Tabasco: How To Make Hot Sauce And Wings

Discover Tabasco’s history, how to make this Louisiana hot sauce and a chicken wings recipe

El Tabasco es una salsa picante elaborada con chiles frescos y originaria de Nueva Orleans
Tabasco is a Louisiana hot sauce made with tabasco peppers grown on Avery Island.

Tabasco is an American hot sauce and the main ingredient in the famous Bloody Mary cocktail. The history of this company dates back to 1868 when Edmund Mcilhenny started producing this spicy sauce in Louisana after moving there from Maryland.

Here we'll explain the origins of Tabasco and give you a recipe to make homemade hot sauce and wings so that you can try this red-hot condiment at home.

The history of Tabasco

Tabasco is a hot sauce made of red tabasco chilis, vinegar, water, and salt, aged in a white oak barrel. This spicy condiment is used in a wide variety of recipes as well as in cocktails like the oh so popular Bloody Mary. A lot of people think that this pepper sauce is Mexican because of its name which refers to a well-known city in Mexico. However, Tabasco is actually a U.S. product  first made by Edmund Mcilhenny in 1868, in the state of Louisiana.

Mcilhenny was the person that came up with the recipe after discovering red tabasco chilis himself. Soon after, he started cultivating them on a plantation that belonged to his father in law on Avery Island, Louisiana.

At the start of the American Civil War, the Mcilhenny family had to leave the island with the plantation, until the war was through. After this conflict was over, Edmund started using these peppers to make this homemade hot sauce.

When was it first sold?

When Mcilhenny realized that his friends and family members loved the sauce, he started selling it independently to commercial agents until the product's success skyrocketed.

In the 70s, the sauce came onto the international scene when exportation to Europe began. Currently, this spicy condiment is known all over the world, and the company still uses Mcilhenny's original recipe. However, now the company makes different types of sauce like chipotle, garlic, green pepper, habanero, or even a jalapeño variety. 

A homemade hot sauce recipe

The original recipe ages the hot sauce in a white oak barrel, which gives this condiment its unique flavor. But, below, we'll teach you how to achieve a similar taste using a much simpler method. Here you'll find the steps to make your own traditional Tabasco sauce.

1. Ingredients

There are just a few ingredients in this recipe, and they should be easy to find at any grocery store. Here they are:

  • 500 ml water

  • 40 g fresh chili peppers

  • 50 g chili powder

  • 125 ml vinegar

  • 5 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons salt

2. Clean the chili peppers

To get started, we're going to clean every chili pepper, removing the stems first. Then, take out all of the seeds and the white parts inside of these veggies, so that the sauce doesn't end up being too spicy. Finally, rewash them to remove any remaining seeds or excess skin.

Los chiles frescos son el ingrediente principal de la salsa de Tabasco.
Fresh peppers are the main ingredient in Tabasco sauce.

3. Sautée the peppers

Next, sautée the chili peppers in a frying pan with some oil and let them sizzle for 5-6 minutes on low. Then, remove the peppers from the heat, let them cool, and set them aside for later.

4. Mix in cornstarch

After setting the chili peppers aside, we'll move on to the next step. Put the cornstarch in a bowl with a little bit of water and boil the rest in a pot. Once it comes to a boil, add the cornstarch right away and slowly stir it in until the mixture starts to thicken gradually.

5. Blend

Now our hot sauce is almost done, so we just need to finish it off by combining all of the ingredients. To do this, put the cornstarch mixed with water and the peppers in the blender or food processor and blend until the ingredients are liquid. To avoid any lumps, put the mixture through a strainer  and ta-da! Now you have your very own Tabasco sauce. 

6. Store sauce

To store the sauce, while it's still hot, put it into sterilized glass jars and keep it in your pantry. Now you'll have the perfect hot sauce to add a spicy touch to your meals whenever you please.

Hot wings recipe

So, since we already have our very own Tabasco sauce, we're going to make another dish so that we can try out its delicious spiciness. Chicken wings are quick and easy to prepare and go perfectly with the red-hot condiment we already have ready.

Everyone loves crispy wings and a touch of spicy Tabasco will make them even tastier. Here we'll show you how to get everyone's mouth watering with this succulent dish.

1. Ingredients

To make your own yummy hot wings, you'll need the following ingredients, and of course, you should keep the hot sauce that you just made on hand.

  • 20 chicken wings

  • 125 gm melted butter

  • 1/3 cup Tabasco sauce

  • 3/4 cup tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper or paprika

  • Add salt to taste

Las alitas picantes elaboradas con Tabasco son una receta perfecta para las noches de fin de semana.
Wings with hot sauce are the perfect weekend recipe.

2. Preheat oven

Preheat the oven to 180º C. Then, while the oven's heating up, make sure to pat the wings dry with a paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture.

3. Prepare hot sauce

In a bowl, mix the butter with the hot sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, and add salt to taste. Set this mixture aside for later.

4. Bake

Finally, place the wings on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Then, after taking the hot wings out of the oven, baste them with the hot sauce mixture using a pastry brush and put them in the oven again for 20 minutes or until they are visibly cooked.