What’s A Good Tabasco Substitute?

While Tabasco hot sauce is a supermarket staple, there are times when you need an alternative. What other hot sauces can you use that have a similar vinegary tang? What’s a good Tabasco substitute in a pinch for cooking if you don’t have a bottle of any hot sauce handy? And where can you turn if you simply don’t prefer the strong vinegar flavor that Tabasco is famous for? Let’s breakdown your best options.

Want to sub in a different hot sauce with a comparable flavor? Try Louisiana hot sauce or Cholula.

Both of these hot sauces have, like Tabasco, a high amount of vinegar in the mix. Louisiana hot sauce is a little closer to the Tabasco level, but both work perfectly as dashing hot sauces for recipes and meals. If Tabasco for some reason is not available at your local store, check for either of these.

See our review of Louisiana hot sauce to get a better understanding of this popular hot sauce.

Is Tabasco too vinegary for you and want something different? Try Sriracha sauce.

To really understand the differences between these two uber-popular hot sauces, check out our PepperScale Showdown comparing the two. But simply – Tabasco, with its high vinegar content, is best as a dashing hot sauce to add some Cajun-like heat and tang to a dish. Whereas, Sriracha, with its more complex flavor and thicker consistency, is more of a sauce.

The red jalapeños and garlic in the sauce really are the standouts, so Sriracha is an entirely different flavor profile and eating experience. It’s a perfect Tabasco alternative for those that just can’t deal with the vinegar.

Need an “in a pinch” solution when there is no hot sauce in the house? Try cayenne pepper (with a few dashes of vinegar optional)

You can reach right into that spice rack for a perfect quick solution. Cayenne pepper powder can provide the fire that Tabasco was meant to, and a few dashes of vinegar can very roughly simulate the fiery tang of Tabasco.

Just be considerate about the amount of cayenne used. While Tabasco uses tabasco peppers which have the same high-medium heat as cayenne (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units), those tabasco peppers are well diluted in vinegar. So just a little cayenne can go a long way when a recipe calls for Tabasco. Start with a quarter teaspoon and work up from there to get the heat level you prefer.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 17, 2019 to include new content.
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