How The Sauces On Hot Ones Are Chosen

As anyone who's ever watched the insanely popular YouTube series knows, each episode of Hot Ones features ten different hot sauces that range from so mild you barely notice them, to the kind of heat you need a fire extinguisher to put out. Each sauce is generously applied to a chicken wing, and said wings are then consumed by host Sean Evans and celeb guests ranging from Charlize Theron, to Stone Cold Steve Austin, to the great Gordon Ramsay himself. Basically, everybody who's anybody (except for Joe Rogan) is dying to be on the show — though some might feel as if they're dying on it by the time they reach that tenth wing.

So, just how do the show's producers choose the ten different hot sauces that are used? According to The Verge, it's a long, grueling, and painful job, but somebody's got to do it. The somebodies in question who select the Hot Ones sauces are the show's co-creator Chris Schonberger, and Noah Chaimberg, founder of hot sauce shop Heatonist.

How Schonberger and Chaimberg select Hot Ones sauces

The Verge reveals that the two taste testers bring in some 20 to 30 different hot sauces chosen by hot sauce expert Chaimberg, and taste little spoonfuls of each one over and over, until they can finally narrow down the list to their top candidates, and move on to the final test, where each season's sauced are finalized. It takes quite a few meetings to accomplish this, with each one lasting an hour or two, and according to Chaimberg, the two are "sitting there, crying, taking notes."

At times, Chaimberg might even meet with the hot sauce makers to request a recipe tweak or two, which is easily done with the Hot Ones-branded sauces, since he himself is part of the development team. Although Chaimberg and Schonberger admit that they try to increase the heat each season, they revealed to The Verge that they had to pull back a bit when it came to season 10, since they didn't want Evans to hate them — or, worse, to start hating the show itself and move on to producing a series about, say, how many sugar packets you can put in a cup of coffee. Luckily Evans is still hanging in there, mouth on fire, and his show's still hotter than the The Last Dab.