Feeling Saucy? A Ranking of the Hottest Hot Sauces!

Hot Sauces - Can you Handle the Heat? 

Here at Kelly's, we mostly sell items imported directly from America and Britain. For those of you who miss your proper cups of tea, the irreplaceable taste of Cadbury's and the deliciously spongey texture of Twinkies! But we offer a little something extra too - selling a small selection of Mexican products! 

To enjoy your fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and more! We offer the well-known Old El Paso kits from Britain, the Nando's spicy chicken mixes, the wonderfully tasty La Costeña selection, and of course, the whole point of this blog - the El Yucateco Hot Sauces! 

So what is El Yucateco? They are a company founded over 50 years ago, in 1968 to be precise, by Priamo Gamboa. Starting the company as a small family-owned business that made hot sauces with habanero peppers as their base. Nowadays, according to their site, they are the number one selling habanero hot sauce in the United States, with the aim to expand even further across the world. They're looking to Australia, the Czech Republic, Ireland & more!

So becoming a favourite amongst chilli lovers, heat seekers, and those who just love adding an extra zing to their food - this condiment is considered the perfect flavour boost to be used across a vast variety of foods! 

But what we get asked most often, by those of you who wish to add a little spice to their life, is which is the hottest? Which is the sweetest? Which will make it feel like my mouth is an active volcano? Well, we are here to help answer that question! We asked three (brave) employees to rate the heat out of ten to let you know which is the spiciest, the sweetest, and in their opinion - the best! 

The Unofficial Rating:

So to start off this list with our three employees! One from Amsterdam (now known as A), one from Utrecht (hereby known as U) and last but not least, we have a wonderful worker from the warehouse (in this list known as W). 

For reference, A loves hot sauces. Adding hot sauces to eggs, sandwiches and any meal you can think of. (Has been witnessed trying to add it to gravy on a roast dinner). With a true love of trying every hot sauce available - they reckon they can handle the heat better than U & W. (Spoilers: This is proven to be true in this test.)

Our second taste tester from Utrecht, U, enjoys the occasional hot sauce but much prefers being able to feel their tongue and taste their food. Will add a little spice, but will not drown their food in it every time, as A does. Reckons they can 'kind of' handle the heat. 

Finally, the third taste tester, W, self-proclaimed 'wuss' when it comes to heat and spiciness. Isn't sure why they agreed to this challenge - promptly regretted it, but at least got nachos out of this deal. 

The group gathered on a warm Saturday night, cracked open a bottle of wine, a couple of beers (very professional taste testing), and then settled down over a piping hot plate of vegetarian nachos (made with Quorn mince, Old El Paso Jalapeños and Rotel all from Kelly's Expat Shopping!). 

Putting a few drops on loaded nachos and splashes some plain ones so we have a good evaluation of flavour and spiciness, we began! 

The Least Spicy: 

El Yucateco Chile Jalapeño

Rating out of 10 for Spiciness: 

A: 2 / 10  
U: 1 / 10 
W: 3 / 10 

U: Super nice tasting! It has the jalapeño flavour without being crazy hot. This is a nice balance!
W: It's kind of sweet...
A: Sweet is too strong of a word I think, but I get it! 

Overall: Not super spicy but a nice balance of flavour with a little heat. Important to note the whole team went back for seconds for this one and kept loading it onto the nachos! 

Final Score: 2 / 10. 

El Yucateco Chile Habanero Black Label

A: 3 / 10  
U: 3 / 10 
W: 5 / 10 

A: Ooooh, it's smokey! Not super strong flavoured though and not really spicy...
U: Oh it's not for me! Nope!
W: Slightly sweet, slightly smokey... 

Overall: If you love your food to have a little extra smokiness to it - this is the one for you! It has a rich smokey flavour which can add a boost to your barbecue dishes. Not particularly spicy, just a little extra oomph than the jalapeño. 

Final Score: 3.5 / 10 

Middle Range:

El Yucateco Chile Habanero Green 

A: 5.5  / 10 
U: 6 / 10
W: 6 / 10

U: It's got like a bit of a... heat? It's got a little punch. 
A: Yep, it's slightly bitter, slight sharpness to it. 
W: Ok... not as hot as the red version but there is a sharper taste that comes in. (for context it is ranked in heat order - not the order we tried them in)

Overall: Hit a little later than the other two but has a sharp, almost bitter flavour, to it. No taste testers loved the taste as much as later ones but could see how it gives an extra oomph to a dish. Recommended for adding to dishes, not necessarily dipping nachos in. 

Final Score: 5.5 / 10 

El Yucateco Chile Habanero Red

A: 7 / 10
U: 8 / 10 
W: 8 / 10 

U: That's hit me! Ahh, my throat! 
W: Ok I'm scared... 
A: [munching away next to U], This is hot, but not super hot... It has a good flavour, it's a bit peppery. 
W: Yeah, nice taste but definitely spicy.  
U: I put too much on my nacho. Does anyone want the rest of this nacho? 

Overall: Definitely feel that habanero pepper hit. Upping the spiciness, but with a nice, slightly sweet flavour - for those who like a hot sauce that packs a punch but keeps the flavour too = Great. Consider this one when adding to a different sauce, dipping the occasional nacho in or sprinkling a few drops on perhaps a cheese toastie! 

Final Score: 7.5 / 10

The Hottest: 

El Yucateco Chile Habanero Exxxtra

A: 7.5 / 10
U: 8 / 10
W: 8.5 / 10

A: Ok, I'm going to try it but not let you know how hot it feels.
U: Ok, I'll do the same, [W], you're going last. 
W: Oh no... why?

W: Huh, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It's hot, but not immediately. It hits a little late...
U: Oh this is an odd taste, but woooah mama, that heat hits you when you think you're safe.
A: It's a little spicier than the red, but it's slightly more acidic also I think.

Overall: For those who can handle the heat hitting late. Definitely feel it on the roof of the mouth and throat, as you think you're safe until it's too late. One of A's favourites, and they added copious amounts to their next few nachos. W & U grabbed a huge bottle of water and some glasses. U wished they bought milk instead.  

Final Score: 8/10 

El Yucateco Chile Habanero Caribbean 

A: 8.5 / 10
U: 9 / 10
W: 8.5 / 10

U: Woooooah. It's a 9. Super sweet but it's tingling! 
W: I like it... but it is quite something... 8 and a half. 
A: 8 and a half, but yeah, my tongue is tingling.

Overall: Amazing flavour, sweet tones to it, but as soon as that habanero spiciness hits be prepared for the heat! Again, A helped himself to extra splashes over his nachos, U tentatively tried again as the taste almost felt worth it - then grabbed a new glass of water. W drank their water and continued to regret agreeing to the challenge.

Final Score: 8.75 / 10

The Untried: 

El Yucateco Chile Chipotle 

A controversial decision, but as none of the participants enjoy the taste of chipotle (we're sorry, we know it tastes great!) they decided not to try the chipotle flavour. Due to the fact that their dislike of the flavour may cause an unfair rating. Apologies to our dear readers, you will have to discover the spiciness of that one on your own. 

Final Rating: 

According to Matt Bray, over at Pepperscale.com, "The habanero pepper is very hot with a Scoville Rating of between 100,000 and 350,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), meaning that its heat is approximately 70 times that of a jalapeño pepper." So it is unsurprising our team found the heat a little hard to handle (and found the jalapeño sauce sweet and mild in comparison to the habanero based sauces). 

It all depends on what you're looking for. A few drops of El Yucateco Chile Habanero Black Label to your barbecue can really give that extra boost of smokey flavour. A couple of splashes of the El Yucateco Chile Habanero Red to your favourite dish can add that extra heat and a little bit of sweetness you're looking for. 

We can only say one thing regarding El Yucateco - it's delicious and delivers on its promise of being hot! 

Want to try your own hot sauce challenge? Check out our full range of El Yucateco on our site today! Gather some friends, grab your favourite dish and enjoy! 

Let us know your thoughts below - Which hot sauce do you love the most? And what meal can you not have without it?


Please note, all opinions in this blog are simply that: opinions. This is not an official rating of El Yucateco. Please see the product for full details! 


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