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Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

This simple Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is my favorite of all. It only uses a few ingredients and everyday kitchen equipment, so anyone can make it!

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Carolina reaper hot sauce recipe

There is nothing better than an extra spicy hot sauce to make a meal even better- except maybe your own hot sauce made from scratch. In the world of chili peppers, the Carolina Reaper chili pepper is in a league of its own- and it makes one fiery hot pepper sauce.

It is not only the world’s hottest chili pepper. The Reaper also has a distinct, deep flavor profile that spice connoisseurs everywhere love.

That said- beware of the heat! Playing with fire can pay off in hot sauces- but it also requires a little care and attention to make sure it tastes incredible- and nobody gets burned. If you’re not up for the spice, I would take a look into our chinese hot mustard sauce recipe instead.

If your adventurous taste buds are looking for the hottest sauce to spice things up with- you are in the right place! Carolina Reaper hot sauce is one of the best chili pepper sauces you can have- thanks to the intriguing and uniquely sweet and spicy flavor.

This simple Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is my favorite of all. It only uses a few ingredients and everyday kitchen equipment- so anyone can make it themselves at home.

You can use this awesome recipe to make a basic starter sauce out of Carolina Reaper chili peppers and enjoy the world’s hottest pepper in a completely new way.

From there- you can tweak it and experiment with additional flavors to suit your tastes.

Carolina reaper peppers

A Quick Introduction to the Carolina Reaper Pepper

The Carolina Reaper pepper- originally from South Carolina- currently holds the Guinness world record as the world’s hottest chili pepper. At its peak- the Reaper hits around 2.2 million Scoville heat units- roughly 440 times spicier than good old jalapeños.

Although it peaks at 2.2 million, the average SHU rating of Carolina Reapers is around 1.6 million- which is 600,000 more than the Ghost Pepper- another of the world’s most famous chili peppers.

It was created by crossing two famously hot peppers- the Pakistani Naga and the Red Habanero- giving it one of the most interesting flavors of any top heat pepper.

The Carolina Reaper is a combination of intense firepower and sweet, fruity notes- a surprising touch from a pepper of this intense spice level. Because of this, it is a hot (pun intended) favorite for making sauces.

Ingredients (To Make Roughly 1.5 Cups of Hot Sauce)

Carolina Reaper Peppers

It takes eight ounces of peppers (once the stems are removed) to make this sauce. Don’t go by the number of peppers- that can vary depending on how big they are. Weigh them to just over eight ounces, remove the stems, weigh again, and add until you have the entire amount.

If you grow your own reapers, this is a clever way to use up the ones that are starting to look a little dry. Dried reapers are even spicier- which is perfect for heat lovers!


You can put as little or as much garlic as you want- depending on how much you like the flavor.

I am a big garlic advocate- and having experimented with a few different measurements, I find one large bulb complements the peppers perfectly.


White onion is best. A medium-sized one will do unless you want a more powerful onion flavor to come through.

That said- you should avoid going overboard with the onion – you don’t want to distract too much from the main flavor event.


A few kinds of vinegar work well with this recipe, but I personally prefer apple cider vinegar over the other options.

White vinegar or champagne vinegar is also good, but apple cider has a more complex flavor that works excellently with the heat of the Carolina Reaper pepper.

You only need about three tablespoons- but make sure it is a high-quality, distilled product for the best results.

Lime juice or lemon juice

This is optional. Some people prefer their hot sauces without the cut of citrus. I always include it because it adds a little balance to this hot sauce. It also helps the sauce last a bit longer in storage.


Any old salt will do- it is just for seasoning the hot sauce to your taste.


I use roughly one cup, but you can use more if you want your sauce to be thinner. Bear in mind that the more water you add, the more the flavors dilute- and the less spicy your sauce becomes.

Crushed garlic on table

What Else You Will Need

Other than your ingredients, there are a few things to have prepared to make your sauce.

First, you need an oven- preheated to 400 Fahrenheit or 205 Celsius. You need one or two baking trays with a baking sheet. One large tray is best, but splitting over two is fine if you have a smaller oven space.

My method calls for a blender or food processor. Using one of these tools makes your sauce much smoother and saves time. It is also much more practical and safer than finely chopping and dicing hot peppers by hand.

I strongly recommend wearing gloves when preparing and handling the peppers. This is seriously hot stuff and can give you a chemical burn if the oils get on your skin, so it is better not to take any risks.

Additionally, ventilation makes a big difference to control the hot fumes, so open as many windows as you can- or at least have some air conditioning running.

If there are too many fumes in the air, your eyes could start burning- not something we want when making a delicious hot sauce.

Lastly, you are going to need bottles or jars to store your sauce.

You can buy proper hot sauce bottles online cheaply. I got mine from Amazon. Alternatively, use half-pint jars with a tight seal lid.

Vinegar on table

A Few Top Tips from a Hot Pepper Pro

Why not try some other peppers? Ghost peppers, Serrano peppers, and the Scorpion pepper are all great alternatives for this recipe. They are all impressively hot peppers with intense, interesting flavors on par with Carolina Reaper peppers but a touch less spicy.

If you prefer a smooth hot sauce, you can add more water and strain the mixture to remove the lumps. It will leave you with less sauce, but you can always up the ingredients to make up the difference. You could also go for our bloves sauce recipe if you prefer a smoother sauce as well.

After you strain, don’t waste the lumps! Dry them out and crush them to make Carolina Reaper powder- a versatile spice that can be used in marinades, cooking, and seasoning mixes. Mix it with olive oil and coat your chicken wings to take the kick to the next level. Dried Carolina Reaper peppers are even hotter- so a little goes a long way.

Because this hot sauce recipe has quite a lot of vinegar, it should keep for quite a long time in the fridge. It should be fine for at least a few months as long as it is properly sealed. You can go for even longer storage if you add citric acid (lime or lemon).

Remember- this is only a starter recipe, and you can expand on it in whatever way you want. You can add just about anything you want to this sauce- from roasted carrots to brown sugar. If you feel adventurous, why not play with other seasonings, such as cumin, ginger, or dried herbs? The beauty of making your own hot sauce from scratch is the freedom to tweak the flavor to suit you perfectly.

Garlic and onion on table

Enjoy the Hottest Hot Sauce Around!

That’s it, folks. It really is as easy as that- homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce in only half an hour! I love this Carolina Reaper recipe because of its simplicity- it really lets the flavor of the peppers shine through and tastes incredible.

Just remember to take care when handling your reapers- the hottest pepper in the world demands respect! Wear gloves, air out your workspace, and seal your bottles properly.


Carolina reaper peppers crushed
Yield: 72 servings

Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

This simple Carolina Reaper hot sauce recipe is my favorite of all. It only uses a few ingredients and everyday kitchen equipment, so anyone can make it!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 8 oz. Carolina Reaper Peppers
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 c. water
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. To prepare the peppers, remove the stems. There is no need to chop them.
  3. Take apart the garlic cloves and chop the tops off them (the flatter side). Leave the skins on for now.
  4. Now, spread the garlic, onions, and peppers on your baking sheet. Try to have them evenly spread around so they get equal heat, but don't stress too much about it. Pop the tray into the preheated oven for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Take the roasted peppers and onion halves and pop them in a food processor. Your roasted garlic should be easy to slide out of the skins. Separate skin from garlic then then add them in as well.
  6. Blend the mixture until it is finely chopped. You can choose to go for a chunky sauce or a smoother sauce adjusting accordingly.
  7. Next, pour the vinegar into the blender along with the lemon juice.
  8. Salt to taste. I recommend starting with a small amount of salt at this stage (roughly half a teaspoon). You can always add more later if you think it needs it.
  9. Mix it up until everything is combined.
  10. Add water until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. I usually start with half a cup of water, then add more slowly if I think it needs it.
  11. Put your homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce into bottles or jars and store it. Give it time for the flavors to blend and meld over time rather than using it straight away. It will taste good anyway, but if you really want to get the best of it, leave it at least overnight.


  • Keep an eye on the onion, garlic and peppers while they bake. You ideally want the skins slightly charred but not burnt. Burning them ruins the flavor completely. It is better to have them a lit bit under-baked than over-baked!
  • Be careful when you open the oven. The Carolina Reaper takes no prisoners, and the fumes can be seriously strong!
  • Some people prefer to cook their veg mixture in a pan, but I find baking yields the tastiest results. The roasted pepper flavor makes for a deeper, more interesting sauce and helps release the intense spice we want for this sauce.
  • It is best to use sterilized bottles. You can sterilize them by submerging them in boiled water for at least 15 minutes. Also, make sure your containers are properly sealed so your hot sauce doesn't go to waste. If you want to, you can add olive oil to the jar to help protect it from the air.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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