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Make Your Own Hot Sauce

Mar 1, 2011

by objecked

A splash of homemade hot sauce can certainly thaw winter’s chill. We turned to Michelle Fuerst, Eatsy chef and all around food guru, for a hot sauce recipe and some useful know how. Michelle rose to the challenge with Heatsy, a hot sauce she created that calls for two kinds of dried chilies, garlic and her secret ingredient, sherry. Full bodied hot sauces are often aged in oak barrels and Michelle discovered that adding sherry, a common kitchen ingredient, imparts similar sweet-woody undertones. Add some body and kick to your next meal with Heatsy.

Materials Needed

Paring knife
Measuring spoons and cups
Medium bowl
Small plate that fits inside a medium bowl
Jar to hold hot sauce
Funnel, if neck of jar requires

Heatsy Sauce Ingredients

2.5 ounces of dried New Mexico chilies
4-6 chili de arbol (depending on desired spiciness)
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup apple cider or white distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon aged sherry

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.

Clean chilies with a damp cloth. Remove stems and place chilies in a medium bowl. Pour just enough boiling water over the chilies to cover. Place a small plate over the chilies to submerge them in water. Set aside for 20 minutes, or until the chilies are rehydrated, soft and pliable.

Place the chilies in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and vinegar. Puree on high until a uniform paste forms. Thin the paste with water or, if it’s palatable, with the soaking liquid. Blend again. Add sherry. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Michelle Fuerst has 15 plus years cooking experience (she’s a distinguished alum of Bay Area favorites, Zuni Café and Chez Panisse). She was the curator at Slow Food Nation and helped revitalize the Slow Food Berkeley chapter. 


  • vKnit

    vKnit said 9 years ago

    tasty!! xox

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 9 years ago

    I love these recipes!

  • laurelinsailor

    laurelinsailor said 9 years ago

    Oh, I got a new project for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  • trashbaggs

    trashbaggs said 9 years ago

    bring on the heat!! looks yummy!

  • elinart

    elinart said 9 years ago


  • studiokmo

    studiokmo said 9 years ago

    completely excited about this one! thanks eatsy!!

  • soule

    soule said 9 years ago

    My 15 year old son would LOVE this! I'm going to give him the recipe and let him make it!

  • 100applegate

    100applegate said 9 years ago

    This looks so good!! Ready for Bloody Marys!! Great post! Best, Connie

  • lineandlissom

    lineandlissom said 9 years ago

    SAVING. Everyone in my house are hot sauce addicts. Thank you! xo

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 9 years ago

    I'd rather have some Duck Sauce with a hint of Barbra Streisand ;p

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 9 years ago

    Oh yum!! Lets see how this taiste tonight~ Im in the mood for something spicy!

  • emilybidwell Admin

    emilybidwell said 9 years ago

    Seriously! It's the BEST hot sauce I've ever tried. Thanks Team for putting this how-to together for us!

  • Xenotees

    Xenotees said 9 years ago

    My husband and I grow Naga Morich, Bhut Jolokias & Fataliis every year & make our own hot sauces to last until the next harvest. Pretty much my favorite thing on earth. Looking forward to trying one with sherry, thanks!

  • xfictionprincess

    xfictionprincess said 9 years ago

    this is such a cool recipe!

  • trendlightly

    trendlightly said 9 years ago

    Looks fantastic:) I always love finding something new to make myself instead of buy!

  • thevintagejunkie

    thevintagejunkie said 9 years ago

    Being a spicy-hot sort of gal myself, I just might need to make some! Looks delish! Thank you!

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods said 9 years ago

    yummy. i love the dried peppers and sherry combination. that should give it a rich flavor in addition to the heat. :)

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 9 years ago

    Bring the hot stuff on, it's getting mighty cold down here.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 9 years ago

    Looks good! I'm ready for some heat =)

  • TheJewelleryFactory

    TheJewelleryFactory said 9 years ago

    turn on the heat...

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 9 years ago

    TOO HOTTT!!!

  • babylonsisters

    babylonsisters said 9 years ago

    Can't wait to try this. I've made Emerill's piri-piri a few times. Delicious and so satisfying to make your own hot sauce.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 9 years ago

    Not for me but the rest of the family would love it. Thanks.

  • MissYvonneNicole

    MissYvonneNicole said 9 years ago

    Eeeep too hot for me!

  • ThoseThreeWords

    ThoseThreeWords said 9 years ago

    My husband would LOVE this! Thanks for sharing, the Eatsy articles are always fantastic!

  • JulieMeyer

    JulieMeyer said 9 years ago

    Never thought to make my own hot sauce. It's either several shakes of hot sauce or dried red pepper flakes on almost everything I eat!

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 9 years ago

    My sweetie puts hot sauce in every dish he cooks, sometimes too much for me!

  • theyellowcart

    theyellowcart said 9 years ago

    Great recipe! Anything thats not out of a box is good food.

  • catchalljewelry

    catchalljewelry said 9 years ago

    haha, this is so awesome! totally going to try this one out!

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria said 9 years ago

    I love hot sauce and am going to try this one! Thanks for sharing.

  • KwestStudio8

    KwestStudio8 said 9 years ago

    Loved watching the free and easy give and take between those two, making the hot sauce! It looks yummiosso!!!! K

  • SimpleeYou

    SimpleeYou said 9 years ago

    Yummmmmmmm!!! Will defintely try it, Thanks for sharing:)

  • socalartgal

    socalartgal said 9 years ago


  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 9 years ago

    OOOOOoooohh!!! Yum, yum, yum- now where's the lid of my blender?!

  • TheVinylChalkboard

    TheVinylChalkboard said 9 years ago

    Thank-you so much for this recipe!!! I have always wondered how hot sauce is made! I can hardly wait to try it!

  • SaffronColoredPony

    SaffronColoredPony said 9 years ago

    i'd like a dash of this in my next chubby mary (a smoked chub in your blood mary) one of my favorites from fish town/leland, mi com'n summer!~

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 9 years ago

    Love the hot stuff!! <3

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 9 years ago

    Fabulous!! I highly recommend chipotle chiles for a wonderfully smokey hot sauce. And if you're so inclined, you can smoke your own jalapenos. It's so good I literally just eat it by the spoon full.

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 9 years ago

    We make our own hot sauce too, but the recipe is nothing like this one. Always interesting to read other recipes.

  • AntiGenre

    AntiGenre said 9 years ago

    ...and now I'm hungry. Beautiful photos, will have to try the recipe!

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 9 years ago

    Definitely going to try it!! :)

  • crystalworld

    crystalworld said 9 years ago

    love them:)

  • CinByDesign

    CinByDesign said 9 years ago

    This is awesome, I have about ten different bottles of hot sauce in the fridge and they all have just a drop or two left. Now I can finish them off knowing I will be making my own yummy Hot Sauce very soon using this recipe. Thanx Eatsy!!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 9 years ago

    YIKES! Spicy! Thanks for sharing!

  • PetalPetal

    PetalPetal said 9 years ago

    Bookmarking for the next time I am able to actually cook a meal! Sounds amazing! Love spicy!

  • ImagineThatCustDesig

    ImagineThatCustDesig said 9 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks for the recipe and know how. I never thought to make my own Hot sauce. I made my own Ketsup and LOVED it. I Love Hot sauce and I will really enjoy this. Thanks! Tammy

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 9 years ago

    cooL...I mean HOT!

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 9 years ago

    spicy goodness!!

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 9 years ago

    Looks good, wonderful pictures too!!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 9 years ago

    I think I like it. Thanks for sharing.

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 9 years ago

    I've never made homemade hot sauce before... thanks for sharing this.

  • armcandyforyou

    armcandyforyou said 9 years ago

    umm.I am so trying this one! looks hot enough;)

  • aynart

    aynart said 9 years ago

    remember NOT to itch your eyes! ZING!

  • GreatBowlsAfire

    GreatBowlsAfire said 9 years ago

    finally! a way to use all the hot peppers i grow! usually so many are just left on the vine due to super high numbers and not enough willing mouths :P i can convert them into long lasting bottled fire :D Thank you Easty <3

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage said 9 years ago

    You should make home made salsa also. Easy,you control amount of heat and can it so it will last for -until you use it.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy said 9 years ago

    Droooly drooly droool!!! I will definitely be trying my hand at this one~ THANKS! Heidi

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 9 years ago

    Muy caliente!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 9 years ago

    give me that metal kitchen top anyday!

  • AliceCouture

    AliceCouture said 9 years ago

    WOw,really hot sauce!! I love hot foods :D Thanks for sharing the recipe with us ^_^

  • MandBJewellery

    MandBJewellery said 9 years ago

    Yum! I love this, my mother will love this

  • AndreaFuentesDesigns

    AndreaFuentesDesigns said 9 years ago

    awesome! I am so doing this

  • twigandsprout

    twigandsprout said 9 years ago

    I've been meaning to make hotsauce but haven't really known where to start. Thanks for reminding me, plus the great recipe!

  • monatao

    monatao said 9 years ago

    yum yum!!!

  • Guitarpickman

    Guitarpickman said 9 years ago

    spicy ;)

  • spiderscloset

    spiderscloset said 9 years ago

    Yumm! Don't forget the industrial gloves and don't rub your eyes while making this! Very cool!

  • OlgaDuron

    OlgaDuron said 9 years ago

    Hot & Spicy. Perfect! Thanks, Eatsy

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 9 years ago

    Perfect! Just what I needed!

  • 28gifts

    28gifts said 9 years ago

    Don't touch ANY sensitive areas of skin after handling without gloves. Any. I find a thorough scrubbing with technu (the poison ivy soap) gets the oils off pretty well.

  • beatyboutique

    beatyboutique said 9 years ago

    I'm going to try this, thanks!

  • LuLusApple

    LuLusApple said 9 years ago

    My family are hot sauce aficionados lol! Gracias for the recipe!! I might try to grow some peppers this year :D

  • OliveLongstocking

    OliveLongstocking said 9 years ago

    hot and delicious............... m m m !!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    wow looks a lot easier than expected! must say though I get a bit nervous about handling chilli

  • reveriefrance

    reveriefrance said 9 years ago

    It looks great! I'm just wondering about storage? You didn't boil it all on the stove, so is it stil okay to store in the pantry or do you need to store it in the fridge?

  • whatahussy

    whatahussy said 9 years ago

    so excited to try this!!!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 9 years ago

    Looks yummy! I love spices :)

  • TwinDreamCreations

    TwinDreamCreations said 9 years ago

    I'm going to try this! I love hot sauce :)

  • HeavenlyNaturals

    HeavenlyNaturals said 9 years ago

    Spicy is Good!

  • muffintopdesigns

    muffintopdesigns said 9 years ago

    now i'm hungry. going to try this and see if the husband even notices i made it myself!

  • VintageNesting

    VintageNesting said 9 years ago

    Has my mouth watering for sure! This is going to the top of my TO DO list.

  • DianaEvans

    DianaEvans said 9 years ago

    oh what a great post!!! love hot sauce!!!!!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 9 years ago

    this is great! we're definitely making this!

  • Olympias

    Olympias said 9 years ago

    This was GREAT!!!I loved it!Amazing post!:)

  • DisgustingEmperor79

    DisgustingEmperor79 said 9 years ago

    SIMPLY W O N D E R F U L!!!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 9 years ago

    very cool visuals!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 9 years ago

    This looks amazingly delicious- and the color of the sauce looks so bold and tasty! Going to have to give this a try for sure.

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 9 years ago

    Oh this looks really yummy.

  • ShoponSherman

    ShoponSherman said 9 years ago

    I love spicey food. I dont usually make my own hot sauce though. With all the warnings in the replies, it seems dangerous lol.

  • LoveButtons

    LoveButtons said 9 years ago

    The recipe sounds great - I love spicy foods :oP

  • kristytrance

    kristytrance said 9 years ago

    Love the article, this is a very different recipe than the one I make. I make a about a gallon at a time for my house hold to consume in a couple of weeks. We put it on everything! Yum Yum!

  • houseofSTARK

    houseofSTARK said 9 years ago

    YUMS! Lovely colour, too!

  • NanneysCreek

    NanneysCreek said 9 years ago

    I grow my own peppers, will have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  • VedaArts

    VedaArts said 9 years ago

    awesome! i have been experimenting with making my own food like mayonnaise, yogurt and such. So worth it and so fulfilling! thank you for sharing!

  • kittykatherine

    kittykatherine said 9 years ago

    The sauce is half vinegar, so the acidity is high and it keeps well. This said, it's best kept in the fridge.

  • mapetitefaiblesse

    mapetitefaiblesse said 9 years ago

    I'm definitely going to have to try this. My boyfriend likes his food spicy to the point that even dishes labeled spicy in restaurants aren't spicy enough for him (Food that spicy would probably dissolve my esophagus, but to each his own.) Anyway, it will be challenge to see if I can get it spicy enough for him. Thanks for the recipe!

  • PinesVintageClothing

    PinesVintageClothing said 9 years ago

    O hot sauce how I love you so, let me count the ways...on eggs and stir-fry and in my soup...sometimes I want to drink it from the bottle. Trying this recipe for sure. Can't wait for the homemade addition to the half a dozen other hot sauces I keep in my pantry.

  • Tidepools

    Tidepools said 9 years ago

    HOT! I love it spicy. Can't wait till my peppers grow so I can try this.

  • AnnTig

    AnnTig said 9 years ago

    Oooooooooooooo Sounds tasty! Thank you for sharings:)

  • soyNsuds

    soyNsuds said 9 years ago

    This sounds great! You don't care about your eyes; just keep it above the waist ~ good one ;)

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 9 years ago

    You guys are hilarious!

  • TheWhimsicalMuse

    TheWhimsicalMuse said 9 years ago

    I guess you're not supposed to drink it...LOL Looks yummy, though :)

  • TheSpeeceCollection

    TheSpeeceCollection said 9 years ago

    I am so ready for this! Let's see if my ears smoke!

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado said 9 years ago

    YUMMY! I want some!

  • Simag

    Simag said 9 years ago

    Yummy and i just LOVE the photos! Great with hummus and some pita:) I make my hot sause {Harissa} with ground coriander+ caraway seeds + cumin Happy Friday!

  • CheekyLemur

    CheekyLemur said 9 years ago

    Wow! Thanks for the recipe, this is one i really must give a go. I now live in France and hot sauce is one thing that is quite difficult to find here.

  • katylua

    katylua said 9 years ago

    Is there a specific NM chile variety recommended? I like to make red chile sauce out of Hatch chiles, but have a number of other NM varieties in my freezer just waiting for a purpose to shine.

  • credd

    credd said 9 years ago

    i made this hot sauce today with peppers that i grew last year...and let me tell you...i may never buy hot sauce again!!!

  • RPotterStudio

    RPotterStudio said 9 years ago

    Delicious! Nothing like some spice.

  • aBeachBreeze

    aBeachBreeze said 9 years ago

    I'm a big baby when it comes to hot stuff, so I used poblano and anaheim peppers to make this. Came out perfectly. It's delicious!!!

  • kabbalahdesigners

    kabbalahdesigners said 9 years ago

    Yummy, looks good

  • shoebx

    shoebx said 9 years ago

    As a caribbean girl, myself, I love hotsauce. This is a good recipe.

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 9 years ago

    I SENSE THE CHEMISTRY! AND LOOK! no ones got rings. The color of that sauce is beautiful and I love that old blender.

  • GlenEchoDesigns

    GlenEchoDesigns said 9 years ago

    I am so excited to try this! The addition of the sherry sounds amazing!

  • jiang888

    jiang888 said 9 years ago

    Nice Post. I dont know if every blog needs conversions! Or is conversion = interaction? Because the interaction between a blog and its readers is so necessary! And tbh a funblog can also have funny title and less points of interest,l if its done well! Microsoft Visio Standard 2010

  • lulouandada

    lulouandada said 9 years ago

    Oh my goodness, you've found the way into my heart.

  • aoisart

    aoisart said 9 years ago

    I must send this link to my husband!! Thank you!

  • hempandhamsa

    hempandhamsa said 9 years ago

    I love pepper! All day. Everyday.

  • psylent777

    psylent777 said 9 years ago

    I just made a batch with guajillo and chili de arbol... I have to say, a _little_ too salty for my taste. I added a tsp of honey and lime juice. Tasty! Next time I might try halving the salt.

  • ikibotoke

    ikibotoke said 8 years ago

    I just made it and it came out alright. Not amazing, but definitely not spicy enough for me. I added 11 chiles de arbol and it's just giving me a little zing. Probably going to use chiles japones next time with a few pequin peppers or maybe something hotter.

  • metalicious

    Stephanie Maslow Blackman from metalicious said 8 years ago

    Revisiting this recipe now that Fall is here. Yum!

  • artistedubois

    Jérôme from artistedubois said 7 years ago

    Really good sauce!!! fun and easy to do!!! But I've use habanero (use latex glove to manipulate)!!! I also add a little bit of ginger! REALY but also REALY GOOD

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