This homemade hot sauce recipe is similar to the well-known Texas-Pete® Sauce, using only a few ingredients. This is an instant sauce (30 minutes exactly) where no fermentation is needed and fresh chillis are used, which is why it only has a shelf-life of 2 weeks. Make sure to find fresh ripe red chillis. The type of chilli and its heat level is entirely up to you. If you like mild hot sauce, I would leave out the small Bird’s eye chillis as they are very spicy. Red cayenne chilli peppers (aka Carolina cayenne) or red jalapenos are popular choices for this hot sauce but I suggest tasting a small piece of chilli before making the sauce. You need to look for a slight zing with a sweet after-taste. Nothing too mind-blowing hot or your hot sauce will be too powerful. We want to taste the sauce, not numb our taste buds!

To give you an idea of how they rank on the Scoville scale, here is a list of chillis to help you decide which ones would suit you:

  1. Pure capsaicin: 16,000,000 SHU
  2. Carolina Reaper: 2,200,000 SHU
  3. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: 2,009,231 SHU
  4. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T: 1,463,700 SHU
  5. Naga Viper: 1,382,118 SHU
  6. Bhut jolokia (ghost pepper): 1,041,427 SHU
  7. Red Savina habanero: 580,000 SHU
  8. Scotch Bonnet: 350,000 SHU
  9. Jamaican Hot: 350,000 SHU
  10. Habanero: 350,000 SHU
  11. Devil’s Tongue: 300,000 SHU
  12. Bird’s eye chilli: 225,000 SHU
  13. Carolina Cayenne: 125,000 SHU
  14. Tabasco: 50,000 SHU
  15. Santaka: 50,000 SHU
  16. Chile de árbol: 30,000 SHU
  17. Serrano: 23,000 SHU
  18. Jalapeño: 10,000 SHU
  19. Chipotle: 8,000 SHU
  20. Guajillo: 8,000 SHU
  21. Anaheim: 2,500 SHU
  22. Poblano: 2,000 SHU
  23. Pepperoncini: 900 SHU
  24. Bell: 0 SHU

This list was sourced from, if you are interested in reading more about chillis.

The process of making the hot sauce is simple, but make sure you were gloves to protect your hands. Ventilating the kitchen is recommended while cooking the sauce. If you can make the sauce outdoors, even better!

Homemade Gluten-Free Hot Sauce (Texas-Pete® Style)

  • 16 large red chilli peppers, stems removed, sliced roughly
  • 6 small Bird’s eye chilli peppers, stems removed (optional)
  • 500ml white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole, smashed slightly


  • a food processor
  • a fine sieve
  • a small pot
  • a pair of disposable gloves


Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small pot.

2. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a gently simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. The vinegar will reduce by half.

3. Allow to cool down slightly, before blending in a food processor.

4. Blend the chilli mixture in a food processor to a fine pulp.


5. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a jug, pressing the pulp down with a spatula.

6. Pour the sauce into a 300ml size sterilised glass bottle. Seal and store in the fridge or use immediately for the crispy spicy chicken burgers.

  • Keeps for 2 weeks chilled
  • Makes 300ml

Besides serving as an excellent table condiment, this hot sauce will really spice up meals such as mac ‘n cheese, chilli con carne or spaghetti bolognese. Add some hot sauce to some mayonnaise for a spicy sandwich spread.