I love making hot sauce. I love many flavors of heat. Not so much on the sweet chutney types. My favorites are more vinegar or citrus flavored. I love any simple Louisiana style with chiles, vinegar and salt only.
I also love Nando's Peri Peri Sauce here is a link to the medium and hot which are my favorites.
In fact, this flavor or sauce was what really got me into making my own sauce years ago. I have been trying to copy the flavor for years. I have come close. I go into this in detail in my upcoming cookbook and share the recipe that I have settled on.
I have always tried to make my sauces a little thicker so that they can coat the food better and have a better texture and mouth feel. So, I have experimented with a few different thickening agents that would not affect flavor.
Xantham gum is the one that seems to be the most popular with commercial brands. You see it on the list of ingredients on most store-bought sauce. I believe it is cheap, and helps with the preservation. For my home sauces I try to minimize any additives, although this does work well for larger batches that I will be giving to my friends for birthdays and holidays. This site link had some useful information and is a great blog for chili-heads like myself.
I have tried cornstarch and it works pretty well too. I have not tried arrowroot but it looks pretty similar to the other options. To thicken up my sauces with out additives, I have been experimenting with adding carrot or onion and blending really really well. This is the key as far as I can tell too is the blending.
If you look at Tabasco it uses only 3 ingredients. Peppers ( aged in oak barrels for a long time...very cool check out their method here...), salt and vinegar. They must blend it with super blenders to get it so fine that it is naturally thick enough to coat.
So, I will try some new blending methods and arrowroot next and see what happens. Shoot me a note if you want to try some of my hot-sauce. As many of you who know me have heard or seen, I call it Foos Fire:-) I usually have 3 flavor profiles I like to make. 1) Louisiana style 2) Asian flavors 3) Indian/Curry flavors. I will probably set up an Etsy site at some point when I make a big batch.
As a quick note. I tried out one of the affiliate marketing products that I am looking into and I bought the book I discuss below for 37 bucks. It is really fantastic! I am learning a ton just by glancing through it. There are some very real health benefits in hot peppers and capsaicin, the main ingredient that gives that heat. I am also experimenting with their affiliate program. Read an excerpt below.I will make a few bucks too if you want to buy it here. You can just skip through all the sales mumbo jumbo and buy it. It is worth 37 bucks if you are into a solid list of plants and herbs the are beneficial and why. Since I just moved to the east coast from California, I wanted to get an idea of what is edible in this area of the country and bought it. This is more than I was expecting.
I transcribed from the book: The lost book of herbal remedies by Dr. Nicole Arcadian, PhD
Cayenne is used sparingly as a seasoning agent because of its spicy heat. It is a spice found in most home spice cabinets and has significant medical benefits
Medicinal Use: Cayenne is a warming herb, heart tonic, and digestive aid. It also releases hormones that improve the mood. It is rich in vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. Use cayenne as a powder, in capsules, added to water for soaking, in rubs, and in salves.
Cayenne is a powerful stimulant and consuming too much can cause stomach problems. A small amount goes a long way with this herb.
Stops Bleeding: Cayenne is a powerful styptic. It helps blood to clot both internally and externally. For small cuts put a thick layer of cayenne directly onto the cut. (Jerod add here ....this sounds pretty painful:- but I guess if you were stuck in the wilderness and bleeding you would deal with it) Large wounds benefit from both external administration and internal use. As soon as the wound is covered in cayenne, drink a glass of water containing one teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It helps the blood clot quickly.
Sore Throats: At the first sign of throat irritation, gargle several times a day with 10 to 20 drops of Cayenne Infusion mixed into a glass of water. It works if you can stand the heat.
Colds and Flu: Cayenne is an excellent supportive preventative and remedy for colds and the flu. I help bring down fevers and expel mucus. It works best in combination with other herbs such as Echinacea, goldenseal, and marshmallow.
Poor Circulation, Warming the Hands and Feet: Cayenne is an effective herb for increasing circulation and for warming cold hands and feet.
Happy hotsauce making:-)