Hot sauce is great. If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that. The perfect hot sauce blends flavour with spice, leaving your mouth tingling and your taste buds satisfied.
Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. Sometimes you want a hot sauce that’s so potent it just burns the hell out of your mouth. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline, trying to impress people, or just want to see how far you can take yourself - hot sauce is a huge hit.
The spicy component of hot sauce is capsaicin, an oily compound that’s natural to hot peppers. The measure of capsaicin in a sauce or pepper is measured on the Scoville scale, which maxes out at 16 million units - that’s the Scoville measurement of pure capsaicin. So - we might as well start the scale from the top!
Resiniferatoxin - 16 billion Scoville units
Yeah, you read that right. Sixteen Billion Scoville units - a thousand times more potent than capsaicin, which the Scoville scale was developed to measure. Resiniferatoxin is the ultra-potent sister analog of capsaicin that can only naturally be found in a cactus-like plant in Morocco. This stuff is so ridiculously strong that there’s really no culinary application - a microscopic amount will cause catastrophic burning in humans. The stuff is lethal in doses as small as ten grams. Ouch.
Pure Capsaicin - 16 million Scoville units
Compared to resiniferatoxin, capsaicin almost seems mild. It is anything but. Pure capsaicin is incredibly powerful, painful to the touch and taste, and dangerous. Capsaicin can be used as a weapon. It’s the reason the bear and pepper spray are as painful as they are, and has even been used in ancient methods of torture / interrogation. Ouch again.
Blair’s 16 Million Reserve / 6 AM Hot Sauce - 16 million Scoville units
This is the only sauce on the market made with pure capsaicin. That’s basically all it is - capsaicin in a bottle with a label. There were only a thousand bottles of the 16 million reserve ever produced - probably to keep people from hurting themselves. This stuff is not something you want to keep in your kitchen. A small spill or a taste-test given to the wrong person can have long-lasting, debilitating effects.
Wiltshire Chilli Farm's Regret hot sauce - 12 million Scoville units
Sold at House of Scoville!
Made in the UK, this is one of the world's hottest sauce at a stupidly hot 12 million scoville units. The sauce has a nice blend of garlic, herbs, tomatoes and lime to give a truly unique flavour in addition to heat. The heat comes from the addition of oleoresin. Limited edition so don't miss out!
The Source - 7,100,000 Scoville Units
This is the hottest sauce available on the market aside from the ones previously listed. Still, it’s not much of a sauce. A drop of this is enough to burn your mouth for an hour. Each bottle is hand-packed in a cardboard box - complete with a story of how the sauce was created, and a warning.
Wiltshire Chilli Farm's God Slayer hot sauce - 6.4 million Scoville units
Sold at House of Scoville!
Made in the UK and second sauce from Wiltshire Chilli Farm to make the World's Hottest Sauces list, this one contains a mixture of garlic, bourbon (yes, you've read this right!), ghost chilli and oleoresin. The flavour is out of this world and gives you a strong kick of both garlic and long-lasting burn.
Crowley's Hallucinator hot sauce - 6 million Scoville units
Sold at House of Scoville!
Made right here in Australia, the Hallucinator packs a punch, with both oleoresin (chilli extract rated 6 million scoville units) and a dash of Capsaicin crystal (rated 16 million scoville units). Besides that, 50% chilli (of course), vinegar and spices give it a nice after taste.
It's been designed to give you an endorphin rush and a natural high. We've tried it and can confirm!
Police Grade pepper spray - 5,000,000 Scoville Units
This isn’t really a sauce, but this gives some perspective as to just how much it hurts to get sprayed with peppers spray. Most of the sauces that are rated this high on the Scoville scale are used in minute amounts for huge dishes. Getting sprayed in the face by a load of five million Scoville units is a recipe for a terrible time.
Mad Dog 44 Magnum - 4,000,000 Scoville Units
Going down the scale of spiciness by three million Scovilles, we have Mad Dog’s 44 Magnum sauce. This sauce almost allows you to taste the flavour - but not quite. It’s still made with pure oleoresin capsicum, so you’re getting a lot of the burn, without a whole lot of the flavour. These and the products listed above are for adding heat to large dishes. On their own, they don’t have much flavour - unless you count pain as a flavour.
Blair’s 3 AM sauce - 2,000,000 Scoville Units
Edging further down the list of the hottest sauces, we have Blair’s 3 AM sauce. There are some ingredients in here besides the blindingly painful capsaicin - which means we can now evaluate the flavour that comes with the sauce. Still, the burn greatly overpowers the flavour. This sauce is mostly for adding flavour-neutral heat to huge pots of food.
Da’ Bomb - The Final Answer - 1,500,000 Scoville Units
This stuff is still incredibly hot. The recipe includes apricot nectar and actual peppers, though - so for those who can beat the heat, they’ll be rewarded with a sweet spice. Still, this stuff is not for direct consumption - use sparingly in your meals. Even the most esteemed chili heads can burn themselves on this one.
Blair’s Ultra Death Sauce - 1,100,000 Scoville Units
This is one of my favourite sauces. My mom bought a bottle of it when I was a child - before I was really in to hot sauces. The eight years I spent at that house barely made a dent in this bottle of sauce. When we moved, the bottle didn’t make it with us. Who knows who found it?
I’ve met a couple friends who have bottles of this sauce. I’m sure I could finish one now, but I’ve never met anyone who has a bottle of Blair’s Ultra Death sauce who’s been able to use more than a third of it. It’s hot - but it tastes good.
Satan’s Blood - 800,000 Scoville Units
This hot sauce is a brilliant red. It was released on Friday the 13th, in October of 2,000. The bottle comes loaded with warnings. The sauce comes loaded with heat and flavour. For an esteemed chili-head, this sauce is definitely worth trying.
World's Hottest Corn Chips from Chilli Seed Bank - Not technically a sauce, but hot enough to be featured here!
Sold at House of Scoville
Another extremely hot Australian invention, these corn chips will literally make you blow some steam!
They are triple pressed with Carolina Reaper, Scorpion and Bhut Jolokia (Ghost pepper) puree, and finised with a dusting of Carolina Reaper powder to deliver explosive heat.
Only try them if you dare!
There are a lot of intense hot sauces up there. You can buy pure capsaicin extracts - that’s all the hot, with minimal sauce. Depending on your culinary preferences, looking into these sauces might help you spice up your life.