Trader Joe's products sometimes like to play with fire. And when I speak about fire, I am referring to ghost peppers. This is by no means a humble jalapeno; this is many stages past it on the Scoville scale. For perspective's sake, a jalapeno is usually rated somewhere in the 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Unit Scale. The assertive Ghost Pepper runs somewhere close to one million on the same scale. So, I cleared my calendar to try Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce.
Taste and review
Now, I know it sounds dramatic to make sure I am home to try something. But let's be honest, I've seen enough of those YouTube videos of people attempting to eat these types of peppers and have seen the physical effects. So out of an abundance of caution, I stayed at home.
This isn't the only ghost pepper option Trader Joe's sells. They sell ghost pepper chips, seasonal ghost pepper cheese, and even sell a grinder of the stuff. So if you like the hot stuff, they've got you covered.
I like to dip my toes into things like this slowly. So I didn't cook with it. I used it as a dipping sauce.
And I'm glad I did.
Make no mistake, this stuff should be categorized as hot. Plus, this is heat that lingers.
My first observation of this was how thin the sauce is. Perhaps for easy application. It's not thick, but don't let that put your guard down.
Personally, I wouldn't dare cook with this unless you are a complete spice junkie. The heat is tolerable and the flavor of the sauce was able to come through. But cook it and concentrate on it a bit more, no thank you. You'll be dealing with some serious heat.
If you keep this as a dipping or finishing sauce and aren't looking to concentrate it any further, then you'll actually be rewarded with a flavorful sauce.
It's tomato-based but is still on the sweet side as pineapple juice is also part of the base here along with sugar and molasses. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact of how well balanced it is.
The peppers added a decent amount of heat, but because I hadn't made the sauce any more concentrated it was very edible. Of course, this can also double as mild allergy relief as it will likely clear your sinuses in a way that only hot sauce can do.
And to be fair, I'm no spice junkie. I consider a jalapeno to be hot on its own. But the peppers were muted enough that the heat level rises to that of a jalapeno pepper WITH its seeds.
Cook with it, you'll be in a whole new pepper range.
This is by no means an "everyone should try this" kinda product. But if you like a solid dose of heat and flavor, this is well done.
For $2.69 Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce is a seasonal offering.
Would I buy this again? I think the one bottle will get me through this summer season, but I hope they offer it again next year. I liked it a lot as a dipping sauce.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The bottle of Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce:
Calories and ingredients
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
Served with some of Trader Joe's Breaded Chicken:
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Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce
Product Name: Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce
Product Description: Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce brings heat as a new and seasonal offering
Trader Joe's Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce brings the heat
- Flavorful hot BBQ Sauce
- About the same heat as the Sriracha sauce provided you are only using this as a dipping or finishing sauce
- Manages to be sweet and flavorful
- If you are sensitive to heat, this product isn't for you
- If you cook with this, you will elevate the heat into very very hot territory