Extra Hot Sauce? Delicious Ways To Use It Up

If you’re a fan of spicy heat on (or in) nearly anything, you won’t have any trouble coming up with ways to use up hot sauce; however, you may need some ideas if you are stuck with a hot sauce that is too spicy. Using up extra hot sauce can be tricky since you run the very real risk of making your food impossible to eat. Looking for ideas? Here are a few ways to finish up those bottles.

Turn it into a powder (especially good for Sriracha)

With prolonged low heat, you can turn many hot sauces into delicious powder seasoning blends. Sriracha powder is the most popular here (because of Sriracha’s mild heat and garlic undertones), but it works for other hot sauces as well. Results may vary, so test with a portion of a specific hot sauce before using the whole bottle. But it’s a fun way to use up that extra hot sauce.

How do you do it? Take a look at our homemade sriracha powder recipe to get all of the details. These hot sauce spice blends are excellent table spices to add heat to nearly any meal.

Add it to your Bloody Mary cocktails

Bloody Mary fans will tell you that the drink is greatly improved with the addition of heat, which is why Tabasco sauce is a staple ingredient in many recipes. Lousiana-style hot sauces (like Tabasco) are an excellent choice here due to their high vinegar content, but you aren’t limited to them. Sriracha (which is technically a chili garlic sauce) and other thicker hot sauces can work too.

On grilled foods (for high-heat cooking)

Anyone who has tried to make something spicy on a grill will tell you that capsaicin’s heat does not always hold up well to high-heat open-flame cooking (even though capsaicin holds up well in general cooking.) It‘s fine if a little heat is all you want. If you want real heat, your best bet is to add a large number of Scoville heat units (SHUs) to a marinade. A hot sauce will soak in rather than simply sit on the surface.

In salad dressings

Hot sauces are great for spicing up a salad dressing. They work equally well in creamy dressings like ranch and thinner dressings like vinaigrettes. Not only can your leftover hot sauce add heat and acidity to a salad dressing, but it can also give it an attractive color as well.

In hummus

Spiciness works well with the creaminess of hummus, which is why chili oil is an ingredient in many recipes. The acidity that you get from most hot sauces will work well too. You can use your extra hot sauce to add heat and to replace or increase the acidity that hummus would otherwise get from lemon juice.

For making buffalo wings

Standard buffalo wings are made with mild hot sauces like Frank’s Red Hot or Texas Pete. Those hot sauces are responsible for their distinctive color and flavor, but you can replace them with pretty much any other hot sauce. For example, you can put aside the mild red sauces and use a high-SHU hot sauce if you want truly hot buffalo wings.

In chili

The acidity in that extra hot sauce can complement the flavors in many chili recipes quite well. It may be tempting to “dash away” into that big pot, but we do recommend, instead, a more even-handed approach. Add some, taste, then add more until you reach your desired heat level. Super-hot hot sauces, especially, can sneak up on you in terms of spiciness. Another option is to simply serve a bowl of chili with the hot sauce on the side so each eater can control the amount they add.

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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 15, 2023 to include new content.
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