Hot Sauce Lover's Top 8 Peppers Used In Hot Sauces

3 min read

Since hot sauces cannot exist without peppers, hot sauce lovers are so fortunate to have a variety of peppers that vary in taste and heat levels. Finding the ideal pepper to combine with the other components in a spicy sauce may be very challenging because there are so many options available. However, there are 8 peppers we frequently see in the hot sauce industry.

Here’s our list of the eight most-commonly used peppers in hot sauces… in no particular order.


habanero chili peppers

We don't find it surprising that the Habanero is ranked first. In fact, a dozen of the hottest sauces contain 12 portions of this famous pepper. It may not be the hottest, but it is undoubtedly a hot pepper with a Scoville rating between 100,000 and 350,000. Sauce makers love experimenting with this pepper in concocting hot sauces that are either mildly spicy or extremely fiery. This pepper is also one of the tastiest in the selection because of its distinct fruity flavor. Check out some of the best spicy sauces that feature the habanero here.

Carolina Reaper

carolina reaper chili peppers
Seven of the top 25 hot sauces use the Carolina Reaper, which is the hottest pepper in the world. This pepper, with a Scoville rating between 1.4 and 2.2 million, is for those who enjoy fiery hot sauces. In addition to having a potent heat, this pepper also has a wonderful flavor that leans to a somewhat fruity profile, which is crucial in adding depth to a flavorful hot sauce.


jalapeno sword chili peppers

People who habitually consume hot sauce usually don’t prefer Jalapeño as they consider it to be a mildly hot pepper. It's possible that you expected this pepper to be higher on the list, but sauces containing this pepper are generally referred to as "verde" or green type sauces with a Mexican kick.

Trinidad Scorpion

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper

According to a study conducted by the New Mexico State University Chile Institute, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion clocks in at 2,009,231 SHU on the Scoville scale, making it the second hottest chili pepper next to the Carolina Reaper. It originates from the Caribbean and is named as such because of its scorpion-like tail. This pepper is about 60 times hotter than a Jalapeño pepper.


Chipotle Pepper

Although the Chipotle is actually a smoked Jalapeño, the flavor is so distinctive that the Chipotle pepper itself is a well-known pepper. This pepper is used to make barbecue-style hot sauces because of its smoky flavor profile, which is frequently blended with sweeter tastes. See our entire selection of Chipotle-based sauces here.

Ghost Pepper

Ghost Peppers Bhut Jolokia

The incredibly spicy Bhut Jolokia, commonly known as the Ghost Pepper has a very distinct flavor, and the heat is most noticeable in the throat. Pretty vicious but well-liked precisely for that reason. Check out our selection of ghost pepper-based hot sauces.

Naga Viper

Naga Viper Peppers

The Naga Viper scores a whopping 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale. This extreme pepper, which is a vicious hybrid of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Naga Morich, and Ghost Pepper used to hold the record in the Guinness Book of World Records back in 2011 as the hottest chili pepper until its parent, the Trinidad Scorpion dethroned it a year later. Before all hell breaks loose, the chili pepper’s sumptuous sweetness might tempt your palate until the gradual burn finally peaks to a fiery sensation.

Peri Peri

peri peri sauce

This pepper is certainly a hot one even though it only scores 175,000 on the Scoville ranking. Despite its ranking at the bottom end and dubbed as a ‘habanero-lite’ pepper, it has its own unique use cases. Don’t be deceived because while sauces containing this pepper start by adding some flavor to your dish, its heat evenly spreads out throughout the mouth.

We at Hot Sauce Lover have been examining numerous hot sauces throughout the years, along with the peppers that are most frequently used in each. These 8 are commonly used peppers in the hot sauce industry.

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