Have you made hot sauce in a fermentation crock? We think that fermented hot sauce is the tastiest of hot sauces! Fermentation Crocks are not super well-known, but they are one of the oldest ways that people have been preserving vegetables. The crocks have a gutter or moat in the rim which is filled with water to create an airlock, which helps keep the food from spoiling and growing mold. The water seal also allows for the fermentation gases to escape without burping, making fermentation crocks a more hands-off way to ferment vegetables.
Fermentation Crock Hot Sauce Recipe:
1 lb organic hot peppers (big bowl)
Organic works best for fermentation,
of course we love homegrown hot peppers best.
Use any variety of hot peppers or even a
combination of super hot peppers and sweet peppers!
3-6+ Garlic Cloves
1 Red or White Onion, chopped
2.5 Tablespoon iodine-free salt,
dissolved in 4 cups room temperature water
2-3 Carrots, cut lengthwise
Wash and destem peppers, and add to the fermentation crock. Slice onion, and crush garlic cloves & peel, then toss in crock. We like to fit as many hot peppers as we have into the crock, we also like to add other veggies like carrots, garlic, onion, herbs or even fruit to give it more flavor.
After dissolving salt in water, pour brine over veggies, then make sure they are all submerged with ceramic weights. You want to make sure all of the vegetables are fully submerged to prevent mold. Because the seeds and peppers float, we also have used plastic bags to keep all the smaller peppers from floating up around the weights. This year we are using a nylon mesh bag (from the local brewery supply store) to keep all the seeds and peppers submerged in the brine, we always have trouble with the seeds floating to the top so we thought we'd try a nylon bag this time around. Much easier than trying to scoop up every seed or pepper piece that floats up around the weights! Ideally, it is good to fill the fermentation crock near to the top to cut down on the amount of air.
Pour water into the moat (about halfway), then place the lid on, making sure the water seal is complete. Add water to the moat as it evaporates. Try to resist opening the fermentation crock lid, as that exposes it to air, which is undesirable. What's nice about fermentation crocks is that they are self-burping, so you don't have to worry about pressure build up as you do with jars.
Allow to ferment for 2 to 8 weeks – the longer you ferment the peppers, the more tangy the hot sauce will get!
Drain the ingredients, reserving the brine liquid, and process the vegetables and peppers in a food processor until smooth. Add as much of remaining brine as desired, then pour into disinfected bottles or jars to store in the fridge. Some people also add vinegar or sugar to their hot sauces, but we think it tastes great on it's own, too!
See a white film or something fuzzy growing on top of your ferment?
Mold is FUZZY, so if you see something fuzzy, throw the batch away, it's no good!
Learn more about Yeast & Mold in our post:
Fermented Hot Sauce: Fermentation Crocks.
Fermented Hot Sauce is the Best!
Fermented hot sauce is sure to please your tastebuds! Fermented hot sauces have much more complex flavors, as the fermentation process develops a bright tangy flavor.
Looking for a fermentation crock?
Ask your local ceramic artists, as many make fermentation crocks and weights. We purchased our Fermentation Crocks from artist Kate Inskeep. You can also find them in asian food stores, as well as online.
Did you know that fermented hot sauce is super healthy?
Yep, fermented hot sauce, like kombucha and yogurt, has naturally occurring probiotic bacteria, the most common being lactobacillus, which help our bodies break down food and better absorb nutrients. So not only is it super tasty, it's also super good for you!