Saturday, April 23, 2005

Pepper Sauce

Pepper sauce is something I have mistakenly assumed that everybody in the United States knows about since it is quite literally a staple in all Southern kitchens. Whether you buy it at the store or make it homemade, pepper sauce is to turnip greens like ketchup is to french fries; they simply go hand in hand down in the South. The origins of this condiment is still a mystery to me even though its been gracing Southern tables for generations. If you have never tried pepper sauce, I encourage you to whip up a batch if for no other reason because it looks so pretty sitting on the table.


  • Small chili peppers in assorted colors, washed and dried
  • White vinegar
  • Stainless steel saucepan
  • Funnel
  • 1 wooden skewer or chop stick
  • Clean glass bottle with a cap or cork
  • 1 straight pin or safety pin
(This recipe has no exact measurements. As my friend use to say, you will have to eyeball everything.) Depending on the size of bottle you are using, pour desired amount of vinegar into a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil then turn down heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, estimate how many peppers will fit into your bottle and poke each pepper 4 or 5 times with a pin. Using a wooden skewer or chop stick, stuff the peppers into the bottle making sure not to pack the bottle too tight with the peppers. Next, using a funnel, pour the hot vinegar into the bottle slowly filling it until the bottle is full. Cap the bottle and set aside for a week or two before using.

  1. Pepper sauce can be poured over any type of greens or peas. The flavored vinegar will cut the bitterness of the greens and add flavor to the peas.
  2. The bottle should be clear glass so the beauty of the peppers clearly show. Also, the bottle should be made so the vinegar can be easily poured out of the bottle onto your food.
  3. Since there is such a high acid content to pepper sauce, it does not need to be refrigerated.
  4. When the vinegar starts to run low in the bottle, simply fill the bottle up again with additional vinegar. The peppers may lose their color but the vinegar will still be flavorful.
  5. If you like peppers, feel free to fetch them out of the bottle to eat with your meal - that's how the old timers would do it.
  6. Lastly, pepper sauce makes a great gift because it's so pretty and so delicious.


At 1:24 AM, Blogger ODD said...

We have something simular in the Uk.
Was traditional with Pie and mash shops.
Minced beef and onion pie, with sauet pasty, mashed potatoe, and liquor, which is parsley sauce made with fish stock and the finnishing touch chillied vinegar. Very yummy. Reminds me of trips to see my Grandmar in the east end of London. Her cooking was so awful we would plead with mum to let us stop off at the pie n mash shop, before we had to visit. Cool blog btw have it bookmarked

At 4:20 AM, Blogger kevinflynn9768 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:22 AM, Blogger Happysurfer said...

We have something similar too in Malaysia - Chinese cooking. The difference is that we slice the peppers widthwise and serve them with wantan mee which is noodles. Only green (unripe) chillies we call them here, are used.

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At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the great recipe! We tried it, but used wax peppers and got too delicate a flavor to be what my boyfriend remembers from when he was a kid. He thinks they were green and red peppers people just grew in their gardens, but not jalapenos or cayenne peppers. Can you tell me what kind you used?



At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Jamie Francis said...

I use Most any hot pepper, I think my mother used Tabasco peppers we grew.
About 55 years ago.

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Great article, thanks so much! I've been wondering which type of vinegar to use in replacing the vinegar in my namebrand pepper sauce.

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