Last year, I made a simple pepper relish out of some hot peppers that are grown on a local farm. The method I used was to saute the whole peppers for a short time in olive oil, then blend them in a food processor with vinegar, salt, and a little sugar. This turned out to be a really tasty treat, great on pizza, sandwiches, sausage, just about anything.

This year, I repeated the process. The relish is the single hottest thing I have ever put in my mouth, bar none. It's excruciating. It's so hot that after eating something like an eighth of a teaspoon half and hour ago, my nose membranes are still burning.

So this concoction is sitting in my fridge, and I have two questions: first, how long can I expect it to last? My thinking is that with the vinegar and salt (no sugar this time), I should expect it to last approximately forever. Second, what can I do to turn this volatile relish into something I'd happily add to a cheese sandwich?

  • 1
    In the future, sounds like you'd better make a test batch (or just try the peppers), so that you know how much you need to scrape the peppers out to get a good level of heat.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 16, 2012 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


I would dilute it with another sauce made the same way but with non-hot peppers if you want to make more of the same sauce you had last year. If you just want to use this up, two of my favourite sauces involve adding sriracha (which is pretty hot) to other sauces: added to mayo you can call it "sriracha aoli" as though you were on Top Chef, and it's yummy as a dipping sauce for meatballs, little pastry hors d'oeuvres and the like; added to plum sauce it is great in the places most people use plum sauce. I also put both sriracha and ketchup (but don't mix them) on hamburgers. So try mixing it into mayo, plum sauce, or ketchup, and see if you like what you've created.


I would recommend freezing in small batches for up to one year. In the fridge I think the lifetime will be more on the order of weeks. I usually make hot pepper jam like siracha and freeze in small containers that I can use within a few weeks once I remove it from the freezer. unless its a USDA approved recipe for canning or infused completely in vinegar it is probably not safe to leave out or for an indefinite amount of time in your fridge.

As far as making it more palatable, dilution is going to be your best friend. Find a hot sauce recipe and use that as your pepper base and add to weaker peppers like bell peppers, or if you want a hot mustard, mix with mustard, same with ketchup, etc. be creative and try tiny bits at a time to make sure the ratio is going to work!

  • If you want a hot mustard why not buy one which is made with mustard rather than sugar? Sep 17, 2012 at 12:19
  • @PeterTaylor, hot mustard is just one of many options you could make with a hot sauce base, and you could make it out of anything. And buying mustard doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't have sugar in it. You can make mustard without sugar.
    – lemontwist
    Sep 18, 2012 at 11:38
  • I know you can: that was my point. Real mustard (as opposed to American mustard) is already so hot that to judge by OP's comments on his taste for hot food he wouldn't want to add anything to it. Sep 18, 2012 at 12:10
  • The heat level of mustard does decrease with age, though.
    – lemontwist
    Sep 18, 2012 at 12:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.