Hot sauce is the sexiest of all condiments, straddling the line between pleasure and pain. But of all the hot sauces out there, which one is the best? To find out, we asked three guys who really know their stuff to judge 18 popular sauces from big names to indie favorites.
Our tasting panel included chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef alum Dale Talde, as well as James Beard Award nominee Joseph "JJ" Johnson, executive chef at Minton's in New York. We also recruited Sean Evans, host of First We Feast’s YouTube series Hot Ones, who eats hot sauce like it's his job (because it is).
Each sauce was tasted blind on a spoon and judged on balance of flavor, integration of heat, mouthfeel, and downright tastiness. And each was scored out of 10 by the judges -- the scores added up to a possible total of 30 -- before it was revealed to them which one they tasted. There were a few big surprises. Read on to find out which ones made their top 10, as well as the three hottest bottles that had them cursing our first-born children.