A recipe to make your own homemade cayenne pepper sauce in your own kitchen, with store bought or garden grown cayenne peppers, garlic, vinegar and salt. It's super easy and super flavorful.
Cayenne pepper sauce is by far one of the most popular hot sauce varieties in the U.S. You'll see it packed into specialty hot sauce bottles all over the place, and there are some pretty famous cayenne pepper sauce products out there.
Perhaps you've heard of some of them - Frank's RedHot? Original Louisiana Hot Sauce? Crystal?
Yeah, some big names out there making some pretty awesome cayenne sauces. I love them all. The thing is, when your garden is EXPLODING with several cayenne pepper type varieties, you really gotta make some yourself, because if there's anything better than hot sauce, my friends, it is Homemade Hot Sauce!
So yeah, we're talking Homemade Cayenne Pepper Sauce and it's fabulous.
I'm making this particular sauce purely with cayenne peppers, though I'm adding in some garlic for a bit of extra flavor. I flat out LOVE garlic in sauces.
Brings it over the edge for sure.
About the Cayenne Peppers
You may have heard of cayenne chili peppers, but there are also a number of cayenne types out there, so you don't have to limit yourself to what you find in the stores.
Check these babies out, picked straight from my garden.
Don't get me wrong. Store bought cayenne peppers are outstanding for this sauce, but I've made with this other cayenne types that I grew in my own garden, like the ones above, including:
Yes, I've even made this Cayenne Buist's, which are yellow pods, and the hot sauce came out great. It's a super simple base recipe, but that's the great thing about it.
You're free to play around with it and include other ingredients to your preference.
So let's talk about how we make this sauce, shall we?
How to Make Cayenne Pepper Sauce - The Recipe Method
First, gather up your cayenne peppers. Clean and dry them.
Chop up the cayenne peppers along with garlic cloves and add them to a pot with white wine vinegar and a bit of salt.
Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer everything for 20 minutes. The peppers and garlic will be nicely softened.
Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process it until the sauce is nice and smooth.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve if you'd like a smoother sauce, or pour it into bottles as-is for a thicker sauce.
Done! Simple enough, right?
Some Recipes Notes and Information on Yields
My included recipe yields 5 ounces of strained sauce, which is the size of a typical hot sauce bottle. To make enough strained cayenne pepper sauce to fill a 5 ounce bottle, you'll need to start with 10 ounces of cayenne peppers, 6 garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Plus some salt.
This is approximate, but should get you quite close. And note again that this is STRAINED. Unstrained, the above measurements will yield you about 1-1/3 cups of cayenne pepper sauce.
Straining definitely thins out the sauce, though you can also thin it and/or stretch the sauce out by adding more vinegar or water, or perhaps another liquid, such as lime juice or beer. Consider the flavor possibilities.
Just be sure to weigh out your peppers first based on how much you're looking to make.
Fermented vs. Non-Fermented Cayenne Pepper Sauce
As you'll see, this is a fresh pepper hot sauce, meaning I did not ferment it. I have no preference over fermented or non-fermented hot sauces, as either has their advantages, though fermenting your peppers first does mellow them out considerably.
If you're interested in fermenting, check out my post on How to Ferment Chili Peppers, and simply incorporate them into the recipe below.
Learn More About Hot Sauce Making
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy the hot sauce! Go cayenne!
When working with very hot chili peppers peppers, including superhot chili peppers, it is important to wear gloves when handling the peppers both in raw and dried forms. The oils can get on your skin and cause burning sensations.
Need help? How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn On Your Skin.
Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions
Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:
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. If you're concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. Sauces made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.
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. I hope you find it helpful!
Try Some of My Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes
- Homemade Sriracha (both fermented and non-fermented varieties)
- Roasted Red Jalapeno Hot Sauce
- Fermented Aji-Garlic Hot Sauce
- Devil's Tongue Hot Sauce
- Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce
- Spicy Serrano Hot Sauce
- Ti-Malice – Hatian Creole Hot Sauce
- Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
- Superhot Hot Sauce (The Hottest Damn Hot Sauce I Ever Made)
- Homemade Tabasco Sauce
- How to Make Hot Sauce from Chili Powders
Also see: Cayenne Pepper Benefits.
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.
Homemade Cayenne Pepper Sauce - Recipe
- 10 ounces cayenne chili peppers
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or more, as desired)
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- Chop up the cayenne peppers along with garlic cloves and add them to a pot with the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer everything for 20 minutes.
- Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process it until the sauce is nice and smooth. Adjust to taste with more salt if desired
- Strain the sauce through a fine sieve if you'd like a smoother sauce, or pour it into bottles as-is for a thicker sauce.