Bertie’s Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce (recipe)

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Top Trini Condiments

Bertie's Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

So you want to know how to make Trini pepper sauce? Trinidad Pepper Sauce is no joke peoples. This is liquid fire, forged from the flesh of the hottest scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, onions and other assorted ingredients simmered to perfection.

This recipe is for my father’s pepper sauce, something he’s been making for… well let’s just say since before I was born :lol:

Mustard and vinegar give it a lovely sweet n sour tang, while ginger and garlic create a savoury aftertaste that will have you wishing you had sprinkled ‘just a little bit more’ on :) Some people add papaya and other assorted fruits for added sweetness, my father never has, still both options are equally valid.

This recipe yields around 1 Gallon of Pepper Sauce so feel free to scale down to suit your needs. Leave a little to give to a friend tho, they’ll love you for it :D

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

The main ingredient in Trinidadian Pepper Sauce is the infamous scotch bonnet pepper. This festive looking pepper comes in red, yellow, orange, and green and is well known for its heat. However, it also has a very floral quality and citric sweetness that many come to appreciate (after asking for more water the first few times that is :lol: )

From Wikipedia:

The Scotch Bonnet (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) is a variety of chili pepper similar to and of the same species as the habanero. A cultivar of the habanero, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Found mainly in the Caribbean islands, it is named for its resemblance to a Scotsman’s bonnet. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units.

These peppers are used to flavour many different dishes and cuisines worldwide. Scotch Bonnet has a flavour distinct from its Habanero cousin. This gives Jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavour. Scotch Bonnets are especially used in Caymanian and Jamaican cooking, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes

This post was originally published on June 21, 2007. It has been updated once since then.

Bertie’s Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

Recipe By: TriniGourmet.com
Yield: 1 Gallon

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 lbs Scotch Bonnet peppers
1/2 lb ginger, peeled
1/4 lb garlic
1 lb onions
2 litres vinegar (my father uses plain white vinegar however for an unexpected twist milder flavoured vinegar variants like white wine or champagne work very well, though less economical. You can scale the recipe down to accomodate, if anything)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 – 3 tbsp salt (to taste)
2 cups table mustard (not powdered)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop ginger, garlic, and onion.

2. Halve the Scotch bonnets (you may want to wear gloves for this)

3. Pour 1 cup vinegar into the blender
4. Add ginger, garlic, onion, and peppers in small batches
5. Blend until mixture becomes almost ‘too thick’ to blend further
6. Add 3 tbsp mustard and 1 cup vinegar
7. Repeat. Adding garlic, onions, peppers, mustards and vinegar in sequence until blender fills

8. Pour puree into a Dutch oven and continue the blending process until all the ginger, garlic, onion, and peppers are used up.
9. Add vegetable oil and salt to the pureed mixture
10. Bring to a boil over high heat
11. Immediately reduce heat and simmer uncovered (stirring occasionally) for 10 minutes

Bertie's Mega Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

12. Remove from heat and bottle

This recipe is an exclusive TriniGourmet original. Please do not share it or post it to your site without crediting TriniGourmet.com. A link back to our site is not necessary but always appreciated :)

This post was originally published June 23, 2007. It has been updated 3 times since then.

Like That Heat? You’re Gonna LOVE It On These!

Chicken Cacciatore
Bertie’s Trinidad Pelau
Trinidad Macaroni Pie
Trinidad Chicken Chow Mein
Festive Chicken Fried Rice

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • april

    hi. i found this site from elise’s simply recipes site (jerk chicken link). i’m looking for your jerk chicken recipe…

    also–is this sauce a table sauce that you just use on whatever you’d use tabasco on, or does it go well with any particular type of dish(es)? thanks!

  • lee

    HI,
    my name is lee and I live in america , I would like to know after making this pepper sauce if you have to refridgerate it?
    thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    lee.

  • lee

    HI,
    my name is lee and I live in america , I would like to know after making this pepper sauce if you have to refridgerate it?
    thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    lee.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Amina – those recipes are coming soon! :)

    Natasha – YAY!! I’ll pass this message on to my dad! :)

    April – Hi there, I don’t have a jerk chicken recipe on this site (yet)…. the site may have been confused by this pepper sauce recipe as akin to jerk seasoning :lol:

    Lee – yes, by all means refrigerate! :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Amina – those recipes are coming soon! :)

    Natasha – YAY!! I’ll pass this message on to my dad! :)

    April – Hi there, I don’t have a jerk chicken recipe on this site (yet)…. the site may have been confused by this pepper sauce recipe as akin to jerk seasoning :lol:

    Lee – yes, by all means refrigerate! :D

  • SHANAZA

    why do peppersauce settles at the top or bottom when in bottles….can u tell me what i must do to prevent that.

  • SHANAZA

    why do peppersauce settles at the top or bottom when in bottles….can u tell me what i must do to prevent that.

  • http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    Hey, I am planning a pepper and pepper sauce post, too! This one looks delish.

  • http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    Hey, I am planning a pepper and pepper sauce post, too! This one looks delish.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Shanaza – what settles at the bottom is the solids in the bottom sauce separating from the oils. Just a quick stir should fix things again :) Depending on how finely one blends ones pepper sauce you may or may not have this problem

    Nicole – thanks! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Shanaza – what settles at the bottom is the solids in the bottom sauce separating from the oils. Just a quick stir should fix things again :) Depending on how finely one blends ones pepper sauce you may or may not have this problem

    Nicole – thanks! :)

  • SHANAZA

    thanks Nicole…

  • SHANAZA

    thanks Nicole…

  • Andre and April

    Thanks for the recipe! We’re making it right now (though only 1/5 of the recipe). April’s grandfather is from Trinidad, and we love his sauce… unfortunately, his recipe is lost… hopefully yours will be a good substitute!

    Cheers-

    Andre and April

  • Andre and April

    Thanks for the recipe! We’re making it right now (though only 1/5 of the recipe). April’s grandfather is from Trinidad, and we love his sauce… unfortunately, his recipe is lost… hopefully yours will be a good substitute!

    Cheers-

    Andre and April

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Andre and April – I hope it turns out to your liking :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Andre and April – I hope it turns out to your liking :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Andre and April – I hope it turns out to your liking :)

  • Sharon

    Hi Sarina, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your family recipes with us. Have been to St Lucia a couple of times and loved the local sauces but difficult to get in the UK. Now we can enjoy the real deal without the airfare! xx

  • Sharon

    Hi Sarina, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your family recipes with us. Have been to St Lucia a couple of times and loved the local sauces but difficult to get in the UK. Now we can enjoy the real deal without the airfare! xx

  • Sharon

    Hi Sarina, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your family recipes with us. Have been to St Lucia a couple of times and loved the local sauces but difficult to get in the UK. Now we can enjoy the real deal without the airfare! xx

  • http://www.caribbeanpot.com Chris De La Rosa

    Like chennette mentioned, I’d love to know the “punch” cooking adds to it. Seems just about everyone in my family has a recipe for pepper sauce, including me.. even my 14yr old daughter. But none of them include cooking. Will have to give this a try when I reap my pepper this summer.

    Chris De La Rosa’s last blog post..Shado Beni hot sauce which will rock your socks off!

  • http://www.caribbeanpot.com Chris De La Rosa

    Like chennette mentioned, I’d love to know the “punch” cooking adds to it. Seems just about everyone in my family has a recipe for pepper sauce, including me.. even my 14yr old daughter. But none of them include cooking. Will have to give this a try when I reap my pepper this summer.

    Chris De La Rosa’s last blog post..Shado Beni hot sauce which will rock your socks off!

  • http://www.caribbeanpot.com Chris De La Rosa

    Like chennette mentioned, I’d love to know the “punch” cooking adds to it. Seems just about everyone in my family has a recipe for pepper sauce, including me.. even my 14yr old daughter. But none of them include cooking. Will have to give this a try when I reap my pepper this summer.

    Chris De La Rosa’s last blog post..Shado Beni hot sauce which will rock your socks off!

  • Michael (Boca Raton, Florida)

    Thanks.

    My daughter brought back some hot souce from Guyana (but it was made in Trinidad). It was a big bottle (28 oz) that I thought we would never finish, even though we like hot souces. It was gone in 2 months.

    I looked to get some more on the internet but the shipping would bring the price of a big bottle to over $20. So, I decided to try to make my own and ended up going with your recipe, more or less. I added 3 times the garlic and no ginger. I also added carrots, since they are an ingredient of “Dave’s After Death” hot souce and I though it needed some more without the ginger body. I really like the result.

    I also tried a batch with a lot (3 mangos to 8 peppers) of fresh mango instead of the carrots for a sweeter milder sauce. That was great also. I guess it’s all good.

    Bye the way, since I now have a LOT of sauce, how long should it last in the fridge?

    Cheers,
    Michael

    Thanks, again.

  • Michael (Boca Raton, Florida)

    Thanks.

    My daughter brought back some hot souce from Guyana (but it was made in Trinidad). It was a big bottle (28 oz) that I thought we would never finish, even though we like hot souces. It was gone in 2 months.

    I looked to get some more on the internet but the shipping would bring the price of a big bottle to over $20. So, I decided to try to make my own and ended up going with your recipe, more or less. I added 3 times the garlic and no ginger. I also added carrots, since they are an ingredient of “Dave’s After Death” hot souce and I though it needed some more without the ginger body. I really like the result.

    I also tried a batch with a lot (3 mangos to 8 peppers) of fresh mango instead of the carrots for a sweeter milder sauce. That was great also. I guess it’s all good.

    Bye the way, since I now have a LOT of sauce, how long should it last in the fridge?

    Cheers,
    Michael

    Thanks, again.

  • Michael (Boca Raton, Florida)

    Actually the sauce from my previous post was Baron’s from St. Lucia.

  • Michael (Boca Raton, Florida)

    Actually the sauce from my previous post was Baron’s from St. Lucia.

  • jo

    OMG! I can’t wait to make this! Of all the things my Trini husband talks about missing from back home this is the big one. An authentic, mustard-based, singe-your-eyebrow-hair-off sauce is sure to bring a tear to his eye. Thanks!

  • jo

    OMG! I can’t wait to make this! Of all the things my Trini husband talks about missing from back home this is the big one. An authentic, mustard-based, singe-your-eyebrow-hair-off sauce is sure to bring a tear to his eye. Thanks!

  • jo

    OMG! I can’t wait to make this! Of all the things my Trini husband talks about missing from back home this is the big one. An authentic, mustard-based, singe-your-eyebrow-hair-off sauce is sure to bring a tear to his eye. Thanks!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Sharon & Jo – Hope they turn out to your liking!! :)

    Chris – I have never asked my father why he cooks it… I should do so before typing my answer but I’m feeling rather lazy. In tasting his (vs. others) I have noticed that his is not as harsh as many other pepper sauces I’ve had. Meaning that the heat is there, but the flavours are what you notice first and then the heat creeps up and takes over :). I believe the cooking is partly responsible for that. Also, he makes his batches to last for a full year and I can’t see it lasting that long otherwise :D

    Michael – cooking it (if you did) it should last 6 months or more in the fridge :) I love how you made your own substitutions. I recently had a milder pimento sauce that used sweeter vegetables and loved it immensely :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Sharon & Jo – Hope they turn out to your liking!! :)

    Chris – I have never asked my father why he cooks it… I should do so before typing my answer but I’m feeling rather lazy. In tasting his (vs. others) I have noticed that his is not as harsh as many other pepper sauces I’ve had. Meaning that the heat is there, but the flavours are what you notice first and then the heat creeps up and takes over :). I believe the cooking is partly responsible for that. Also, he makes his batches to last for a full year and I can’t see it lasting that long otherwise :D

    Michael – cooking it (if you did) it should last 6 months or more in the fridge :) I love how you made your own substitutions. I recently had a milder pimento sauce that used sweeter vegetables and loved it immensely :)

  • http://laurelsfoodwriter.blogspot.com Marsha

    Notice the gloves used in preparation!
    .-= Marsha´s last blog ..Coincidence? I CALL IT FATE =-.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Notice how he didn’t have them on for a good part of the cutting the peppers though? ;) Yeah, not smart :lol:

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Notice how he didn’t have them on for a good part of the cutting the peppers though? ;) Yeah, not smart :lol:

  • http://laurelsfoodwriter.blogspot.com Marsha

    Notice the gloves used in preparation!
    .-= Marsha´s last blog ..Coincidence? I CALL IT FATE =-.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Notice how he didn’t have them on for a good part of the cutting the peppers though? ;) Yeah, not smart :lol:

  • charlane bishop

    Sarina,
    thank you so much for sharing your poppas recipe …..its simmering on my stove……5 more min….it tastes and smells devine…..
    i look forward to trying one of your tradtional dishes to accompany it…or just on my eggs tomorrow morning,
    I wonder if Habaneros grown in my place , Wolfville ,Nova Scotia, Cananda are as hot as in the motherland
    thanks again
    char

  • charlane bishop

    Sarina,
    thank you so much for sharing your poppas recipe …..its simmering on my stove……5 more min….it tastes and smells devine…..
    i look forward to trying one of your tradtional dishes to accompany it…or just on my eggs tomorrow morning,
    I wonder if Habaneros grown in my place , Wolfville ,Nova Scotia, Cananda are as hot as in the motherland
    thanks again
    char

  • Steve Embleton

    Hi Sarina, mmmmmmmmmm!, I’m addicted. My supply of Trini hot pepper sauce is diminishing. I can’t wait until June when our Trini friends come to the UK with fresh supplies, so I’ve had a go at making it myself. Great!, it even gets the thumbs up from the boys in the local pub (those brave enough to try!). I’ve tried a slight variation by adding three finely chopped up limes at the simmering stage. Both versions are just as addictive.
    Can’t wait to try doubles and pepper sauce in Trini, won’t get there for Carnival 2010 to see the Trini Revellers band.

    Many thanks, Steve E., Bridlington, UK

  • Steve Embleton

    Hi Sarina, mmmmmmmmmm!, I’m addicted. My supply of Trini hot pepper sauce is diminishing. I can’t wait until June when our Trini friends come to the UK with fresh supplies, so I’ve had a go at making it myself. Great!, it even gets the thumbs up from the boys in the local pub (those brave enough to try!). I’ve tried a slight variation by adding three finely chopped up limes at the simmering stage. Both versions are just as addictive.
    Can’t wait to try doubles and pepper sauce in Trini, won’t get there for Carnival 2010 to see the Trini Revellers band.

    Many thanks, Steve E., Bridlington, UK

  • Andre Sharp

    I just cooked it up. The boiling is what caught my attention. I’ve blanched before, but not boiled. I used some local peppers here in San Francisco, along with some yellows I brought back from Nevis, while on vacation. Otherwise I have to wait for family to come visit from Trinidad. It’s cooling now, but the kitchen smells nice spicy. UMM.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      It’s a great smell isn’t it ? :) Thanks for letting me know that a little bit of my home is now a part of yours :)

  • Andre Sharp

    I just cooked it up. The boiling is what caught my attention. I’ve blanched before, but not boiled. I used some local peppers here in San Francisco, along with some yellows I brought back from Nevis, while on vacation. Otherwise I have to wait for family to come visit from Trinidad. It’s cooling now, but the kitchen smells nice spicy. UMM.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      It’s a great smell isn’t it ? :) Thanks for letting me know that a little bit of my home is now a part of yours :)

  • Randy

    Those are NOT scotch bonnets. Those are Trinidadian congo peppers, which are different to scotch bonnets. If you look at the description posted, they are even described as having “bonnets”. Here is what a real one looks like.

    www.artsjournal.com/outthere/scotch_bonnet_pepper.jpg

  • Randy

    Those are NOT scotch bonnets. Those are Trinidadian congo peppers, which are different to scotch bonnets. If you look at the description posted, they are even described as having “bonnets”. Here is what a real one looks like.

    www.artsjournal.com/outthere/scotch_bonnet_pepper.jpg

  • Randy

    Those are NOT scotch bonnets. Those are Trinidadian congo peppers, which are different to scotch bonnets. If you look at the description posted, they are even described as having “bonnets”. Here is what a real one looks like.

    www.artsjournal.com/outthere/scotch_bonnet_pepper.jpg

  • Valerie

    Absolutely fantastic! My son could never find anything hot enough but now he has! I made a tiny amount to try it out, but I will definitely be making it again. I am now hooked on your site. The black cake was yesterday (YUM!) and next I’m making aloo pies & doubles…

  • Valerie

    Absolutely fantastic! My son could never find anything hot enough but now he has! I made a tiny amount to try it out, but I will definitely be making it again. I am now hooked on your site. The black cake was yesterday (YUM!) and next I’m making aloo pies & doubles…

  • Valerie

    Absolutely fantastic! My son could never find anything hot enough but now he has! I made a tiny amount to try it out, but I will definitely be making it again. I am now hooked on your site. The black cake was yesterday (YUM!) and next I’m making aloo pies & doubles…

  • Bruce

    Hi Sarina!
    I was wondering – is there any method that can be used so that the sauce does not require refrigeration? I am making my first batch tomorrow and wondered if there was anything I could do to this end.

    Either way – I am sure looking forward to the “friendly fire”!!!

    Thanks for posting the wonderful recipe!

  • Bruce

    Hi Sarina!
    I was wondering – is there any method that can be used so that the sauce does not require refrigeration? I am making my first batch tomorrow and wondered if there was anything I could do to this end.

    Either way – I am sure looking forward to the “friendly fire”!!!

    Thanks for posting the wonderful recipe!

  • Bruce

    Hi Sarina!
    I was wondering – is there any method that can be used so that the sauce does not require refrigeration? I am making my first batch tomorrow and wondered if there was anything I could do to this end.

    Either way – I am sure looking forward to the “friendly fire”!!!

    Thanks for posting the wonderful recipe!

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