Habanero Hot Sauce

Habanero Hot Sauce

WARNING: have tortilla chips and guacamole on hand – and maybe even a jug of milk (nut or seed milk for the dairy-impaired). This Habanero Hot Sauce is no joke. According to CNN, “habaneros generally score between 100,000 and 350,000 units on the Scoville scale, which measures chili pepper hotness.” For reference, jalepeno peppers usually score 2,500 to 5,000 units. Think I’m sensationalizing? These potent peppers were powerful enough to evacuate an elementary school back in April–I kid you not.

I don’t typically mess around with super spicy peppers because handling them can lead to uncomfortable side-effects (read: do not touch your eyes or other orifices after handling these until you’ve thoroughly washed your hands). In this MOARfit kitchen experiment, I found out the hard way that when you cut and cook habanero peppers, capsaicin particles are released into the air creating a hazy plume of prickly, eye watering vapor. Capsaicin is the active chemical compound in hot peppers that produces the burning sensation on our taste buds when we consume it–and as it turns out your eyes, nose and throat just from breathing.

Not for the faint of heart and certainly not for anyone who already doesn’t dig the way spicy foods make you feel, please take precautions if/when attempting to make your own Habanero Hot Sauce. Have the overhead vent going strong and a box of tissues on hand, and again, wash you hands very well when all is said and done. I might even recommend going so far as to use plastic gloves when handling these pint-size fireballs…

Habanero Hot Sauce | MOARfit by Amy Rizzotto

Habanero Hot Sauce

{makes approximately 20oz)

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups habanero peppers
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large sweet white onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbs arrowroot powder

How to Make It:

  1. De-stem, halve and seed habaneros. Believe me, you don’t need or want the seeds. Peel and crush garlic cloves. Peel and thinly slice onions.
  2. Combine peppers, garlic, onions, salt and oil in a non-stick saucepan over high heat. Cook for 3-5 min. Add water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15-20 min, or until peppers are very soft and more than half the liquid has evaporated. (Note: this should be done in a very well-ventilated area!)
  3. Remove from heat and let sit until mixture comes to room temperature.
  4. In a food processor or blender, puree the mixture plus one cup of distilled white vinegar until smooth. Add arrowroot powder (or another thickener like corn starch or tapioca starch) to get your desired consistency.
  5. Taste and season with a little more salt if needed.
  6. Transfer to a sterilized pint jar or bottle and secure with an airtight lid. Refrigerate.

Let your hot sauce age for at least a week before using. Bottles and jars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months so don’t go burning off your taste buds before the new year.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Homemade Red Hot Sauce.