If you’ve ever watched “Hot Ones,” you’ve probably asked yourself — How does host Sean Evans keep his cool the whole time? Are the guests playing it up or are their reactions genuine? And really, how spicy can those hot sauces actually be?
For those who aren’t familiar, “Hot Ones” is a YouTube series on the channel First We Feast, which boasts over 7.9 million subscribers. Evans is loved by viewers for his exceptional spice tolerance, consistently cool demeanor and incredible interview skills. On the show, Evans interviews everyone from culinary legends like Gordon Ramsay to all-star athletes like Shaquille O’Neal and even A-list celebrities like Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson as they eat (and fight) their way through a plate of 10 increasingly spicy chicken wings.
Da Bomb Beyond Insanity is the single most infamous hot sauce on the show, despite being No. 8 in the lineup as opposed to No. 10. And there are a couple of hypotheses on why this sauce tends to elicit the biggest reactions, of which you can watch a compilation below.
Evans’ order of hot sauces is based on Scoville units, a scale used to measure exactly how hot certain peppers are. The Classic Hot Sauce (the first hot sauce in the season 10 lineup) measures about 1,800 Scoville units, while the Last Dab, the show’s signature final hot sauce, measures over 2 million Scoville units. Da Bomb comes in at around 135,600 units, according to the show. But viewers and Amazon reviewers of the sauce emphasize that Scoville units aside, Da Bomb feels and tastes like the hottest and definitely most painful sauce on the show.
Another guess as to why it’s such a hit? Da Bomb often marks a turning point in the show where guests just absolutely lose it. Whether they start to curse uncontrollably, violently chug milk or have tears running down their faces (we’re looking at you, Shia LaBeouf), Da Bomb is the first in the final trio of hot sauces that are simply too hot to actually enjoy.
Lucky for all of us, whether you want to test your own spice skills, see a loved one break down, or challenge a group of friends or family members, Da Bomb Beyond Insanity Hot Sauce is available on Amazon for just $10.95. With a 4.3-star rating from over 2,300 reviews (which are completely entertaining to browse), the 4-ounce bottle is sure to last you forever. Just be careful to use a light hand and proceed with caution.
- Da Bomb Beyond Insanity Hot Sauce ($10.95; amazon.com)
And for those who would rather try other (less painful) hot sauces from the show, there are options from various “Hot Ones” seasons available on Amazon. We’ve ranked them from mildest to tears-in-your-eyes hottest below.
Hot Sauce No. 2, Season 9: Sauce Bae Skinny Habanero Hot Sauce ($12.98; amazon.com)
A perfect intro to next-level hot sauces, this habanero option is described as spicy without being overwhelmingly hot, with a hint of sweetness. It’s made from a special blend of ingredients that includes turmeric, a spice with the ability to reduce inflammation, fight fat and more. It’s also lower in sodium than most other sauce options, so it’s great if you’re trying to watch your salt intake. One reviewer writes, “I was surprised by this sauce but in a good way! The flavor is on point and is described perfectly on the bottle… you really don’t need a lot to get a good flavor so for anyone who is worried about the price vs the size of the bottle, a little goes a long way.”
Hot Sauce No. 2, Season 6: Heartbeat Hot Sauce - Red Habanero ($11.99; amazon.com)
Another beginner-friendly hot sauce, this vinegar-based option is a balance of savory and spicy. One reviewer sums it up well, writing, “if you are just dabbling into hot sauces and are afraid you’ll get something that’s too hot to enjoy, do not be afraid of this one… It’s probably just a little hotter than Cholula, but waaaay more flavorful.”
Hot Sauce No. 3, Season 4: Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce ($9.30; amazon.com)
With a 4.6-star rating from over 3,100 reviews, this hot sauce has a unique Tex-Mex, Caribbean flavor that people love. Says one reviewer, “It’s manageable for those who aren’t looking to kill themselves with hot sauce but want to step up their hot sauce game with something flavorful.”
Hot Sauce No. 5, Seasons 6 through 9 and Hot Sauce No. 4, Season 10: Los Calientes ($39.95 for three; amazon.com)
A perfect middle-of-the-road hot sauce, Los Calientes is super popular on the show and with reviewers on Amazon for its classic Mexican-inspired flavors. It boasts a nearly 5-star rating from over 200 reviews, with one person writing that it’s “Slightly sweet and spicy with a nice smoke pepper kick. I cannot describe how tasty this sauce is.”
Hot Sauce No. 6, Season 9: Hell Fire Detroit Hot Sauce Habanero ($12.78; amazon.com)
Another hot-without-being-painful type of sauce, this option uses natural heat from the orange habanero, a pepper typically associated with Caribbean seasoning. One reviewer writes, “After seeing a bunch of Hot Ones stars saying this is the best of the 10 sauces, we decided to give it a try. It truly is a hot one, but it’s full of flavor, too.”
Hot Sauce No. 7, Season 3: Zombie Apocalypse Ghost Chili Hot Sauce ($13.20; amazon.com)
Making our way into the dangerously spicy hot-sauce territory, this option features 16 ghost pepper pods in every bottle. They’re combined with habanero peppers and a blend of other spices and vegetables, to make a sauce that’s described as “sweet yet terrifyingly hot.” One spicy-food lover writes, “This sauce is currently my favorite. It has the perfect balance of heat and flavor.”
Hot Sauce No. 7, Season 8: Torchbearer Sauces Garlic Reaper Sauce ($14.03; amazon.com)
This garlic option is extract-free, meaning all the heat comes from real peppers (including the infamous Carolina reaper) among other natural ingredients. While it tastes great, don’t let the garlic flavor fool you — this hot sauce is super hot. As one reviewer writes, “Tried it out due to the garlic flavor and boy do I love it! Has a hell of a kick so don’t go overboard. Learned the hard way the first time trying it!”
Hot Sauce No. 10, Season 1 and Hot Sauce No. 9, Seasons 2, 3 and 5: Mad Dog 357 Hot Sauce ($14.29; amazon.com)
Another infamous “Hot Ones” sauce, Mad Dog 357 is notoriously hot. Coming in at 357,000 Scoville units, it’s made from a blend of cayenne and habanero peppers. One reviewer writes, “This is burn your mouth, sear your taste buds, and then force you to consider jumping in a pool of ice hot.”
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.