The El Yucateco FAQ

All the answers to your El Yucateco Hot Sauce Questions

We know how it is.

You're sitting down to have your favorite meal along with your favorite El Yucateco Hot Sauce...and then, a question hitherto unspoken grows in the back of your brain.  It speaks, over and over again - demanding an answer - "Why, oh why, is my Black Label Reserve Hot Sauce actually black?!"

And so begins your quest.

But fear not!  We have all the answers right here at your fingertips.  Okay maybe not all the answers, but we have the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What’s the expiration date of my hot sauce?

On the neck of your bottle is a stamped lot code. The first two numbers are the year it was produced, the next letter is the month is was produced (A=Jan, B=Feb, C=March, etc.), then the next two numbers are the day of that month it was produced. Your sauce is good for 30 months from that date, unopened, stored in a cool, dry place. Once your sauce is opened, we recommend consuming it within 6 months, when stored in a cool, dry place. Our sauce does not need to be refrigerated.

What’s the difference in the chile habanero hot sauce flavors?

We have 5 sauces made with the habanero pepper (chile habanero). Each has a different flavor and heat level based on the other key ingredients and the amount of habanero pepper flesh used in the recipe.

The heat level of each of our hot sauces is measured using The Scoville Scale. This heat is measured in “Scoville Heat Units”, based on the concentration of capsaicinoids from the peppers (Capsaicin is the predominant component that causes the sensation of heat in a pepper).

Scoville ratings are approximate and can vary from batch to batch.

Check out the flavor profiles of each sauce:

Jalapeño Hot Sauce by El Yucateco

Jalapeño Sauce -1,500-1,900 Scoville Units

The classic Jalapeño sauce, done the right way! Only the freshest peppers are used for this sauce. It’s the mildest of our sauces, but packs a rich flavor and gentle heat.



Mexican Chipotle Sauce by El Yucateco Hot Sauce

Chipotle Hot Sauce -1,900-2,300 Scoville Units

Our only sweet sauce, our Chipotle Hot Sauce is made from a rich blend of naturally smoked chipotle peppers. Its deep flavor enriches hearty dishes, and adds smoky notes and sweet heat to grilled meats.



Caribbean Hot Sauce by El Yucateco Hot Sauce

Caribbean Habanero Hot Sauce -6,300-7,700 Scoville Units

This sauce is a perfect blend of yellow habanero peppers and fresh carrots, a source high in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene. Its slightly sweet taste and mild heat deliver the traditional flavors of Caribbean Cuisine.



Authentic Mexican Habañero Hot Sauce by El Yucateco

Red Habanero Hot Sauce - 7,600-9,500 Scoville Units

El Yucateco’s Red Habanero Hot Sauce is created with our classic recipe, a blend of habanero peppers, red tomatoes, select spices and seasonings.



Green Habañero Hot Sauce by El Yucateco

Green Habanero Hot Sauce - 7,700-8,800 Scoville Units

Our Green Habanero Hot Sauce is made with another of our classic recipes. The freshest green habanero peppers, garlic and fine spices blend into a fresh, flavorful sauce.



Smokey Hot Sauce by El Yucateco

Black Label Reserve Habanero Hot Sauce - 

4,500-5,500 Scoville Units

El Yucateco’s Black Label Reserve gets its color from fire-roasting our habaneros resulting in a deep, smoky, flavorful sauce.


Hot Hot Hot Sauce by El Yucateco

XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce -
10,000 - 12,500 Scoville Units

We rescued this recipe from the culinary traditions of the ancient Mayan civilization, hence the name “Kutbil-Ik” - a Mayan word meaning “crushed chili”.



Are El Yucateco sauces gluten free?

Yes! All varieties of El Yucateco hot sauce are gluten free.

Are your sauces sugar free?

All of our sauces are sugar free except the Chipotle Hot Sauce. The Chipotle Sauce incorporates a small amount of sugar to enhance the pepper's natural sweetness.

Are your sauces vinegar based?

No. We want the flavor of the pepper to shine through, so we use minimal amounts of citric and acetic acid as a preservative.

Why is the Black Label Reserve Hot Sauce black?

We fire roast the habanero peppers to give them that beautiful smoke flavor. The black color is the natural charring of the pepper itself, blended into the sauce.

Where are your sauces made?

Our sauces are made on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, in the municipality of Kanasín.

Which flavors do not contain artificial coloring?

Chipotle, Caribbean, Black Label Reserve, and XXXtra Hot Kutbil-Ik hot sauces do not contain any artificial coloring.

Should my El Yucateco Hot Sauce be refrigerated?

No. Refrigeration is not required either before or after opening.

Do you use capsaicin extracts?


Who do I contact for exports outside of the US and Canada?

Please email

Where do I find recipes?

Check out our blog at, as well as our YouTube channel at

Why does my label look slightly different than the last time I bought it?

The FDA requires us to periodically update labels based on product information clarity. If your label has slightly changed, please know that the formula hasn’t changed, just the label.

I want to represent the brand as an influencer, ambassador, video creator, event promotion specialist, etc. Who do I contact for marketing opportunities?

Message us at

I’m a restaurant or a retailer – how do I purchase your products wholesale?

Message us at and we'll get you in touch with the correct division for your location and needs.

I heard you have lead in your hot sauce, is that true?

This idea arose from a study from UNLV released in July of 2013. We responded immediately to alert our customers that we were investigating and hired an independent lab to thoroughly test all our sauces and manufacturing facility. No measurable amounts of lead were detected in any of our sauces or ingredients used to make our sauces.

The safety of our customers and employees is our number one concern and we stand by the quality of our products. Please email us at for a copy of the testing report and an in-depth FAQ for further information.

Where can I find El Yucateco products?

Check out our product locator: You can usually also find it at any Mexican Grocery store, in addition to being able to buy it at