When to add hot sauce

I like hot sauce in my food. But I wonder if I should add it while cooking the dish or wait until it’s time to eat. On one hand, if I put the sauce in during preparation, it has time to really stew and infuse itself in to the dish. On the other hand, the heat of cooking may change the flavor or otherwise reduce the taste of the sauce.

What’s the straight dope?

Depends on what you’re cooking, really. The heat of cooking doesn’t change the heat of the sauce much, I’ve found. It does make it fuller and more pervasive, but not much milder. If the dish should be all “hot,” put the pepper sauce in early. If you want a variation of flavors, add it late or at the table.

I fail to see any reason why you cannot add the sauce in the cooking, and at the table. And then presumably on the way to the mouth as well. And I forgot, you can marinade whatever you are cooking in it first.

I think any time is a great time for hot sauce! I usually add it during the cooking process, though not necessarily at the beginning. Of course, I do prefer to use some jalepenos or Thai peppers, but hot sauce is usually what I have during the winter.

I prefer to put “unprocessed” ingredients like jalapenos and such in first since I want to spread their essences and oils around in the dish. I figured something “processed” like sauce would be damaged by heat. But hey, learn something new every day.

On a side note, would it be more effective to grind hot pepper seeds before chucking them into the pot? That might spread the capcaicin around better.

I also depends a little on the sauce.

Adobo and Chipotle typically are added during cooking. Habanera, Jalapeno, and Green sauces are usually added afterwards.

I thought the capcaicin wasn’t in the seeds, but instead in the membrane that connected the seeds to the pod.

Unless I’m cooking a dish entirely for myself, I’m always forced to add it afterward, since my family only likes (relatively) bland food. Mushrooms are the hottest they can normally tolerate. They are my family, so I’ve been forced to forgive them.

Could be. I’ve heard it from different sources that it’s “In the seeds.” But none of them were definitive. Mostly “common knowledge” type facts.

ETA: according to wiki, you’re correct.

Quote: Capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (which holds the seeds), the internal membranes and, to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the fruits of plants in the genus Capsicum. Contrary to popular belief, the seeds themselves do not produce any capsaicin, although the highest concentration of capsaicin can be found in the white pith around the seeds.[7]