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How Hot is Louisiana Hot Sauce? Scoville vs. Flavor Breakdown

Hot sauces are great with a variety of meals. And for some, the hotter, the better. Several Louisiana brands are known for their heat, but how hot is Louisiana hot sauce?

Original Louisiana brand hot sauce rates 450 on the Scoville scale, which makes it fairly mild. A jalapeño pepper, by comparison, can be as high as 10,000 Scoville units. Classic Louisiana hot sauce has been formulated to be “balanced”. Therefore, there is a blend of heat and flavor.

It is not too spicy and has a mild heat.

But there’s more to know. After all, there’s a wide range of hot sauce recipes, and from french fries to a bloody mary, buffalo wings, there are a lot of uses to consider!

So, in this article, we’ll find out if Scoville ratings are accurate and whether Louisiana hot sauce is hotter than Franks. We will also find out if Louisiana hot sauce is hotter than Texas Pete. But we will also look at the flavor profile and find out what makes Louisiana hot sauce different.

Let’s get started.

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Are Scoville ratings accurate?

Scoville ratings are not always accurate because they are based on human taste testers’ opinions. As such, the Scoville levels can be interpreted differently by different people. But it can also change as the human testers experiences taste fatigue. 

The ratings can also change because peppers’ heat can be impacted by the conditions in which they are grown. The lineage of the seed, humidity, soil, and the pepper’s maturity can all affect the rating.

What exactly does the rating seek to measure? 

The Scoville scale measures the amount of capsaicin in the pepper. Capsaicin is the chemical responsible for most of the spicy heat in pepper and other foods. So the Scoville rating is a measure of how hot pepper is.

The test is named after American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville, who wanted a scientific way to determine the heat of chilis and peppers. So, in 1912 he devised what would consequently be referred to as the Scoville organoleptic test.

To perform the test, capsaicin oil is extracted from dried pepper and mixed with a solution of water and sugar to a point where a panel of taste-testers can barely detect the heat of the pepper.

The Scoville Heat Unit is a measure of the number of times the solution was diluted before it reached a point where the tasters could barely detect the pepper’s heat. Say it was diluted 5,000 times. Its Scoville Heat Unit is 5,000. The higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the pepper.

The rating is a measure of the number of aspects.

These days, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography is used to measure Scoville units. It’s a better way to measure heat intensity in peppers and chilis because using human tasters, as I hinted at above, could be inaccurate.

After tasting spicy food for a long time, it’s easy to experience “taster’s fatigue” — as taste receptors in the mouth could become worn or so overused that one can’t taste anymore.

These days, to determine Scoville heat units, scientists measure parts per million of heat-causing alkaloids in pepper. The number is then divided by 16. Even though the method has changed, in honor of Mr. Wilbur Scoville, the measurements are known as Scoville heat units (SHU).

Is Louisiana hot sauce hotter than Franks?

Louisiana original hot sauce is not hotter than Frank’s Red Hot Original. In fact, they both have the same Scoville heat unit rating of 450, which makes both of these hot sauces on the milder side.

By comparison, Tabasco pepper sauce hits a 3750 on the Scoville scale.

In spite of the fact that they both have the same Scoville heat unit, some people feel that Frank’s red hot is a tad hotter. A subjective take that is understandable. Spicy food often elicits subjective evaluations.

What accounts for the same Scoville heat units? They are probably processed in a similar manner, and their ingredients are almost identical, but Franks employ garlic powder which is absent in Louisiana hot sauce.

The ingredients in Franks are aged cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. Crystal hot sauce is made with similar ingredients, but it doesn’t add garlic and water.

The ingredients for Louisiana hot sauce are aged red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, and xanthan gum.

Is Louisiana hot sauce hotter than Texas Pete?

Louisiana hot sauce is not hotter than Texas Pete. Texas Pete has 747 Scoville heat units, while Louisiana hot sauce is 450 on the Scoville scale. Texas Pete is 297 units hotter than Louisiana hot sauce.

To put these ratings in context, habanero peppers, one of the hottest in the world, is 100,000 – 350,000 SHU!

On the Louisiana hot sauce label, one reads: one drop does it. Perhaps it does for those who are not really into experiencing that kick that spicy food offers.

It’s true that Louisiana hot sauce is balanced. But for those who enjoy that burst of heat in the meals, Louisiana’s claim that one drop does it is probably a stretch. They may find it citrusy, mild, and sweet.

And that’s understandable. After all, it’s only 450 on the Scoville scale.

If you prefer a hot sauce that’s more intense, Texas Pete is the way to go. Now, Texas Pete is not as thick, in fact, it’s a bit on the thinner side (it’s not watery), but it does linger on the tongue. That’s a good thing if you ask me.

What makes Texas Pete a favorite brand? 

Its ingredients are:

  • vinegar
  • aged peppers (peppers, salt, vinegar)
  • water
  • xanthan gum (a thickener)
  • benzoate of soda (a preservative)

What makes Louisiana hot sauce different?

A perfect balance of heat and flavor and simple ingredients is what makes Louisiana hot sauce different. Thus, it’s not too spicy or too mild. They use the best peppers combined with vinegar and salt and are fermented for about three years to create real Cajun flavor.

So, it’s this exquisite blend of heat and flavor that makes Louisiana hot sauce different. This approach was devised in 1928 in New Iberia, Louisiana. And it’s still being used. As the makers of the hot sauce remarked: “Why mess with a really, really good thing?”

To appreciate this “Louisiana style”, you have to know that hot sauce can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are at least 14 different styles of making hot sauce. So, it’s an art to make one that’s exactly what you’ll like: spicy and flavorful.

That’s the Louisiana purchase we can’t refuse.

You want some heat, but not something so hot it ruins the meal. And, you don’t want something tasteless. What’s the point, right? The “Louisiana style” involves using fresh or fermented peppers that are mashed with vinegar and salt.

What is the most popular hot sauce in Mexico?

Valentina is the most popular hot sauce in Mexico, and it lands between 15,000 and 30,000 units on the Scoville scale. It was launched in 1954 and has been the market leader since its inception. It has a thick consistency, chili flavor, and a relatively modest quantity of vinegar.

It is made with puya chilis from Jalisco state.

Valentina is named after a Mexican revolutionary, Valentina Ramirez Avitia. The sauce comes in two unscrewable bottles with flip-flap tops. One is 12.5 ounces, while the other is 1 liter.

Its ingredients are chili peppers, spices, water, vinegar, and sodium benzoate (a preservative).

Valentina is the classic Mexican-style hot sauce that’s preferred by a huge number of people, as it’s enriched with some spices. And, it has an initial heat burst that’s accompanied by a mild citrus flavor. This style is usually more focused on flavor and less on heat.

Unfortunately, this sauce is hard to find in grocery stores in the United States.


In the article, we found out if Scoville ratings are accurate. And we looked at whether Louisiana hot sauce is hotter than Franks.

We also found out if Louisiana hot sauce is hotter than Texas Pete. Then, we explored what makes Louisiana hot sauce different. And we talked about the hottest sauce on the market.

Lastly, we found out the most popular hot sauce in Mexico.

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Jeff Campbell