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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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.

tried your above recipe. worked great. it was so hot my south of the border neighbor would only try it. also made some from the end of season peppers. all colors. added garlic. the all red pepper sauce and the multi color sauce were great. both are very very hot.
thanks! cant wait to make a bigger batch this year.

Great to hear from you–thanks for trying the recipe!

Here’s to a great hot pepper gardening season,

Well, after “the course of events” kicked all my plans to the curb for a while, I finally processed the second batch of mixed red and green tabasco peppers in apple cider vinegar. They have been fermenting in the back of the fridge for a while. Surprise surprise! This batch has a “sweet and sour” quality, something I prefer. The ‘heat’ assaults the tip of my tongue while the apple cider vinegar does a ‘sweet’ dance on the back of my tongue. I’m very happy with it.
I have been fighting some sort of head/sinus cold this spring, and the original ‘all red’ sauce has been doing yeoman duty ‘encouraging’ massive nose runs. Medicinal hot sauce!!
Finally, two of my pepper plants have resprouted from near the base of the old stock. Anyone here know about this? Happy growing!

Thanks for sharing your idea for using apple cider vinegar for the pepper sauce! That’s a terrific idea, and I can imagine it does make for a different tasting hot sauce. What a nice description you wrote of the sweet and sour aspect to it.

I really appreciate all of the comments and adaptations to my original recipe. It’s been a fun experience to hear from so many other hot pepper lovers!


Can you use the pulp and seeds that are left behind after straining for anything?

How about adding to the compost pile? Placing in the garden to scare away squirrels?

Maybe someone else has a more creative idea for recycling the pepper pulp and seeds…

Thanks for the question!


I’m a bit leery about the compost pile idea, since I’m always getting ‘surprise’ enjoyment from the volunteers that spring up out of the compost. (This year we’re marveling at a tomato plant, (though we didn’t put any tomato ‘stuff’ in last year!,) several squashes, a bunch of avocados, a giant beet, (from a rotten one from the back of the fridge,) and one of the chili pepper roots that re rooted and grew on the edge of the pile.
I believe one can soak the pepper sauce pulp in water and use it as a spray for caterpillars. (We’ve never tried this before, but now that I think about it….)
I do remember reading about the inventive chap somewhere down in Acadiana who perfected a ships’ hull paint incorporating hot pepper oil. Barnacles will not grow on it, saving big ship owners serious money from the lowered necessity for cleaning hulls of encrustations. The U.S. Navy uses it. (Your tax dollars at rest!)
It’s full Spring here, verging on Summer. We’ve been getting high eighties lately! Anyone else experiencing early planting seasons yet?
Cheers, ambrit

Thanks for your suggestions and interesting info!

Enjoy your nice spring weather–it’s still cold and snowy around here.

Hi instead of putting in the fridge for fermenting the sauce in cool dark place?tnx

Thanks for your question. I’m always extra cautious about food safety issues, and fermenting the hot sauce in the fridge seems the safest to me. However, use your own best judgment for fermenting unrefrigerated. Then please let us know how it goes.

Ambrit mentioned Acadiana (home of tabasco hot sauce capital in Avery Island) and the home of my pepper patch where I’m growing some Tabasco, Habanero, Jalapeno, Ghost, Bell and Bird’s Eye pepper. Thank you for the tabasco sauce recipe. Do you know how to roast the Tabascos? Also, how much do you know about Bird’s Eye peppers? My plant does not have any flowers yet and it’s almost a year old.
Thank you,

Thanks for your questions about peppers. I’m unsure about roasting Tabascos–the ones I grew were too small to put on the grill, and I imagine would be too difficult to peel. But you could give it a try, I guess.
Also unsure about the Bird’s Eye peppers because I’ve never grown them. A year sounds like much too long to flower to me. There may be better pepper experts online, if you look around.

Sorry I couldn’t have been more help,

Semi reply to Quentin Carlson;
I remember that birds eye peppers are somewhat finicky. A source, see below, mentions that birds eye peppers cannot endure temperatures below 60 degrees F or above 90 degrees F. Could a cold spell have hardened off your flower buds? Anyway, these sites are of some use.
Also see:
Growing things, as our esteemed hostess can attest, is sometimes more art than science.
BTW, were now getting 90’s every day. I grew up in South Florida, and now the Florida climate looks to be following me north to central Mississippi.
Thanks for supplying us all a wonderful platform to share our hard won knowledge on Mz Torpey.

Thanks a bunch for answering the question about bird’s eye peppers–I love it when I can learn from other gardeners, too!
That’s great information, and I really appreciate that you did the research and posted the links.

Here’s to great (pepper) gardening wherever you grow,

How many Tabasco peppers are in your recipe

Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry to say, I don’t have an exact number of peppers–but I used all of the peppers that are shown in the image, perhaps 1 cup total. If you have fewer peppers, use less vinegar; more peppers, use more vinegar. It’s all a bit of an experiment because each crop of peppers is slightly different.


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