about 15-20 minutes, or until the skins slightly char. Keep an eye on these. You don't want them to burn, and watch out for any fumes.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and into the food processor they go.
  3. Add in the vinegar and salt. Process until you get a chunky mixture. Watch out for the fumes!
  4. Add in a half cup of water and process again until the sauce starts to smooth out. Check it for thickness. If you’d like a thinner sauce, add in a bit more water a little at a time, processing, until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. If desired, you can strain the sauce to smooth it out, or use it as-is. If you do strain it, you can discard the pulp or dehydrate it to make a superhot seasoning powder.
  6. Pour into sterilized bottles and enjoy. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will meld.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This made a couple of 5 ounce woozy bottles for me, strained. It will make close to 1.5 cups, unstrained. Much will depend on the size of your onion and garlic. This is a KILLER HOT HOT sauce. So good! Reapers all the way!

Nutrition Facts
Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 20mg1%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 36IU1%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe - This homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is incredibly hot, made with roasted Carolina Reaper peppers, garlic, and onion. It doesn’t get any hotter! #HotSauce #CarolinaReaper #Hottest

10 comments

  1. Terry Ashby

    5 stars
    I like your recipe and have just a few comments. If you keep the hot sauce in the refrigerator , the lifespan is as long as 1 year or more as this is not a medium that bacteria grow on. I am from Southern Louisiana so Hot Sauce is serious business and put on most everything. This year I had a bumper crop of Carolina reapers, Ghost peppers and Cayenne. I blend all these together when I make sauce by the quarts but I don’t roast anything. I’m a minimalist so its peppers, 2 Pineapple rings,vinegar, salt, water Cardamon and other seasonings . Dump everything into the blender and voila Southern Louisiana Death Sauce. Simple but destroying mouth cells since 1956.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Terry. I appreciate it! Yes, hot sauce usually keeps quite a long time, especially with low acidity. I love hot sauce! Yours sounds great.

  2. I have some dried Reapers, would rehydrating them work for this? I assume the hydrated ones wouldn’t roast as well. Also not sure how the weight would be affected as dried lose a lot of mass.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Dana, yes, you can use dehydrated pods. I make hot sauce from dried pods all the time. Dehydrated peppers are about 1/4 the weight of fresh peppers, but when you rehydrate them, they gain water weight back. For dried pods, I would first rehydrate 2-3 ounces of dried pods in hot water until they are soft. Do not roast them after, though you CAN give them a light pan roast in a dry pan for only a minute or two. Then add them to the food processor when you start to process the sauce. Let me know how it turns out for you. Happy to help further if needed.

  3. 4 stars
    Recipe sounds good. I also make my own hot sauce from home-grown peppers, and this is the first year I have made and CANNED my own Sriracha using Carolina Reapers. What you said about the pH of foods is true–if one is going to preserve food that will be shelf-stable, it must be remembered that the pH of the food must be modified (if necessary) so that the pH is no higher than 4, whether or not it is being stored in a refrigerator or shelved. That is what the addition of the vinegar does. The natural pH of all Hot Peppers (including the Reaper) is about 5 and the addition of vinegar brings that down to about 3.5. So far, I have not been able to find any bottles that I trust to withstand the canning process, so I use pint and half-pint jars. 10-15 minutes in a water bath canner or steam canner and done! Keeps for 2-3 years on the shelf, no refrigeration needed.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for the comments, Brensgrrl. Much appreciated. Enjoy.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for posting all this great info Michael. I’m just at the end of my ‘harvest’ up here on the north shore of Lake Ontario so will enjoy making some of these recipes. One plant I’ve been impressed with is the ‘Paper Lantern’ habanero. Very productive and good heat (300-350k scoville) .Wonder if you’ve used it yet? Cheers!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Jim! I’ve cooked with a lot of different habaneros and have love them all. That’s a great pepper you’ve got! Enjoy.

  5. Duarte Rodrigues

    Commercial sauces of Carolina reaper can have at least 18 months preference consumer out of the fridge, and 3 months after opening in the fridge.
    Can I do it?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Duarte, it’s really about the acidity. If you get to 3.5 or below for home cooking, you should be fine. I personally like to keep mine in the fridge, as anything can eventually go bad. A lot of people keep their hot sauce out of the fridge.

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