Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce is a fiery Jamaican hot sauce with subtle sweet and tangy notes. With ingredients like fresh peppers, white vinegar, allspice, and lime juice, this condiment is the perfect pop of heat for all your favourite dishes. Make the best hot pepper sauce in just 15 minutes and put it on everything!
Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce Recipe
Scotch bonnet hot pepper sauce hits all the flavour notes you’d expect in a hot sauce recipe. It is the perfect blend of spicy, sweet and tangy – just one helluva good hot sauce.
What I love most about this recipe is its simplicity: chop, blend, and serve or store for later. The best part is you can use this hot pepper sauce recipe with any pepper, and you can adjust the heat level to your preference!
Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- No Cooking Required: Scotch bonnet hot pepper sauce is incredibly easy to make. No boiling, roasting, thermometers, or standing over a hot stovetop. All you need is a blender or food processor!
- Better Than Storebought Hot Sauce: The most comparable brands are Walkerswood and Grace. But the homemade hot sauce is fresher and easy to modify for lower sodium. It also has no additives.
- Versatile: How many ways do you use hot sauce? You can add this to eggs, fried chicken, rice… you name it!
What are Scotch Bonnets?
Scotch bonnet peppers are a chili pepper native to West Africa. They are a key ingredient in many Caribbean dishes. The peppers are small, round and slightly wrinkled. They come in various colours, including bright red, orange, and yellow.
What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)
- Large Cutting Board: You need a clean surface to handle all your ingredients.
- Knife: Use this to slice your ingredients.
- Food Processor: This blends the ingredients together until you reach your desired consistency.
- Airtight Glass Storage Jar: To contain the hot pepper sauce.
- Gloves: wearing gloves when handling scotch bonnet peppers or any other type of hot chili peppers is highly recommended to protect yourself and prevent cross contamination of capsaicin, which is responsible for their spiciness.
Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper: These peppers are packed with intense heat but have fruity notes and a subtle sweetness. This makes for a unique hot sauce with an interesting flavour profile. Be sure to remove the stems before blending.
- Carrot: Carrots in hot sauce? Hear me out; they add flavour, colour and nutrients too!
- Aromatics: Use chopped white onion and escallion. Add garlic cloves and fresh ginger whole.
- Whole Allspice (Pimento) Berries: This spice adds a warm and complex flavour to the hot sauce.
- White Vinegar: Vinegar not only adds acidity but also acts as a natural preservative. I prefer using a white vinegar over other kinds such as apple cider vinegar.
- Brown Sugar: This mellows some heat so it’s not overwhelming.
- Salt: Add to taste, I personally enjoy using kosher salt as it dissolves fairly quickly.
- Lime Juice: Lime juice can balance the heat of the hot peppers with its refreshing citrus notes.
How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped, pureed, or desired texture is reached.
Store the pepper mixture in an airtight glass jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze in ice cube trays and transfer them to a freezer bag once frozen.
Where to Buy a Scotch Bonnet Pepper
You can find scotch bonnet peppers at your local Latin, Asian or Caribbean market. They can also be found in many mainstream grocery store produce section.
Recipe Substitutions and Tips
- More/Less Spicy: Use more or less scotch bonnet peppers, depending on how hot you want your sauce. If you prefer less spicy sauce, or a mild hot sauce you can also remove the membrane/seeds.
- Hot Pepper Sauce Substitute: You can swap the scotch bonnet peppers fo any pepper you’d like but keep in mind, that the pepper you choose determines the overall flavour of your hot sauce. Habanero peppers are the most common substitute.
- Consistency: With this recipe, you determine the thickness of the sauce. If you prefer a chunky sauce, don’t pulse it for too long.
- Other Kinds of Hot Peppers: Experiment with swapping or combining various varieties of peppers, such as habanero peppers, ghost peppers (known for their high Scoville rating), Fresno peppers, cayenne peppers (also measuring high on the Scoville scale), Tabasco peppers, hot chili peppers and traditional chili peppers.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
- Dressings and Marinades: Add hot sauce to salad dressings, vinaigrettes and marinades for an extra layer of flavour.
- Sauces: Use hot sauce as a base for spicy sauces. Add it to BBQ sauce, salsa, cocktail sauce or even tomato sauce.
- Soups and Stews: Stir a few drops of hot sauce into soups and stews for a spicy twist. It works especially well in chili.
- Eggs: Enhance the taste of scrambled eggs, omelets, or breakfast burritos with a dash of hot sauce.
- Burgers and Sandwiches: Add a kick to burgers, sandwiches and wraps by spreading hot sauce on buns or mixing it with mayo for a spicy aioli.
- Mac and Cheese: Stir hot sauce into macaroni and cheese for a spicy and creamy variation of this classic dish.
- Pizzas: Add a few drops of hot sauce to your pizza before baking for an extra spicy kick.
- Fruits: Hot sauce isn’t limited to savoury recipes. Believe it or not, hot sauce can complement certain fruits like mango or pineapple, especially in salsas and chutneys.
- Popcorn: Drizzle melted butter mixed with hot sauce over popcorn for a spicy movie night snack.
- Stir-Fries: Spice up a veggie stir-fry with a few dashes of hot sauce.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Success
- Wear food-safe gloves whenever handling scotch bonnet peppers.
- If you swap the ingredients, keep this in mind: the best hot pepper sauce is achieved with a balance of heat, sweetness, acidity, and saltiness. Sugar, honey, or agave syrup is ideal for sweetness, and vinegar or citrus juice (like lime or lemon) for acidity. Salt should be added sparingly; you can always add more later if needed.
- Use a blender or food processor to achieve a smooth consistency. Straining the sauce after blending can result in a smoother texture if desired.
- This sauce gets better with time. After a day or two in the fridge, the flavours begin to meld and develop complexity.
Can I Make Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce Ahead of Time?
Yes. This recipe yields 2 cups of hot sauce so you have plenty to use for a variety of meals.
Store your scotch bonnet hot pepper sauce in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Scotch bonnet peppers are extremely hot. On the Scoville scale, which measures the heat of chili peppers, Scotch bonnets typically range from 80,000 to 400,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). To put it into perspective, they are significantly hotter than jalapeño peppers, which typically measure between 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between hot sauce and hot pepper sauce. Hot sauce is a general term for a spicy condiment that can contain a variety of ingredients, including hot peppers, vinegar, salt, and additional spices. Hot pepper sauce, on the other hand, specifically emphasizes hot peppers as the primary ingredient, often with minimal additives, in order to preserve the natural heat and flavour of the peppers. Because it tends to have less ingredients, hot pepper sauce is usually thinner and adds bold, straightforward spiciness to foods.
The best way to use an ample supply of hot peppers is to make your own hot pepper sauce from scratch. Blend the peppers with ingredients like vinegar, garlic, and salt. Adjust the ingredients to balance the heat and flavour according to your preference.
Interested in more Spicy Recipes? Check These Out!
- Caribbean Green Seasoning
- Jerk Marinade
- Jamaican Pepper Shrimp
- Scotch Bonnet Orange Glazed Shrimp
- Jamaican Escovitch Fish
- Jerk Chicken Skewers
- Mango Scotch Bonnet Daiquiri
- Jamaican Curry Shrimp
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Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce
- Large Cutting Board
- Food Processor
- Airtight Glass Storage Jar
- 8-10 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper stems removed, adjust to your level of spiciness
- 1/2 cup Carrot peeled, and roughly chopped
- 1/2 White Onion roughly chopped
- 6 stalks Escallion chopped
- 10 cloves Garlic whole
- 1 1-inch piece Ginger whole
- 10 whole Allspice (Pimento) Berries
- 1/4 cup White Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Salt or seasoning salt, adjust to taste
- Juice from 1/2 Lime
- 1 tsp Paprika optional, for colour
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped, pureed, or desired texture is reached.
- Store in an airtight glass jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen.
- Wear gloves when handling Scotch Bonnet peppers, as they are extremely hot and can irritate your skin and eyes.
- If you prefer less spicy sauce, remove the seeds.
Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.