How to Make Hot Horseradish

Horseradish is a hot, peppery root that releases its volatile oils when processed. Hot horseradish is best prepared in a food processor to contain its pungent odor, which can sting the eyes. Adapted from Serious Eats’ simple Sauced: Horseradish recipe, this recipe recommends adding Tabasco or a hot sauce of your choosing to create a fiery hot horseradish.

Start to Finish: 10 minutes

Servings: Around 1/2 cup

Difficulty Level: Beginner

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  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh horseradish, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (or hot sauce of your choice), optional

Step 1: Peel and Cube the Horseradish Root

Peel the horseradish root with a vegetable peeler, making sure to remove all the tough, dark skin until only the white flesh remains. Cut the root into roughly 1/2-inch cubes, until you have enough to fill 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Step 2: Pulverize the Horseradish

Pulse the horseradish in a food processor until finely chopped. Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes; the horseradish will increase in heat the longer it rests.

Step 3: Finish the Hot Horseradish

Add the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salt and Tabasco or hot sauce of your choice to the food processor and pulse until just combined.


  • Vinegar stabilizes the heat, which increases as crushed horseradish sits, so waiting to add it results in hotter horseradish.

    Store fresh horseradish root in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it to preserve the heat.

Step 4: Store the Horseradish

Scrape the horseradish into an airtight storage container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Substitutions and Variations

Horseradish is hot on its own, so feel free to leave the Tabasco or hot sauce out if the heat is too much.

If you don't own a food processor, use a blender. You can also use a hand grater to shred the horseradish root, but do so in a well-ventilated area and wear eye protection.

White vinegar has a potent sour tang, whereas apple cider vinegar is more mellow, with underlying hints of sweetness. If you'd prefer a stronger white vinegar taste, go ahead and use a full 3 tablespoons. If you want to mellow the acidity and add more sweetness, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Stir in a generous spoonful or 2 of sour cream to make a hot horseradish cream sauce that has a cooling effect.


  • Keep your face away from the food processor when opening the bowl as pulsing the horseradish releases pungent oils that can sting the eyes.

    Cooking subdues the pungent flavor of horseradish so serve it raw.


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