How to Grow Tabasco Sauce Step 2

How to Grow Tabasco Sauce, Step 1, included information on growing Tabasco pepper plants from seed. Step 2 is an illustrated guide for using the fresh peppers to make your own Tabasco sauce.

After the Tabasco peppers have ripened to the perfect color of red, pick them from the plant, wash, and carefully remove the stems and green caps. Chop peppers and place them in a saucepan. It’s always a good idea to wear kitchen gloves whenever handling fresh peppers.

Add about 1 1/2 cups or more of white vinegar to the pan of chopped Tabasco peppers. Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat the mixture until it just begins to boil and then turn heat down. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Allow the pepper and vinegar mixture to cool completely.

Carefully pour the pepper mixture into a blender. Make sure the lid is on tight and puree. Pour the mixture into a jar and tighten the lid. Place the jar in the refrigerator and allow it to steep for 3 weeks.

Strain the mixture and use a pestle or other kitchen utensil to separate all the liquid from the pepper seeds and pulp.

Pour the Tabasco sauce into a bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Properly refrigerated, the hot sauce should keep indefinitely. Use it to spice up any recipe that needs more zip like egg dishes, Spanish rice, salsas and curries. Homemade Tabasco sauce also makes delicious Buffalo wings.


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How many cups of peppers did you use in this recipe?

Thanks for your question, Jazmine. I wish I would have measured! If I had to guess at the amount of peppers, it would be about 1/4 or a 1/2 cup. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but everything is an experiment around here.


I like this recipe, is’t a lot quicker than the 6 months one I have used. Thanks

Thanks for stopping by–here’s hoping your sauce turns out just the way you like it.


Thanks for posting this. Growing Tabasco for the first time this year and plan on using this recipe!

I typically grow Jalapenos and Habaneros, still do, but branched out a little this year.

Thanks again!


Can this be canned using water bath ?

Hi Gary:

I think Tabasco sauce could be canned like any other sauce–you could also check with your county’s extension office for more information.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thanks for your comment, Scott. Maybe you can try a few new peppers next season, too. This year I’m growing pepperoncini. I’ve always been curious to taste these peppers raw instead of pickled.


Just made my first batch of Tabasco sauce using this recipe and it is delicious! I used 1 C of peppers, 1 1/2 C white vinegar & 1 t salt. I’m in the process of my second batch but only have 1/2 C peppers ready. I will still use 1 1/2 C vinegar & 1 t salt so I can’t wait to compare the difference. This sauce is a beautiful color. Thanks so much for the recipe as this will be a few Christmas gifts this year :)

Thanks for your comment, Debbie. So glad to hear your Tabasco sauce turned out beautifully–those are lucky folks on your Christmas list this year!


I love how simple this recipe is. Ihave some peppers sitting on my counter and want to make the sauce. My question is after the sitting time in the refrigerator is it ready to use and also how long will this last before spoiling if bottling for Christmas gifts.

Hi Betty,

Thanks for your question–my advice is to contact your county’s extension office and ask to speak to the food safety expert.


I have more green tabasco peppers than ripe ones and I’m afraid my growing season is coming to an end. Can I use the underripe peppers for this recipe too? Thnx!

Hi Chris–I had the same issue with the peppers on my Tabasco plant, but I was lucky because it was in a container and I brought it inside to finish ripening. It took a few more months before all the peppers were red. I’m not sure if your peppers will ripen on their own, if you pick them and leave in a sunny window. It’s one option, I guess.

If you use the green peppers, it won’t make the red hot sauce…but they still might make a good sauce (just not sure how it would taste heat-wise.) You could try a Google search for a green Tabasco sauce recipe; however, many of those use jalapenos.

I guess you’ll just have to experiment…let us know how it goes,

On the issue of heat…my green, yellow, orange and red tabasco peppers are all hot…and so when it was obviouse that there would be no more fruits set this year, and a frost was coming, I pulled the plant up and stared plucking the hundreds of peppers off. Following the recipe I strained my sauce today and ended up with three bottles -(I recycle hot sauce bottles by washing and boiling them) – of amazingly hot, wonderfully flavored, pumpkin orange, sauce.

It’s Thanksgiving day morning, and the date on the lid of my 3 week steep has come. I grew two large pepper plants this year and before the frost got to them I was able to harvest about a quart of the small red peppers.. I followed the instructions pretty much as written. I haven’t tried the sauce yet after 3 weeks,but before I put it in the fridge I took a taste..It makes Texas Pete seem like nothing… looking forward to some “killer wings”

Just finished first batch!! Now waiting 3 weeks…patiently waiting….

I made this with Tabasco peppers I grew this year, I had my doubts but it turned out very good. After straining it was pretty thick so I just diluted it with more vinegar. I bought bottles from specialty bottle online with the little restrictor plugs so it doesn’t pour out so quick.
Here are my ratios:
3 cups chopped peppers
4 cups white vinegar
5 tablespoons kosher salt

Thanks for adding your recipe, Kevin–great idea to add the little plugs to slow the pour. I hope you enjoy your sauce!

Hi Joey,

Let us know how your sauce turned out–feel free to add your recipe here. As you can see there’s a lot of interest in hot sauces…


Thanks for your comment, Jimbo–I appreciated hearing from you. Let us know how those wings turn out (just as soon as the steam stops pouring from your ears).


Well,,I strained everything as directed and canned about a quart of some orange sauce that is liguid fire. water bathed 6 small container to be given away as Stocking Stuffers. My small garden in NC is primarily a soil mixure of red clay and peat moss.Every hot pepper I’ve grown whether they where just jalapenos,banana or habenero has really turned out super hot.

Question,,,is seperation of the finished product common? After the HW bath and the sauce cooled it looked like oil and water until I shook it back up..Thanks

The separation is common due to settling–that’s why hot sauce companies add stabilizers to their products. Options for home gardeners/cooks like us…make the sauce thicker to prevent separating, add some Xanthan Gum (the stabilizer), use a blender to mix the heck out of the ingredients or add a label that says “shake well before use.” The separation doesn’t affect the taste.


So far so good as I’m on week 2 of steeping. But there seems to be some separation in the jar. There’s a small clear layer at the bottom. Is that water? Is there anything I should or could do about that?

Thanks for sharing your recipe,

-Jon Pope

Since all the peppers don’t come in at the same time, I have been picking the ripe ones and placing them (dry and unwashed) in the freezer in a freezer bag saving them until all of my peppers have ripened. From what I can tell they look just fine and see no problem doing this. Has anyone else tried this?

Hi Kevin:

I haven’t tried your idea, but I think it would work. I save my jalapenos by freezing in the same way. When I want to use one or two, I just take them from the bag, thaw quickly under water, chop and stir into whatever I’m cooking.

Why not give this a try and let us know how it goes?


Have you tried putting garlic in the recipe while it steeps in the fridge for 3 weeks?

I haven’t tried garlic, because I wanted to stay close to the ingredients used by the original Tabasco Sauce recipe. I’m sure garlic would add another dimension to the flavor.

Thanks for sharing your idea,

This is the perfect simple recipe that almost a year later I have tried several times now that truly brings out he flavor of the peppers without disguising it with other spices and seasonings. So far I have used it as suggested with tabasco peppers I grew and fresh hablanaro peppers I bought. The result, best hot sauce ever that is used and gone in a matter of no time! Today I’m going to cook up my freshly grown Hablanaro, Scotch bonnet and cyan peppers using your recipe. Ironically tabasco peppers wont be ready until Xmas at the rate they are ripening… I am so glad I stumbled upon this simple elegant recipe that seems to work really well with more then one type of pepper. Thank you for posting your recipe for all to use!


-Jon Pope

Wow–thanks for the nice compliment, Jon! I’m so glad to hear how much you like my recipe for Tabasco sauce…and how you’ve been able to adapt it to other peppers, too. I know it takes patience to let Tabasco peppers turn to the perfect shade of ripeness, so to be able to use the recipe with other peppers is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

You truly made my day!


Using the same recipe can you substitute jalapeño or hot salsa peppers for the tabasco peppers?

Hi Jeff:

Thanks for your question–I’ve made this hot sauce with other hot, red peppers and it turned out fine. Not the same flavor as Tabasco sauce, but it’s a good substitute.

I’ve never tried it with jalapenos, so that would be a good experiment. I usually pickle my jalapenos.

Why not try it, and let me know how it goes? I’d be interested in hearing about it.


I just made a batch of jalapeño peppers that I let ripen on the plant to where they became red which are then chipotle peppers, I have a pint aging in the fridge but I think it’s gonna be good. Next is habanero sauce for those guys who say my tobasco sauce “isn’t that hot”.
So far I have 15 qts of tobasco sauce aging in the fridge. Lol.

To Jodi: To answer you Jalapino interest. I recently did some and they came out fine. However, after a puree in the blender it is being used “as is” ( not strained) and is much like the green hot sauce found in Mexican restaurants. So fear not Jodi; seems whatever hot peppers used, they all seem to work.

Hi Steve:

Thanks for helping answer the question about what peppers to use for hot sauce. I’m so glad to hear you’ve tried jalapenos because those are some of my favorite peppers. I’ve pickled them, candied them, and used them raw, but I haven’t made sauce. Yet. I’ll plan to try that next summer.

Thanks again,

Hi Kevin”

Thanks for stopping by–and sorry for the delay in responding. Where do you garden? Just curious because my season isn’t long enough for jalapenos to ripen to red.

I’d be interested to hear how your habanero sauce turns out, too. I’ve never grown those peppers because I always thought they’d be too hot to cook with, but I think I’ll try just one plant this coming summer.


Did not get to make the habanero sauce, the peppers got too ripe. I live in northern Kentucky and managed to get enough jalapeños to ripen to red at the end of the season when it was cooling down to finish up with about 24 oz of sauce. It is great on Mexican food. This is my 2nd year for the tabasco sauce, this year I bottled 80 of the 5oz swoozy bottles.

Hi Kevin:

Thanks for the update on your hot sauce efforts–I’d say you had a great year, even though the habanero peppers didn’t cooperate.

I’m just now starting to think about what new-to-me peppers to try in the garden this season. So many peppers, so little time!

Can I use any kind of dried peppers for this? I have habinaros that I dried
Thanks for this blog it’s Great!

Thanks for visiting my blog and asking your question about using habanero peppers to make hot sauce.

For my tabasco recipe, the peppers were ripened to red and fresh, not dried. I’m not sure how using dried peppers would work for a similar recipe. Most habenero hot sauce recipes add other ingredients (like garlic and carrots), probably to help tame the heat and make them more user-friendly.

That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment and give it a try. You might also try searching cooking or recipe websites to see if you can find a recipe using dried peppers.

If you find a recipe that works, please let me know. There are lots of other chileheads who would be interested in what you discover!


I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! These grow wild in my yard and we have never known what to do with them until now. :) And this recipe is soooooo great and easy, I have Christmas presents prepared now for the rest of my life!

Tabasco peppers grow wild in your yard? Lucky You!

Thanks for getting in touch about this recipe–it’s one of the most popular on the site. Even for those of us who grow plants from seed every year.


I have ran several kinds of peppers through a juicer, so now I have pure juice. will this recipe work the same way?

Hi Daryl:

It sounds to me like you’ve already got a pepper sauce, so you might not need to do anything else. If it’s too watery, you might be able to use other peppers in the recipe and then add it to your pepper juice.

Be sure to taste-test it before you add anything. That juice may already be hot hot hot!

Let us know how it goes,

will vinegar and a little sugar, tame this down some?

My advice is to experiment with small batches until you land on what tastes best to you!

And best of luck :)

Do I have to boil the jar I store for three weeks? It is already in the fridge, this is for the next batch.



If you’re planning on keeping the sauce in the refrigerator, there’s no need to seal the jar with a hot-water bath or pressure canning. The sauce will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. I always recommend boiling jars before adding hot liquids to make sure they’re clean and to reduce the likelihood of cracking when the hot sauce is added.

If you’re planning on storing the sauce on a shelf in the pantry, then you’ll need to process and seal the jars with a hot-water bath or pressure canning.

I hope that helps,

We live in South Mississippi. We have three ‘orphans’ from the local Wally World. (They don’t reduce the prices for struggling plants at the end of the season here. So, a ‘friendly’ cashier sold them to my wife for a quarter each as ‘clearance’ merchandise rather than dumpsterize them.) One light frost later and we’re harvesting several cups of ‘dangerously’ hot red peppers. I’m trying your recipe and will get back to you with the results, in a month or so.
Thanks for encouraging us all, wherever we may be.

Thanks a bunch for getting in touch–I always love to hear from fellow gardeners wherever they may be!

What a great bargain to get pepper plants for 25 cents each, and to know that they produced peppers for you. The more dangerous the better, I always say.

Yes, please let me know how your sauce turns out, especially if you adjusted the recipe to suit your taste.

Happy 2016 gardening to you,

I’ve just taken my first batch of Bargain Basement hot sauce out of the fridge and tried a test ‘smear’, the amount adhering to the tip of ones’ index finger. Yikes!!!
First the tip of my tongue went numb, then the back of my tongue ‘tingled,’ and finally a hot river of sensation ‘flowed’ down my gullet, to my stomach. Truly, I suspect that this stuff would make a ‘road kill’ special palatable!
I decided to try some Apple Cider vinegar in the mix. Not sure what effect it had yet. My mouth is still recovering from the “heat” so no more sophisticated analysis yet.
We got a second crop of peppers, from the greenies left on the bushes before. We had a hard freeze, so, all, green to red were harvested this time. My question being; what’s the prognosis on a mixed red and green pepper sauce? Well, we’re going to try that now. Talk to you in another month, and, as always, thanks for a wonderful site.

It’s always so much fun to read about your pepper experiments–thanks a bunch! It sounds like your pepper sauce is on the right track…and I think a combination of red and green chile peppers will make a nice combination–more mellow and a deeper flavor than either one alone.

BTW, I watched a segment on the news about how they make the real Tabasco sauce in Louisiana. It was such a surprise to learn they make a mash out of the peppers that’s aged 3 years in oak barrels! The company bottles over 700,000 of hot sauce every single day. Wow.

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