Q: Dear Dave,
I made some hot sauces off of your basic Homemade Tabasco Style Sauce recipe and they came out very good. I do have one problem though. As the sauce sits, it separates on the top. Does this mean I should use less vinegar when I’m preparing it, or should I consider something else? Also, I’ve heard that it’s best to keep hot sauce out of the fridge and just keep it in a cabinet. Is this true? And if so, would the basic recipe that I’m using sit well without refrigeration without any special preservatives?
A: Hello Jonathan:
Homemade sauces will often separate because they do not have stabilizers like xanthan gum that commercial sauces do. It also depends on how efficient your food processor is. Home food processors do not grind peppers fine enough to be totally suspended in the liquid, like commercials ones do. I don’t know where you heard the story about not keeping hot sauces in the refrigerator, but it’s simply not true. Always refrigerate sauces to prevent bacterial contamination, unless they are processed in a water bath. Even then, it’s always better to refrigerate once opened. You always refrigerate catsup, don’t you?–Dave