What's the Most Surprising Thing You Put Hot Sauce On?

We're spilling our deepest, darkest hot sauce secrets—on a Slack thread.

December 20, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham

Growing up, I would avoid even the most mildly spicy food at all costs—even one chile pepper symbol next to a dish on a menu meant it was a no-go.

But a few years ago, seemingly out of nowhere, I started to gravitate towards more fiery dishes, working my way up from mild to medium and finally, spicy. Nowadays, I count Nashville hot chicken and piri-piri chicken with french fries as two of my all-time favorite foods (three, if you count the fries). I even have a pantry stocked with different types of hot sauces that I use on a regular basis, from Cholula Green Pepper (I know, it's not that spicy, but it's just so good) and Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce.

Recently, though, I've been on the hunt for a new favorite hot sauce to (sorry) spice things up. Luckily, I didn't have to look very far.

Turns out, there's a company called Fuego Box that offers a quarterly hot sauce subscription. Here's the gist: you sign up and every three months you get a shipment of three different small-batch hot sauces from around the world.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Now I frequently put hot sauce on baked goods...scones anyone? Lip smacking great!”
— Gloria

I recently gave it to myself as a gift (just in time for the holidays!) and my first box just arrived. In it, a spicy chili sauce made in Los Angeles, a Hawaiian hot sauce made with pineapple juice (yes, you read that right), and a smoked jalapeño number from California.

I popped open the jalapeño hot sauce first, and drizzled it over a breakfast of whole-wheat toast with smoked salmon and cream cheese. My desk neighbor and senior editor, Eric Kim, reacted with disgust and delight all at once. "I've never seen anyone put hot sauce on that before," he said.

This got me thinking: What other surprising things do people put hot sauce on? So I posed the question in a company Slack channel dedicated to idiosyncratic topics such as this. The results below, which have been edited lightly for clarity, were very surprising indeed.

The Foods We Can't Stop, Won't Stop Putting Hot Sauce On: A Slack Saga

Kaleigh Embree: I make pancakes, top them with a few dollops of vanilla bean ice cream, and then drizzle with lime Sriracha. 🙂

Erin Alexander: !!!

Max McDonough: Broccoli. Don't @me.

Brooke Deonarine: Whoa @Kaleigh Embree! Trying that out! That sounds so crazy and amazing! Ha!

Patrick Moynihan: Mac and cheese! Chips!

Erin Alexander: Mmmmm.

Kaleigh Embree: @Max, I'm @'ing you because I also do that, haha. Ultimate snack is broccoli drizzled in cheese and a little Buffalo sauce.

Erin Alexander: Mine is smoked salmon. 🐟

Kaleigh Embree: What hot sauce would you use with that? 😮 I'm so curious about that flavor combo.

Erin Alexander: I loveeee green Tabasco on it (but really any hot sauce will do).

Eric Kim: I don’t know if it’s that surprising, but I put hot sauce on salmon!

Coral Lee: I toss nuts to coat them in hot sauce and roast for cocktail snacks. I also use hot sauce on popcorn and in drinks (Micheladas and Bloodies, especially).

Erin Alexander: Ohhh hot sauce and popcorn sounds so good.

Eric Kim: Oh yeah, hot sauce in cocktails and shots, honestly. Not that I do either regularly…

Erin Alexander: I'm a big hot sauce + lime + Tecate fan.

Alicia Barber: Along those lines, put it in a beer with lime + Tajín rim = chef's kiss!

Mollie Doherty: When i'm making salad dressing I often add in a bit of hot sauce to keep things interesting. It plays well with tried-and-true mustard, olive oil, and shallots. Plus, the vinegary-ness helps to soften even tough kale.

Kaleigh Embree: For comfort food goodness, a cheesy hash brown casserole with a little hot sauce is great.

Eric Kim: The prairie oyster is a great hangover cure: bourbon, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yolk.

Danielle Curtis-Williams: Maybeee eggs is surprising to someone? I'm sure I've put it on pizza before and fries (anything with potatoes is fair game, tbh).

Rebekah Daniels: I'm a huge fan of putting hot sauce on a diner-style corned beef hash breakfast. Oh, and I like to make Furikake Chex Mix with a few shakes of hot sauce to add a bit of bite to it.

Patrick Moynihan: @rebekah daniels wins.

June Kim: I never thought to put hot sauce on boiled eggs until I saw this video and now I can't stop.

Erin Alexander: Yummmmm.

Eddie Barrera: Unsure if this counts, but I put Fuego Box's Hot Hive Honey (this brand specifically) in my smoothies. It really adds a nice end flavor to something cold and thick.

Erin Alexander: That definitely counts.

Rebekah Daniels: Omg Eddie that sounds so good.

Erin Alexander: What kind of smoothie??

Rebekah Daniels: I honestly love hot honey on everything. I'd eat it by the spoonful if it wasn't socially (and medically) unacceptable.

Kaleigh Embree: Mike's Hot Honey on vanilla ice cream, or drizzled over the whipped cream on dark chocolate hot chocolate = love.

Eddie Barrera: Spinach, berries, banana, chunky peanut butter, goji berries, chia seeds, and a nut milk.

Kelly McPartland: Tuna wraps and sandwiches for me, lol.

Brinda Ayer: @Coral Lee +1 on hot-sauced popcorn (with a lot of nutritional yeast sprinkled on top).

Cody Kestigian: It's not really a snack, but I love upgrading a whatever bland beer into a pretty-tasty spicy beer.

Kaleigh Embree: Is there a cider anyone thinks this would work with? I want to try it, but don't drink beer. 😭

Cody Kestigian: I bet anything on the drier side works fine!

Liz Andrew: I can vouch for that smoothie. It's wonderful and I've started occasionally adding that hot honey to my own smoothies (where appropriate).

Christina Ferrara: Idk if this makes me a bad Italian, but I put Sriracha in my sauce for spaghetti and meatballs all the time. 🍝 🤷

What's the most surprising thing you love to put hot sauce on? Keep our Slack thread going by telling us in the comments below!

More Hot Sauces to Choose From

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • xhille
  • Vivienne
  • Jenny
  • Hope Carr
    Hope Carr
  • Gloria
Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


xhille June 8, 2021
my most surprising is not on, but in:

shots of limoncello with a squirt of aardvark
Vivienne March 25, 2020
I've been adding hot sauce to lots of stuff I cook for years. Originally used only Tabasco because all the others weren't available. Now I have at least 5 different ones available all the time. I put a lot in with the mayo for macaroni salad. It goes in all gravies and sauces. Usually not enough to blow your head off, but enough to enhance the flavors.
Jenny March 24, 2020
Cottage cheese on toast with a heavy dose of hot sauce for breakfast or snack. Also great stirred into orange marmalade or raspberry jam.
Hope C. March 23, 2020
I put it on oatmeal, along with plantain and peanut butter. I use the hottest one I can find, which right now is something yellow in a small jar that I got in Brazil. I'm going to be sad to finish that jar.
isw March 23, 2020
Sounds like aji amarillo paste; I find jars in the local Hispanic foods store.
Hope C. March 23, 2020
No. It's called Molho de Pimenta com Pequi. Pequi is one of the many Brazilian fruits that are, um, difficult. This one has soft flesh inside edible skin, but there are spines surrounding the pit. It's usually used in savory dishes. It's sweet, but has a slightly cheesy aspect. It's from a company called Pimenta do Jamal, who have a pretty broad range of hot sauces.
Gloria March 23, 2020
Fair warning, this was started as an accident. I keep condiments on the table. Bumped the Cholula with my plate, tipping it over onto my raspberry turnover. Of course the cap wasn't on properly and it shot out over half my turnover. Not one to waste a fresh from the oven turnover, I ate it anyway. YummO!! Now I frequently put hot sauce on baked goods...scones anyone? Lip smacking great!
Gauge March 23, 2020
Peanut butter sandwiches! I make my own Jamaican hot sauce (mangoes, pineapple, garlic, habaneros, etc) and the sweet/hot works so well!
Panfusine December 28, 2019
fruits, fried potatoes, triscuits, lime gelato.. (am not above dropping some on my bare palm to lick it up as is..
Terry P. December 25, 2019
Green Mango, green apples, jicama. A squeeze of lime, sriracha a dash of rock salt.
Kel December 23, 2019
Pizza. I drizzle hot sauce on my pizza and then dip it in ranch. I'm a monster, a happy, well fed, monster.
Ethyl December 22, 2019
This is an "article"? This weird-ass chat transcript that is hard to read and follow? Like, aside from the fact that apparently y'all get paid to just trasncribe your chats, this is basically nonsense. So I guess thanks for such fascinating food journalism as "Mmmmm."
Gloria March 23, 2020
Ethyl, if you're not interested, just leave this site. Apparently your parents did not teach you "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
mgumdrop December 21, 2019
Peanut butter and huy fong garlic chili sauce sandwiches. Soo much better than pb&j!
Jordana December 21, 2019
Halve an avocado, take out the seed, and fill the cavities with Frank's. Eat with a spoon! Sometimes we'll use hot sauce plus a little bit of olive oil to dress a blue cheese and spinach salad.
isw December 21, 2019
Another vote for mac&cheese. I've been using El Yucateco hab sauce, but I just got a jar of TJ's "Italian Bomba" Calabrian chili sauce and I can hardly wait until I have a chance to try it.
Gary F. December 21, 2019
I like it on chocolate chip cookies occasionally.
Sam C. December 20, 2019
I work in an operating room. We have these little peanut butter containers for crackers, etc. I put really any hot sauce (usually Sriracha...) dripped in with soy sauce. Makes a umami hot blast to the dreary norm.
ValC December 20, 2019
I love it on beans and kale (or spinach, or chard...) but I'm not so sure it's a strange choice
Stacey December 20, 2019
Pizza, Eggs, Burgers, and just about everything. Oh and popcorn with hot sauce and Parmesan cheese is great, or nutritional yeast if you prefer.
Annada R. December 20, 2019
Any cheesy pasta! Especially Mac & cheese!
mattcoz December 20, 2019