Louisiana Hot Vs Frank's RedHot: What's The Saucy Difference

Though Louisiana Hot and Frank's RedHot are two similar hot sauces you're likely to find on most grocery store shelves, they're not the same by any means. In the world of hot sauce, every note of flavor and every difference of ratio in the ingredients determines how a connoisseur will use a sauce — or if they'll even touch it at all. At the end of the day, It's all about individual preferences, but it's useful to have the scoop before you go shopping down the condiments aisle.

Though both Louisiana and Frank's utilize cayenne pepper in their sauces, have similar heat levels at 450 Scovill units, are often considered some of the best grocery store hot sauces, and stand around the same relative price point, they're fairly different products. For starters, they have different ingredient lists, which gives them noticeably distinct flavors. For example, Frank's RedHot highlights the flavor of its peppers while Louisiana has a more powerful sour tang of vinegar to complement the cayenne. Frank's will also more commonly be found as a sauce for wings whereas Lousiana Hot will be the table sauce found at many southern restaurants. And that's just the beginning of the differences between these two sauces.

What is Louisiana Hot sauce?

Louisiana Hot is a southern favorite, specifically in the areas surrounding its namesake. This hot sauce is perfect for those who like a little heat but don't want to be overwhelmed by spice. This is largely due to the fact that the product uses only cayenne peppers. The other ingredients keep this hot sauce fairly simple: distilled vinegar and salt. The thing that really makes Louisiana Hot different from other cayenne pepper sauces is its high levels of vinegar. The vinegar-to-pepper ratio gives it a thinner consistency than sauces like Frank's, not to mention the sour bite Louisiana-style hot sauces are known for. It's also what makes Louisiana Hot a great southern table sauce, which, unlike Frank's, is its primary function. The downside, some critics might say, is that the vinegar masks some of the pepper flavor.

The original Louisiana Hot has been around since 1928 when it was first bottled in New Iberia, and the company has used the same recipe since the beginning, regardless of ownership changes. Just about the only thing new with Louisiana Hot is the kind of products it sells, which now includes several different varieties of hot sauces, jarred peppers, a wing sauce, and a specialty line of premium hot sauces known as Louisiana Gold.

What is Frank's RedHot sauce?

You'll notice some of the ingredients that give Frank's its flavor are common in Louisiana-style hot sauces, which makes sense since the company claims its sauce was created in New Iberia (the same town as Louisiana Hot) in 1918. Both sauces start with the classic Louisiana-style base of aged cayenne peppers, vinegar, and salt. Frank's, however, is actually from Cincinnati, Ohio, which is where Frank's RedHot was originally made. To be fair, Frank's did ship its cayennes from Louisiana in the early days, and its sauce was genuinely inspired by Louisiana traditions. Frank's, however, does things a little differently. The sauce contains garlic powder for an extra tone of spice and it uses water to remove much of the classic Louisiana vinegar zip, leaving more of the pepper flavor behind.

McCormick, which owns Frank's RedHot, claims it was the sauce used to create the original Buffalo wings recipe at the Anchor Bar in 1964. Frank's RedHot mixed with melted butter is believed to have been the original recipe, and this fact has helped turn Frank's RedHot into a classic, especially for wings. It's why Frank's is practically synonymous with the flavor of Buffalo, and it's at least partially responsible for the continued worldwide popularity that's given birth to product lines like wing sauce, a variety of dipping sauces, and even prepackaged frozen foods like wings and snack rolls.