Hot sauce — those two words alone can get some folks’ mouths watering, while they make others cringe. Some never leave home without a bottle of the stuff; others fear even brief exposure to a pickled jalapeño on their nachos.
We tracked down the absolute spiciest hot sauces out there, ranked them according to Scoville units (the way spiciness is measured), and provided you with ways to order them directly to your door. But be careful: these sauces are spicy (Scoville Units are measured through a complicated dilution process.)
Just to give you an idea as to how spicy hot sauces have gotten recently, the original super-spicy hot sauce, Dave’s Insanity Sauce, which came onto the scene about 20 years ago and sparked a hot sauce boom, clocks in at about 180,000 Scoville units — it didn’t even scratch the surface of our top 10 list!
So fasten your seatbelt, folks. This is going to be a spicy ride. And if you think you know of a hotter sauce than those listed, let us know in the comments.
1. Pure Capsaicin:
16 Million Scoville Units Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the top of Mount Everest. What we have here isn’t a sauce, or a food really, but tiny crystals composed of pure, uncut capsaicin. At its most powerful, the chemical packs a walloping 16 million Scoville units. You can purchase some if so inclined, but we’re not sure what you’d do with it.
Just to give you an idea of its power, the crystals come sealed in a vial, which is then sealed in a waterproof carrying case. On the side? A pair of gloves, a face mask, and forceps. To activate it, dilute it with some alcohol and heat it up. But we wouldn’t advise it, because it’s the absolute spiciest substance on Earth.
2. Pepper Palace Hottest Sauce in the Universe - 2nd Dimension:
3.5 Million Scoville Units
There’s a good chance that the folks at Pepper Palace weren’t exaggerating when they called this concoction the universe’s hottest. Forty pounds of ghost chiles go into every batch, and according to the company the stuff contains a ludicrous 3.5 million Scoville units, making it 700 times spicier than Tabasco. We’re getting into some crazy territory here, and if you’re insane enough to try it, you can purchase it through their website for $14.95.
3. Blair’s 3 AM Reserve:
1.5 Million-2 Million Scoville Units
If the 2 AM Reserve isn’t hot enough for you, you could always kick it up one more notch with their 3 AM reserve. It’s 20 percent hotter than the original, and a drop of this stuff on your tongue will most likely alter your entire outlook on the universe (it's about as spicy as law enforcement-grade pepper spray). For the truly brave (crazy?), a 3-ounce bottle sells for $49.95. It comes in funky bottle, signed by Blair himself.
4. Henry Family Farm Ghost Chile of India:
850,000–1 Million Scoville Units
The Henry Family Farm has been growing chiles for 30 years in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and this, a blend of straight ghost chiles with just a little salt and vinegar, is their spiciest offering. Because it’s such a gourmet product, a 5-ounce bottle sells for $24, and because there are no extracts involved you can really taste the chiles. Once you can get past the heat. Chef David Rosengarten is a big fan of this sauce, and is selling it, along with two other varieties, on his website.
5. Blair’s 2 A.M. Reserve:
650,000-900,000 Scoville Units
According to legend, this sauce originated when the company’s founder worked in a bar and was eager to close up shop when 2 a.m. rolled around. So he fried up some wings and doused them in this sauce, and told the patrons that they could stick around for longer if they could eat four of them. Needless to say, it worked every time. A 3-ounce bottle can be purchased for $29.95, but a disclaimer needs to be signed first!