15 Things You Didn't Know About Frank's RedHot

Frank's RedHot
Courtesy of Frank's RedHot
Courtesy of Frank's RedHot

Frank’s RedHot is one of the best-selling hot sauces on the market and one of our all-around favorites. You’ve probably been putting that sh*t on everything for most of your life, but here are a few facts even the most devoted hotheads may not be aware of.

1. You shouldn't keep Frank’s RedHot in the fridge

The vinegar in hot sauce acts as a preservative so there’s no need to chill it. In fact, doing so could actually dull its flavor, which is why it’s on our list of foods you should stop refrigerating unless you hate deliciousness.

2. But Wendy Williams keeps it in her bag

“I carry my own Frank’s Red Hot sauce because there are a lot of places where everything is good, and when it comes to the sauces, they pull out Tabasco sauce," the talk show host told the New York Times. "I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Frequently, Frank’s is the one thing I’ll have in my bag.”

3. And Leslie Jones also puts that sh*t on everything

In the SNL sketch "Naked & Afraid" with Peter Dinklage, Leslie Jones brings Frank's RedHot as her one survival item. Dinklage, who brings a fire starter kit as his one survival item, dares to ask Jones why she brought hot sauce. "Aaay, this is a survival item," barks Jones. "Don't start with me on day one, Tyrion!" 

4. We wouldn't have Buffalo wings without it

Not if you want to follow the original recipe created by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964. Legend has it that the co-owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo was asked to rustle up a snack for her son and his friends late one night. She just happened to have some wings and some Frank’s RedHot lying around the kitchen. She mixed the hot sauce with butter and the rest is galline (that means chicken) history.

5. The record for most wings eaten is 444 in 26 minutes

That record is held by Patrick Bertoletti who won the 2015 Wing Bowl, an annual competitive eating contest in Philadelphia. He beat runner up Molly Schuyler by only 4 wings, but she came back the following year to steal the crown from him with 429 wings to his 408.

6. It’s good for you

Capsaicin (which is what makes peppers hot) has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. But it’s most effective when combined with fats, which means Buffalo wings are basically a health food. You’re welcome.

Courtesy of Frank's RedHot

7. The potty-mouthed grandma from the ads doesn’t curse IRL

Ethel -- the sweet old lady from the ads who says “I put that s**t on everything” -- is actually nonagenarian Jean Hamilton, who would never drop an S-bomb IRL according to an interview in Advertising Age. She did admit that she sometimes says “bloody hell,” but only in worst case scenarios like dropping the casserole when there are dinner guests waiting. We’re not sure what’s more endearing, her mild-mannered cursing or the fact that she still makes casseroles.

8. Ethel is the coolest

See above, and also this letter on Ms. Hamilton’s personal website, where she calls herself just a normal “broad” who likes solving puzzles, hates “computers and the new phones,” and thinks we should all just “wear what’s comfortable, eat healthy and love!” Those things have now been added to my list of life goals along with “become Ethel when I grow up.”

9. “I put that s**t on everything” is a meme

Immortalized by Ethel, the tag line is now the rallying cry of hot sauce lovers everywhere. From #IPTSOE we have learned that the only thing funnier than old people cursing is young people cursing.

10. Buffalurkey is a thing

One blogger who claims to “live, breath and eat wings” decided to supersize his favorite snack by creating a Buffalo turkey for Thanksgiving. He deep fried the bird for close to an hour and then covered it in three sticks of butter and three cups of Frank’s RedHot, which makes him a hero and a patriot.

11. It comes from Louisiana

Although Frank’s is based out of Springfield, Missouri, the sauce was invented in New Iberia, Louisiana in 1920. Other things we can thank Dixieland for: Tabasco, Sazerac cocktails, craps, poker, and Truman Capote, which is kind of my idea of a perfect night.

12. Frank’s RedHot isn’t actually red hot

This test measured the spiciness of Frank’s RedHot Original at 450 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), about the same as a pepperoncini or pimiento pepper. (Tabasco, by comparison, comes in at 700 SHU.) Frank’s XTRA Hot is closer to 2,000 SHU, which is about the same as an ancho or poblano pepper. Respectable, but still nowhere near the slow, sexy burn of a 10,000 SHU jalapeño.

Frank's RedHot
Courtesy of Frank's RedHot

13. Adam Estilette is the Steve Wozniak of hot sauce

Who is Adam Estilette? Exactly. He was a pepper farmer who teamed up with businessman Jacob Frank to create the condiment back in 1920 before being relegated to a footnote in American snacking history, along with Planters Cheez Balls. #RIP

14. Last year Frank's RedHot sold 26.8 million bottles

And that's just Frank's RedHot Original. If you include all its other sauces, the company sold more than 40 million bottles in the US -- the equivalent of a bottle for every single person in New York and Florida combined.

15. People really do put that sh*t on everything (like their arms)

I’m talking about that ink not that bag. No offense to Bey and Hillary but they’ve got nothing on this swag.

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Sarah Theeboom is a freelance food, lifestyle and travel writer, and a total wuss when it comes to spicy food and scary movies. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.