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The Best Hot Ones Sauces

The Best Hot Ones Sauces logo

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Chris Whitehair

Our Top 10 Hot Sauces from Hot Ones

Debuting on YouTube in March of 2015, Hot Ones from First We Feast has taken the pop culture world by storm.

A-list celebrities from all walks of the entertainment industry have toughed it out to see if they can make it to “The Last Dab”!

Everyone from world-renowned celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, to former NBA superstar Shaq, to singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, there has been no shortage of top-tier guests.

Even more impressive than the list of celebrities that have appeared on the show are the actual hot sauces themselves.

Craft hot sauce makers whose sauces have made the cut and have appeared on Hot Ones have seen their popularities skyrocket thanks to their inclusions.

Throughout the 23* seasons of the show, I thought it would be fun to gather what I think the Top 10 Hot Ones sauces have been and share it with the world.

 

*Season 23 is in progress, and we are in process of trying the brand new sauces! We will update our list accordingly should any changes needing to be made due to a new sauce making the list!

RANKING CRITERIA

1. FLAVOR FIRST. I can’t stress this enough. Yes, heat level is a selling point of the show with the later-round hot sauces, but I’m looking for what tastes best overall.

2. Characteristics. Is the sauce unique? How versatile is it? If it’s a sauce that with a popular flavor profile (such as a garlic hot sauce), what makes this one better than other sauces of that nature?

3. We are not considering the Hot Ones branded sauces (including The Classic, Los Calientes, or The Last Dab) or the “grocery store brands”. Those particular sauces were featured mostly in the first couple seasons of the show. We could argue back and forth whether these constitute as being “grocery store brands” or not, but for the sake of this blog, I did not consider the following for this ranking:

Cholula
Crystal
El Yucateco
Huy Fong Foods Sriracha
Original Louisiana
Tabasco
Tapatio
Texas Pete
Valentina (Black Label)

4. There are no limits to the amount of times brands can appear on the list if they’ve had different sauces on different seasons.

5. There are no restrictions to the amount of sauces that can appear due to their season.

6. Since starting my business and being involved in the hot sauce community, I have gotten to know quite a few makers personally, some of whom are on this list. Any personal or business relationships I have with any makers had no bearing whatsoever on my choices. This is my completely honest take that ultimately comes down to my first criteria, flavor.

With all that said, it’s time to take a look at what are my favorites from “the show with hot questions, and even hotter wings!”

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#10 – Angry Goat Pepper Co. Hippy Dippy

Scoville Units: 2,300
Season 8 (#2)

For all of you verde style hot sauce fans, Hippy Dippy Green is a unique twist with its addition of avocado and kiwi. This is a great one to use on any Mexican dish (I particularly love it on nachos) and also a unique addition to eggs. Creamy and refreshing. Perfect for when you’re looking for a hot sauce while mellowing out.

#9 – Halogi Tyrfing’s Curse

Scoville Units: 99,000
Season 18 (#7)

Of all the hot sauces that appear on this list, this one surprised me the most (and I say this is the most positive way possible!) Not only do the Ghost, Scorpion, and Habanero peppers sting you, the citric acid courtesy of the orange juice give your tongue an extra jab. Tart and tasty, there are so many layers of other flavors that come through, such as the mustard and turmeric. This is my fried rice favorite.

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#8 – Karma Sauce Cosmic Disco

Scoville Units: 103,000
Season 19 (#7)

The love child of Karma Sauce’s Cosmic Dumpling and another Hot Ones appearing sauce of theirs, Scorpion Disco. It has all of the flavor of both, but unless you really like it hot, use sparingly, because it is a sizzler at the #7 spot (which I learned the hard way). An absolute must on any Asian themed dish (dumplings, wontons, sushi, etc.)

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#7 – Bravado Spice Co. Aka Miso

Scoville Units: 116,000
Season 10 (#7)

I remember vividly the first time I tried this sauce – I went through a gauntlet of tasting different sauces for the first time with some fellow hot sauce fanatics and Aka Miso is the one I still remember most from that day. The flavor (and then of course heat) just hit my tongue in harmony and I asked for a second taste! You can’t put a list together of the best Hot Ones sauces without this one on it. An absolute must on ramen.

#6 – Karma Sauce Extreme Karma

Scoville Units: 56,000
Season 5 (#6)

The label has received an update since its Season 5 appearance, but the extreme heat and flavor remains. Replacing the habaneros from the Good and Bad versions and loading up on Ghost and Scorpion peppers instead, this sauce is a favorite among serious chileheads who want strong flavor alongside with big heat. As versatile as there is when it comes to a hot sauce with this heat level. Try the Extreme Smokey version of this sauce if you’re a chipotle fan!

#5 – Torchbearer Sauces Son of Zombie

Scoville Units: 24,000
Season 6 (#4)

Sweet, smoky and sensational. They call this one a wing sauce and I think this is the best of the 10 on this list to use on wings if you were only to choose one. You can’t go wrong with the flavors of chipotle, garlic, honey, ghost pepper, habanero, and even the mandarin orange comes through.

#4 – Butterfly Bakery of Vermont Maple Wood Smoked Onion

Scoville Units: 7,900
Season 7 (#3)

The best onion hot sauce available on the market, period. Fantastic for onion lovers who don’t actually want the flavor of the onion to overpower their food, but rather have its subtle hints of sweet and smokiness compliment their dish. Versatility is what you get with this hot sauce, however, fans of this gem say the absolute must-use for it is on your scrambled eggs.

#3 – Fiji Fire Native Bongo Chilli

Scoville Units: 14,300
Season 11 (#3)

I’m thrilled that Hot Ones went international and found a lot of makers that normally wouldn’t have had an opportunity like this. You’re not going to find the Bongo Chilli anywhere else on this list or really in any other hot sauce out there, and that’s because the Bongo Chilli is native to the island of Fiji. I tell folks that this is the hot sauce you’ll want to use to graduate from mild level to medium level heat. Use this one on your next sandwich or eggs and thank me later!

#2 – Fresco Sauce Chipotle & Habanero

Scoville Units: 12,400
Season 12 (#3)

This is one of the few hot sauces I was familiar with before its appearance on the show so I was thrilled when it was announced (any of the Fresco Sauces are worthy by the way). I just love the orange color to this sauce. A garlicky blend of chipotle and orange habanero peppers with a hint of sweetness. Another every day hot sauce that you can use on everything, and therefore, probably the hot sauce on this list I personally use most, especially on pizza!

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#1 – High Desert Sauce Co. Tikk-HOT Masala

Scoville Units: 72,000
Season 15 (#6)

This epic hot sauce is LOADED with an incredible mix of ingredients. An all-star trio of Carolina Reaper, Ghost Pepper, and Anaheim pepper anchor this meal-changer with its fire-roasted tomato base, creamy coconut milk, garam masala spice (and so much more), making this one a must-have the next time you’re craving a curry, or any hot sauce for that matter!

HONORABLE MENTION

Wow, 10 already! This was such a tough list to compile. I thought it should be noted who just missed the cut, so here are my “Top Six Out”:

The Best Tasting Sauces from Hot Ones: In Conclusion

I’m already hearing the following:

  • This list stinks! How could you leave out (insert sauce here)?
  • If it weren’t for (insert “grocery store” hot sauce), you wouldn’t even like hot sauce! It deserves a place on this list!
  • (Insert Brand here) is the best ever how did you put on (Brand hot sauce #1) and leave out (Brand hot sauce #2)?!

With over 100 unique sauces that have appeared throughout the 21+ seasons, there’s no way I’m going to make everyone happy.

Remember, this is just my opinion!

The margins to make the Top 10 to the Top Six Out to the dozen or so sauces that just missed that the list was razor thin.

I had more agony than I thought when I first conceived putting this together.

One sauce I think all fans of the show (and celebrities) can agree on is that any best Hot Ones sauces list will never include Da Bomb.

My personal tastes are pretty obvious with my choices: For the most part, I like for mild and medium heat-level sauces that are versatile in their uses.

Another analysis I took is while I think later seasons overall average quality of hot sauces are better, my top favorites seem to be in the early to middle seasons.

Only the best make the show and I’m glad I’m not the one who has to make those choices.

I started this blog in April 2020 and it took me seven months before I was comfortable putting together my first list and it has changed several times with the new seasons (and sauces) that have been added since that time.

I’m very thankful that a show like Hot Ones exists. It has given many small craft hot sauce makers a shot at the big time.

What did I get wrong? Leave your best Hot Ones sauces list below in the comments.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget:

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6 thoughts on “The Best Hot Ones Sauces

    • Aaron says:

      I’m glad that the article writer, you and I all agree. Los calientes rojo is the best sauce hot ones has to offer. Perfect on any Mexican food. I’d argue the best hot sauce I’ve ever had on a taco. It’s hot but not too hot. Its taste is great. Think a gourmet version of Taco Bell’s fire sauce. I’ve tried 15 hot ones sauces, some very good. However I can go through a los calientes rojo bottle in a week if I’m not careful.

  1. Tim says:

    Love Hot Ones and have ordered almost every sauce from every season. Here’s my Top 5 from this list:

    1. Exhorresco
    2. Garlic Reaper
    3. Cosmic Disco
    4. Smoked Onion
    5. Extreme Karma

    All time favorite is not on this list – Widow Maker.
    Also a big fan of all three Los Cal.

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