Info

All demo content is for sample purposes only, intended to represent a live site. Please use the RocketLauncher to install an equivalent of the demo, all images will be replaced with sample images.

27 January 2020

Learn how to make tabasco hot sauce with this homemade tabasco sauce recipe, using garden grown tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt. Fermented and non-fermented versions.

If you’ve ever considered making your own Tabasco hot sauce at home, I have the perfect recipe for you right here. I’ve been making my own hot sauces for years, and I grew tabasco peppers in my garden this year just so I could make this sauce.

I’m a big fan of Tabasco Sauce. Some people in the chilihead community bash Tabasco Sauce because of its vinegary flavor and its low level of heat compared to other hot sauces on the market, but I personally have a huge amount of respect for the Tabasco brand and McIlhenny Company, as they’ve been around since 1868 on Avery Island, Louisiana, founded by Edmund Mcilhenny.

They practically started the hot sauce industry by bringing it to the masses. Any company with such longevity and unquestioning popularity deserves respect in my book. Besides, I personally enjoy vinegary hot sauces, so here we are, making some at home.

Join me, will you? I’ll show you how to make it two different ways – fermented and non-fermented versions.

Holding a bottle of Homemade Tabasco Sauce

Let’s discuss how we make homemade tabasco hot sauce at home, shall we?

Tabasco Sauce Ingredients

  • FOR FERMENTED TABASCO SAUCE
  • 5 ounces tabasco peppers, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt + 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 quart unchlorinated water
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • FOR NON-FERMENTED TABASCO SAUCE
  • 5 ounces tabasco peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

Homemade Tabasco Sauce Recipe

How to Make Tabasco Sauce – the Recipe Method

FOR THE FERMENTED VERSION

First, ferment the tabasco peppers. You can process them to coarsely chop them or rough chop them with a knife. Pack them into a jar, leaving at least 1 inch of head space. The peppers may rise a bit when fermenting.

Next, mix 1 quart unchlorinated water with 3 tablespoons sea salt. Pour just enough brine over the peppers to cover them, pressing them down a bit as you go. It is important to keep the peppers covered with brine to avoid spoilage. Check this daily.

Screw on the lid and set the jar away from direct sunlight to ferment for at least 1 week. Ideal temperatures are between 55-75 degrees F. The most active fermentation period is between 1-2 weeks, so be sure to monitor it during this time. “Burp” the jars often by unscrewing the lid a bit to let out some of the accumulating gases. Or, use an airlock or membrane for easier fermenting. See our page, “How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash”, for further instruction.

After 1-2 weeks, the fermenting activity will diminish and the brine will turn cloudy and taste acidic.

Fermenting red serrano peppers in a jar with brine

Pour the fermented tabasco peppers, including brine, into a pot along with vinegar. Alternatively, you can strain and toss the brine, then add the solids to a pot with vinegar and 1/2 cup water or more as desired. More brine = more salty. Bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cool slightly then add to a food processor. Process until smooth.

Strain the mixture to remove the solids. Pour into hot sauce bottles and enjoy. You can adjust the volume with additional water and/or vinegar.

FOR THE NON-FERMENTED VERSION

Add the tabasco peppers, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt to a small pot.

Bring the mixture to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes to soften.

Cooking down tabasco peppers to make hot sauce

Cool slightly, then add to a food processor. Process until smooth. Gorgeous red pepper sauce right there already, much like the Tabasco original red sauce, but brighter in color.

Processing the tabasco peppers in a food procesor

Strain the pepper seeds and pulp mixture to remove the solids. Look at how much of the seeds and pulp remains. You don’t need to seed the peppers first, as we’re straining the hot sauce.

Straining the seeds and pitch from the Tabasco Hot Sauce

Pour into hot sauce bottles and enjoy. You can adjust the volume with additional water and/or vinegar.

NOTE: Each version makes about 1 cup unstrained and ½ cup strained. I added in more vinegar to fill up 2 woozy bottles and get the consistency more like original Tabasco hot sauce.

Boom! That’s it, my friends. Now you have your very own homemade tabasco sauce, ready to drizzle and splash over all of your favorite foods. Add a bit of spice to your lives! I hope you enjoy it.

Recipe Tips & Notes

Making hot sauce in general is easy, but there are a number of factors that can affect the overall quality and flavor of your finished hot sauce. If you want to make tabasco hot sauce at home, consider some of these factors.

2 bottles of Homemade Tabasco Sauce

Fermented vs. Non-Fermented Tabasco Sauce

McHilleny Company ferments tabasco peppers for their original Tabasco Sauce brand in white oak barrels for up to 3 years. The longer you ferment, the more the flavor develops. You’ll have a difficult time duplicating the exact flavor of Tabasco without time, oak barrels, and trade secrets. However, it is still worth making a fermented version at home.

The fermented version is quite a bit mellower than the non-fermented version. Fermenting breaks down the peppers chemically. Essentially, lactic acid bacteria breaks down the carbohydrates in peppers and converts them to acid. It is a bit like a controlled decay process, and there are numerous benefits to fermentation, including more digestible foods, more vitamins, and more desirable flavors.

The non-fermented version, however, is much easier to make and tastes wonderful as well. Comparatively, it has a stronger flavor with a bit more bite. Plus, you don’t have to wait a week or more for fermenting. You can have it ready in less than half an hour.

Don’t ask me to choose which version I enjoy more. I love them both!

Learn How to Ferment Chili Peppers here. 

The Vinegar

Your choice of vinegar will make a big difference in your resulting flavor. The key is choosing a good quality vinegar, and especially one of which you enjoy the flavor. Using a cheap white vinegar will give you a cheaper tasting hot sauce.

Can I Make Tabasco Sauce without Tabasco Peppers?

You can make this recipe with any type of chili pepper you like. The original Tabasco Hot sauce, however, uses tabasco peppers, so using other peppers won’t give you the same flavor. If you use other peppers, you’re technically making a Louisiana Style Hot Sauce, which is a larger category of hot sauces.

But go for it! I make hot sauces with different peppers, and also mix and match them, all the time with great results.  Learn more about tabasco peppers (capsicum frutescens) here.

Customizing Your Homemade Tabasco Sauce

Consider this a base recipe. It tastes great with only 3 ingredients – peppers, vinegar and salt. After that, you can customize it to your own preferences with other ingredients. Consider adding other flavors like garlic or onion, fruits like pineapple, mango or papaya, as well as herbs and seasonings such as cilantro, basil, chili powder or cumin.

You can also introduce other peppers for more flavor and heat, like the smoky chipotle pepper or fiery ghost pepper.

Comparing a bottle of store bought Tabasco Sauce with my Homemade Tabasco Sauce

How Hot is Tabasco Sauce?

Even though tabasco peppers are very hot, actual Tabasco Hot Sauce is not quite as hot as the actual peppers, measuring in at 2,500–5,000 Scoville Heat Units. That is about as hot as a mild to medium-heat jalapeno pepper.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy the sauce. If you make it, shoot me a pic or post it on social. I’d love to take a look!

Try Some of My Other Hot Sauce Recipes

Check out more Hot Sauce Recipes or learn more about How to Make Hot Sauce with lots of answer to frequently asked questions, such as pH and acidity, processing, and where to buy hot sauce woozy bottles. Grab a couple bottles of tabasco sauce!

Mike holding 2 bottles of Homemade Tabasco Sauce

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.

Homemade Tabasco Sauce Recipe
Print Recipe
4.91 from 21 votes

Homemade Tabasco Sauce Recipe

Learn how to make tabasco hot sauce with this homemade tabasco sauce recipe, using garden grown tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt. Fermented and non-fermented versions.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
FOR FERMENTING7 d
Course: hot sauce, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fermented, hot sauce, recipe, spicy, tabasco
Servings: 60 teaspoons
Calories: 2kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE FERMENTED VERSION

  • 5 ounces tabasco peppers roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt + 1/4 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 quart unchlorinated water
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar or more as desired

FOR THE NON-FERMENTED VERSION

  • 5 ounces tabasco peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar or more as desired

Instructions

FOR THE FERMENTED VERSION

  • First, ferment the tabasco peppers. You can process them to coarsely chop them or rough chop them with a knife. Pack them into a jar, leaving at least 1 inch of head space. The peppers may rise a bit when fermenting.
  • Next, mix 1 quart unchlorinated water with 3 tablespoons sea salt. Pour just enough brine over the peppers to cover them, pressing them down a bit as you go. Itis important to keep the peppers covered with brine to avoid spoilage. Check this daily.
  • Screw on the lid and set the jar away from direct sunlight to ferment for at least 1 week. Ideal temperatures are between 55-75 degrees F. The most active fermentation period is between 1-2 weeks, so be sure to monitor it during this time. “Burp” the jars often by unscrewing the lid a bit to let out some of the accumulating gases. Or, use an airlock or membrane for easier fermenting. See our page, “How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash”, for further instruction.
  • After 1-2 weeks, the fermenting activity will diminish and the brine will turn cloudy and taste acidic.
  • Pour the fermented tabasco peppers, including brine, into a pot along with vinegar. Alternatively, you can strain and toss the brine, then add the solids to a pot with vinegar and 1/2 cup water or more as desired. More brine = more salty. Bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Cool slightly then add to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Strain the mixture to remove the solids. Pour into hot sauce bottles and enjoy. You can adjust the volume with additional water and/or vinegar.

FOR THE NON-FERMENTED VERSION

  • Add the tabasco peppers, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt to a small pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes to soften.
  • Cool slightly, then add to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Strain the mixture to remove the solids. Pour into hot sauce bottles and enjoy. You can adjust the volume with additional water and/or vinegar.

Notes

NOTE: Each version makes about 1 cup unstrained and ½ cup strained. I added in more vinegar to fill up 2 woozy bottles and get the consistency more like original Tabasco hot sauce.
Heat Factor: Medium. You'll get a good level of heat from tabasco peppers, though not overwhelming. If you'd like a hotter version, bring in some other hotter peppers, like the ghost pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Homemade Tabasco Sauce
4K Shares
Pin4K
Share179
Yum9
Tweet
Email