Learn how to make buffalo sauce at home! It requires just 5 ingredients and tastes just like the real one, if not better! You are going to love this Frank's RedHot dupe!
I got many requests regarding where to find Frank's Red Hot sauce since I released these Buffalo Jackfruit and Rice Bake, and Buffalo Sweet Potato Soup recipes. Instead of telling you where to find it, I'm going to show you how to make it at home!
📘 What is Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce, or buffalo wing sauce, is a hot sauce made from cayenne peppers, vinegar, butter, and garlic. The name "Buffalo" comes from the city where the sauce was invented.
This sauce is usually used to make chicken wings but can also be used in dipping sauces, marinades, soups, and more.
What is the difference between Frank's RedHot and Frank's RedHot Buffalo sauce?
The only difference is that Frank's RedHot Buffalo sauce includes butter flavor and paprika. Here, we will be making a dupe of the Buffalo sauce version.
🌶 How to Make Buffalo Sauce From Scratch
Preparing this sauce is super easy and requires just 6 ingredients. Here is what you will need:
- Red cayenne peppers - Use fresh red cayenne peppers. This type of pepper has a mild spiciness (about 40,000 Scoville Heat Units), which is considered moderately hot.
- Vinegar - To add tanginess to the sauce. You can use regular white vinegar or white rice vinegar.
- Paprika - Use regular paprika powder, not smoked paprika.
- Butter flavor - While optional, the addition of butter flavor gives the buffalo sauce its specific flavor.
- Salt - For flavor.
- Garlic - You can use garlic powder (as noted in the recipe) or blend the sauce with 1 clove of garlic.
Preparing the sauce
Start by removing the seeds and stems of the peppers. For this step, I highly recommend using gloves because if you touch the peppers and then touch your face or rub your eyes...well, it's going to hurt.
Once your cayenne peppers are ready, transfer them to a food processor and add the rice vinegar, water, and salt. Process for a couple of minutes. Don't worry if it still has a slightly chunky texture; we will strain it layer.
Now comes the fermentation part, which not only makes the sauce easier to digest but also increases its shelf life. Fermentation also allows the sauce to develop more complex flavors, so do not skip it!
The process is very easy, simply transfer the chili mixture to a glass jar and let it ferment for 5-7 days at room temperature.
After a few days, the mixture won't have a raw pepper smell anymore, it will have a sweeter and more pleasant flavor. I usually let mine ferment for 7 days as I didn't notice a big difference if it fermented for longer than that.
The final step is blending the mixture to squeeze out even more juice from the peppers. Then, strain and transfer to a hot sauce bottle or glass jar!
To get the well-known flavor of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, you can add a few drops of butter flavor. This is totally optional, and the sauce will still taste great without it; it just adds that subtle buttery flavor that makes the original version so special.
What to do with the leftover pulp? You shouldn't end up with a lot of leftover pulp after straining, but enough to make a simple chili paste. To do so, fry one shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass for a few minutes. Add the chili pulp and cook for one more minute. You can then use this paste in curries, stir-fries, soups, etc.
- How can I make this sauce spicier? You can add 3 to 5 Bird's eye chilies (also called Thai chilies) when blending the cayenne peppers.
- How long does this sauce keep? You can keep this chili sauce for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
🌮 How to Use This Sauce
This buffalo sauce is super versatile. We can use it:
- As a dip: With fries, roasted vegetables, tempura, etc. It can also be used to add flavor and spiciness to hummus, eggplant dip, and more.
- As a marinade: Marinade tofu, tempeh, or seitan.
- In bakes and soups: Use it to make this delicious Stuffed Buffalo Shells, Buffalo Jackfruit & Rice Bake, or Cozy & Cheesy Vegan Meatball Soup!
- To make dressings: Combined with tahini or mayo to make a creamy salad dressing.
If you like Frank's Red Hot sauce, you are going to love this homemade buffalo sauce recipe! Be aware this sauce is a bit sweeter and slightly less spicy than the original, which I actually love!
🥫 More Homemade Sauce Recipes
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Homemade Fermented Buffalo Sauce (From Scratch!)
- 10 ounces red cayenne peppers
- ½ cup white rice vinegar or white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon butter flavor optional
- Start by preparing the peppers. Using gloves, remove the stems and seeds of the cayenne peppers and discard them.
- Transfer the red cayenne peppers to a food processor. Add the white rice vinegar, water, and salt. Process for 2-3 minutes or until it forms a slightly chunky mixture.
- Transfer the paste to two small glass jars (or a large one) and cover with cheesecloth. Place in a dark place at room temperature. Let it ferment for 7 days, stirring every other day. After about three days, you should already see some bubbles while stirring, this means the fermentation has started. The smell will also change, getting a sweeter, more pleasant one.
- After 7 days, transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute. By blending once again, we will get more liquid out of the peppers.
- Strain the sauce using a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard the pulp (or use in stir-fries, chili pastes, etc). Add the paprika, garlic powder, and butter flavor to the sauce and transfer to a small bottle or clean jar.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You can use this buffalo sauce as a marinade for tofu, seitan, tempeh, or use in dressing, sauces, etc.
- For a spicier sauce: you can substitute some of the red cayenne peppers for Thai chilies. I recommend testing different ratios to find out which one you prefer.
- Nutritional information is an estimate.
I always love having Buffalo sauce over honey BBQ wings and adding sour cream to it. How long did it take you to complete this?
Thank you for the recipe! Can you say what the butter flavour is?
The butter flavor is totally optional, it's usually sold in small bottles (like vanilla extract) and adds a sweet and buttery flavor.
You can also mix the buffalo sauce with some melted vegan butter if you want to use it as a dipping sauce.
I also love Frank's Red Hot. This is an unexpected place to find fermentation! At least, for me. Living in the U.S. and never having made my own hot sauce, I'm very happy to find your recipe kills two birds with one stone: natural ingredients AND a familiar way to enjoy fermented foods. I definitely must try this!
Thank you very much for sharing Thomas. Your voice, recipes, and photography all are wonderful.
Thanks for your kind words Andrea 🙂
I'm glad you find this recipe interesting! It's fun to make your own hot sauce, plus you know exactly what's inside 🙂
What a cool recipe, such a great idea to make your own hot sauce! It looks and sounds delicious and I love how you photographed it, that little juice jar is beautiful!
Thanks Nicole! Glad you like the recipe and photos 🙂
Made this and it’s super tasty thankyou! But is it actually a fermented sauce? With the vinegar it’s more of a pickle isn’t it?
You're welcome! Glad you liked it!
I say fermented because there is some fermentation going on with the peppers (some bubbles forming after a few days).
Ou trouver des piments de cayennes frais en France ?
Merci beaucoup !
Je les trouvent au supermarché, ce sont de longs piments rouges.
What butter flavor do you use? I've tried McCormick but I didn't like it.
I'm using a brand from Europe so I'm afraid it's not available in the US. But I'm sure there are other great ones.
Do you think this will freeze well?
Thanks! Excited to try!
I think it will freeze well, but it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
Hi Thomas, I'm looking at making this, you've mentioned that the butter flavour is optional. I live in Australia and we don't have this kind of thing here, could I use regular butter when blitzing so it emulsifies??
You could use vegan butter, just be aware that it might decrease a bit the shelf life of the sauce.
Why use cheesecloth to cover it instead of a lid? I am seeing other fermentation recipes that call for a lid. Just wondering, thanks!!
I prefer to use a cheesecloth to let some of the gas produced during the fermentation escape. Using a lid is okay though.
Hey! Love the recipe!
Just wanted to know if 7 days wait is a must? I mean how much less can I wait?
I would say 5 days at least. Letting the chili ferment not only improves flavor, but it also helps the sauce keep longer.
Missing garlic. Frank's Red Hot Sauce has garlic in it.
But otherwise looks nice and spicy and tasty.
You could definitely add some garlic powder 😉
This being a fermented sauce, surely you should add the vinegar after the fermentation period as it will kill the bacteria necessary for fermentation?