Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

How the Tabasco Factory Makes 700,000 Bottles of Hot Sauce Per Day

The McIlhenny Tabasco company has been a family-run business for over 150 years

For over 150 years Tabasco’s famous red pepper sauce has come entirely from one place: Avery Island, a small area of land surrounded by bayous in southern Louisiana. Tabasco’s founder Edmund McIlhenny made the first batch of sauce on Avery Island and the company has stayed in family control ever since. (Every single CEO has been a descendent of McIlhenny.)

Nowadays, hot sauce is everywhere; and although Tabasco is seen as a fixture in the industry it’s important to remember that when Tabasco was created the Buffalo wing was still over 100 years away. Hot sauce just wasn’t a thing back then, but Tabasco really revolutionized America’s idea of standardization, manufacturing, and distribution; and laid the foundation for this entire movement that’s finally happening now. So while hot sauces may come and go it’s clear that Tabasco has staying power.

You Won’t Believe How Much Work Goes into Making Tabasco Sauce

Nearly synonymous in this country with hot sauce, McIlhenny’s classic Tabasco sauce sits within arm’s reach at every diner and Chipotle across America. But have you ever stopped to think about all the work that goes into packing that pepper punch into the little glass bottle? Probably not. That’s why it’s a rhetorical question and you’re still reading this article.

But in the interest of explaining everything, the fine folks at Discovery produced a video that details all the incredible work you’d never know goes into this red-hot food accessory. The clip, from the “How It’s Made” TV series, isn’t actually new, but just resurfaced on the Internet, thanks to reddit. That’s what reddit does, people.

The process is way more involved than you’d ever believe — including a company big-wig selecting the best peppers from a field, years of fermentation in salted barrels, and even a lady taking hot-sauce shots from a turkey baster. That’s her job: to taste every batch of Tabasco to ensure its quality. Here’s hoping her health insurance covers TUCKS® Medicated Cooling Pads.

Watch the clip, and remind yourself next time your meal needs a spicy kick, you’ll not only be enhancing its flavor, but bettering your health, too.

How Tabasco Sauce Is Made

One of the most popular hot sauces in the world is Tabasco.

Everyone wants to know how it’s made.

The recipe and process are very simple… First you start with the peppers.  Tabasco peppers planted and grown on Avery Island are allowed to ripen to a deep red color.

The peppers, when ripe, are picked by hand and then mashed, mixed only with a small amount of salt… the salt (believe it or not) comes from the salt mines under Avery Island.

The mashed peppers are then packed into wooden barrels and topped with a bit more salt. The barrels full of mashed peppers are then left to ferment for up to 3 years.

You’ve got to have some serious patience to make Tabasco!

Finally, after 3 years, the barrels of mash are ready to be mixed with distilled vinegar.  The mashed peppers are mixed and steeped for several weeks in vinegar… then the mixture is strained and bottled.

The steps are easy, but it takes a bit of work to make authentic Tabasco pepper sauce.

Want to see it live?



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