The Best Hot Sauces, According to a "Hot-Sauce Sommelier"

With the temperatures rising, April is prime time for hot-sauce lovers. Spice up a spring picnic or a backyard barbecue with these mild to mouth-numbing picks from Noah Chaimberg, “hot-sauce sommelier” and founder of the hot-sauce mecca Heatonist in Brooklyn.
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Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Umami Hot Sauce

Heat level: 1 out of 10 

Price: $12 for five ounces 

This mild but flavorful stuff hits your tongue with salt before giving way to chipotle smokiness. Mix with ranch dressing for an umami-bomb dip for veggies. 

NYC Hot Sauce Co.

NYC Hot Sauce

Heat level: 4 out of 10

Price: $10 for eight ounces

This classic habanero blends chiles with carrots, onions, celery, and fresh Key lime juice. Splash some right into a halved avocado for a zesty snack.  

Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce

Heat level: 6 out of 10

Price$10 for five ounces

With mango, pineapple, and banana, this sauce balances the heat of habaneros with Caribbean sweetness. It’s amazing on jerk chicken wings or as a dip for prosciutto-wrapped figs. 

CaJohns Quetzalcoatl Ghost Chile Hot Sauce

Heat level: 6 out of 10 

Price$10 for five ounces

Want the smoky, earthy flavor of ghost pepper without too much burn? This sauce is awesome for spicing up a fresh black bean and corn salsa; round it out with a lot of cumin and a dash of brown sugar.

Dawson’s Hot Sauce Original Hot

Heat level: 7 out of 10

Price$14 for six ounces

Fiery-hot red habaneros with garlic and brown sugar make a powerful go-to for eaters who aren’t afraid to play with fire. Just a few dashes will send your spinach-artichoke dip off the charts.

PuckerButt Pepper Company Reaper Squeezin’s

Heat level: 9 out of 10

Price$24 for five ounces

This sauce has just two ingredients: blazing Carolina Reaper peppers, which have a mean burn and a sweet flavor, and a dash of vinegar. Add some to pepper jelly and spread on a nice sharp cheddar, a perfect antidote to the fire.