There’s not much nuance when it comes to hot sauces. Even if you opt for something at the mild and fruity end of the spectrum, the chances are you’ll still come out in a sweat and turn a worrying shade of scarlet. Hot sauce fans are, if nothing else, gluttons for punishment.
Though there’s a whole world of sauces that will enhance and transform any plate, there are a few that remain off limits to all but the most masochistic diner. These will not just deliver a gentle tingle, but will in all likelihood melt your face off. Best consumed under strict supervision, these condiments are no joke. Here are the world’s 10 hottest sauces.
10. Blair’s Ultra Death Sauce
When regular death isn’t enough to describe the experience of consuming this sauce, you know you’re in for a rocky ride. This extreme version of Blair’s famous “death sauce” series comes in at a scorching 1.3 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) and features a fiery blend of habanero, cayenne, serrano and jolokia peppers.
9. Wanza’s Wicked Temptation Hot Sauce
A real connoisseur will claim that there’s more to hot sauce than pain. Wanza’s is a great example, since it plays with fruity flavours and complex seasoning whilst simultaneously trying to blow your head off. At 2 million SHUs, it will probably succeed.
8. Puckerbutt Reaper Squeezeins
The Puckerbutt Company and its aptly named co-founder “Smokin’” Ed Currie are most famous for bringing the world one of its hottest chillies - the Carolina Reaper. Harnessing the power of this fearsome fruit, Reaper Squeezeins weighs in at 2.2 million SHUs
7. Hottest Sauce in the Universe
It may have a misleading name, but the not-quite-the-hottest Hottest Sauce in the Universe is still damn hot. With a whopping 40 pounds of ghost pepper in every batch, along with a squeeze of pure chilli extract, this is 3.5 million SHUs of pain.
6. Magma 4
Filled with thick, viscous globules of pure capsaicin, Magma 4 sauce looks deceptively similar to family favourite Frank’s Red Hot. The only difference is that Magma 4 is 10,000 times hotter. At 4 million SHUs, this sauce is only recommended for those who have lost all sense of taste.
5. Bumblefoot’s Bumblef**ked
Named for a Guns N’ Roses guitarist and a bacterial infection, this sauce is full of surprises. Made with a jumble of ingredients, including mustard powder, caffeine and ginger, it has a scorching SHU measurement of around 6 million.
4. Meet Your Maker
Served in a hand crafted wooden coffin and only available to those who sign a pre-tasting waiver, everything about this sauce is ominous. Ghost peppers and ghost pepper extract combine in a bottle that measures a pinch over 6 million SHUs.
3. Black Mamba
Famous for producing a raft of hilariously painful YouTube videos, this sauce was created for consumption as a food additive, rather than a wholesale accompaniment. Made with deceptively innocent sounding chocolate habaneros, Black Mamba is another sauce that hovers around the 6 million mark.
2. The Source
With a purchasing age of 21 or over and a Scoville score of 7.1 million SHUs, Blair’s awesomely potent The Source is a legend of the hot sauce circuit. Believed to be stronger than police-grade pepper spray, The Source is almost incomprehensibly ferocious.
Only 499 of these limited edition towers of terror were ever made, and with good reason. Separated into three layers of rising heat, the Caldera explodes from a mere 1 million SHUs on the bottom to an astonishing 10 million on the top. Some experts claim that the pure capsaicin crystals floating in the final layer actually push the heat closer to 13 million.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie daredevil, hot sauce can seem like the perfect arena in which to test your metal. But, as we’ve just seen, there are some monsters out there that no sensible person should try and slay. It all seems like fun and games until you stumble across something truly scary.