The Aldi Hot Sauce That Shoppers Can’t Stop Talking About

updated May 25, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I’m pretty confident that if I tried a different hot sauce every day for a year, I still wouldn’t put a dent in my mission of sampling all the hot sauces that exist. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try! The latest to get crossed off? Burman’s Hot Sauce, from Aldi. It’s one of the most-talked-about items in the Aldi Nerd Community, a secret Facebook group that (I guess) is not-so secret because it has 1.3 million members. Naturally, I needed to secure a bottle and see why this hot sauce was so hot online.

Credit: Lauren Masur

More info: Burman’s Hot Sauce, $1.99 for 12 ounces

After being a member of Aldi Nerds for quite some time now, I couldn’t help but notice that Burman’s Hot Sauce just kept popping up in conversation, particularly in reference to another very popular hot sauce brand. (Ahem, Frank’s Red Hot.) Seriously, some form of the question, “Does Aldi’s hot sauce taste like Franks Red Hot?” seems to get asked weekly.

Due to some deep sleuthing on Reddit, I learned that a different version of Burman’s used to exist that cost just 89 cents a bottle (although it had a different formula, bottle shape, and label design). The consensus seems to be that the new Burman’s hot sauce recipe tastes much more similar to Frank’s than the former rendition. This seemingly endless speculation about whether or not Burman’s is a dupe for Frank’s left me with no choice but to try them out side by side.

Credit: Lauren Masur

As I often do, I took the assignment way too seriously and turned this into a science fair project. I noted how the bottle shapes and sauce colorings are nearly identical, and observed that the ingredient lists are also pretty much the same, with just one difference: Burman’s contains Xantham Gum (a stabilizer), which could explain why it’s slightly more viscous.

Another observation? The price difference. I live in New York City, so Frank’s Red Hot cost me $5.99 in the grocery store. Online, I found the same 12-ounce bottle at Walmart and Target for $2.74 and $2.89, respectively. Burman’s costs $1.99. Not a huge difference, but 90 pennies saved is 90 pennies earned! (That’s how the saying goes, right?)

To execute the taste test, I chopped a bunch of celery for dipping (and palate cleansing), and enlisted some help to make two separate batches of Buffalo wings. (To be quite honest, this exercise was simply an excellent excuse to eat wings for dinner.) Here are said wings.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Armed with all of this knowledge, I was fully prepared for them to taste exactly the same too. Turns out, I wasn’t too far off. Both were tangy, vinegary, and had just the right amount of subtle heat (not so much that I was down for the count, but enough to make my lips tingle and keep me reaching for wing after wing). So to answer everyone’s question, yes, Aldi’s Burman’s Hot Sauce makes a pretty darn good dupe for Frank’s. And at $1.99, the price is right.

Have you tried Aldi’s hot sauce?