Red's Hot Salsa review

Red’s Hot Salsa Review

Winning four awards at the 2012 Houston Hot Sauce Festival, Red’s took home 2 awards in the Salsa Contest with a 3rd Place for Best Fruit-based Salsa (Red’s Mango Habanero Salsa), and 1st Place in Best All-purpose Salsa (Red’s Hot Salsa). They also garnered a 2nd Place People’s Choice Award for Wing Sauce with their Smokey Habanero Hot Sauce AND a 2nd Place People’s Choice Award of Hottest Hot Sauce for their God’s Wrath Ghost Pepper Sauce.

Obviously is a company that is putting out some awesome hot sauce products! And hey, at only $5 per jar, it’s cheaper than your upscale grocery store. So stop reading right now, and go order some great Red’s salsa! …

… Oh. You’re still reading? Good! I was lucky to be a judge for the Salsa Contest in Houston. We tasted almost 60 different salsas, and in the end, there were 6 winners in the two categories of “Best Fruit Based” and “Best All Purpose” salsas, with Red’s getting an award in each.

Red's Hot, Mango Habanero & Ghost lineup...
Red’s “Hot”, “Mango Habanero” & “Ghost” salsa lineup…

Let’s see how the Red’s Hot Salsa really tastes…

Ingredients: whole tomatos, bell, poblano, serrano, jalapeño, habanero peppers, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, spices, lime and pineapple juice

Great texture and color
Great texture and color…

Texture & Appearance: This medium chunky salsa has just enough liquid juice to keep the chunks incorporated in the mix. I love seeing the light colored bits of garlic against the nice deep red background of the tomato and pepper slurry. My favorite jarred salsa texture is a fine grind that almost resembles a thick pasta sauce. This is my next favorite texture – that being small to medium chunks that really bring some volume to the plate – or chip as it were.

Taste Straight Up: I first smell tomatoes (hey, it IS a salsa), garlic and spices. There is an odd yet welcome hint of an old school Italian pasta sauce that lurks in the background. Not much of a chile pepper smell. But. The first taste, straight up out of the jar, brings on a chile pepper heat level almost immediately along with the fresh tomato taste. The garlic follows, and is rounded out with a nice, spicy finish. A simple sweetness from the lime and pineapple juices as supporting players, makes for a full mouth of flavor in the end. As I write this, I am eating and spooning it straight out of the jar, and I just love it.

Heat Level: Rated 2.5 out of 5 Stars – It looks like ol’ Red threw the kitchen sink at this stuff, including the big 5 chile peppers. One would think it would be a mess. Oh no! Somehow, maybe accidentally, maybe on purpose, Red and company have stumbled onto a perfect balance of peppers, flavor and heat! The sting is nice and pleasant and short lived. Bonus points in my book, as you can keep digging in for the next scoop of salsa, knowing that the burn will go away quickly and the flavor will have you craving more.

Red's Salsa Label is simple and to the point
Simple label – nothing fancy from this Texas gang…

Label/Graphics: As you can see, the label is astonishingly simple. Almost stupid simple. Yet, it works. It’s “RED’S”. It’s “hot salsa”. And the drop-dead simple caricature of Red in the middle is all you get. (Oh, let’s not overlook the small outline of Texas on the right). I am just enough of a fan of a simple label and graphic to grab a jar or two of this salsa off of the shelf before Marilyn catches me. Here is where unpretentiousness rules!

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): Rated 5 out of 5 Stars – While I’ve had this salsa on my nachos (many times), it really shines as a true “chip and dip” style salsa. Utterly delicous! This salsa will undoubtably make my top 10 products of the year.

Here’s where you can find Red’s online and check out their 5 salsas and 3 hot sauces: is their web site.
Like Red’s on Facebook too.
And on

Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

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  1. I prefer to make my own but let’s face it, winter is coming and winter tomatoes are depressing. So I’ll have to give ol’ Red’s a try.

    1. Yes, there’s nothing like home made, but these folks have nailed a great taste. Highly recommended!

  2. Thank you Brian for the kind words about our little salsa company. I started making salsa for friends and I’m glad to say that I still am.
    I was once told “friends are better than gold or crowns, having a bunch won’t weigh you down”-Max Stalling

    1. Hey John, you guys have a great salsa. Best of luck to you! And thank you for the opportunity to review your good stuff.

  3. This is absolutley the best salsa I have ever eaten.
    It should come with a warning though –
    You will be hooked after the first bite – ADDICTIVE!!!

  4. We bought some of Red’s hot salsa at the Houston festival. It is simply delicious.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. I’m going to have to get some of their Mild and Medium to contrast with the Hot. 🙂

  5. This hot sauce is so good and delicious, everytime i eat it i can’t stop.

  6. Brian, I enjoyed your pod cast with Peggy and John Johnson. I’ve known them for years. Not only are their salsa and hot sauces great, but they are very nice, genuine folks.

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