Help me find a substitute for Taco Bell Fire Sauce that is available for purchase
October 7, 2010 3:54 PM   Subscribe

What is the closest thing to Taco Bell Fire Border Sauce that I can find on the market?

Ok, I'm in love with this stuff. I would put it on ice cream, if I could. It makes all of my lean, healthy food taste heavenly. I called up Taco Bell and Kraft Foods, an they will not sell it to me in bulk. Has anyone come up with a working substitute that's available commercially? I've tried trader joe's jalapeno pepper and chili pepper sauces and they're not the same. Anything thoughts?
posted by namesarehard to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, 1. "Any Thoughts," and 2. I guess I CAN put it on ice cream... hmm. But, really, help.
posted by namesarehard at 3:55 PM on October 7, 2010

Is there a reason you can't just buy it from one of the local restaurant?

They used to just hand the stuff out by the hand full.
posted by 517 at 4:00 PM on October 7, 2010

here you go

Taco bell hot sauce recipe

Can't say I've made it, but the reviews indicate it's a good match
posted by ShootTheMoon at 4:02 PM on October 7, 2010

It has been a looooooong time since I had Taco Bell, but if I remember the sauce correctly, I think you may be able to approximate it with chipotle salsa + tabasco sauce. (Trader Joe's has a great chipotle salsa.) Also, I think Taco Bell sells some of their sauces/salsas in supermarkets. Probably not the fire sauce, but it may be a good building block sauce.
posted by phunniemee at 4:04 PM on October 7, 2010

doesn't taco bell offer the packets for free? while i understand that you might want to buy in buik, i bet if you went into a taco bell, you could fill up a pretty big bag of packets in exchange for, say, $20.

or you could try something like this.
posted by dubold at 4:04 PM on October 7, 2010

you can buy the hot sauce in stores - in the mexican or ethnic food aisle - taco bell branded. then add chipotle tabasco. if it's still not hot enough, add a tiny dab of sriracha.
posted by nadawi at 4:16 PM on October 7, 2010

I've found that Cholula and Tapatío are like Taco Bell but better. Especially on scrambled eggs, mmmmm.
posted by TungstenChef at 4:46 PM on October 7, 2010

Seconding Cholula and Tapatío, adding Valentina, which is available in large quantities. I have a giant bottle at home, great on many things. And there's always Sriracha.

You live in LA, land of good Mexican food. My suggestion is that you check out Mexican food restaurants with a variety of bottled hot sauces. Find one you like, and buy it. And you might even find a few types you like.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:04 PM on October 7, 2010

Yeah, I know of Cholula and Tapatio and they're just too acidic and don't hit the spot. Never tried Valentina.
posted by namesarehard at 5:07 PM on October 7, 2010

Sriracha is closer to Taco Bell's "Fire" sauce than Tapatia and Cholula are. I don't think most of the people answering here are realizing that "Fire" is not the same thing as Taco Bell's "Hot" sauce. I love the "Fire" sauce, too. But I just bulk up on it on those rare occasions when I go to Taco Bell. I just ask them to give me lots of Fire sauce and they give me like 30 packets of it.
posted by The World Famous at 5:46 PM on October 7, 2010

Yeah, the "Fire" sauce is totally different from the "hot" taco sauce, and is also different from tabasco/tapatio/valentina/cholula. it isn't even that hot, but has a lot of flavor.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:50 PM on October 7, 2010

I'd probably just go to a Taco Bell and ask for some in a decent quantity to tide you over for a while. Offer to pay if they balk. Maybe talk to the manager to see where they order it from, and seeing if you can also order from that same place.

I know what it's like to have a hot sauce that you love, and not be able to find it at times. And the substitutions are just not the same.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:31 PM on October 7, 2010

It is good stuff but if I were you I'd keep looking for other sauces. There's better out there. My current favorite is Sriracha Chili Sauce, which is slightly hotter than regular rooster. I also love my "House of Tsang" Mongolian Fire Oil. It's not a sauce per-se but it rocks my lobster on everything.
posted by chairface at 10:10 PM on October 7, 2010

My brother has a drawer - a big one - in his kitchen, completely full of fire sauce.

The trick is not to go and talk to the manager / offer to pay / try to order from where they order, etc.. Franchises have rules that managers are supposed to follow and there's likely one stopping the manager from selling to you in bulk.

Now, if you show up at a TB drive-thru at 1 in the morning on a Tuesday and after receiving your order you calmly place a $20 on the window-counter and ask for a LOT of fire sauce, with a wink, you might just get a couple bags full of the stuff. This might happen the next couple times you show up for more fire sauce too, if its the same kid working the window.

Food for thought.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:42 PM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also came in here to say Sriracha is closer to Fire than most mexican sauces. It's what I use when making TB-style bean and onion burrito at home.
posted by Cuppatea at 4:12 AM on October 8, 2010

Allkindsoftime is on to something. The manager doesn't want to sell it because of franchise rules. Loosing face or getting penalties due to selling a box of Fire sauce is not an awesome deal- the risk/reward just isn't there for them. OTOH, if there's a single employee there making minimum wage, they may very gladly take that $20 for a box of sauce packets.

Also, for those telling the OP to get the supplier info, suppliers typically don't sell to individuals. I don't know about TB, but I've done food orders for fast food establishments in the past and I order for corporate (they get a cut of the sales), who then gets me the product. They're there to sell to franchises, not people.

Or you could be like some people who will dump all the available packets into a bag and walk about before anyone's the wiser...
posted by jmd82 at 6:12 AM on October 8, 2010

Try Ortega Taco Sauce and if its not hot enough mix with some Franks Red-hot.
posted by Busmick at 7:49 AM on October 8, 2010

A friend who used to manage a Taco Bell told me that the store managers are judged by how many consumables they go through. For example, your weekly sales are $5000, so you're expected to go through 5000 napkins, 1000 sauce packets, and so on. [numbers made up] If your numbers vary greatly from the "budget", you get bad marks from corporate and your continued employment may be affected.

So, if she sells you a box of sauce packets, no matter whether that is explicitly prohibited or not, her consumables numbers are going to go to hell for that period, and she doesn't want that.
posted by chazlarson at 10:40 AM on October 8, 2010

Busmick mentioned Frank's Red Hot sauce, and from what I recall of the Fire sauce (which, frankly, I think is the best food item available at Taco Bell), it's pretty close, but I've never done a side-by-side comparison. It's also the sauce that they used in the original Buffalo wings recipe, and absolutely key to the taste. I think it's the garlic.
posted by tellumo at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2010

This seems a little cheeky.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:01 PM on October 8, 2010

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