(Not too) Hot Sauce Recommendations
February 1, 2009 12:18 PM   Subscribe

I like Green Tabasco sauce. What are some other similarly mild pepper sauces I might enjoy?

I like Green Tabasco's combination of flavor & heat, and I tend to use it on things like scrambled eggs, mac & cheese, and burgers. My bottle's almost empty, and I was thinking of trying something new. Any recommendations on other mild sauces? Anything available on a national basis would be great, but regional recommendations are welcome as well (I'm in Michigan).
posted by brandman to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Gree Tabasco is great and I don't even like Tabasco products...

If you like that you'll enjoy just about any verde sauce. They tend to come in either salsa (thicker, good for dipping or cooking with) and actual hot-sauce style bottles. They are almost always made with tomatillos and habanero (or other pepper) and can be found in the ethnic isle of any good grocery store.

I really like this brand for splash on hot-sauce, and this for smothering enchiladas or chips with. Throw on some queso chihuahua and ... hay caramba!

Like any salsa, there are lots of recipes out there and if you can find tomatillos it's easy to make.
posted by wfrgms at 12:30 PM on February 1, 2009

Crystal is great... not too spicy but with an intense pepper *flavor* (not heat) that goes well with lots of things.

If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, Sriracha goes well on damn near anything.
posted by squorch at 12:31 PM on February 1, 2009

Salsita is my go-to brand for milder sauces. You should avoid the Habanero, but the others are tasty.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:41 PM on February 1, 2009

What are some other similarly mild pepper sauces I might enjoy?

Absolutely. The one I'll mention, my personal favorite, is El Yucateco Green Chile Habanero Sauce. The Tabasco has a Scoville rating of between 600-1200 while the El Yucateco is rated at 8,910 (about the heat of a Chipotle). So quite a bit warmer (but not hot) and full of zesty flavor.
The website...
posted by dawson at 12:42 PM on February 1, 2009

My mom is a fan of Frank's Red Hot (it's red pepper sauce). It has pretty good flavor, but not too much heat (I think that may be what they say in the ads, almost verbatim. This is not Pepsi Blue). I personally prefer regular Tabasco, but it's most likely just because it's so familiar. I think I remember Cooks' Illustrated putting Tabasco near the bottom of their list. For me, Tabasco sauce is with every meal that benefits from heat, and anything else just doesn't taste quite right, kind of like how it is with Heinz ketchup, even though it's likely not objectively the best ketchup. I think green sauces in general are less hot, but I only have tried green Tabasco, so I can't say what other good green ones are out there.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2009

I do not mind heat, and so I will happily browse the little-salsa-bottle section for "Satan's Own Hotter than Hell" or whatnot, but I also enjoy a real flavor with my salsas. It doesn't have to be green, even. Generally anything explicitly labeled Tex-Mex is going to be milder and angled a bit more toward flavor, while Mexican imports may be hotter but are almost always better flavored than American hot sauces like Tabasco. I find American dipping salsas ketchupy and good primarily for, well, chip dipping and not much else.
posted by dhartung at 1:30 PM on February 1, 2009

I'm a huge fan of this for its smoky chipotle flavor. It's got some heat, but compared to the flavor it packs, it's not overwhelming.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 1:43 PM on February 1, 2009

Tabasco makes a very nice Chipotle pepper sauce that is relatively mild.
posted by fish tick at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Cholula and Tapatio are two brands of hot sauce you commonly find in Mexican restaurants and are pretty mild. They are red, though, not green.

I agree that Sriracha has great flavor but it is very spicy compared to Tabasco green. Don't let that scare you off, I think the flavor is worth it, just use a little bit (seriously, like a pea-sized amount on some eggs or whatever).
posted by cabingirl at 3:03 PM on February 1, 2009

Oh, and I just remembered Xochitl asada verde, which comes in a jar rather than a bottle. It's pretty thin though and it has a great flavor.
posted by cabingirl at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2009

Pickapeppa Sauce.
posted by Dr.Pill at 3:19 PM on February 1, 2009

Cholula is the greatest condiment ever bottled. Señora Pantalones and I buy it by the case from their website.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2009

I'm a big fan of the chipotle Tabasco sauce, but recently discovered the Cholula mentioned above and really enjoy it. It's milder in both spice and flavor than the chipotle Tabasco, which is a good thing when you want to enjoy something more subtle and less of a kick in the mouth.
posted by borkencode at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2009

Just popping in to third (or is it fourth?) Cholula. It is glorious on nearly everything. It's vinegary and flavorful and has a slow, peppery hotness. When I cook with it, I add a little in the beginning, so the flavor gets all mellow and cooked in, and add a little right at the end so it stays bright and sharp. I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, where it's found everywhere. But now I'm in Boston and you can buy it in the grocery store here. It's the best on breakfast tacos.
posted by Mizu at 7:07 PM on February 1, 2009

Near my neighborhood, we have a lot of immigrants from Peru and Ecuador--one of the side-benefits is that new items show up on the shelves of our ethnic markets. I've gotten the habit of keeping a bottle of aji pepper sauce in the fridge. Often a ruddy yellow color ("ají amarillo"), it's from a different species of pepper than typical hot sauce and I think it has a different, complex flavor.

I've also worked my way through a bottle or two of Salsa Huichol hot sauce from Nayarit, Mexico, and enjoyed them.

If you don't have any Latino markets in your area, googling a bit should turn up online sources.
posted by gimonca at 8:33 PM on February 1, 2009

I put Tapatio hot sauce on everything. Before I discovered it, I put the green tabasco sauce on everything... Tapatio is a little less vinegar-y, and slightly hotter.
posted by arianell at 8:46 PM on February 1, 2009

Bufalo Chipotle (yes, with one 'l'.) The regular Bufalo is not so tasty, but the chipotle variation is delicious.
Also, as it sounds like you use it as a regular condiment, you absolutely need (need) some Sriracha Sauce. Target and Walmart both carry it now. Clear bottle, red sauce, white printing with a rooster on it. You'll thank me later.
posted by piedmont at 10:16 PM on February 1, 2009

nth Cholula, although it isn't a green sauce. Mild but flavorful.

The green El Yucateco is good (and cheap!), but it's an order of magnitude or two hotter than the green Tabasco. Be careful. The red variety is about half as hot.

Tuong Ot Sriracha (or whatever you call it -- rooster, multilingual label, green cap, Huy Fong Foods) is tasty, dirt cheap, and widely available, but every hot-sauce addict already knows this, right?
posted by neckro23 at 11:18 PM on February 1, 2009

JT Pappy's are mustard sauces, but tasty and not too spicy. You could probably go up to medium and not get hotter than the Tabasco you mention. Hickory is pretty awesome too.
posted by battlecj at 5:27 AM on February 2, 2009

Best answer to everyone who mentioned Cholula! I picked some up last week, and I'm loving it. (That's the only one of the above recommendations I've tried so far...)
posted by brandman at 5:55 AM on February 13, 2009

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