Hot sauce is lady’s best friend.  It’s the single easiest way to punch up any dish (well except maybe a hot fudge sundae), and if need be, can fight off a would-be attack (no one wants a face full of pepper juice).  In America’s current condiment obsessed culture, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the hot sauce choices out there.  There are so many options!  Hot sauces are like snowflakes, no two are alike.  Some might be too spicy, some not spicy enough, and some, like Mama Bear’s porridge, will be just right.  You could fill up your shopping cart next grocery store trip with all the available hot sauces to try and figure out which is the right sauce for you, or you could read the handy dandy Skinny Mom guide to hot sauces. It’s up to you!  But you should probably just read this article.

A&B American Style Pepper Sauce:  In addition to being delicious, A&B American Style Pepper Sauce is a hot sauce with a conscience.  A&B’s mission is to make the world a better place through their amazing pepper sauce.  They are all about supporting local farmers and keeping chemicals out of their product.  A&B runs their business with an emphasis on making the world a better place, now that’s hot sauce a mom can feel good about putting on her kid’s tongue when he says something fresh, although it would be a waste because this stuff is good.

Emeril’s Kick It Up! Red Pepper Sauce:  BAM!  Emeril Lagasse is one of the most well known chefs in the world, and you don’t reach that level of success without being darn good.  Emeril made a name for himself in Louisiana, the hot sauce capital of the world.  Seriously, people put hot sauce in baby food there, so if Emeril is in charge of hot sauce it has to be good.  The man has been writing best selling cookbooks for over 20 years, so it’s safe to say his sauce is the real deal.

Marshall’s Haute Sauce: Marshalls Haute Sauce is packaged so beautifully it’s almost too pretty to eat…almost.  Marshalls might have the most interesting lineup of hot sauces on the market.  With flavors like Ghost Chili Apple, Serrano Ginger Lemongrass, and Cranberry Red Jalapeno, these aren’t your nana’s hot sauces!  These hot sauces are sure to up the ante on any dish.

Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Hot Sauce: Proceed with caution, this hot sauce is not for the faint of heart!  A little fun fact, Dave’s Insanity Sauce is the only sauce to ever be banned from the National Fiery Food Show.  This sauce only needs a drop or two to get the job done.  Dave’s Insanity Sauce doesn’t have a strong vinegar taste like many hot sauces do, but it can be a little too intense for the beginning hot sauce connoisseur.

Crystal Hot Sauce: Crystal Hot Sauce is the number one selling hot sauce in Louisiana, and that’s no small feat!  Crystal is the purists hot sauce. It’s not overly salty, garlicy, or smokey, and it doesn’t overwhelm the food it’s put on, it truly compliments it.  This is a hot sauce that should please everyone at the table.

Bravado Spice Company Pineapple & Habanero Hot Sauce: Yellow hot sauce?  Heck yes yellow hot sauce!  Bravado Company Pineapple and Habanero hot sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, of naughty and nice. This sauce goes great with otherwise boring white fish, taking it to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Blair’s After Death Sauce with Liquid Fire: Blair’s After Death uses just six ingredients, but that’s all it needs.  After Death is like the average hot sauce on steroids.  It’s spicier, more intense, and even thicker than the old hot sauce standbys.  It’s got a bit of a buffalo sauce meets cayenne pepper feel to it, and it goes great with everything from jambalaya to spaghetti. No joke!

Sauce Goddess Sweet Red Devil Sauce: Some situations just call for a hot dipping sauce, and for those such occasions there is Sweet Red Devil sauce.  Sweet Red Devil is a great dipping sauce for all dunking needs.  Meatballs, chicken fingers, pot stickers, smoked mini sausages, and more. If it can be dipped, it should be dipped in some Sweet Red Devil sauce.

Bandar All Natural Spicy Mango Chili Sauce: Bandar Monkey Sauce is the first mainstream Indian hot sauce.  The sauce was born after the creators got creative with a traditional Indian recipe for mango pickle and mint cilantro chutney.   The unique bold flavor works on everything from soups to hot dogs.  The Spicy Mango Chili Sauce is the perfect way to bust out of a hot sauce rut, and how cute is that label?

Stellar Gourmet Red Headed Step Chile:  So many hot sauces compete to be the hottest, but Stellar Gourmet’s Red Headed Step Chile hot sauce is not one of them.  Red Headed Step Chile is proudly a low heat sauce, but low heat doesn’t have to mean boring.  The sauce is a bit smoky with tons of flavor.  If you’re looking to enjoy a hot sauce without burning a layer of skin off your tongue, this is the sauce for you.

DoubleKick Energizing Hot Sauce Original Recipe: What’s the one thing traditional hot sauce is missing?  Caffeine!  Double Kick hot sauce might be the ultimate breakfast condiment. Who couldn’t use a little extra energy in the morning?  Replacing the morning cup of coffee with a Double Kick Bloody Mary might be the prefect way to start a Saturday morning.  Oh and it’s pretty darn tasty too.  It has an Asian/Southwestern combo going on that makes it a great addition to almost any dish.

Portland Pepper Sauce Company Green Pepper Sauce: Portland Pepper Sauce Company’s Green Pepper Sauce is a breath of hot sauce fresh air.  By emphasizing the jalapenos in this sauce, the pepper’s true grassy, almost fruity taste and medium heat shine through.  And the good folks at Portland Pepper Sauce Company never use dried chilies, only fresh which isn’t all that common.

Pain Is Good Sriracha Pepper Sauce: Pain Is Good is a pretty well know name in the hot sauce game and Sriracha Sauce is their latest offering.  Sriracha sauce seems to be the new hip condiment, however the well know Rooster Bottle can be too spicy for some.  The Pain Is Good version is every bit as tasty as it’s well known rival, but is slightly less hot, so it may be more universally appealing.  Try mixing with some peanut butter for a spicy Asian peanut dipping sauce!

Stellar Gourmet King Calaverde: How about a citrus hot sauce?  Stellar Gourmet’s King Calaverde’s hot sauce doubles down on the citrus.  First, it uses fully ripened Serrano chiles, which have a clean, slightly sweet, citrus flavor, and then they use Mt. Edna lemons to compliment the peppers.  The sauce is less spicy than green chile versions, but is more complex. It’s a real grownup’s hot sauce, despite the crown-wearing skull on the bottle.

Grateful Bread & Other Good Things Sriracha Sauce: Real ingredients are the best ingredients, and Grateful Bread’s Artisan Sriracha sauce is chock-full of some of the tastiest real stuff on earth.  Red jalapenos, garlic, salt, vinegar, palm sugar…no crap here!  Sriracha really is an everyday condiment, and there is zero guilt, so pile it on with abandon.

Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper SauceFrank’s Red Hot is like the Grand Puba of hot sauces.  It needs no introduction, everyone in America has probably had a variety of Franks in their pantry at one time or another.  According to Bloomberg Business, Frank’s Red Hot Original is the best selling hot sauce in the country, so it’s worth having on hand.  And why not try some other flavors like Sweet Chili and Buffalo Wing?

Bonus Product:  And finally for the hipster foodie mom who thinks regular old sauce is so pedestrian, there’s chili infused salts from The Chili Lab.  Some might be intimidated cooking with chili infused salt, but with great risk there is great reward.  The infused salts come in flavors such as Cascabel Chili (with a pumpkin and nut flavor profile and medium heat level) and Pequin Chili (with a citrus and light smoke flavor profile and heavy heat level) that will be sure to elevate even the most mundane recipe.

Inspired to get a little spicy in the kitchen? Here are some of our favorite recipes to kick up with some sauce: Gluten-Free Unfried Chicken, Spaghetti Squash Tacos, Skinny Chili Cheese Potatoes, and Skinny Taco Stuffed Peppers.