Sriracha may be one of the most beloved condiments of all time. The green-capped bottle of red rooster sauce is pretty perfect as-is, but homemade smoked Sriracha is a great change of pace when you want an extra depth of flavor. And let’s be honest, you’ll get a kick of satisfaction out of making your own—plus, it’s the perfect gift for fellow hot heads.
It’s not technically a Sriracha clone because, unlike the real stuff, it’s not fermented, but smoking the chiles does give it great complexity, and it’s definitely modeled after everyone’s favorite rooster sauce.
We’ll let former Chowhound photographer Chris Rochelle explain a little further; he created this recipe and photographed the process in March 2014:
What’s even better than barrel-aging Sriracha? Smoking it. This is my sixth attempt at a smoked Sriracha in the style of Huy Fong Foods’ rooster sauce. This time, I was trying to make a sauce with a little less sugar and a bit more natural sweetness (I used a small amount of dark brown sugar and a cooked carrot).
Related Reading: This Carrot-Ginger Hot Sauce Is Fantastic Too
I’ve been playing around with my stovetop hot smoker—it’s such an easy way to make all kinds of things taste more interesting, with greater depth to the flavor. The maple chips I used added a smoky-sweet taste perfect for this sauce.
You’ll need a few special items to make this sauce, at least one of which you may already have on hand:
Pro-tip: If you don’t have or want to buy a stovetop smoker, you can try hacking your wok into one instead.
The process is pretty simple, and you can use the sauce right away if you want to (you will). Otherwise, store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Makes about 1 3/4 cups
1. Smoke the chiles for 15 minutes in a hot smoker over wood chips, preferably maple.
2. Bring both vinegars to a boil. Add the carrots, garlic, and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Let everything cool for about 30 minutes.
3. Pull the stems off the chiles. If you want to remove the seeds (this is optional—I like to leave them in), scoop them out with your fingers and discard.
4. Place the chiles, vinegar-vegetable mixture, olive oil, salt, and 1/4 cup of the water in a blender.
5. Blend on high for one to two minutes. Check the consistency—add the additional 1/4 cup of water and blend again. If you like it thinner, add up to 1/4 cup additional water and blend again. Pour the chile sauce into jars and refrigerate.
On just about anything really. But if you need some inspiration, check out these ideas (just swap your homemade smoky Sriracha in for the usual store-bought rooster sauce):