Fried chicken is a delightfully tasty meal on its own, but when you add hot sauce, fried chicken takes on a whole new level of delicious. Finding the right sauce is tough though, so you may want to know what the best store-bought hot sauce for fried chicken is.
The best overall store-bought hot sauce for fried chicken is Louisiana Original Hot Sauce. Louisiana Original Hot Sauce was born in the heart of fried chicken country, Louisiana. As such, Louisiana Original is designed to add a distinctive oomph to the flavor of fried chicken.
Below, I’ll go into more detail on the above hot sauce, as well as other spicy condiments you may want to pour onto your fried chicken. Read on to learn more!
1. Best All-Around: Louisiana Hot Sauce Original
Topping our list is Louisiana Original Hot Sauce, the best all-around hot sauce for fried chicken. As I said earlier, Louisiana is the home of fried chicken, so you can expect an exceptional flavor from this one that goes beyond burning your tongue.
If you’ve ever eaten at Popeye’s, there’s a good chance you’ve already tried Louisiana Original Hot Sauce. Popeye’s gives out packets of this hot sauce with their fried chicken, so if you want to give this one a try before buying a bottle, stop by Popeye’s!
Louisiana Original Hot Sauce combines with the flavor of fried chicken to bring out the best of both. You get a satisfying kick from the Louisiana Original Hot Sauce that doesn’t overwhelm the intricate herbs and spices in your fried chicken.
Speaking of fried chicken, if you’re hoping to make some yourself, I recommend the Lake Geneva Simple Fried Chicken recipe. I admit I’m not the best cook in the world (or at least, not at the same level as the average MasterChef contestant), but after discovering Lake Geneva Country Meats’ recipe, I was able to make delicious fried chicken that made my friends “ooh” and “aah” (and think that I am, in fact, a MasterChef contestant).
Louisiana Original Hot Sauce has a great balance of
- Made for fried chicken. As its name implies, Louisiana Original Hot Sauce hails from the heart of fried chicken territory, meaning the recipe was made specifically for fried chicken.
- Not too spicy. If you’re not a huge fan of condiments that set your tongue on fire, you’ll be happy to know Louisiana Original Hot Sauce is relatively mild heat-wise. In other words, your fried chicken won’t be overwhelmed by the spiciness of this sauce.
- Easy to find in stores. Louisiana Original Hot Sauce is everywhere. As I said, you can even grab some packets from a Popeye’s drive-through! It’s arguably one of the most accessible hot sauces in the US.
- Not a huge kick. Louisiana Original isn’t for you if you’re looking for a hot sauce to knock you out of your seat. If you’re looking to challenge your taste buds’ heat tolerance, you should probably look at a different hot sauce.
- Boring flavor. The Louisiana Original Hot Sauce tastes like a “classic hot sauce.” The classic hot sauce flavor is tasty but might be boring by the standards of hardcore hot sauce enthusiasts.
2. Biggest Kick: Frank’s RedHot Xtra Hot
If that old lady from Frank’s commercials can put this baby on anything, it stands to reason that Frank’s RedHot can be a great addition to a platter of fried chicken.
Most hot sauce lovers are familiar with the Frank’s RedHot Original recipe, but if you’re a hot sauce fanatic, you may find the Scoville level to be lacking. Thankfully, Frank’s heard our call for a hotter alternative!
Frank’s RedHot Xtra Hot rethinks the over century-old Frank’s RedHot Original recipe to add an extra kick. I’m a huge fan of the additional spiciness I get from Frank’s Xtra Hot, and if you find Frank’s Original a little underwhelming, Frank’s Xtra Hot may be for you!
While Frank’s Xtra Hot can be a little harder to find in grocery stores, it’s still fairly common. I’ve never had to resort to ordering Frank’s RedHot Xtra Hot online, but it’s still available to deliver to your doorstep if you need to do that.
- Huge kick. Frank’s RedHot Xtra Hot delivers a satisfying kick, which is usually hard to find in a grocery store hot sauce.
- Versatile. I know you’re just looking for a fried chicken hot sauce, but I still want to mention the versatility of Frank’s Xtra Hot. Frank’s Xtra Hot is a good condiment for any meal you can think of, including (but not limited to) fried chicken.
- Familiar flavor. Most people are familiar with Frank’s RedHot Classic, and Frank’s Xtra Hot has a similar flavor. That means you know what you’re getting into when you buy Frank’s Xtra Hot.
- Too spicy. I’ve been eating spicy food for ages, so I’ve developed a tolerance that makes Frank’s Xtra Hot mild for me. However, a less experienced hot sauce fan may find Frank’s Xtra Hot too spicy for their taste.
- Harder to find. Frank’s Xtra Hot can be found in grocery stores, but not as easily as similar sauces. It’s common to find a hot sauce section with Frank’s Original, but not Frank’s Xtra Hot.
- Boring flavor. Like Louisiana Original Hot Sauce, Frank’s RedHot has a classic hot sauce flavor. That means hot sauce enthusiasts might find Frank’s Xtra Hot a tad too boring for their taste.
3. Most Iconic: Huy Fong Sriracha Chili Hot Sauce
Sriracha is among the most renowned hot sauces in the world. You can find the classic sriracha rooster on products like socks, skateboards, and beer mugs, displaying the worldwide recognizability of sriracha hot sauce.
Admittedly, people have criticized me for my liberal use of sriracha. However, I stand by sriracha as a great hot sauce for fried chicken.
I love the balance of flavors in sriracha. It has a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and heat to kick any meal to the next level, including fried chicken.
I once heard someone describe sriracha as “adult ketchup,” which makes it perfect for me. Sriracha is a highly versatile hot sauce that adds character to any meal.
Unfortunately, some people prefer to only use sriracha in Asian-style cuisines, like sushi and ramen. If you’re one of these people, I urge you to open your mind to the possibility of sriracha on fried chicken. You won’t regret it, I swear!
- Availability. Sriracha probably tops the list in terms of availability. You can find some brand of sriracha in almost any grocery store.
- Unique. If you’re tired of basic hot sauces like Frank’s or Louisiana, sriracha is a refreshing change of pace flavor-wise.
- Versatility. I love to put sriracha on anything. For years, sriracha has been my go-to hot sauce because it tastes heavenly on anything.
- Not made for fried chicken. As much as I stand by sriracha on anything, the flavor isn’t specifically designed for fried chicken.
- Spicy. Sriracha feels spicier than most other store-bought hot sauces. The heat isn’t too overwhelming, though.
4. The Simplest Sauce: Tabasco Original Red Pepper Hot Sauce
Now that I’m done talking about sriracha, we can get back to a more traditional fried chicken hot sauce — Tabasco! It may not surprise you to know that the original Tabasco recipe was first produced in Louisiana, the home of fried chicken.
Perhaps because of Tabasco’s Louisiana roots, it has since been propelled into worldwide fame, being sold in stores across the globe. As the Tabasco name grew, so did its spicy offerings. You can find Chipotle Tabasco, Cayenne-Garlic Tabasco, and Habanero Tabasco.
However, in my opinion, none of Tabasco’s new recipes stands up to the Tabasco Original Red Pepper Hot Sauce.
- Simple. The best thing about the Tabasco Red Pepper Hot Sauce flavor is its simplicity. It only has three ingredients — red peppers, Avery Island salt, and natural vinegar.
- Accessible. Tabasco is another easily accessible hot sauce. I’ve found Tabasco Original in grocery stores across the world!
- Vinegary. My friends have mentioned they don’t like Tabasco because it’s too vinegary, so you may want to stay away from Tabasco if you don’t like the distinctive sour and pungent taste of vinegar.
- Boring flavor. Tabasco isn’t for you if you’re looking for a unique flavor. Tabasco is about perfecting the simple hot sauce recipe, rather than innovating it.
5. Best for Mexican Food: Cholula Original Hot Sauce
Cholula is a delicious hot sauce that uses ingredients like Arbol and Pequin to craft a traditional Mexican hot sauce.
The heat level isn’t too intimidating, so you can enjoy Cholula Original Hot Sauce without overpowering the flavor of your fried chicken. A lower
To enjoy Tapatio Mexican Hot Sauce to the fullest, you need a Mexican fried chicken recipe. I recommend All Recipes’ Easy Mexican Fried Chicken Recipe. While this recipe may not be the kind of fried chicken you’re used to eating, it is a delicious and unique twist that I think you should try out.
- Traditional flavor. Cholula stays true to the traditional Mexican hot sauce flavor. If you’re a fan of Mexican hot sauce, you’ll be happy to have Cholula on your fried chicken.
- Availability. Like most sauces I’ve touched on, you can easily find Cholula in stores.
- Versatile. Cholula’s low
spicelevel makes it an extremely versatile hot sauce. I enjoy dousing my eggs, rice, potatoes, and fried chicken in Cholula because it allows the flavor of the food to take center stage.
- Not made for fried chicken. Mexican cuisine has a variety of delicious foods, but fried chicken isn’t one of them. You may find that the flavor of Cholula doesn’t mix as well as you’d like with the flavor of fried chicken.
- Not a huge kick. Cholula is another hot sauce that isn’t too hot. If you’re hoping to melt your face off, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
6. Best for Chipotle Lovers: Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Hot Sauce
I remember encountering (and falling in love with) the smoky chipotle flavor the first time. I put in on sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo dipping sauce as a young child. Since then, I’ve been seeking out the chipotle pepper in as many forms as possible.
After experimenting with dozens of hot chipotle sauces, I realized that (ironically) the store-bought Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Hot Sauce is my favorite. The simplicity of Tabasco’s recipe allows the chipotle pepper to be the soloist of this hot sauce symphony.
Chipotle lovers like me prefer this over the lighter alternatives because the chipotle flavor is front and center here.
Rouxbe has a great Garlic-Chipotle Southern Fried Chicken Recipe if you’d like to add another layer of chipotle to your fried chicken.
- Unique. It’s not often you’ll find a hot sauce made with chipotle, so you’ll find Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce unique compared to other store-bought hot sauces.
- Chipotle. As a chipotle lover, I think the flavor of the pepper on its own is a pro. If you have a similar affinity for chipotle, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce.
- Great for fried chicken. Unlike with sriracha, I don’t think chipotle is great for everything. However, I must say that chipotle and fried chicken go together like vodka and orange juice.
- Harder to find. You can find Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce in stores, although not as much as the likes of Tabasco Original.
- Not for everyone. The unique flavor profile behind chipotle means not everyone will love it.
There are plenty of great hot sauces for fried chicken, especially at the grocery store. Since fried chicken is so delicious as a standalone meal, you don’t need a super spicy sauce to transform the dish — though it’ll add some extra pizzazz to this iconic food.
Fortunately, grocery store hot sauces tend to stay on the lower side of the