Homemade Instant Hot Sauce 4

In high school, I was the only one who would put hot sauce on my food. I would eat it without a second thought and love every second of it. Fast forward to now, and it is a lot more common for people to eat various types of hot sauces.Homemade Instant Pot Hot Sauce

Nowadays, you can find me making homemade hot sauces in my Instant Pot almost every week. It’s just so much less expensive than buying them from the store, and they’re so much better too because you know exactly what goes into making it!

Why making your own hot sauce is worth it

I made my first Instant Pot hot sauce in June of 2017, and I have been hooked ever since. Making your own sauce allows you to adjust the heat to your liking as we all like something a little different. Once you have perfected the recipe, it will be different every time, giving a wonderful “surprise” in each bite.

It’s also great because when you use quality ingredients and focus on making a fantastic sauce, the cost per tablespoon is mere pennies! Instant Pot Hot Sauce made with quality ingredients compared to store-bought hot sauce is no contest.

You can tweak the ingredients to your liking- some like a lot more spice, others want more of a vinegar tang. Adding different types of peppers will give you a completely different sauce.

Also, this Instant Pot hot sauce tastes far better than any store-bought brand I have tried. The store-bought sauce has additives and preservatives that my homemade hot sauce does not have.

Instant Hot Sauce 2

Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the room.

Before you start, you must ensure plenty of ventilation in the room you are making the sauce. The fumes from the peppers can be quite overpowering and really sting both your eyes and lungs. Wearing a mask will help.

Also, ensure that you wear gloves when handling the peppers. You don’t want to make the mistake of rubbing your eyes or going to the toilet with the oils from the pepper still on your hands. Trust me, you do not want this!

Build your sauce around quality ingredients.

The first time I tried my hand at making hot sauce, it was with a recipe from Pinterest. This is a great starting place for beginners, and I would still recommend that you check it out as there may be a recipe you prefer.

That said, once you have the hang of making hot sauce, I would recommend switching to making your own. 

Taste is going to be your most significant factor in how spicy you make this hot sauce. You can use jalapeño, habanero, or any other number of peppers depending on the heat preference.

Otherwise, I have found that the main difference between all the hot sauces I have tried so far is vinegar, salt, and sugar.

This recipe uses apple cider vinegar, but you can also try white wine vinegar or rice vinegar for a more mild flavor. 

What types of peppers can be used?

Instant Hot Mixed Chillis

Any kind of pepper can be used for this recipe. It all depends on how hot you like your sauce.

Capsaicin is the compound responsible for the heat in peppers. Some, like jalapeño and yellow wax peppers, are very mild; others like habaneros and ghost peppers (a personal favorite) can bring a severe burn!

The “heat” of hot sauces is measured by the Scoville heat unit scale, which measures how intense they are. The smaller the number, the milder it is. You can find a list of common peppers and their levels here.

If you use fresh chilies, I recommend chopping them up and removing all seeds if you don’t want the sauce as hot as they retain heat. Remember that different parts of the chili produce different levels of capsaicin, so make sure to remove both seeds and ribs if you are sensitive to heat.

Below is a list of a few popular types of peppers you can use for your hot sauce.

Jalapeño– this is the most common type of pepper used for making hot sauce. It ranges from about 2,500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) to a little under 10,000 SHU. The lower end would be considered “mild,” while the higher end would be regarded as “hot,” depending on the individual.

Habanero– this pepper has just over 100,000 SHU, so it is definitely hot!

Scotch Bonnet– these peppers range from 130,000 to 350,000 SHU and are very similar to habaneros in terms of heat.

Cayenne– another pepper that is used quite often in making hot sauce. It ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.

Ghost Pepper– is about 1 million SHU. This is definitely not for the faint of heart! If you are new to using peppers in your hot sauces, I would advise avoiding starting with this one. You can always add it at a later time if you want to increase the heat.

Thai Hot Peppers– these are relatively mild at about 50,000 SHU.

Yellow Wax Peppers– these are mild and sweet, making them a popular choice for tomato sauces. They have about 5000 SHU.

Instant Hot Sauce 1

Making your own hot sauce recipe

When concocting your own recipe- be sure to write it down! It isn’t harmful to have multiple recipes and adjust for how many people will be eating or setting aside gifts. I would also recommend using Pinterest (for example) to create a “board” to store recipes. That way, anytime you find one that looks promising, you can easily save it for future use.

My husband is working on his own recipe and has another Instant Pot post coming soon! It’s going to have a cajun theme, and I’m super excited about it!! 

How to store homemade hot sauce?

I like to keep my hot sauce in a hot sauce bottle like these as they are airtight and easy to store. They will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months or in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Homemade Instant Hot Sauce 4


  • 12 oz (350g) fresh hot peppers (any kind), stems removed
  • 1¼ cup (300ml) apple cider vinegar or as needed (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked salt (or plain)


  1. Roughly chop peppers, add to the pressure cooker.
  2. Add vinegar and salt.
  3. Close the lid of your pressure cooker.
  4. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
  5. When cooking is done, release pressure using the natural release method. Disengage the “Keep Warm” mode or unplug, then open the cooker when the indicator has gone down (15-20 minutes).
  6. Puree the ingredients with an immersion blender or a high-powered blender (such as Vitamix) and strain them into a sterilized or freshly dish-washed bottle.
  7. This sauce will last 3 months in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in a freezer.
  8. Recipe yields 16 fl oz (500 ml)

Frequently Asked Questions

The main difference is in the way it is served. Hot sauce is usually used as a condiment to be added after food has already been prepared. In contrast, plain peppers are used in cooking.

This is impossible to say as it really depends on how spicy the hot sauce you are using is and how spicy you want your food to be. Start with a few drops, see how it is, and then work your way up from there. Remember, you can always add more sauce, but you can't take it away once added.

Hot sauce can last about three months while it is kept refrigerated. After that, there may be some changes to its flavor and consistency.

Yes, you can freeze the hot sauce. It will last about a year in the freezer when wrapped and placed into containers with as much air taken out as possible.

Yes, you can. However, you will want to wash it out thoroughly, and air dry it before using it again as residue from the old sauce could affect a new batch of hot sauce.

Yes, once the bottle is open, it will last about three months. Hot sauce doesn't have an "expiration date," but it does lose its flavor and freshness after time has passed.

Your choices are unlimited if you grow your own. However, if you are buying from the store, be sure to know what you are buying as you don't want to think you are purchasing a mild pepper and end up with one that will blow your head off.

If you are not sure what you want, jalapeno peppers are a good choice because they are spicy but not too much.

Fresno peppers, poblanos, banana, and Thai peppers are other options you can try.

Cayenne peppers are just one type of pepper that can be used for hot sauce. However, they require a lot more work to prepare than other types of peppers.

Adding a bit of milk to the food should help get rid of the burning sensation. You may also want to drink a glass of milk as this will help soothe your throat and take away the burn if it is really bad.

Salsa is a mixture of spices and other ingredients, but not necessarily peppers. The main ingredient in a hot sauce usually consists only of peppers.

This is a Thai sauce that has been around for some time now. It is made from chilies, vinegar, and garlic and thickened with a little bit of cornstarch. The pepper used is the red jalapeno.

My Kitchen Essentials

I get a lot of messages asking what kitchen utensils I use so here is a list and link to some of the things I have in my kitchen.

6 Great Pressure Cookers

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Instant Pot Duo

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Yedi 9-in-1 Cooker

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Ninja Foodi 8-Quart

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All American 921

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Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus

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Breville Fast Slow Pro