How to Make Fermented Hot Sauce with Peppers...Yum! (You Can Even Use the Dried Grocery Store Ones)
Are you a hot sauce lover? I am too. But I really don’t like spending $5 to even $10 on fancy hot sauces! Plus, most of them, even if they say “natural” or “organic,” still have chemical additives. My hot sauce recipe here is fermented, which means it is naturally preserved, and has all the natural probiotics of a raw ferment! It’s delicious plus it’s good for your gut. Double score! You will love this easy fermented hot sauce recipe.
I LOVE hot spicy things. Hot sauces of ALL kinds just don't last long at our house. That's why I'm growing about 9 different pepper varieties! :-) I just can't get enough of the wonderful different pepper tastes! I have had so many peppers lately, though, that I can't use them all. I've even dried more than I know what to do with!
That’s why I decided to ferment some to see how they would turn out. It’s fabulous!
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Ingredients for Fermented Hot Sauce:
*** Several hot peppers...cut up into chunks. I used a combination of habanero, jalapeño, cayenne, tabasco and wax peppers from our garden for this sauce. Fresh peppers or dried are just fine.
You can keep your hot sauce "pure" with just one type of pepper, or just go crazy like I did and use all kinds! You need enough to fill up about half to 3/4 quart size Mason Jar.
*** Then I cut up two tomatoes (organic)...I got mine from my garden.
*** Sea Salt....1 to 2 tablespoons
*** Whey (optional....see directions in the link) I didn't use whey in this particular recipe and I let it ferment a little longer.
*** Garlic...about 3 or 4 cloves.
*** I'm not an onion fan too much, but you could add some chopped onions or garlic too.
*** Apple Cider Vinegar...raw, with the Mother. (This is for after the fermenting process is finished)
You can also experiment with different spices too! I just left my hot sauce be with the above ingredients (sans the whey this time....I didn't have any on hand ready to go).
Instructions to Make Your Fermented Hot Sauce:
You could probably make this same recipe without fermentation. But I love fermenting things like this because it will keep for much longer and the nutritional value of the food is higher. You can read more about fermentation in this article.
Step 1) Fill a quart size Mason Jar about half to 3/4 full of the cut up peppers. (If you don't want it to be so spicy, just leave out some to all of the seeds...personally, I leave all the seeds in.)
Then, add in your tomatoes to about an inch and a half or so from the top.***
Step 2) Now add in your salt (up to 2 tablespoons) or just 1 tablespoon if using whey. See how to make it here: WHEY.
Fill your jar to about an inch of the top with filtered water (I just use our well water because it's not on the county system).
Step 3) Using a clean spoon or utensil, gently stir, stir, stir to release any oxygen bubbles and to dissolve the salt.
Step 4) Once that's done, just put your weight in and lid and airlock on. If you don't have an airlock, don't worry! Just use a regular Mason Jar lid and seal. Just be sure to "burp" your jar twice a day to release any gases that build up. You don't need to take off the lid. Just open slightly. Once fermentation is underway, you will hear/feel a little "hiss" as the gas releases. That's a good sign!
Step 5) Leave for about 2-3 weeks.
When you feel it's done (you will see bubbles at the surface, then they will decrease...at this time you can bottle it up), just whip it up in an immersion blender with about a cup or so of apple cider vinegar (raw is best). If there is too much liquid to add the ACV, then just pour a little out first. You can make this as chunky or as liquid as you like. I left mine for about 2 weeks.
Step 6) Bottle in clean bottles! Store in cool storage (below 50 degrees) to keep it from fermenting further. I just put mine in the fridge. In the winter, I do have a REALLY cold room, and I will often leave my ferments in there after they are finished. I can't do that during the rest of the year, though.
That's it! Enjoy! This sauce will last several months! Probably until your next batch of peppers comes along! :-)
**NOTE: This recipe is extremely forgiving. Feel free to add more or less of any spices. The important thing to remember when fermenting is that the material needs to be completely covered in the liquid to avoid mold.
Final Thoughts on Fermented Hot Sauce and Fermentation in General
Here’s what I’ve learned in all these years of fermenting: You have to be rather fearless and just go for it. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don't. Guess what? It’s ok! That’s how you learn about how fermentation goes in your particular environment.
Every home is different. Every set up is different. And most of it works just fine!
When I decided to ferment these peppers, I had no idea how they would turn out. The neat thing is, you just use your scientific common sense, decide on your experiment, write everything down (don’t forget to do this), and see what happens!
It’s exciting to end up with the perfect hot sauce that’s also healthy and delicious!
Have you tried fermentation? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have questions, please ask by leaving a comment in the comments section.
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Here is a tool that I can't live without: My NutriBullet. It's so fast. I have a food processor, but for quickly blending smaller amounts, this little power blender is perfect. You can also use it to make smoothies, sauces, dips....the options are endless!
Great for the beginning fermenter! This set takes the guesswork out of the need to release the gases that build up during the fermentation process.
Weights that find into a wide mouth Mason jar are so great to have on hand! I love mine. But, you can use any type of heavy object that will hold your veggies under the liquid.