Posted August 29, 2007 by Ethan in Reviews

Review: Hot Doc’s Hot Sauce

“The Hot is real. The Doc is real. Hot Doc’s is prepared by a PhD Psychologist. It’ll mess with your mind! Known to make grown men cry.”

Hot Doc's Hot Sauce

Ingredients: hot peppers (mostly, habaneros), spices, tomato paste, onions, garlic, vinegar, sodium, lemon juice.

Hot Doc’s Hot Sauce comes packaged in a standard-looking 8oz Ball canning jar. The label is simple and looks like it was printed on a home inkjet printer. Very unimpressive, but everyone starts somewhere, right? I’ll admit, my gut reaction when first seeing this jar was far from positive, but I also know that one can’t judge a sauce by its packaging. Without opening the jar I could tell how thick Hot Doc’s was. I turned the jar upside down and watched the sauce slowly creep towards the lid.

Macaroni and cheese always needs hot sauce. Always. So I figured why not give Hot Doc’s a try? I cracked open the jar (making quite a mess in the process) and took a deep breath. It smelled like… peppers. Habaneros, to be more specific. I really couldn’t smell anything but the habaneros. Is that good or bad? I asked myself. I love habaneros, so I guess I’ll mark that as a positive even though this is supposed to be a sauce, not a puree or mash. Visually, all of the ingredients make an appearance. There’s obvious chunks and bits of onion and garlic, along with piece and seeds from the peppers. Hot Doc’s Hot Sauce smells like peppers and looks pretty good, although it’s a bit thick for my tastes.

Hot Docs on mac and cheese

I dropped a heaping spoonful of the uber-thick concoction on my mac and cheese and dug in. It quickly overpowered the food. The flavor was bitter and salty. While the texture looked good in the jar, it didn’t work so well in my mouth. The consistency falls somewhere between a finely-chopped pico de gallo and a relish. It’s not wet enough to be a sauce, and not dry enough to be pico de gallo. It’s not sweet like a relish and it’s way to bitter to be eaten straight like a salsa. I wondered if I just had too much at once. I spread the spoonful around my plate, mixing it in with the macaroni as well as possible. This cut down on the bitterness some, but the flavor was still far from pleasant.

One thing Hot Doc’s does right is the heat. I rank it a solid 7 on the HSB scale. By the end of lunch my nose was running and I was ready for something to drink. But I want flavor before I want heat, and that’s where Hot Doc’s comes up short. I’m not sure what the Doc is aiming for here, but I think he’s still got some work ahead of him. This might be a good base to start with when making a hot sauce, but it’s not complete. It’s too bitter, a little on the salty side, and the consistency didn’t work for me. I feel like I would need to add ingredients to the sauce (rather than add the sauce to my meals) to make it good. Hot Doc’s didn’t ruin my meal, but I won’t be using it on mac and cheese again!

Hot Doc’s
175 W 500 St
Anderson, IN 46013