How To Make Your Hot Sauce Less Spicy

We've all been there. There are certain times when your otherwise bland stir fry, slice of pizza, tacos, wings, or plate of scrambled eggs could use a bit of a kick. A dash of hot sauce is always around to save the day when your dish calls for some extra flavor. However, not all hot sauce is created equal. This difference obviously depends on what types of peppers are used as the main ingredient, in addition to the unique blend of spices, vinegars, and other flavor and texture enhancers. While many hot sauces fall on the mild end of the spectrum, some varieties pack so much heat, eating them can be somewhat painful. This phenomenon is due to the Scoville scale, which is the official measurement of the pungency of chili peppers (via Scoville Scale).

What can you do if the only hot sauce within reach is just a bit too hot for your liking and there isn't a glass of milk in sight? Well, thanks to science — as well as hot sauce lovers who have experimented with a grandiose collection — there are actually some tried-and-true ways to soothe the heat levels of some sauces.

How can you make hot sauce less spicy?

If you prefer hot sauce that doesn't singe off your taste buds or make you regret taking a bite, you are in luck! According to the award-winning, Portland-based hot sauce brand Secret Aardvark, you can easily dilute your hot sauce with everyday household items — without having to sacrifice the flavor!

First things first: Determine the base of the sauce. Then, simply add more of that. For instance, if the hot sauce is vinegar-based, add something acidic like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, salt, or lime juice. If the sauce is tomato- or vegetable-based, try adding more of the ingredients listed on the label. To figure this out, check the back label. The ingredient that's listed first will tell you.

Other ways to reduce heat include adding sugar or dairy. As far as sugar, sweet or mellow fruits like pineapple, mangos, bell peppers, and tomatoes usually do the trick. Dairy-based foods like sour cream can help cut the heat, too. In any case, don't let an insurmountable volume of spice spoil your dish — or, worse yet, your love and appreciation for hot sauce.