A chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeno pepper. If you tend to go for smoky BBQ sauces, smoked meats, beans, and the like, this style of hot sauce may appeal to you. Jalapenos are also considered mild heat when compared with other peppers, so a chipotle hot sauce could help you get used to your mouth tingling before moving on to hotter types.
“Roasted” hot sauces also fall into this category and will give you a smoky profile. If you find a new sauce with “Roasted Pepper” somewhere on the label, you can expect it to be similar to a chipotle-style hot sauce.
Keep in mind that I’m only suggesting beginner-level sauces in this list. There are a ton of delicious and smoky chipotles that are really hot (like High River’s Foo Foo Mama Choo or Maui Pepper Co.’s Smokin’ Mango Chipotle), but you might want to work up to those. . .Or maybe just go for it? It’s up to you.
If You Like Smoky Flavors, Try A Chipotle Hot Sauce
I have to admit that I got some of the ones from this list per my husband’s recommendations because I only use chipotle sauces sometimes. He does have pretty good taste though (he married me, right? :P). Here are some options you should try that aren’t super hot:
5. Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce (Medium)
The Cholula brand is a staple in many kitchens, being one of the more well-known, mass-produced sauces out there. When compared with other hot sauces, Cholula sauces aren’t the hottest ones available, so they’re a good introductory sauce. Cholula’s Chipotle is a standard, straight-forward Chipotle flavor without the bells and whistles and will give you a good baseline to compare other Chipotle-style sauces with.
6. CaJohn’s Killer Chipotle (Medium)
This is the sauce that helped my husband cross over from a “I don’t do spicy foods” person to a “I put hot sauce on everything” guy. CaJohn’s Killer Chipotle has got that smoky edge but it’s also deliciously sweet thanks to a strong hit of brown sugar. One of CaJohn’s more underrated sauces, it’s especially good on wings but is versatile enough to use in pretty much anything. By the way, my husband recommends the Killer Chipotle over the regular Chipotle. He likes the regular one as well, but he absolutely raves over the Killer one.
7. Ring of Fire Chipotle & Roasted Garlic (Medium)
Again, Chipotles are not my favorite style of sauces, but even I love the flavor in this one. I sautéed some asparagus with it, and my husband and I absolutely loved it. He said it was a little too spicy for him, although I didn’t find it very hot myself. We both agreed that it was delicious though. It’s a great consistency and you can really taste the garlic.
8. Sucklebusters Texas Heat (Medium)
We always keep SuckleBusters’ rubs on hand at my house because they’re a fast and easy way to add flavor to our dinners, but I never tried their sauces until recently. Well, their chipotle sauce actually really impressed me! It turns out that it’s award-winning AND SuckleBusters’ #1 seller, and I can see why. It’s not too much heat, and the flavor is smooth and smoky—ideal for BBQ
So that wraps up the “Chipotle for Beginners” class. On Tuesday, we’ll explore another favorite of mine, the GREEN sauces, in Part 3 of “15 Gateway Hot Sauces That Will Get You Hooked.”