Hot Sauce, as many of us know already, is one way that a Chillihead can get a quick fix of their favourite kinds of food. It’s a quick and easy fix to an otherwise bland meal. There are of course lots of sauces out there for you to buy, however there are some of us that want to try and have a go at making our own.
After a little research some can find this a little daunting, especially for someone who just wants a quick go at it. It’s not that it’s especially hard, it’s just the sheer amount of choice of recipes and methods can leave you scratching your head.
And this is where the Chilli Experience Hot Sauce Making Kit comes in.
The Chilli Experience have brought you the perfect little box to get you on your way. Everything you could possibly need to make a batch of hot sauce in one handy little box.
Well. Most things.
Perhaps most importantly, because it’s from an award winning hot sauce maker then you know it’s going to be good. The one I have here is the Scotch Bonnet version which is a deconstructed version of the Great Taste Award winning Spice of Fife “The Fifer’s Bonnet Hot Sauce”. The kit is also available in other degrees of heat, you can get Naga (Bhut Jolokia / Ghost), Moruga Scorpion or the infamous Carolina Reaper versions as well.
I choose the Scotch Bonnet version because as I’ve said many times, they’re one of my favourite chillies to cook with – Just enough heat for me and not too much that they don’t my family off completely (most of the time).
I said “most things” came in the box because you still have to provide your own fresh produce. Namely a red Bell Pepper, two cloves of Garlic, a Tomato or two and a Lemon. Not to difficult to find at a farm shop and especially not at a supermarket. And, not expensive either to be fair, I’d expect change from a fiver anyway.
The rest of the stuff you need is all in the box. Even the stuff you’d not thought of.
Cider Vinegar, Honey, Spice Mixes, Dried Chillies, Bottles, Bottle Shrink Caps and a funnel.
Bottles aren’t hard to come by, but they are something that most people don’t have when they first get an inkling they’d like to try and make some sauce. I think it was the funnel that impressed me the most. It’s a small thing, but an important one. Even if you already own one, if your kitchen is anything like mine with things that don’t get used very often then its nice to see one “just there”.
Of course, you’re not just given a bunch of stuff and left to your own devices, there are instructions as well.
Good. Even more good is the fact that the instructions are pretty much fool proof. They don’t assume any prior knowledge of making sauces and are in plain English, something I’m a big fan of.
It wasn’t long before I was on my way making the sauce. I’ve got to say, I felt pretty prepared and confident.
Peppers and Garlic where prepped and ready to be charred…
Dried Scotch Bonnets where being infused in to Cider Vinegar…
(I nearly felt professional at this point to be honest!)
Before I knew it, things where in the blender…
Next thing I knew, sauce was boiling away in the pan…
(You put a lid on the pan while you’re doing this – HOT!)
All incredibly easy, really!
The instructions give you just enough to do between each step so you’re never hanging around. I think the biggest wait I had was after I’d charred the Bell Peppers and Garlic you’ve to put the Peppers into a bag and wait 10 minutes before peeling. I’m not really sure why you do this and it’s not explained but I did it all the same (perhaps to make them easier to peel?).
Actually, there was another short wait to be had while the bottles and the caps where being prepared. Another part of the kit that impressed me actually. Although I’m pretty sure the bottles and caps where disinfected before being placed in the box, the kit has you doing it again. It’s simple, just heat the oven and place the (recently well washed) bottles in and boil the caps in some water. It takes about 20 minutes, but you’ll be stirring your sauce at this point anyways.
Pretty soon it was time for the main event – Bottling the sauce!
And then, approximately an hour and a bit after I started…
And, a quite professional looking bottle of sauce if I do say so myself! The bottle labels kind of take the fun out of naming the sauce yourself, but, they do make it look good. I actually wasn’t going to bother with the shrink caps but after applying the label I felt like I owed it to the bottle to finish the job properly. I was glad I did as well, it was like the final piece to the puzzle.
(Actually, that being said. If I had to think of a name for the sauce myself I’d probably have still been thinking about it now. It’s not as easy as you’d think.)
It was all quite an entertaining way to spend an hour or so truth be known. I’ve dabbled in making Hot Sauces before, the first time it was nice but stupidly hot and the second I used way too much vinegar (waaaaaaay too much) so it wasn’t enjoyable at all.
I think having the ingredients for the sauce just handed to me in a box made this a much better learning experience for if and when I want to make more sauces in the future.
The instructions that come with the kit claim it takes an hour to make, and it pretty much did – Maybe a little longer but I’ve no doubts at all that was down to me. It also claims to make three bottles of sauce but I ended up with two and a half – THAT I know was down to me, as you can see from the picture above I wasn’t shy when it came to filling them. I won’t lie, I didn’t consider this when I was filling the first two. My mistake, hands up.
And the sauce itself?
Yup – All good there! Very tasty indeed actually. Quite a bit hotter than I’d have thought as well, definitely something I’ll be reaching for when I go the cupboard – A quick drizzle on a Bacon Butty to celebrate the making of the sauce confirmed that 😉
Given that this is November and it’s “that time of year”, I’m in mind to think that this would make an excellent Christmas gift for someone. It is something different to give and indeed do. I’ve already said that it was convenient to have everything just “there” in one box. This kit takes all the hassle out of wondering what you’ve got in the cupboard and having to make a special trip out to the shop if you don’t have anything. It’s even got the bottles (and a funnel!) so you don’t have to worry about those either.
It’s worth a mention that The Chilli Experience also do “Top Up” kits as well – Basically, the same kits without the bottles and the funnel – So, when you’re done with the bottles, don’t throw them away and put the funnel somewhere you can find it 😉
Now that I’ve made this one I’ll definitely think about trying the other sauces at some point anyways, there is a certain satisfaction about making them!
If you’ve found yourself interested in the kit, or just want to have a nosy at the other kits then, click this > LINK < and you’ll be magically transported to The Chilli Experience part of the internet.