Learn how to make classic Louisiana style hot sauce at home, with fermented chili peppers. It’s so easy.
FOR THE FERMENTED VERSION
First, ferment the chili peppers. Chop the peppers then pack them into a jar, leaving at least 1 inch of head space. The peppers may rise a bit when fermenting.
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.
Pour the fermented peppers, including brine, into a pot along with the vinegar. Bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can strain out the fermented peppers and discard the brine, then boil the peppers with 1 cup vinegar and 1/2-1 teaspoon salt. Some people prefer to use the brine.
FOR THE NON-FERMENTED VERSION
Add only the chili peppers, 1 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt to a pot and bring to a quick boil. Be sure you are only using 1 teaspoon of salt.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to soften everything up.
Cool slightly then add to a food processor and process until smooth. If it is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time and process until smooth.
Strain the mixture to remove the solids. Pour into hot sauce bottles and enjoy.
Makes about 2 cups of sauce or so.
For storage: Vinegar affects acidity levels. Homemade sauces should be kept at 4.0 ph or below to keep longer term. If your hot sauce is not acidic enough, add more vinegar or citrus to bring the ph down. Keep in the fridge for freshness and longer keeping. You can also bottle your sauces with proper procedures.
Heat Level: Medium, though you can up the heat factor with hotter peppers.