Our Favorite Healthier Hot Sauces for All Your Summer BBQs
June 11, 2021
By Geraldine Campbell
Some like it hot — so they say. And if you are one of those people, this hot sauce list is for you: super-spicy honey, better-for-your Sriracha, fiery harissa, and more. Everything brings the heat and does it without tons of added sugar, artificial flavors, or unpronounceable ingredients.
Some years ago, an ex-boyfriend of mine introduced me to chili crisp, an Asian hot sauce that, as you might expect, is spicy and crispy. It is also addictively good, possibly because it’s made with MSG. Luckily, there are a slew of better for you options out there, like this newcomer, crafted in small batches in Chengdu. It’s the perfect mix of savory and spicy, crunchy and oily and you’ll want to drizzle a bit on everything from eggs to ice cream.
Buy it: Sichuan Chili Crisp, $15
Harissa is a North African hot chili paste made with chilies, spices, and sometimes garlic. This small-batch version is made using fresh and fermented chilies, which means, in addition to packing plenty of heat, it also has good-for-your gut probiotics. It comes in two flavors: Spicy Hot and Smoky Heat; both are great, but we love Smoky Heat for the grilling season. And did we mention it comes in an easy-to-use squeezable bottle?
Buy it: Harissa Hot Sauce and Marinade (Smoky Heat), $12
Another take on the classic chili crisp, David Chang’s version is a total umami bomb. Made with Mexican chilis, garlic, shallots, mushroom powder, seaweed and more, it’s sweeter and less spicy than Fly by Jing’s — but no less delicious. Because there are no Sichuan peppers (which have a famously numbing effect), you could easily eat this straight from the jar. (Not saying I’ve done this, but…)
Buy it: Chili Crunch, $12
If you’re never tried Mike’s Hot Honey, stop what you’re doing right now and order a combo pack (hot and extra-hot). This stuff is incredible drizzled on pizza, garlic bread, avocado toast — you name it and Mike’s Hot Honey makes it more delicious.
Buy it: Hot Honey Combo Pack, $21