What makes a hot sauce the best? Is it just about heat? Is it flavor? Ingredients? Hype? When does a hot sauce get played out? Did the world turn on Sriracha just because it went mainstream, or did we all spontaneously realize that there are better options out there?
These are the questions the try our souls. Forget politics for a minute, let’s argue over who brings the best fire and flavor. Let’s talk about the nuances and wrestle with “how much heat is too much.” To spice up our debate, we asked FuegoBox — a subscription service for small batch hot sauces — to send us their top picks. Then, like a collective of sophisticated pros, we vetted them against our personal favorites and bickered on Slack.
Now we’re ready to deliver our claims about the Best Hot Sauces on Earth! to you. It’s the perfect water cooler conversation, because you’ll need to be hanging at the water cooler to calm your scalded tongue.*
*Not really, ya’ freaking amateur — everyone knows that milk cools you off quicker.
Yellowbird hot sauce isn’t just another spicy garnish — each dollop houses a number of flavors that go well beyond just heat. Depending on what type you prefer (I’m partial to the classic Habanero myself), there’s an abundance of taste, from smoky to citrusy, making this brand more than just the kind of hot sauce to clear your sinuses with (though it’s good for that too).
A beloved cult favorite made with quality ingredients in central Texas, Yellowbird seems to have some big ambitions. One glance at their website shows that they’re chasing after Sriracha to be the go-to condiment for making the most of those sad, day-old leftovers. Whether they’ll take the throne is anyone’s guess, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t make room for the bird on your shelf. — Christian Long