Our Favorite Healthier Hot Sauces for All Your Summer BBQs

Photo Credit: Jeremy Pawlowski

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.

fly by jing chili crisp

1. Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

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

2. The Hamsa Brand Harissa Hot Sauce and Marinade

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

3. Kitchen Garden Farm Sriracha

Made from organic, sustainable ingredients and naturally fermented, this small-batch Sriracha can be hot, extra-hot (habanero), or super-hot (ghost pepper). We love it for spicing up eggs, swirling into yogurt for a spicy-cool dip, or squeezing on top of anything grilled.
hot sauces

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Momofuku

4. Momofuku Chili Crunch

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

5. Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce

The Yellowbird Habanero hot sauce has a cult following (and for good reason): It’s slightly sweet, super spicy, and has a shockingly clean ingredients list. We love it on top of scrambled eggs, fish tacos; if you’re feeling extra spicy, it even works as a dip for chips or carrot sticks. If you, like we, become so obsessed that you can’t go without it, they have a miniature bottle that’s perfect for road trips.
mike's hot honey

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mike’s Hot Honey

6. Mike’s Hot Honey

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

7. Boonville Barn Collective Piment d’Ville

Ok, so this isn’t a sauce, but trust me when I say, this trio of chili powders is game-changing. Choose your flavor — classic, spicy, smoky — and use everywhere and anywhere you’d use black pepper.

Buy it: Piment d’Ville Collection, $37

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.