The Best Grocery Store Hot Sauce, According To 26% Of People

Hot sauces take up a considerable portion of the condiment aisle these days, and though a majority of them might look the same with their vibrant, red-orange hue, true connoisseurs of the spicy condiment know that they're far from equal. Some are thicker than others and are slightly sweeter on the palate, while others have a delightful vinegariness to them that takes eggs, potatoes, and tacos to the next level. And let's not forget about the amount of heat that each bottle brings, which, let's be honest, is the reason we douse our food with the stuff in the first place.

It can take some time to determine which hot sauce is the best, so we here at Mashed wanted to give you a bit of help the next time you're faced with the dilemma of choosing one of the colorful bottles to put in your cart. We asked 655 individuals in the United States which grocery store hot sauce reigned supreme out of a few of the classic brands: Cholula, Crystal, Frank's Red Hot, Huy Fong Sriracha, Louisiana Brand, Tabasco, and Tapatío. Some didn't fair as well as others, like Crystal, which, despite being David Chang's favorite, only received votes from 25 people or 3.82% of respondents. Tapatío rang in slightly higher with votes from 10.38% of respondents, though that still put the California-based sauce as the second-worst option in our poll.

Astronauts love Sriracha, but it's not considered the best hot sauce on Earth

Huy Fong Sriracha, more commonly referred to as simply Sriracha, has seen a recent surge in popularity over the last few years and was even blasted into space for the astronauts on board the International Space Station to enjoy (via The Daily Meal). Back on Earth, however, the sauce is only seen as mid-tier, being labeled "the best" by 11.15% of respondents to our survey. Cholula and its signature wooden cap followed closely behind with a total of 11.76%, meaning it just barely beat out Sriracha by a mere four votes.

Considering that the New Orleans-based hot sauce brand Crystal performed the worst in our survey, it may come as a bit of a surprise that bottles with the colorful Louisiana Brand label slapped onto them earned the third-highest number of votes, being dubbed the "best" grocery store hot sauce by 79 people, or 12.06% of respondents. The spicy condiment from New Iberia, Louisiana has been building its "reputation for quality and perfection" since 1928 (via Louisiana Brand), so it's no wonder that so many people enjoy its "perfect balance" of flavor.

Tabasco barely edged out Frank's Red Hot

If you haven't seen your favorite hot sauce listed yet, it's likely because it's one of the top two performers in our survey. Per the results, Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot were widely considered the best grocery store hot sauces available, with only a marginal difference between the two.

Out of 655 respondents, 161 follow in the footsteps of "sweet ol' Ethel," the spokeswoman for Frank's Red Hot who has been famously putting "that s*** on everything" since 2009 (via Frank's Red Hot). The condiment — which the company claims on its website is the #1 American Hot Sauce brand — earned a total of 24.58% of votes in our poll, though that still did not give it the title of "best" grocery store hot sauce on the shelf.

Rather, the honor went to the iconic red pepper sauce that is Tabasco, which edged out Frank's by only 11 votes for a total of 26.26% in the poll. The spicy topping is an excellent addition to just about anything from sandwiches to pizza to french fries, not to mention it brings some serious flavor to a Bloody Mary, so we can definitely see why it took the number one spot in our survey.