Garden Update and Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce Recipe


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The saddest time of the year for any chile gardener.

The saddest time of the year for any chile gardener. Venit Hiems.

This week marked the official end for my growing season, so the peppers needed to be picked whether they were ready or not.

Usually harvest time is the happiest of days for a pepper grower.  Months and months of hard work and patience finally pays off.  The final harvest, however is always bittersweet.  Despite my conflicting emotions, it was time to get picking.  I donned my trusty headlamp and harvested fiery chiles all night before the autumn frost closed the chapter on this year’s growing season.

Ripe tasty peppers in the background.  Green underachievers up front.

Ripe tasty peppers in the background. Green underachievers up front.

The good news is that I should be posting several recipes in the coming weeks that feature my prized peps.  The first of which is a super tasty and simple hot sauce that I’ve adapted from Clifford A. Wright’s Some Like it Hot (Spicy Favorites from the World’s Hot Zones)I highly recommend this book as a great resource for piquant favorites from around the world.  The rather large book is not only educational but inspirational and chock full of spicy info and rarely discussed recipes.  Originally named “Cliff’s Orange Devil Sauce”, this Peppermeister version turns the heat up to 11 with the addition of a Bhut Jolokia Chile, a.k.a the ghost pepper.  It also answers the question: What can I do with all these habaneros?

IMG_20131026_141608Peppermeister’s Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce


  • 30-35 Habanero Peppers
  • 1 Ghost Pepper (or any superhot chile)
  • 10 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 10 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup (or 1 tsp sugar, if you’re not a hipster)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place chiles and garlic on roasting pan and roast for about 15 minutes
  • Enjoy the amazing smell of your kitchen while these chiles and garlic cool completely
  • Remove peels from garlic and stems from peppers
  • Throw everything aggressively into a blender with seasoning and puree to perfection
  • Add filtered water to achieve a thinner sauce
  • Pour mixture into jars and refrigerate
  • Enjoy this sauce on anything.

When you’re done making this super easy, super tasty hot sauce, check out these Sausage and Feta Stuffed Peppers from A Fork in Each Hand.


Peppermeister’s October Harvest Update


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I've waited all season for a bountiful harvest, I think this counts.

I’ve waited all season for a bountiful harvest, I think this counts.

It’s finally time to make some hot sauce, chile powder and pickle some spicy peps!

I’ve had my eye on hundreds of green pods all season just waiting for them to fulfill their vibrant destiny.  I strategically coordinated this day of ripening with a planned sick-day to focus on what’s really important: peppers.  I spent most of my time concocting innovative hot sauces and of course processing chiles.  I had my organic produce, rubber gloves, face-mask, hot sauce bottles, industrial blender, and dehydrator ready to pump out some fiery sauces and tongue tingling powders. And that’s just what I did.

2 types of Mango Hot Sauce, My own Tiger Pot sauce and some Middle Eastern Harisa.

2 types of Mango Hot Sauce, My own Tiger Pot sauce and some Middle Eastern Harisa.

As long as we hold off the frost for another 2-3 weeks, I should be able to harvest a couple hundred more peppers and pump out some more sauces.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we went to the Chile Pepper Festival in Bowers, PA last month.  We had a blast fraternizing with fellow chile heads and tasting some fiery foods. 

2013-09-07 16.19.17Until we meet again, check out this high tech hot saucing from the FromScratchClub.


Peppermeister’s September Garden Update and Photo Tour


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Guyana Tiger's Tooth - A great producer and hella hot!

Guyana Tiger’s Tooth – A great producer and hella hot!

     Before I head out to Bowers, PA for the Chile Pepper Festival, I wanted to post a garden update and finally show off a harvest that I’ve been waiting on for months.  It hasn’t been ideal pepper growing weather this summer by any means.  We only had about 10 days of temps in the mid to high 90’s and we received rain (1-2 inches at a time) steadily all season.  I’ve only had to water my plants 3 times since May!  I’m grateful that I don’t have to rely on pepper production to feed my family but I have come to the realization that my goal of harvesting 2500 peppers this season is just not going to happen.  At least I finally have a great reason to attempt overwintering some chile plants to get a jump start on next season. 

Check out these photos and let me know how your plants are doing this year (peppers or otherwise).  Then watch this Peppermeister Roulette Video a few more times.

7 Pot Douglah looking mean, but no longer green.

7 Pot Douglah looking mean, but no longer green.

The Fish Pepper.  These peppers were grown at Thomas Jefferson's home by his "gardeners".

The Fish Pepper. These peppers were grown at Thomas Jefferson’s home by his “gardeners”.

Peach Bhut Jolokia getting ready to get peachy.

Peach Bhut Jolokia getting ready to get peachy.

Beni Highlands, My favorite pepper from last year.  These are ready to turn bright yellow.

Beni Highlands, My favorite pepper from last year. These are ready to turn bright yellow.

The Carolina Reaper (HP22B), currently the World's Hottest Pepper.

The Carolina Reaper (HP22B), currently the World’s Hottest Pepper.

Finally, a proper harvest!  I'm hoping to have quite a few more hauls before the season comes to an end.

Finally, a proper harvest! I’m hoping to have quite a few more hauls before the season comes to an end.

Still want to talk about peppers? Check out these PEPPER COMMUNITIES online and make some chile head friends.

Peppemeister Roulette III: Rachel’s Demise

I smell fear....

I smell fear….

In the first two installments of Peppermeister Roulette, Rachel from Rachel’s Table bit into mysterious peppers, grown by the Peppermeister,  never knowing how hot any of the chiles would be.  Clearly, Rachel’s courage to taste the unknown moved her up a few notches on the aweso-meter, but the question still remained……

Could Rachel take on the Peppermeister in a head to (sweaty) head battle for spicy supremacy? 

Letting Rachel pick her own peppers is kind of like letting someone dig their own grave.

Letting Rachel pick her own peppers is kind of like letting someone dig their own grave.

Head over to Rachel’s Table for the full Peppermeister Roulette report, mind blowing video, and a chance to let her know why she clearly lost the pepper battle.

Peppermeister’s Official 2013 Growlist


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Seedlings on my potting shed window (May, 2013).

Seedlings on my potting shed window (May, 2013).

“2013 will be the year of the PEPPER!” – My neighbor, Jeff.

In previous years, the majority of my plants were purchased from Cross Country Nurseries or other local farms.  This year, thanks to very generous chile-heads, I was able to score dozens of cool pepper seeds through seed exchanges and personal favors.  I fashioned a sweet adjustable grow light stand and started about 30 varieties from seed, successfully.  For Last year’s growlist, click here.  All plants will be grown in containers.  I’m not even bothering with tomatoes this year, just peppers and herbs.

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A Proud Marconi Sweet Italian Frying Pepper

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A Bold Jumping Spider protects my plants from stink bugs

Here’s the Official Growlist for Summer of 2013:

  • Small Vietnamese
  • Hinkelhatz
  • Brazilian Starfish
  • Chintexle
  • Datil Sweet
  • Chiltepin Fort Prescott
  • Assam
  • Jalapeno Early
  • Peter Orange
  • Cantina Yellow
  • Vanero
  • Marconi Golden
  • Amarillear
  • Chimayo
  • Hussli Beaver Dam
  • Habanero Golden
  • Aji Cito
  • Senegal
  • Mustard Habanero
  • 7 Pot Douglah
  • Cabai Burong
  • 7 Pot Primo
  • Besler’s Cherry
  • Piment D’Esplette
  • Quadrato d’Asti Giallo
  • Fish
  • Aji Chinchi Amarillo
  • Hot Paper Lantern
  • Serrano Tampiqueno
  • Beni Highlands
  • Carolina Reaper
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • 7 Pot Brain Strain
  • Hussli Hybrid
  • Takanotsume
  • Peach Bhut Jolokia
  • Peach Habanero
  • Guyana Tiger Teeth
  • Jimmy Nardello
  • Red Datil
  • Peruvian Serlano
  • Prairie Fire
  • Poinsettia

I’ll keep you posted with garden updates, tips and recipes at PEPPERMEISTER!

I’m looking forward to hearing about how your plants are doing.  While I eagerly await your updates, please check out these spicy thighs over at Rachel’s Table.

Seed Starting Tips & Peppemeister Roulette Part Deux!


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**Link below to the newest edition of PEPPERMEISTER ROULETTE!!!


I’m sure a lot of you chile heads have started your pepper seeds weeks ago under hot grow lamps or tropical skies. 

For the rest of us, here are some tips to help you get a successful start to the 2013 season.

Pepper seeds can take a few weeks to sprout!

Because chile seeds take their sweet time to germinate, a lot of factors and considerations arise that you don’t typically experience with plants like beans or even tomatoes.  Pepper seeds will be sitting in those pots/cells for many weeks which is why proper seed starting know-how is essential.

  • Keep it moving.  A fan set on low in the room where you start your seeds is a great idea to avoid stale air and mold that can negatively affect seeds and seedlings.
  • Avoid peat pots.  They seem really easy, just start the seed in there and transplant it directly into the soil when ready.   In my experience, these soggy pots promote mold growth. Go with recycled plastic and reuse them year after year.  If you do prefer peat pots, buy the larger size and be sure to crush off the bottom of the pot before transplanting, not doing so will inhibit root development.
  • Typical Seed Starting Mix is just peat or coir (coconut fiber) and contains no nutrients at all.  Mix in some organic potting mix (with OG fertilizers) and some organic perlite to your seed starting mix.  The potting mix will feed your seedlings for a few weeks and the perlite will hold water.
  • Hot and moist.  Yeah, you read that right.  Pepper seeds love the heat.  Try using a grow mat (not a heating pad) or some powerful lights to speed up the process and make those chile seeds nice and comfy.  A plastic dome or cling wrap over the pots will keep the moisture in and create a nice humid environment.  Don’t forget to ventilate!
  • If you totally suck at seed starting, don’t worry.  Cross Country Nurseries is now taking orders for their enormous selection of hot chile plants.  They ship the plants ready to be transplanted in the garden.  Read more about CCN here.

For more seed starting tips, check out these free Pepper Growing Guides:

The Chile Man’s Growing Guide

Fatalii’s Growing Guide

Are you playing Peppermeister roulette? No? Well, someone is.  Head on over to Rachel’s Table and find out which pepper caused her to go from this…


To this….


Don’t worry, she not only made it out alive, but she’s challenged me to a Peppermeister Roulette Duel this Summer.  Challenge accepted, although her hot pepper perseverance worries me…..  Details to follow.  


She’s back for more!!!! Rachel from Rachel’s Table tries her hand at another round of PEPPERMEISTER ROULETTE.

Rachel's Table

Last September the first round of Peppermeister Roulette hit the blog.

Let’s see how HOT Round 2 is, shall we?

If you’d like to learn more about the peppers tasted here, visit Peppermeister’s blog (make sure to tell him Rachel wants a tie-breaker).

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PEPPERMEISTER’S Pepper Seed Giveaway Update.


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Did someone say FREE CHILE SEEDS?


Great News! My neighbor Jeff has declared that 2013 will be the year of the pepper.  Whether you’re a seasoned chile-head or an aspiring gardener looking for some variety in their backyard and heat in their kitchen, you’ll want to take advantage of this sweet offer.

Let’s remind ourselves of how this works…..

All seeds are harvested in a non isolated 100% organic container garden.  I only harvest seeds from the biggest and ripest chiles.

Thousands of seeds.

Here’s how you get FREE SEEDS….

  • Email me with the names of 2 varieties from the list below that you would like to grow.
  • I will then let you know if they are available and send you my mailing address.
  • You send me a self addressed stamped bubble envelope (4″x6″ bubble mailer folded in another with 3 stamps and your address on it).
  • I send you free PEPPERMEISTER seeds. (most packs have 20+ seeds and I throw in extra varieties when i can.)

The varieties of seeds that I have available will change often since I will run out of some and add more as I harvest and dry more seed varieties.  Check back here for updates and seed availabilities.  Please email me if you have any questions about the varieties listed below.  Yes, you are welcome to share some seeds with me as well.

Here’s what i have available now(Updated 2-9-13)

  1. Cyklon Paprika
  2. Suryankhi Cluster
  3. Limon
  4. Hanoi Red
  5. Jamaican Gold
  6. Aji Cristal
  7. Beni Highlands
  8. Hinklelhatz
  9. Jamaican Hot Chocolate
  10. Sigaretta Di Bergamo
  11. Wenk’s Yellow Hot
  12. Lombak (Indian Pepper)
  13. Thai Giant
  14. Organic Jalapeno
  15. B.A. Cayenne
  16. Thai Hot (Bird’s Eye)
  17. Serrano
  18. Big Jim
  19. Cobra
Hinkelhatz: Amish Heirloom Pepper

For information on getting started with chile gardening, check out my new HOW TO GROW PEPPERS page.

Check out Fresh Veggies in the Desert. Sharlea makes Peppermeister’s Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings!!!

Fresh Veggies in the Desert



I have been wanting to try a recipe that I saw on another blog for a very long time.   A special chicken wing recipe that, in my opinion, deserved a special day.   I gave those chicken wings:   Super Bowl Sunday, the true religious holiday of all chicken wings.   Here’s to Peppermeister’s Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings with Crema de Peppermeister!

I actually followed the recipe as close as I could.   If you’ve been reading me for very long, you understand what a challenge this can be for me.    Click on the links above for the full list of ingredients, it’s not a tough recipe to follow but the processing can be a little time consuming.  Was it worth it?   Ooooh … yaaaa …



The sauce for these wings was a little bit tedious to make  (chop, chop, blend, blend) and…

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