Let's face it, there are a ton of variables when making hot sauce. This guide will help you safely make your hot sauce at home. It only requires a few tools and will provide you with shelf stable sauces that you can make at home.
Please note that this guide will NOT authorize you to sell your sauces, this is simply for your safety
It's important to note that all of these following points are critical in producing a clean and safe product.
Temperature & pH Control
Your number one enemy when making hot sauce is foodborne illness. pH and Temperature control are extremely important when making hot sauce as the bacterium cannot withstand an acidic and hot environment.
The FDA states that you should have a pH of 4.0 or below and that you need to reach at least 180F (83C) and hold it for 10 minutes. You then fill the bottles while temperature is still over 180, and then invert them onto their lids to fully heat the bottle.
You should use a Digital pH meter (you can get one of those HERE) and a digital thermometer to test your sauces. pH Strips should not be used and analog thermometers aren't accurate enough. Every so often pH meters will need calibration. You can get the calibration solution HERE
Always check your sauce's pH at room temperature. Also, you should take another pH after your product has sat for 24 hours in order to find its final pH. Again, this is super important so you don't get anybody sick.
Quality Ingredients & Tools
Another problem you may face when making sauces is poor quality produce. You will want to make sure that you are using the best and freshest ingredients.
A tip you may find useful is to cut all of your peppers in half to check for mold. If you are storing ingredients in your fridge, it is extremely important that you practice techniques for avoiding cross contamination.
Always wash your produce before cooking!
Another great tip is to use an immersion blender to avoid having to clean out a blender every time you need to add ingredients.
Clean Workspace & Practices
It may be obvious to some, but a clean workspace is an absolute must. Free of debris, cleaned, and then sanitized.
There are many methods of doing this so find the right cleaners and sanitizers for your surface. Your workspace should be nonporous as to allow it to be easily cleaned.
A dirty workspace will only cause problems. You should also note that you should not create hot sauce in a kitchen where any animals or pets have access to.
This should also be another obvious point but do NOT cook when you are sick as you don't want to spread anything.
Also, you should read up on safe and proper handwashing technique right HERE.
Keeping yourself safe is another very important thing to consider. Nitrile gloves perform the best when working with peppers as they do not allow oils through. That being said they MUST be food grade and not just blue painters gloves.
Another thing you may want to consider is a respirator so the fumes don't irritate your lungs. Some of these chile peppers are extremely powerful