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Tim Boyle
Tim Boyle

I love spicy food. Don't get me wrong, I don't want my mouth to feel like I'm swallowing lava, but I love a good even burn with a meal.

I've been on a personal journey over the last three years to work myself up to eating super-hot chili peppers like scorpions, ghost peppers, and Carolina Reapers. Well, let's just say I've got a long way to go. A grilled jalapeno from Golden Corral in Beaumont lit me up hotter than any other pepper I've ever eaten about a year ago.

Here are my Top 5 Favorite Hot Sauces:

I love the earthiness and sweetness of this sauce. I'm just a sucker for this combo of flavor. It's perfect for chicken wings on the grill or fresh out of the oven. The generous dose of Puerto Rican red habaneros gives it a pleasurable burn.

I'm not going to sit here and say that this sauce is a burner, but the flavor is out of this world. The main pepper in this sauce is cayenne and it's complemented by the addition of Worcestershire and other spices making this the perfect sweet and sour sauce. Although I don't feel a burn, the intense flavor is a winner for me. I use Tiger Sauce in soups, gumbo, and as a marinade for chicken or pork.

My family loves Asian dishes, and one of my favorites to make at home is stir fry. This handmade hot sauce packs a flavorful punch and includes lemongrass, Thai ginger, cilantro, basil, serrano peppers, and lime juice. It's also sugar-free, which is a plus. I've also used this as a dip for homemade egg rolls and it's fantastic.

Please do not let this sauce be a secret to you. I first heard about this sauce when I watched Ted Barrus review it on YouTube about three years ago. I made the purchase and it literally got me started on my super-hot pepper journey.

As you can see in the name, it's made with roasted habaneros, so it's hot, but the depth of flavor is where it's at. It's a mustard-based sauce that sits perfectly between the sweet and savory flavor profiles.

Secret Aardvark is complex with its smokey citrus overtones. The thick consistency of the sauce makes it perfect for any dish. I've even eaten it just on the top of white rice. Make a marinade with it or just squeeze half the bottle on top of any meat you have on your plate. It's a crowd pleaser, for sure.

Of course being from Louisiana, I'm a huge fan of Louisiana vinegar style hot sauce, and my favorite of the bunch is Crystal's, the official hot sauce of the LSU Tigers. It's the perfect blend of cayenne and vinegar to make any dish taste amazing. Whether it's red beans and rice, gumbo, soups, or making a hot mayo, this sauce is my jam. I always restock when the bottle is half empty, so I know I'll always have a full one when I need it.

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