There’s a lot of masochism in hot sauce. When you move beyond the relative safety of Tabasco, Sriracha, and Tapatío, much of the market is made up of small-production sauces with gimmicky names and labels promising every conceivable level of delicious pain.
Take hot sauces like the Reaper Sling Blade—made with one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Carolina Reaper—or The Black Mamba, which boasts a rating of 2.5 million on the heat-rating Scoville scale. (For reference, a standard jalapeño falls somewhere between 3,500 and 10,000 Scoville units.) The problem with most of these super-hot sauces, however, is that while they effectively set your mouth on fire, they contain little in the way of real flavor.