The Homemade Pantry's Hot Sauce

The following recipe is from the June 13 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

[Photograph: Jennifer May]

This Hot Sauce adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila takes a blend of chiles (dealer's choice), chars 'em up, and blends them with two sour elements—white vinegar and lime juice—and a touch of sugar for a sauce with a nice balance of heat, pucker, and sweet. But of course, your sauce is ultimately contingent on the chiles you pick, so give 'em a little taste before you take the hot sauce plunge.

What Worked: Store bought is great, but customizing your own personal blend of chiles for hot sauce is even better—brag-worthy even.

What Didn't: Chiles are trial by fire in a very real way, so be prepared for all sorts of heat, or lack thereof. Oh, and that part about wearing gloves should be taken very seriously.

Suggested Tweaks: This recipe is really just a template. Feel free to play around with not only the chiles but the sugar and acid components as well.

Reprinted with permission from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila. Copyright © 2012. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

The Homemade Pantry's Hot Sauce

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 1 1/2 cups
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:30 minutes


  • 1 pound mixed hot chiles
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from 1/2 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. 1

    Preheat your broiler (on a medium setting, if it has one), and set a rack 10 inches from the top of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment.

  2. 2

    Lay the chiles on the sheet and puncture each with a fork. Broil until the chiles are black and bubbling, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your broiler. Flip the chiles with tongs and broil until the other side is black and bubbly.

  3. 3

    Remove the baking sheet from the oven and put all the chiles in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes, then the chiles will be ready to come right out of their skins.

  4. 4

    Put on your gloves. Slide each chile out of its skin, then remove the stem and as many seeds as you can.

  5. 5

    Transfer the chiles into a food processor or blender and add the vinegar, salt, lime juice, and honey. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

    Store covered in the fridge for 6 months.


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