Hot Sauce Challenges And Contests

Does your heart start to race, and do beads of sweat form on your brow at the thought of participating in a hot sauce challenge or contest? Given my passion for chilies, I’ve also considered taking part many times, but there’s more to these spicy competitions than meets the eye.

If you’re looking to find the next gourmet hot sauce, with maybe a smoky bourbon flavor or a tangy sauce made with medium-heat jalapeno peppers, garlic del fuego, or apple whiskey, then a hot sauce challenge is not the place to do it! These contests feature super hot sauces with a lot of heat intensity. The lineup may contain sauces and extracts with the highest Scoville ratings, so be cautious.

Hot sauce challenge - bottles

This article delves into some popular global hot sauce challenges, their guidelines, and some essential safety precautions. Are you ready to turn up the heat?

Hot sauce challenges and contests have gained popularity in recent years, with various games and sets designed to test the limits of spice tolerance at home. Let’s explore a few that have some great reviews:

Hot Sauce Roulette Game

The Hot Sauce Roulette Game from Pure Bred Idiot is a fun way to test your spice tolerance with friends and family. It uses 12 small bottles of hot sauce set in a roulette wheel. Spin the wheel and try the spicy hot sauces the arrow lands on.

Some sauces are mild, while others are very hot. You’ll be sure to laugh and cry, as the heat from some sauces can be too much for some people! Try it out with your friends this Christmas to see who has the best spice tolerance.

Crazy Hot Sauce Gift Set

Brought to you by Ass Kickin’, this Crazy Hot Sauce Gift Set also includes 12 small bottles of hot sauce. Taking a different approach to the roulette format, this game includes hot sauces, peppers, and powders and uses a dice roll to determine which sauce you try. The object of the game is to be the last crazy standing!

The 12 sauces are made using some of the hottest peppers in the world, like habanero peppers, ghost peppers, scorpion peppers, and Carolina reaper peppers.

Scoville Laboratory Hot Sauce Challenge Set

The Scoville Laboratory Hot Sauce Challenge Set from Thoughtfully Gourmet is a hit with the chili community. You get a set of 10 hot sauce bottles in this set. These sauces have varying heat levels. They start at a gentle 493 SHU on the Scoville scale and climb to a fiery 11,300 SHU.

This challenge set also comes with a cool display rack. You can proudly show off your spicy gourmet hot sauce collection, making it a talking point whenever you have guests! Each flavor is unique, delivering an exciting taste adventure whenever you dare to try one.

Hot sauce contest - bottles in a line

There are other games and challenges out there, but be sure to do your research. Often, they do not live up to the hype. They promise extreme heat and great flavors but fail to deliver.

Rules and Guidelines for Hot Sauce Challenges and Contests

There are rules and guidelines attached to each hot sauce challenge or contest. If you’re purchasing a challenge to complete at home, the manufacturer will give guidance to ensure all participants have an enjoyable and safe experience.

For more public-facing contests, the rules and guidelines will be far stricter. After all, these challenges are designed to make contestants sweat by having them taste the world’s hottest hot sauces or raw chilli peppers, so participants often have to sign liability waivers to protect the organizers.

How to participate

Follow these steps to participate in a hot sauce challenge at home with friends and family. First, choose a challenge that suits your spice tolerance level. Some challenges range from mild to extreme heat levels. 

Gather the necessary supplies, such as hot sauces or a hot sauce challenge set. Prepare yourself mentally and physically by building up your spice tolerance by gradually increasing the spiciness of foods you consume.

When you’re ready, take on the challenge. Expertly work your way through each hot sauce and endure the heat. While some challenges specify that you don’t drink water for a certain amount of time after each, remember to have milk or dairy products handy to help soothe any discomfort caused by the spicy sauces.

It’s great fun to get the family involved. I’ve done it several times over the years, trying super hot sauces over chicken wings and eating raw chili peppers, recording each for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a spicy eating playlist I created just for you – enjoy!

Most chili festivals have some kind of challenge or competition to entertain the crowd these days. I was at Manchester Wing Fest earlier this year and the Great Dorset Chilli Festival; each had its own contest for the general public to get involved in.

To get an idea of some of the challenges, check out YouTube. There are so many videos of well-organized challenges for you to see.

Clifton Chilli Club is notorious for hosting chili-eating contests throughout Europe. To get an idea of what contestants endure, take a look at this video – Chilli Eating Contest Bath Chilli Festival Sat 26 Sept 2015 🌶

If you are going to try any of the challenges, be sure to eat something before you start, as some foods may help to absorb the capsaicin and ease the cramps you may experience from eating super hot chilies such as the 7Pot Primo, 7Pot Bubblegum, Carolina Reaper, Bhut Jolokia, or extreme Habanero (Red Habanero, Mango Habanero, etc…)

Scoring and ranking system

Scoring and ranking systems determine the winners in hot sauce challenges and contests. One notable scoring system is the E.A.T. Methodology developed by the World Food Championships.

This system considers factors like Execution, Appearance, and Taste when judging hot sauces. Another important aspect of hot sauce competitions is the League of Fire World Rankings, which recognizes individuals who excel in chili peppers and hot sauces.

These rankings help showcase participants’ skills and achievements in these spicy competitions. The annual Scoville hot sauce contest also uses a scoring system to evaluate and compare different sauces from around the world.

Safety precautions

Participating in hot sauce challenges and contests can be fun, but taking safety precautions is essential. Hot sauces can contain capsaicin, the compound found in peppers that makes these sauces spicy.

Capsaicin can irritate your skin and eyes, so wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot sauces. Avoid touching your face or eyes while participating in these challenges is also a good idea.

Colorful hot sauce bottles - challenges

Additionally, if you have any allergies or sensitivities to spicy foods, use caution when trying different hot sauces. And remember, always have a glass of milk or another dairy product nearby to help soothe the heat if things get too intense!

Notable Hot Sauce Challenges and Contests

Some of the most notable hot sauce challenges and contests include Hot Ones Season, Mötley Crüe’s Most Notorious Hot Sauce Collection, and Adult Swim RICK AND MORTY Hot Sauce Challenge Set.

Hot Ones Season

This is by far the most famous hot sauce challenge in the world, hosted by Sean Evans. Each season of Hot Ones from First We Feast brings a new selection of hot sauces for guests to try. These sauces vary in heat level and flavor profiles, allowing for an exciting and diverse tasting experience.

While some sauces remain consistent throughout the seasons, such as the three self-produced varieties, new additions keep things interesting. So far, Hot Ones has aired an impressive 21 seasons and 300 episodes.

A complete list is available if you’re curious about all the different sauces featured throughout the show’s history. And if you’re wondering who was the first guest on the first episode of Hot Ones, take a look!

Mötley Crüe The Most Notorious Hot Sauce Collection

The Mötley Crüe hot sauce collection is made up of five different hot sauces. These sauces were created by the band members themselves, including one called Southwest Habanero hot sauce, made by Nikki Sixx.

Each sauce has its unique flavor and heat level, ensuring that there is something for everyone’s taste buds. The ingredients used in these sauces include habanero peppers, cumin, vinegar, and more.

This collection is perfect for fans of the band who also enjoy spicy foods or for anyone who loves collecting hot sauce. So why not spice up your meals with a little rock ‘n’ roll?

Adult Swim RICK AND MORTY Hot Sauce Challenge Set

The Adult Swim RICK AND MORTY Hot Sauce Challenge Set is popular with hot sauce enthusiasts. This officially licensed set includes flavors like Chipotle, Habanero, Jalapeno, and Garlic.

A Rick & Morty Hot Sauce Challenge Set of 6 is also available. This set is associated with notable hot sauce challenges and contests and offers various flavors to spice up your meals.

So, if you’re a fan of the show or love trying new hot sauces, this challenge set is worth checking out!


Hot sauce challenges and contests are a popular trend that more and more people are getting involved in. There are many exciting options to get started with at home, from the Hot Sauce Roulette Game to the Scoville Laboratory Hot Sauce Challenge Set. Once you’ve progressed from original hot sauces to some hotter recipes, you might want to give a festival challenge a go.

However, it’s important to remember that completing the hot sauce challenges can have risks, so always be cautious and mindful when indulging in the spiciest hot sauces and chili peppers. So go ahead and add some heat to your life, but make sure you handle it carefully! Who knows, maybe we’ll see you on stage at the next big chili festival or being interviewed on the Hot Ones!

If you’d like to find out more about the history of hot sauces and some of the best homemade hot sauce recipes check out our recent article.

Hot Sauce Challenges and Contests FAQs

1. What is a Hot Sauce Challenge?

Participants eat or taste extremely spicy sauces in a hot sauce challenge to test their tolerance and endurance.

2. Are Spicy Hot Sauce and Pepper Eating Challenges Safe?

While hot sauce and chili pepper challenges can be fun, they should be cautiously approached. They are designed to push contestants to their limits! Consuming excessive amounts of spicy sauce can cause discomfort, stomach problems, or even allergic reactions for some individuals.

3. Can Anyone Participate in a Super Hot Sauce Contest?

Yes, anyone can participate in a hot sauce contest if they meet the eligibility requirements set by the organizers. Often, organizers will ask for volunteers to get in touch before or at the event. You’ll likely be asked to sign an insurance waiver to participate.

4. How are Winners Determined in Hot Sauce Contests?

Winners of hot sauce contests are usually determined based on specific criteria such as finishing all the levels of spiciness, completing various challenges within a time limit, or being judged on factors like flavor and reaction to heat.

5: What is the Best Way to Enjoy Hot Sauces?

The best way to enjoy hot sauces is to experiment with different flavors and heat levels. Some people enjoy adding hot sauces to their favorite dishes like wings, burgers, or tacos, while others prefer mixing them into marinades or dressings. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and what you enjoy.

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