A Definitive Ranking of 10 Popular Grocery Store Hot Sauces, From Worst to Best
As an avid lover of spicy food, I'm pretty well-versed in grocery store hot sauces.
Not only are they the perfect way to add a dose of flavor to any dish, they're also beautifully delicious in their own right. At least, most of them are.
Unfortunately, while some hot sauces shine, others have me wishing that I left my food untainted. Keep scrolling for a definitive ranking of grocery store hot sauces, from worst to best.
10. Louisiana Hot Sauce
Ugh, color me unimpressed with the Louisiana Hot Sauce. In truth, it's just not what I'm looking for in a spicy flavoring. It's pretty tame, and the taste is fairly unoriginal. It's fine if there's nothing else available. but other than that I probably won't ever choose to pair any of my food with this sauce.
9. Texas Pete Hot Sauce
Again, just not impressed. Texas Pete just leaves me feeling sort of "meh" about hot sauce in general. It's amazing for fried chicken, but it's just not the most versatile topping. Add in the fact that it's not all that spicy anyway, and you can see why it lands at No. 9 on my list.
While Tabasco is definitely a favorite among hot sauces, if I'm speaking objectively, it's just not that good. It definitely packs a punch when it comes to spice, but it's almost annoyingly hot. Add a drop too much and suddenly you're unable to chow down on your dish without panting like a dog and reaching for your water cup. The only flavor that accompanies Tabasco is "hot." While that might sound like the point of a hot sauce, there are other brands that just do spice better.
7. Frank's RedHot
While Frank's RedHot sauce is an American favorite, I unfortunately have to disagree with its high-ranking status. I will admit, I'm a little bit biased on this one. Frank's is one of the ingredients in classic Buffalo sauce, and that's definitely the flavor it invokes. I'm not a big fan of the Buffalo wing flavor, which means this sauce just doesn't impress me. I can see how it would be the go-to for other people, but I'd rather stock my fridge with other condiments.
6. Yellowbird Habanero
With its fresh ingredients and natural flavorings, Yellowbird has the potential to be my favorite sauce. It includes a variety of delicious add-ins, which ultimately develops a full, delicious flavor. The problem is, it's just a little too hot. While you can taste the yumminess under the surface, it's hard to truly enjoy the flavor under the heat. It's a good sauce, but it has to be used sparingly if you want to enjoy it at all.
Unlike the overwhelming hotness of Tabasco, Tapatío tones down the spice and ups the flavor. The consistency is a little watery, but the actual taste is delicious. It's peppery and garlic-y, without being too hot to enjoy your food. It's a basic hot sauce that has decent flavor—what more could you ask for?
Crystal hot sauce also originates in Louisiana, which definitely gives it a different flavor. The heat of this sauce is more moderate, which primarily stems from the cayenne peppers that act as the base ingredient. It's a favorite around the world, and for good reason. Crystal is a delicious sauce that can be applied to a wide range of foods including fried favorites like chicken and french fries. Who I am to argue with the rest of the world? Crystal is a dang-good hot sauce.
3. Huy Fong Foods Sriracha
Although Sriracha is far from the spiciest hot sauce available, it's still one of my favorites—and I'm not alone. Sriracha might just be the trendiest hot sauce, probably due to its tame flavor. It can be added to almost anything without overpowering your dish, but it still maintains a distinct taste that sets it apart from other hot sauces. Sriracha isn't my go-to, but I always have a bottle in my fridge that I'm willing to break out if the dish demands it.
If Tapatío is good, Cholula is great. It gets rid of that weird watery consistency and adds a delicious blend of vinegar and spices that leaves your taste buds craving more. It's more mild in terms of heat, but that's surprisingly okay. That just means you can add more to your food and, given the delicious flavor, that's definitely a positive.
1. El Yucateco Green Chili Habanero
In case you haven't noticed, I definitely veer towards more Mexican flavors in my hot sauces in general, but El Yucateco outshines them all. This sauce is absolutely spicy, probably even more so than most flavors in this list. Instead of feeling overly mixed or flooded with outside spice blends, it stays pretty true to the actual taste of a habanero pepper. It should be used with care, but you can bet that it will always be delicious.
Wondering about own opinions on more of your favorite foods? Click HERE for a definitive ranking of everything you can put in your Chipotle order.