If you’re anything like me, you love hot sauce (and considering you’ve reached this web page, I’m going to guess we have that in common!)
Hot sauce has a long, rich history and is one of America’s favorite condiments. Chances are your grocery store has at least 20 variations, and with Amazon at our fingertips, there are hundreds of sauces you can try to meet any dietary needs or flavor preferences.
But while nearly any bottle is just two days from your doorstep, sometimes it’s more fun to make at home. Read on to see our favorite hot sauce cookbooks that will help you experiment with flavors, heat levels, and consistencies to find your perfect hot sauce match.
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Fermented Hot Sauce Cookbook
This book is a master guide to fermented hot sauces. Fermentation adds a depth of flavor that can’t be matched by any other method, giving your hot sauce a rich, zingy flavor. It involves mashing up your peppers in a salt brine and allowing them to decompose, also mellowing out some of the heat of your chilis.
Pros: This book has 60 fermented hot sauce recipes from around the world and is very well-reputed.
Cons: Some people find that this book does not have the depth of information they want on the scientific processes of fermentation or specific instructions for making shelf-stable sauces.
Buy this book if: You’re looking for a wide variety of fermented hot sauce recipes.
The Hot Sauce Cookbook
Robb Walsh is an experienced cookbook author and food writer, and this book is a shining example of his work. The Hot Sauce Cookbook teaches you how to make hot sauces, and what to pair them with.
Pros: This book helps you pair hot sauce with different recipes from around the world.
Cons: This book has a somewhat deceptive title. It is not a book exclusively of hot sauces but of spicy food recipes. So, you’ll find around ten hot sauce recipes plus an additional 50+ other spicy recipes and recipes that use hot sauce.
Buy this book if: You want a truly professional cookbook that teaches you different ways to make and use hot sauce.
The Worldwide Hot Sauce Cookbook
The Worldwide Hot Sauce Cookbook boasts 150 different spicy recipes. It covers common recipes from around the world including the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Pros: The ingredients are brief and easy to follow, and there are so many recipes that there will be something that everyone loves.
Cons: There are some editing errors in this book, and the photos on the cover appear to be stock photos.
Buy this book if: You want to learn about and test a wide variety of hot sauces.
Ball Book of Canning and Preserving
Ball is the absolute authority of canning and preserving. While hot sauce has high acidity levels and, therefore naturally lasts longer than most foods, if you want something that is unquestionably shelf-stable for months or longer, this book is your guidebook to safely canned hot sauces.
Pros: This book is the undeniable bible of preserved foods. The recipes are tried, tested, and safe for shelf-stability.
Cons: This book isn’t specifically on hot sauce, so you will find many non-hot sauce recipes, and fewer hot sauce recipes than an exclusively hot sauce cookbook.
Buy this book if: You want to learn about safe canning techniques for hot sauce.
Hot Sauce! Techniques for Making Signature Hot Sauces
Hot Sauce! is an easy-to-follow recipe guidebook to help you make and use a variety of hot sauces. It also provides contextual information about the history of peppers and hot sauces, and how to work with common ingredients.
Pros: A great starter book for people who want to experiment with different peppers and acid sources.
Cons: This book does not provide in-depth information on different techniques to make hot sauce (despite what the title claims!). Don’t expect to learn about safe preservation or fermentation, the recipes are rather simple.
Buy this book if: You want both recipes to make and use hot sauce.