In Hot Ones, a YouTube series under the account name First We Feast, host Sean Evans sits down with a different celebrity guest in each episode, talking with them about their lives and careers. The catch: as they talk, they eat chicken wings, starting with a slightly tangy sauce and working their way up to the kind of hot sauce that could turn you into a fire-breathing dragon. If the celebrity makes it all the way to the tenth and final sauce, they can promote an upcoming project at the end of the episode.
In season 3, the starter hot sauce was a basic sriracha, which is 2,200 Scovilles, a scale that measures the spiciness of peppers or spicy foods. That was followed by Tabasco Original at 2,500 Scovilles. And the final sauce was Blair’s Mega Death at 550,000 Scovilles. But things have been progressing rapidly on the spicy scale, and the show now produces its own branded sauces as well.
Now in its ninth season and with close to 7 million subscribers, Evans wants to bring even more pain to the celebrity guests of the show as the gaps between Scovilles widen and the final sauce tips the scales at more than two million.
Here’s a look at the 10 hot sauces featured on the latest season, from the least spicy to the “last dab.”
10 Hot Ones The Classic –1,800 Scovilles
As the new “number-one” sauce from the series, meaning the first sauce to start off the conversation and heat scale, it uses the Chile de Arbol pepper, which promises complex and fresh flavours.
Grown by Smokin’ Ed Currie from Puckerbutt Pepper Co., it can be used liberally on wings or whatever dish you like, offering more of a tang than a bold hit of hotness. In addition to the pepper, it includes some apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, water, garlic, turmeric, and salt, and uses mainly organic ingredients.
9 Sauce Bae Skinny Habanero – 2,500 Scovilles
All natural, this sauce has a tropical pineapple taste, which will add a nice zing to your wings or other foods. It also contains white vinegar, onion, garlic, turmeric, salt, cumin, black pepper, and ginger. The real heat, however, comes from, as the name implies, habaneros as well as jalapenos.
While it’s sweeter than other hot sauces, some fans will especially love that it’s low sodium and gluten-free. It’s also an option, for particularly daring individuals, to use as a tangy salad dressing with a kick.
8 Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper – 10,100 Scovilles
Representing a massive jump in Scovilles from the level 2 sauce, this one, the third in the line-up on the latest season, combines scotch bonnet with habanero peppers to provide an island flare inspired by Barbados flavours through ingredients like ginger, turmeric, mustard, and lemon.
Ideal for marinades for chicken and fish as well, or for spicing up your lunch sandwich, it adds more spice through chili peppers and horseradish, as well as some sweetness via demerara sugar.
7 Lucky Dog Year of The Dog Thai Chile Pineapple – 29,800 Scovilles
Don’t let the promise of sweet pineapple fool you: this sauce, from the San Francisco Bay company, is hot, hot, hot. Combining pineapple with a host of other ingredients including honey and lime juice, it’s the dried red chilies that really spice this sauce up.
You’ll also get tastes of earthiness thanks to toasted onion and sesame seeds. But combine the heat with the sour lime, pungent mustard, and sweet pineapple, and it will be a burst of flavours in your mouth.
6 Hot Ones Los Calientes – 36,000 Scovilles
By the time the celebrity guests get to this sauce, they’re either crying, blowing their noses excessively, guzzling milk, or all of the above. A select few, however, might be just fine. This sauce, a slight jump up from the last, combines Californian and Mexican flavours through green serrano and orange habanero chiles, along with tomatillo, which adds some tartness.
Good for wings as well as tacos and pizza, other ingredients that boost the flavour profile include agave nectar, toasted onion, cilantro, and apricot.
5 Hell Fire Detroit Habanero – 100,000-300,000 Scovilles
If the last sauce didn’t get them, this one surely will. With at least almost three times as much heat as Los Calientes, you can almost see the pure fire coming your way given the thickness of the sauce.
The ingredients are simple, including fire roasted habanero, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, distilled water, and olive oil. It’s fruity and tangy, but don’t let the seemingly harmless ingredients list beyond the pepper fool you - this one will clear your sinuses right up!
4 Wiltshire Chili Farm Trinidad Scorpion – 104,000 Scovilles
Perhaps designed to give celebrity guests a little break, this one doesn’t offer a huge jump from the previous one or might even be less spicy. The dark red-coloured hot sauce uses a small selection of ingredients to light up your senses. At the heart of it is scorpion chile and red peppers, along with salt, sugar, and cider vinegar.
It’s a good complement to pasta sauces, to dip French fries or nachos, or dot onto fried chicken for a nice kick of heat and flavour.
3 DaBomb Beyond Insanity – 135,600 Scovilles
The name says it all here, as does the warning label: consume one drop at a time with extreme caution. It’s made with pure habanero pepper, further enhanced with, well, more habanero-infused flavour. It also includes chipotles (as if the habaneros weren’t hot enough) along with orange juice, water, tomato paste, and other spices. In other words, dab this on food, don’t pour it or drench your wing in it.
Have a tall glass of milk and a box of Kleenex nearby before deciding to try this one! This is usually the one that takes down even the most adventurous celebrity guests.
2 Puckerbutt Chocolate Plague – 690,000 Scovilles
Do you really need more of a description here than just the name? Even the image on the bottle is scary enough to make even the most adventurous of hot sauce aficionados cringe in horror at what's to come.
With almost six times the heat of the already mouth-burning Da Bomb, it is made from 90% pure Chocolate Bhutlah, which is rumored to be some of the world’s hottest peppers. A cross between the bhut jolokia (more commonly known as the ghost pepper) and chocolate douglah, taking a bite of something with this sauce is like setting off fireworks in your mouth.
Promising to offer delicious flavour as well, if you’re brave enough, add some to a marinade or drip a few drops into stew if wings aren’t your thing.
1 Hot Ones The Last Dab Reduxx – 2,000,000+ Scovilles
The latest version of the final hot sauce for the series, for the few celebrities who make it all the way down the list, this one is a doozy. Containing Ed Currie’s “Pepper X” along with “Chocolate Pepper X,” it’s named as such because one dab is enough to send you running to the bathroom or screaming in agony.
If you’re a glutton for spicy punishment, you can buy it from the Heatonist website (as with all of the other ones), but it’s limited to one bottle per person. And probably for good reason.