Your pressure cooker can extract most of the the color and flavor from hot peppers in one minute at high pressure. This hot sauce is a bold, vivid red and the flavor is amazingly bright with lots of heat and even a hint of “pepper” – making the flavor as complex, if not more-so, than an aged and faded Tabasco sauce.
Traditionally-made hot sauce can take as little as a month and half or as much as three years of aging using fermentation (along with its benefits and perils) to slowly extract all of the heat from the peppers and infuse it into the vinegar.
Instead, the pressure cooker mechanically squeezes the flavorful juice out of the peppers, just like as in pressure steam juicing, and the heated vinegar quickly extracts the capsaicin – a tasteless and odorless compound found primarily in the white pith and seed coatings of the peppers. Capsaicin is what makes peppers taste “hot”.
Habanero peppers are incredibly difficult to find in Europe so I made this pressure cooker hot sauce with a mixture of Calabrian and Moroccan Peppers.
Other than getting some really hot sauce really fast, the added benefit to doing it yourself is the chance to experiment with different flavor combinations by varying the kind of peppers, vinegar and salt. How about not adding salt at all? You can make a milder hot sauce by replacing some of the hot with bell peppers. You decide!
Smoked salt is an easy way to add complexity that is usually achieved by aging.
After straining the hot sauce, don’t throw away the little mound of extra pulp and seeds. Just scoop it into a jar, top off with vinegar and refrigerate for later use. This pulp speaks to how much heat the pressure cooker extracts from the peppers and into the vinegar- the remaining pulp tastes like a mildly spicy red bell pepper spread. All the spiciness is now in your home-made hot sauce.
When working with hot peppers, you will want to take precautions as the heat caused by them is pleasant in the mouth – but not in the eyes or any other delicate part of the body. When handling and slicing peppers use rubber gloves (dish washing or disposable). During prep the peppers may squirt juice or shoot seeds towards your face so wear glasses, goggles or sun glasses. When pressure cooking is finished – only release pressure Naturally as you don’t want to breathe in vaporized capsaicin! Finally, wash off the knife and cutting board with a de-greasing agent such as lemon or vinegar.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|3 L or larger||none||1 min||High(2)||Natural|
- 12 oz (350g) fresh hot peppers (any kind), stems removed
- 1¼ cup (300ml) apple cider vinegar or as needed (or whatever kind you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons smoked salt (or plain)
- Roughly chop the peppers and add to the pressure cooker.
- Add enough vinegar to cover, and salt.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 1 minute at high pressure.
For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 1 minute pressure cooking time.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (15 to 20 minutes).
- Puree the contents with an immersion blender and strain into a sterilized, or freshly dish-washed bottle.
- Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months, or transfer to a suitable container and freeze up to a year.
Yeild approx 16 fl oz (500 ml)
Can I can this? It is amazing. Thank you.
I have not tried canning this, because I keep it refrigerated, so I don’t know if the extra cooking would affect the color/heat. If you decide to boiling water can these, follow the USDA processing times for “pickled jalapeno rings” in pint jars:
10 min @ less than 1000 feet; 15min @ 1001-6000 feet; and, 20 min for 6000+ feet.
Come back to let us know how it went!
hi :) do you think a drop or two of liquid smoke would be beneficial if I don’t have smoked salt? ty
Absolutely, start with less, and then see if you want to add more at the end. Don’t forget the salt, though! ; )
I used this recipe as a basic guideline, and would like to say thank you very much, my batch came out delicious
hi dearie, could we please get a print out, this is 1 recipe I”d like to have in an instant like the sauce ha, ha Tks.
Click on the little picture of a printer, under the heading “Sharing Is Caring” – it’s the next-to last cricle. : )
Just gave it a whirl with “scotch bonnets” . I plan on trying it with some jalapeños.
I am letting it sit in the fridge overnight. I tried it and it’s got some good kick! It was exactly what I was looking for!
btw. I took all the precautions. gloves, glasses and a cleaning plan is necessary!
we recently had a wonderful red pepper risotto at a fancy restaurant and the only clue we managed to steal from the chef was that it was made using “the peppers’ cooking water”. My question is, what if I use this recipe of yours to obtain a flavourful “pepper stock” from regular red bell peppers? I’m thinking about slicing them quite thin and, after cooking, saving both the cooking liquid and solids; then I’d use the liquid as the stock and add the solids, pureed and (hopefully) minus the peel, towards the end of the risotto cooking time.
What do you think? Would you suggest another way around? The restaurant risotto was orange in colour with only small red bits, but the pepper flavour was nice and clear, well-rounded and delicate (there may have been some cream involved too)… Thanks in advance!
(of course I would not use vinegar but only water! and add enough for cooking the rice afterwards. But how many peppers should I use for, say, 750ml of water?)
Ciao Marcella, I just realized now that I had not answered your question. If you just boil peppers in a stock they kind of taste raw. What I bet was used in your risotto was the liquid that leaves the peppers when they sit around after being de-skinned. Basically, roast or char peppers on your stove top burner, then cover and let cool. The juice that comes out is divine! You can use that as part of the cooking liquid for the risotto, and then peel off the burnt skin puree the pulp and mix-in before serving the risotto.
Apologies for my late, late reply!
Thank you so much for this recipe! I had dried jalapeño peppers so I rehydrated them in some boiling water then processed. I just had pink Himalayan sea salt so I added a tiny splash of liquid smoke, added a couple of cloves of garlic when I blended. The taste is wonderful! A bit hotter then I am use to but it’s a winner for sure! So easy too! I’ll be playing around with different peppers. Now to find some cute bottles for Christmas gifts!
Shannon, I think that with the rehydrated peppers I would add some of the soaking liquid into the pressure cooker too, next time. That’s because peppers are 92% water – so you can somewhat equate the “heat” of the dried with those of fresh peppers.
Can’t wait to read about your future experiments!
I don’t have an immersion blender. If I use my Vitamix to puree, do you think the plastic lid would absorb the spice and odor and “contaminate” what I make in my Vitamix next?
Probably. If the Vitamix has a glass bowl, you could try stretching plastic wrap over the top then put the lid on. The glass shouldn’t be tainted. Make sure you wait until the mixture has cooled to blitz it this way.
If the Vitamix has a plastic bowl, it will probably be tainted too. so that option is out. Stick blenders aren’t that expensive.
I used a Nutra Ninja which is sort of a miniature Vitamix for 18 seconds. It pulverized everything, including seeds, so I just put the result directly into jars without straining. The result is thicker than using an immersion blender and straining and I think tastes better as it has the seeds and all. The Nutra Ninja has a plastic container and did not stain or leave an odor in the cover which holds the blade.
I just made a batch, and it came out amazingly complex. It is hot and sweet and a little fruity all at the same time. This recipe is a real keeper. Just for the sake of interest, I used 250 g hot red peppers, 20 g green serranos, 5 g habanero, and 80 g sweet red bell pepper, with 300 ml of a high-quality, unfiltered, 5% acidity apple cider vinegar. I didn’t have any smoked salt, and so I used Hawaiian red sea salt instead. Wow! I’d really like to try smoked salt next time.
Most of the time I use a traditional (or some variation of) an olio santo, but sometimes I want that sort of vinegary hot flavor, and this is going to be my new go-to.
Great job, Laura!
Do I need to refrigerate this? I’ve done both but wanted to know your thoughts!
Thank you in advance
Just wondering how you strain it? Fine mesh sieve, regular sieve, cheese cloth etc. Seems that would make a big difference in texture. Thanks. I am looking forward to trying this as my hot peppers are just ripening.
Helen, you can use a fine mesh sieve, but if you don’t mind the seeds the sauce will be “pulpier” and for some reason does not separate during refrigeration if you leave in the seeds (as I do in the video).
I had some fresh hot peppers my husband grew this season and I wanted to use them, but was confused about all the various recipes for salsas and pepper sauces, etc. I am so glad I found this recipe because it was super easy and tasted amazing. His peppers were mostly a type of habañero and my, oh my, is this pepper sauce hot. I think he will like it. Thanks so much!
Can I use my food processor, I don’t have an immersion blender
Yes, you can use a processor instead of an immersion blender. But either let the mixture cool or follow precautions (such as removing the little stopper in the middle of the blender and covering with a towel) as you would when blending any other hot liquid.
P.S. Apologies for the late response I was in the hospital during the holidays. Everything’s OK, now. : )
I just made this and it’s amazing. As my fresh chillies are super hot I substituted a large red pepper and tomato and have about 20 small chillies. Still very hot but amazing! It filler two jars so I added a little sugar to one to make sweet chilli sauce. Just one minute in the pressure cooker. This recipe is a game changer for my chilli harvest. thank you!