people's choice

The Best Hot Sauces on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of condiments — including the best chef-approved miso pastes, one writer’s favorite chili oil, and another’s favorite soy sauce — here, we’ve rounded up the best hot sauces, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated hot sauce

Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce
From $9

More than 1,000 reviewers give this hot sauce five stars and top marks for hitting that sweet spot between spicy and flavorful. “I don’t often enjoy sauces that are hot for the sake of heat without the flavor, but this one packs a reasonable punch while having a rich and developed taste,” one reviewer writes. Another says, “it’s manageable for those who aren’t looking to kill themselves with hot sauce, but want to step up their hot sauce game with something flavorful.” A third even goes as far as saying, “I would drink this sauce.” Many also note that this works with a variety of foods. “It is sweet, savory, tangy and spicy,” one user writes, adding, “the consistency is thick, which makes this sauce the perfect compliment to all dishes, from simple white rice to grilled chicken breasts.” Another adds, “it’s spicy enough to give a kick to many different foods, but it doesn’t take away from that food’s flavor; it just enhances it.” Dozens of reviewers say they love this sauce so much that a bottle only lasts them a few days. As one satisfied customer puts it, “gone are the days of not slathering my food in condiment until I have a delicious pile of Secret Aardvark Sauce with a bit of food thrown in for good measure.”

Best-rated (less expensive) hot sauce

Bibigo Gochujang Sauce
$4

The consensus among reviewers is that you could put this hot sauce on anything and it would make it taste good. “I think you could put this on shoe leather and it would make it taste like filet mignon!” raves one reviewer, adding, “it’s the best condiment ever — perfect balance between umami, sweet and spicy!” While many report using it to make various Asian dishes, dozens of users say the possibilities are endless. “Besides bibimbap, bulgogi, and cooking with it as a base, you can put this on eggs, fries, tacos, lettuce wraps, burgers … I could go on.” Another reviewer “adds it into just about everything,” including “soups, noodles, casseroles” and to “mayo for dipping.” According to users, the hot sauce’s versatility has something to do with it being “just enough spicy [and] just enough sweet to make it go well [with] damn near everything.” Many also compare it to Sriracha, but one reviewer notes “it has more flavor and depth than Siriracha.”

Best hot sauce for cooking

More than 80 percent of reviewers give Satan’s Blood a five-star review. While many reviewers tell stories about how dangerously hot this sauce is, one reviewer points out “there is a warning label on the bottle that says ‘this is not a hot sauce.’” And those who purchase this as more than a gag gift or a challenge say they can actually enjoy the hot sauce when they cook with it. “This is obviously not meant to be used as a hot sauce, so keep that in mind if you’re not looking to be writhing on the floor in pain,” explains one reviewer, who adds, “I like to put maybe 7-8 drops in a decent sized pot of chili; that much is enough to make most people feel the heat.” Another says this adds “a nice amount of heat that makes it very quick and easy to increase the heat of any dish.” One “primarily used this for increasing the heat on buffalo-wing sauce without changing the flavor or texture, and it works very well for that.”

Best “one drop” hot sauce

$8

“This stuff is hotter than Pamela Anderson circa 1994,” one user writes in an attempt to explain what dozens of others say in their reviews of this hot sauce: that you really only need one drop. “Delicious … but when it says one drop, believe me one drop is enough,” says another reviewer, while yet another says, “one drop is plenty for an individual portion,” adding, “two drops and either you have the constitution of Keith Richards or you have made a serious mistake.” Many attest that the one drop makes this sauce long lasting, helping them save in a number of ways. “This saves money and helps me cut back on the high sodium of other hot sauces,” explains one user, with another writing, “we use it almost every day, and after 3 years we just ran out.” The consensus among reviewers is that this strictly tastes hot, but a few were able to pick out a habanero flavor, including one whose husband makes his own salsa and will use this hot sauce as a habanero substitute. “When he can’t get fresh habaneros he uses Dave’s to turn up the heat.”

Most flavorful hot sauce

Mad Dog 357 Hot Sauce
$13

According to one review titled “Prepare yourself,” this hot sauce “is burn-your-mouth, sear-your-tastebuds, and then force you to consider jumping in a pool of ice hot.” While many agree with this, dozens of reviewers also note that this hot, hot sauce is still pretty flavorful. “On top of the immediate and pervasive burn, it also has a nice, slightly smoky, sweet flavor,” writes one reviewer. “My drunk ass poured a river of it on my Taco Bell and it took me about 15 minutes to recover,” says another, adding that “it’s great when used sparingly, in combination with other sauces.” And another user says, “this is a very good flavorful sauce, no chemical taste like many others,” adding that “it enhances the flavor on whatever you put it on. I add it to wing sauce and chili, along with rice-based meals.”

Best carrot-based hot sauce

Many of the nearly 90 percent of reviewers who give this hot sauce five stars say it packs a unique flavor from its carrot base. “This is HANDS DOWN the best hot sauce in the world,” one writes, adding, “the carrot-based sauce is soooooo flavorful.” Another says, “the taste of this sauce is a flavorful balance of vegetables (carrot and onion), with a habanero kick that converts most people who try it. I’ve secretly started carrying it in my purse.” Dozens of reviewers also mention trying this hot sauce for the first time in Belize, and say they’ve been hooked ever since. “We discovered this hot sauce when we were staying at the Hopkins Bay Resort, in Hopkins Bay Belize,” writes one user, who notes “this hot sauce is not just hot, it’s also savory and tangy and a little sweet, all at the same time. There’s a cumulative effect to the heat, so it doesn’t burn you out right away, but the savory flavor of the sauce means you can’t stop putting it on food and eating it.”

Best scotch bonnet hot sauce

The consensus among reviewers is that the scotch bonnet pepper base of this sauce is perfectly paired with other ingredients to create a pleasant mild hot sauce. “It is far too easy for scotch bonnet based hot sauces to overwhelm the palette with heat, or to overcompensate with acid (most often vinegar),” one user explains. “The Queen Majesty Scotch Bonnet Ginger sauce is able to avoid that pitfall by balancing the heat of the pepper and acid of the vinegar and citrus with the bright earthiness of ginger.” Another says “It is bright and sweet, with a little tang and some gentle heat that fades away slowly.” In terms of consistency, this hot sauce is “quite thick, yet not too chunky,” a reviewer says. And according to many it can go on just about anything. “I’ve had it on everything from a sandwich to a piece of apple pie and it’s been awesome,” one says, while another writes, “It’s great with fish, pork, chicken and strip steak for Mexican or BBQ, and it ends up being the ultimate beach hot sauce, since it goes so well with seafood.”

Best habanero hot sauces