Salt and Limes

How to make Tabasco sauce


The worlds most famous hot sauce can easily be made at home. It only takes 3 months to grow the peppers and 6 months to ferment them. Or... you can go buy a bottle for $5, but that’s not nearly as much fun!
When I decided last spring to buy a Tabasco pepper plant, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I thought I would have a few peppers per week that I could add to Mexican dishes to spice them up. I soon realized that a single plant will produce hundreds of small, smoking hot peppers every week. Rather than throw them away or let the birds eat them, I decided to make my own Tabasco sauce.


Tabasco peppers
Kosher salt
Distilled vinegar


1. I picked every single pepper off the plant which took about 30 minutes. If you want the sauce to be red, only pick the red ones. If you want it green, only pick the green ones. Orange, you get the picture.

2. Blend them to a thick paste consistency (stems, seeds and all).

3. Place the paste into a large glass bowl or mason jar and cover the paste with a 1 cm thick layer of sea salt (not table salt because of the iodine content).

4. Now, loosely cover the bowl or jar so that bugs can’t get in but so that air can still escape. I used a plastic lid.

5. Keep it in a dark cool place such as a pantry for 6 months. This allows the natural bacteria on the peppers to ferment the carbohydrates into lactic acid and esters which give the sauce such a unique taste.

6. Mix in distilled vinegar until it reaches your desired level of spiciness. Less vinegar= more spicy.

7. Cover it again and place back into a dark cool place for 1 more week.

8. Next, run the pepper sauce through a fine strainer or cheesecloth saving only the liquid.

9. At this point, you can add more vinegar to the liquid if it is too spicy but your friends might make fun of you.

10. Bottle and enjoy!

You can use this same process with Jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers or any other spicy pepper you are growing. Be creative and let us know how it turned out!
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