Flavorful And Versatile Cliff’s Hot Sauce Recipe (Ideal For Grilling)

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Did you know Cliff’s Hot Sauce is one of the best in the market? Pay attention to its rich, fiery flavor. It is best used to elevate any dish. The number one choice for heat enthusiasts, Cliff’s offers a kick and a depth of taste. Take time to try it; you may want a second bottle. Remember that a little goes a long way. It’s important to use sparingly if you’re new to spice. Truly, this is an excellent option for those looking to add some zest to their meals.

Did you know that while traveling through Middle Eastern countries, it became apparent that many dishes needed that extra kick?

Cliff's Hot Sauce Recipe

I remember strolling through bustling markets in Istanbul and relishing the flavorful kebabs that ignited my palate with heat. But once back home, many European dishes felt missing that fiery punch. 

Enter the dilemma: How could I bring that intense flavor to every meal, even Europe’s more subtly spiced dishes? During a visit, I was introduced to Cliff’s Hot Sauce on a friend’s recommendation. 

It was an instant game-changer. A few drops transformed a mundane pasta dish into a sensation reminiscent of those vibrant Turkish streets. 

Now, my kids request it on almost everything! It’s important to note that Cliff’s Hot Sauce isn’t just about heat; it’s about enhancing overall flavor. What is the best way to relive those travel experiences on your plate? A dash of Cliff’s.

What Is Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

Cliff’s Hot Sauce is one of the best hot sauce brands available, known for its intense heat paired with robust flavor. 

Originating from a unique blend of spices and peppers, it’s become a favorite for many looking to elevate their dishes. 

Whether you want to add zest to a simple meal or replicate the fiery taste of Middle Eastern and European cuisines, Cliff’s is a great option. 

Using it judiciously is important, as even a small amount can deliver a powerful punch. For those passionate about flavor, Cliff’s Hot Sauce is undoubtedly a must-have in the kitchen.

History Of Cliff’s Hot Sauce 

Cliff’s Hot Sauce was the brainchild of Clifford “Cliff” Thompson, a culinary enthusiast with a penchant for spicy foods. 

While traveling through Middle Eastern countries and parts of Europe, Cliff wanted to create a sauce that captured the fiery essence he experienced abroad. 

Wanting to bridge the gap between the intense flavors of the East and the subtler notes of European cuisine, Cliff began experimenting with various pepper blends. After countless iterations and fine-tuning, Cliff’s Hot Sauce was born. 

It quickly gained traction among friends and local eateries, eventually becoming one of the best hot sauce options for culinary aficionados worldwide.

Interesting Facts About Cliff’s Hot Sauce

  • Cliff’s Hot Sauce uses a blend of rare and exotic peppers, some sourced from hidden corners of the globe.
  • Each bottle is crafted in small batches to ensure consistent quality and flavor.
  • The sauce has won multiple awards, including the prestigious “Golden Pepper Award” in 2022.
  • Despite its heat, Cliff’s is known for its unique savory notes, making it versatile across various cuisines.
  • It’s important to note that Cliff’s uses all-natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives.
  • The label’s design is inspired by Cliff’s travels, featuring landmarks from Middle Eastern countries and Europe.
  • Restaurants in over 20 countries now have Cliff’s Hot Sauce as a table staple.
  • The secret recipe remains guarded, passed down only within the Thompson family.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

Cliff’s Hot Sauce, in its global journey, has seen several regional adaptations to cater to diverse palates. 

In the Middle East, a version infused with pomegranate molasses lends a sweet-tart undertone. 

European adaptations see a Mediterranean twist, with hints of olive and sun-dried tomato. In Asia, lemongrass and ginger notes are prominent, paying homage to local flavors. 

The South American rendition includes Amazonian peppers and a touch of lime. Try the North African variant with its infusion of roasted cumin and coriander. 

Each regional adaptation amplifies the heat and aligns the sauce with the culinary essence of that particular region.

What Will Make You Love This Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

You will love Cliff’s Hot Sauce for its remarkable versatility and depth of flavor. It’s not just a simple spice kick; it’s a culinary journey. The meticulous blend of exotic peppers offers a unique, robust, refined heat profile. 

Pay attention to the sauce’s ability to complement and elevate dishes from diverse cuisines, from tangy barbecues to rich curries. 

It’s important to appreciate the commitment to all-natural ingredients, ensuring a clean and authentic taste. Be aware of the passion and travel-inspired essence bottled within. 

The sauce seamlessly marries the Middle East’s fiery essence with Europe’s subtle sophistication. 

This fusion makes Cliff’s Hot Sauce one of the simplest ways to transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary experience.

Bowl and spoon

Ingredients List

Jalapeno peppers2
Whole tomatoes in juice (canned)28 ounces (1 can)
Slice of white onion1
Minced garlic1 teaspoon
Ground cumin1/2 teaspoon
Dried oregano1/4 teaspoon
Salt1/4 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Choose jalapeno peppers that are firm to the touch, indicating freshness.
  • When selecting a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, opt for those with no added salts or preservatives to ensure a purer flavor.
  • A freshly cut piece for the white onion slice helps achieve a crisp, spicy kick.
  • Freshly minced garlic is the best way to introduce a potent aroma and taste; however, ensure it’s finely chopped for even distribution.
  • Always store ground cumin in a cool, dark place to preserve its rich, earthy notes.
  • Dried oregano can vary in intensity; it’s important to taste and adjust accordingly.
  • Consider using sea salt or pink Himalayan for a more nuanced flavor profile.

What Are The Variations Of Cliff’s Hot Sauce Recipe? 

  • Asian Fusion: Infused with lemongrass, ginger, and tamarind, this variant offers a tangy twist.
  • Mediterranean Magic: Enhanced with sun-dried tomatoes, olive essence, and rosemary, it’s perfect for European dishes.
  • Middle-Eastern Zest: This version integrates pomegranate molasses and sumac, capturing the region’s sweet-sour palate.
  • Caribbean Charm: With added allspice and hints of pineapple, it’s tropical and fiery.
  • Mexican Mélange: This one incorporates smoked chipotle peppers and a dash of lime, ideal for tacos and burritos.
  • Indian Inspiration: Turmeric, fenugreek, and a touch of mango bring a flavorful Indian essence.
  • African Aroma: Roasted African bird’s eye chili and baobab fruit infuse this variant with unique heat and tang.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Start by preparing the jalapeno peppers. Remove the stems from both. Remove the seeds from one of the jalapenos to reduce the heat level. You can leave the seeds in both if you prefer to be spicier.
  • Combine the prepared jalapeno peppers, whole tomatoes with their liquid, a slice of white onion, minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, and salt in a blender.
  • Pulse the mixture until you reach your desired consistency. For a smoother sauce, blend longer; for a chunkier texture, blend less.

Ferment Method (Optional)

  • Transfer the blended sauce to a sterilized glass jar, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  • Cover the jar with a cloth or paper towel and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Let it sit in a cool, dark place for about 7 days. Check daily to ensure no mold forms. If mold appears, discard the batch.
  • After 7 days, transfer the sauce to the refrigerator.

Rest Time

  • Allow the sauce to rest for at least 2 hours before serving. This helps the flavors meld together, offering a more harmonized taste.


  • Pour the sauce into a serving dish or bottle it for future use. It’s important to note that if you’ve opted for the fermenting method, the sauce will have a tangier, richer flavor due to the fermentation process. Enjoy!

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe like Cliff’s Hot Sauce requires careful adjustments to maintain the flavor balance:

Scaling Up

  • Double or Triple: Simply double or triple each ingredient. Pay attention to consistency. A larger volume may require additional blending time.
  • Bulk Production: For quantities beyond tripling, ensure even distribution of ingredients. Take time to taste and adjust accordingly.

Scaling Down

  • Halve the Recipe: Use half of each ingredient. This is one of the simplest methods for small batches.
  • Quarter the Recipe: Divide each ingredient quantity by four for a minimal amount. Be aware of ingredient ratios, especially with dominant flavors like jalapeño and garlic, to maintain harmony.
Cliff's Hot Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 


Its rich, spicy profile penetrates meats, poultry, and tofu, imbuing them with deep flavors. Letting your chosen protein marinate for a few hours or overnight intensifies the taste.

Dipping Sauce

The sauce’s consistency and dynamic taste make it an excellent option for chips, grilled veggies, or spring rolls. It adds a zesty punch that can elevate any snack.

Salad Dressing

Mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar, Cliff’s Hot Sauce transforms into an exciting salad dressing, imparting a delightful kick to fresh greens and vegetables.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

  • Tacos and Burritos: Drizzle the sauce to add heat and depth to these Mexican staples.
  • Grilled Meats: Enhance the smokiness of barbecued ribs or steaks.
  • Pasta: A few drops can transform a basic marinara or Alfredo sauce.
  • Eggs: The kick starts the day right from omelets to scrambled eggs.
  • Stews and Soups: Its warmth can elevate a bowl of chili or chicken soup.
  • Rice Dishes: Paellas or biryanis get an added layer of flavor.
  • Pizza: Drizzle over a slice for a spicy twist.
  • Stir-fries: Integrate into Asian dishes for a fusion flavor.
Best Dishes To Accompany Cliff's Hot Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

  • Cliff’s Spicy Tacos: Ground meat flavored with Cliff’s sauce, topped with fresh veggies.
  • Buffalo Wings à la Cliff: Chicken wings tossed in a buttery Cliff’s sauce glaze.
  • Cliff’s Fiery Chili: A meaty stew enriched with the sauce’s heat and depth.
  • Spicy Shrimp Skewers: Grilled shrimp marinated in Cliff’s sauce.
  • Hot Sauce Infused Ribs: Slow-cooked ribs brushed with a Cliff ‘s-based glaze.
  • Cliff’s Zesty Pizza: A classic Margherita pizza with generous drizzles of the sauce.
  • Spicy Veggie Stir-fry: Vegetables sautéed with hints of Cliff’s sauce for a fiery finish.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Cliff’s Hot Sauce Offers? 

  • Heat: Undoubtedly, the jalapeños usher in a fiery kick, instantly warming the palate.
  • Savory Depth: The white onion and garlic provide a robust, aromatic backbone.
  • Earthy Undertones: Ground cumin introduces a warm, nutty flavor.
  • Herbal Notes: Dried oregano adds a slight hint of sweet, spicy aromatics.
  • Tanginess: The tomatoes, with their juice, introduce a mild acidity.
  • Saltiness: The addition of salt balances and enhances other flavors.
  • Umami: The interplay of all ingredients gives a rich, savory depth that lingers.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Cliff’s Hot Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. After preparation, transfer the sauce to sterilized glass bottles or jars, ensuring they’re sealed tightly. 

The sauce can last 4-6 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. If you opt for the fermentation method, the natural preservation can extend the shelf life to several months. 

It’s essential to always use a clean utensil when serving to prevent contamination. Over time, the sauce’s heat may mellow slightly, but its flavor will remain robust. 

For longer preservation, consider adding a splash of vinegar or citric acid, which acts as a natural preservative, extending its freshness.

What Are The Substitutes For Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

  • Tabasco Sauce: A popular choice, it offers a vinegar-forward, peppery punch.
  • Sriracha: With its garlicky and slightly sweet profile, it’s a versatile option.
  • Frank’s RedHot: Known for its distinct cayenne pepper flavor, it’s often used for buffalo wings.
  • Cholula: A blend of pequin and arbol peppers provides mild to medium heat.
  • Habanero-Based Sauces: These pack a punch for those seeking a fiery kick.
  • Piri Piri Sauce originates from Portugal and offers a tangy and spicy flavor.
  • Homemade Blends: Combine fresh chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a blender for a DIY touch.
Cliff's Hot Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 

  • Thicker Sauce: Reduce the amount of tomato juice or strain the blended mixture through a sieve to remove excess liquid.
  • Thinner Sauce: Add more tomato juice or a bit of water or vinegar, blending until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Creamier Texture: Introduce a small amount of olive oil or avocado, blending until smooth.
  • Chunkier Sauce: Pulse the ingredients in the blender fewer times, ensuring a more textured finish.
  • Smoother Sauce: Blend longer or pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

  • Cold: Storing and serving the sauce directly from the refrigerator maintains its freshness. Cold sauce is ideal for drizzling over salads, raw dishes, or dipping sauce.
  • Warm: Heating the sauce accentuates its flavors, making it a great option for hot dishes like grilled meats, pasta, or stews. Warm the sauce gently over low heat to prevent altering its taste.
  • Room Temperature: Allowing the sauce to sit out before serving is a middle-ground choice, suitable for various dishes like sandwiches, tacos, and pizza.
Cliff's Hot Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values 

Cliff’s Hot Sauce is low in calories but rich in flavor, offering a blend of vitamins and minerals primarily from tomatoes and jalapeños. Consumed in moderation, it adds zest without significantly impacting your daily caloric intake.

What Are The Total Calories In Cliff’s Hot Sauce? 

The main contributors to calories in such a sauce are the tomatoes and jalapeños. Considering the ingredients list, one serving of Cliff’s Hot Sauce might contain a low caloric count, likely between 5-15 calories per tablespoon. It’s best to consult a detailed nutritional database or use a specialized tool or service for precise nutritional information.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Cliff’s Hot Sauce 

  • Gluten-Free: Contains no wheat or gluten derivatives.
  • Vegan: Free from animal products or by-products.
  • Vegetarian: Suitable as it contains no meat.
  • Paleo: Fits within the paleo framework.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Low in carbohydrates, suitable for keto dieters.
  • Dairy-Free: Contains no dairy ingredients.
  • Nut-Free: No nut ingredients are present.
  • Soy-Free: Free from soy derivatives.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-Blending: If you blend the ingredients briefly, the sauce can become overly smooth and retain its desired texture.
  • Skipping the Deseeding Step: For those who prefer milder heat, forgetting to remove the seeds from one jalapeño can result in a sauce that’s too spicy.
  • Not Adjusting for Salt: Different tomato products have varying salt contents. Always taste and adjust the seasoning to ensure a balanced flavor.
  • Using Unripe Jalapeños: Jalapeños that aren’t fully ripe can produce a bitter flavor. Look for peppers that are firm to the touch and a vibrant green.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: The best way to perfect the sauce is by tasting and adjusting the ingredients as needed.
  • Storing Improperly: Failing to store the sauce in a sealed container in the fridge can reduce its shelf life and freshness.
  • Overloading on Spices: While cumin and oregano enhance the sauce, using them excessively can overpower the primary flavors.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: As with all recipes, the ingredients’ quality impacts the result. Opt for fresh jalapeños and high-quality canned tomatoes for the best flavor.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Pasta Mix-In: Stir it into your favorite pasta for added zest.
  • Pizza Drizzle: Enhance your pizza slice with a flavorful drizzle.
  • Bread Spread: Mix with softened butter for a spicy bread spread.
  • Eggs Boost: Add a kick to scrambled eggs or omelets.
  • Soup Enhancer: Stir into soups for a spicy twist.
  • Marinade Base: Mix with olive oil and marinate meats or veggies.
  • Stuffed Veggies: Mix with cream cheese and stuff bell peppers.
  • Gravy Spike: Elevate your gravy with a teaspoon or two.
  • Stir-Fry Infusion: Add to stir-fries for a spicy touch.
  • Popcorn Seasoning: Blend with melted butter and drizzle over popcorn.
Cliff's Hot Sauce Recipe

Specials Tools & Equipments Needed 

  • Blender or Food Processor: Essential for achieving the desired consistency.
  • Glass Bottles or Jars: For storing the sauce. Ensure they are sterilized to prolong shelf life.
  • Rubber Spatula: Helps scrape down the sauce while blending and transferring it.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If you prefer a smoother sauce, this helps remove any large particles.
  • Gloves: Helpful when handling jalapeños to avoid any accidental burns or irritation.
  • Measuring Spoons: For accurate measurements of spices and seasonings.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping the jalapeños and onion.
  • Can Opener: Essential if using canned tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions  

How Long Can I Store Cliff’s Hot Sauce In The Refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container, Cliff’s Hot Sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. For extended shelf life, consider sterilizing the container or bottle before storing.

Can I Use Other Types Of Peppers Instead Of Jalapeños?

You can experiment with other chili peppers like serrano, habanero, or poblano. However, the heat level and flavor profile will vary based on the type of pepper used.

Is There A Way To Reduce The Spiciness If The Sauce Turns Out Too Hot?

If the sauce is too spicy, add more tomatoes or a bit of sugar to balance the heat. Remember, the spiciness largely comes from the jalapeño seeds, so you can control the heat by adjusting the number of seeds you include.

Can I Make This Sauce Without A Blender?

A blender is recommended for a smooth consistency, but if you don’t have one, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients or finely chop them for a chunkier sauce.

What Dishes Pair Best With Cliff’s Hot Sauce?

This versatile sauce pairs well with various dishes, from tacos and grilled meats to eggs and sandwiches. It can also be used as a marinade base or mixed into other sauces for added flavor.

Flavorful And Versatile Cliff’s Hot Sauce Recipe (Ideal For Grilling)

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time




Rest Time



Cliff’s Hot Sauce is an irresistible mix of jalapeños, ripe tomatoes, and aromatic spices. With its easy preparation and robust flavor, it effortlessly elevates any dish, making every bite unforgettable.


  • 2 2 Jalapeno peppers

  • 28 ounces 28 Whole tomatoes in juice (canned)

  • 1 1 Slice of white onion

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation
    Start by washing your hands and gathering all the necessary ingredients.
    Wear gloves if sensitive to jalapeños to avoid skin irritation.
  • Handling The Jalapeños
    Remove the stems from both jalapeño peppers.
    For a milder sauce, deseed one of the jalapeños.
  • Adding Ingredients To The Blender
    Open the can of tomatoes and reserve the juice.
    Add both jalapeño peppers to the blender.
    Include the whole tomatoes with their juice.
    Toss in a slice of white onion.
    Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, and salt.
  • Blending
    Secure the blender’s lid and start pulsing the ingredients.
    Continue to pulse until you reach the desired consistency. For a chunkier sauce, pulse fewer times. For a smoother sauce, blend longer.
  • Taste And Adjust
    Taste the sauce to check the seasoning. If needed, adjust the salt or other seasonings as per your preference.
  • Serving
    Transfer the sauce to a serving dish or bottle. If not using immediately, store it in an airtight container.
  • Storage
    If there are any leftovers, store the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for future use.

Recipe Video


  • Heat Level: The sauce’s heat can be adjusted based on the number of seeds you keep from the jalapeños. More seeds will result in a spicier sauce.
  • Storage: This sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container. For longer storage, consider sterilizing the container first.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: If you have fresh tomatoes, you can substitute them for the canned ones. However, you may want to adjust the seasoning as fresh tomatoes can vary in acidity.
  • Onion Varieties: While white onion is recommended, yellow or red can also be used for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Consistency: If the sauce is too thick for your liking, you can add a bit of water or tomato juice to thin it out

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