Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
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.
Here’s a little information about the Carolina Reaper.
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?
Homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce Recipe
- 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.
- Add the peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and into the food processor they go.
- Add in the vinegar and salt. Process until you get a chunky mixture. Watch out for the fumes!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- The Hottest Damn Hot Sauce I Ever Made (made with Carolina Reapers and other superhots)
- 5-Alarm Superhot Chicken Wings
- Reaper Chips (superhot tortilla chips)
Try Some of My Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes
- Homemade Sriracha (both fermented and non-fermented varieties)
- Roasted Red Jalapeno Hot Sauce
- Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce
- Ti-Malice – Hatian Creole Hot Sauce
- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
- Datil Pepper Sauce
- Devil’s Tongue Hot Sauce
- More Hot Sauce Recipes
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.
- 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
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.
Add the peppers and onion to a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and into the food processor they go.
Add in the vinegar and salt. Process until you get a chunky mixture. Watch out for the fumes!
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.
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.
Pour into sterilized bottles and enjoy. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will meld.
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!