Posted June 5, 2006 by John in Reviews

The Great Hot Sauce on Pizza Challenge

Pizza is one of my favorite mediums for consuming hot sauce. The sauce enhances the flavor of an already great food, and, the cheese on the pizza helps quench the fire, enabling larger quantities of hotter sauce to be eaten without discomfort (at least, not until the morning after.)

I’ve tried many sauces on pizza, and have a few favorites. I decided to put them to the test, and evaluate which works best on pizza.

pizza challenge

Contestants, From Left to Right: Cholula, CaJohn’s Cayenne Select, Ring of Fire XXXHot, Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat, Peppermaster Hurricane Mash, Blair’s Jersey Death

Testing Procedure: Sample an equal amount of each sauce (except Jersey death which gets a 1/4 dose due to extreme heat level) on one bite of Jet’s square pizza, each bite with a pepperoni for consistency.

The Results:

Cholula: A classic pizza sauce that showed nicely. It’s hard to beat the pequin flavor with the cheese and tomato sauce. Lacking in heat, this is a great sauce for the novice chilihead. Nick’s 3 AM Cholula would probably elevate this sauce to near the top of the ranks.

CaJohn’s Cayenne Select: This was a great change of pace. The pure, unadulterated pepper flavor and consistency was a great addition, making it almost like a Chicago-style pizza with the sauce on top. This would be a great substitute for pizza sauce to make a kicking homemade chilihead pizza.

Ring of Fire XXXHot: A heavy garlic burst and acceptable heat is the notable characteristic of Ring of Fire on pizza. The garlic really dominates the flavor, which makes it perfect for all you garlic lovers out there. For myself, it takes the flavor a little out of balance to the garlic side, but is still very good.

Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat: One of my favorite all around sauces, Marie Sharp’s didn’t perform nearly as well as I’d hoped on pizza. The heat is good, and the habanero flavor is nice, but the carrots and vinegar just didn’t go with the pizza very well. A wonderful sauce, just not on pizza.

PepperMaster’s Hurricane Mash: Blissfully delightful, I think the Hurricane Mash was God’s gift to Pizza lovers. The flavor melts perfectly into the pizza, balancing perfectly and adding exceptional heat. Outstanding, incredible, perfect – none of these does ample justice to PepperMaster’s Hurricane Mash on pizza.

Blair’s Jersey Death: For a pure capsaicin buzz, it’s hard to beat Blair’s Jersey death. The heat is out of this world, even with a reduced dose. The tomato base integrates cleanly with the pizza, and the extract flavor is largely dominated by the bread and cheese. Plus, while the peak burn is still evident, the cheese reduces the urn time, making it easy to go back for more and more. A definite winner, especially for the chilihead who simply can’t get enough heat.

Final Rankings:
1. PepperMaster’s Hurricane Mash
2 (tie). CaJohn’s Cayenne Select
2 (tie). Blair’s Jersey Death
4. Ring of Fire XXX Hot
5. Cholula
6. Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat

Remember, there are no losers in this contest, it’s just to see whose sauce is the best of the best; all are great choices. Enjoy!