A basket of poblano peppers.

How to Make Dill Pickle Fermented Hot Sauce

Your pantry needs this fiery zinger of a sauce

As part of ICE’s Culinary Arts career program, students are introduced to the art of food preservation, including fermentation, pickling, smoking and curing which is then (literally) showcased via a grand charcuterie buffet and hors d’oeuvres presentation. 

During a recent charcuterie prep, ICE New York Lead Chef and Operations Manager Joshua Resnick taught his Module 4 students how to make a dill pickle hybrid hot sauce to pair with the duck pastrami Reuben.

“I wanted to make a sauce that works well with the classic deli sandwich, but in a different and elevated way,” he says. “The sauce has all of the elements that would go into a dill pickle, including dill, garlic, black peppercorns and red pepper flakes.”

Chef uses four different kinds of peppers for his recipe — poblano, serrano, jalapeño and bird’s-eye chiles — to give a depth of flavor and varying levels of spice.

For first-time fermenters, Chef Joshua heeds caution: do your research.

“Look up different techniques,” he encourages. “[And] look at different styles of hot sauces as well to think about what you’re looking to achieve in terms of final product. And, before moving forward, look at the types of peppers that you can find and get your hands on.”

Here’s how to make it at home.


Dill Pickle Fermented Hot Sauce


  • 315 grams poblano peppers, stem removed and sliced
  • 115 grams jalapeño peppers, stem removed and sliced
  • 55 grams serrano peppers, stem removed, sliced
  • 7 grams Thai bird’s-eye chiles, stem removed, sliced
  • 15 grams dill, using both sprigs and tender stems
  • 25 grams garlic
  • 4 grams black pepper
  • 2 grams yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 grams coriander seeds
  • 1 gram crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 3% brine


  1. Combine the peppers, dill and garlic in a sterilized fermentation jar.
  2. Combine the spices and toast over medium heat until fragrant. Add into the jar.
  3. Cover all items with the brine. Screw on the lid and leave to ferment at room temperature for 7-14 days.
  4. Once the hot sauce has fully fermented, strain out the solids, reserving the liquid.
  5. Place the solids into a blender with some of the fermentation liquid and blend, adding more liquid to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt, sugar or vinegar if desired.

Related Recipe: Seven Fermented Produce Recipes to Bid Summer Adieu

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