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Beyonce may have actually been talking about a baseball bat rather than a condiment when she sang the words, “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.” Yet the iconic line resonated with a lot of people who do actually keep the condiment in their handbags — or, at least, always stock it at home.
Hot sauce is a unique condiment, as there’s a huge variety of flavors, spice levels and brands. Not everyone can take the heat — but if you can, you probably have a favorite type of hot sauce. And that favorite can even depend on what you’re eating.
We asked members of the In The Know team to share their favorite hot sauce and let’s just say, the passion was there. Check out our top editor picks for the best hot sauce below. Beware: We’re not playing around when it comes to spice.
“Alright, so here’s a word of caution: This hot sauce is not for the faint of heart. I grew up on Tabasco, and really do put hot sauce on almost everything and carry it in my bag. This hot sauce has kick to it, which is honestly what I love. A few drops is all you need. Anything more than that, and I promise you may be running to the nearest store to grab a gallon of milk. Some may not understand why you’d want a hot sauce that feels like fire in a bottle, but there is some flavor in this bad boy. Don’t say I didn’t put you on to a good product, but also don’t say I didn’t warn you.” — Jamé Jackson, Senior Beauty Commerce Editor
2. Truff Hot Sauce, $17.95
“When it comes to choosing a hot sauce, I honestly love them all. But if I had to pick one (OK, maybe two) that I seriously can’t live without, it’s Truff. It’s a black truffle-infused sauce that your tastebuds will love. They say it’s a milder sauce at 2,500-3,000 SHU — but after a few bites, you might be reaching for some water.” — Madison Alcedo, Senior Home Commerce Editor
“I also can’t get enough of the YouTube First We Feast Hot Ones series, which shows celebrities dishing gossip while trying to maintain composure eating some of the hottest hot sauce. That being said, I would have to say my second-favorite hot sauce is The Classic Garlic Fresno Hot Sauce from Hot Ones. If you love a spicy-garlic taste, you can’t go wrong with using this on everything.” — Madison Alcedo, Senior Home Commerce Editor
4. Baron West Indian Hot Sauce, $10.12
“I didn’t grow up a hot sauce (or pepper sauce, as my family calls it) lover, but this one has always had its own designated spot at the table during family meals. Now, as an adult, I can’t live without it. It has the perfect balance of spicy and tasty; just enough heat to feel a sting, but still massively flavorful with those rich Caribbean staple flavors. I put it on (almost) everything.” — Moriba Cummings, Commerce Editor
5. Cholula Hot Sauce, $3.19
“Cholula Hot Sauce is a classic, and it’s definitely my go-to hot sauce. Fun fact: For the first 25 years of my life, I hated eating eggs — scrambled or in omelet form. It was a real bummer whenever I went out for brunch. One morning, I tried scrambled eggs with Cholula and boom, I was a fan. I also like the sauce on sandwiches and chicken fingers. I even added it to a chili recipe the other day and it was great. It’s not too spicy, but has a lot of flavor.” — Ellie Conley, Commerce Editor
6. Hot Ones Los Calientes Hot Sauce, 3-Pack, $39.95
As a fan and weekly viewer of the YouTube show Hot Ones, I noticed many celebrity guests would give great feedback on Los Calientes. So I went and bought a bottle myself. Let me tell you — they were spot on! It’s got great heat, but not overwhelming and it has a nice zesty, sweet finish which is what gives it that perfect balance. Highly recommend!” – Daniel Menendez, Video Producer
“I have always been loyal to one hot sauce at a time. First, it was Frank’s. For the past almost-decade, it’s been Cholula. But a friend recently introduced me to Ninja Squirrel’s Coconut Sriracha hot sauce, and it has quickly become my absolute go-to. When my friend saw it at Whole Foods after it was sold out for weeks during the pandemic, she bought 10 bottles.” — Jordan Walker, Head of Video Production
9. Truff White Truffle Hot Sauce, $34.99
“I’m a fan of truffle fries and truffle pasta, so I figured I’d be a fan of truffle hot sauce — and I wasn’t wrong. I recently tried Truff’s limited-edition White Truffle Hot Sauce, and I can’t stop telling my friends about it. It’s the most mild of Truff’s hot sauces, but as someone who can usually take some heat, it definitely still has a kick. It’s packaging also looks super luxe, like you just won a hot sauce trophy. So, that’s fun!” – Ellie Conley, Commerce Editor
If you like spicy food, you need to try Mike’s Hot Honey — a spicy honey you can put on almost anything.
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