Your New Favorite Hot Sauce

Interested in boosting your meals with some added flavor and spice?
Look no further! We have just what you’re looking for and it all starts with Philbur’s Hot Sauce.
Flash back to 2016 in Portsmouth, NH when the Stratos family was serving the city’s bar-crowd with some of their favorite recipes, including pulled pork and pulled chicken tacos. The food cart, known as Philbur’s, featured hot sauces, to add to their tacos. Over time, customers continuously inquired where exactly they can get these uniquely flavored hot sauces, and, with such a high demand, the family pivoted to bottling and selling the hot sauces themselves.
Philbur's Hot Sauce
After months of providing numbered samples to friends, family, and local Chef’s, they found their initial winners: sauces No. 6 and No. 10.  We spoke with Phil Stratos, the face of Philbur’s family business, about the naming process and what exactly these numbers mean. “The samples were numbered so we could keep track of them, and the samples people liked the most were No. 6 and No. 10. We were fully intending to have a name for them,” he said. “We were sitting out on our deck one afternoon, as we’re getting close to our first bottling talking about the potential names, when my son said, ‘Let’s just call it No. 6 and No. 10.’” The whole point was to remain different, yet classic, which is easily represented in their simply designed bottles and labels.
“We wanted the sauce to speak for itself, not the marketing,” Phil said.
Philbur’s is also well known for their products’ consistency.
“We’ve had people in the cooking world who’ve said that they’re very impressed with the consistency of the product. Every time they get the product it is the same each time,” he says.
Philbur's Hot Sauce
In terms of what gives the sauces their own character, each one was made to compliment the foods you use them on. They’re about enhancing your meals, adding a bit of sweetness, heat, and fresh herbs all at once.

Let’s get into each one, shall we?

No. 6 – With a sweet roasted pepper base, jalapeno, habanero, and fresh herbs, the No. 6 is a very mild option. As Phil says, “For people who don’t normally use hot sauces, they can now say they do.” 
No. 10 – Having the same flavor profile as the No. 6, the No. 10 has some added ghost pepper. Just as the No. 6, the heat briefly hits the back of the throat, while avoiding the lips and tongue for the most part.
No. 14 – Created more recently in March of 2020, the No. 14 is the No. 10 with some added scorpion pepper, the second hottest pepper in the world. Sound intimidating? Think again! Phil ensures that “…it’s got a pretty good punch, but it doesn’t continue to build and goes away fairly quickly.”

What kinds of foods can you use them on, you may ask?

Simply put – everything! However, if you’re looking for some ideas to get started, he suggests using it on eggs, stirred into mac and cheese, on any kind of chicken, added to soups, mixed in rice, included in sandwiches, and even on top of pizza. Feel free to also check out these recipes on Philbur’s website.
“It’s not proprietary, it doesn’t take over the food,” Phil reminds us.
Philbur's Hot Sauce

What's next for Philbur's?

Philbur’s is easily a kitchen necessity. In fact, they’re looking to create single serving packets of the hot sauces for more people to give them a try at places like to-go restaurants. He's also thrilled to announce some merchandise coming out in the near future, as well as some other sauces, such as a sweet and tangy barbeque, a habanero mango, a dry rub, and a bourbon barrel fermented hot sauce using the No. 10 and No. 14.
So, you might be wondering, which one is the family favorite? Phil defaults to No. 10 as his everyday sauce but loves to use No. 14 on various foods like chicken wings and tenders. Yet, what he loves more is hearing people enjoy the small, local product that him and his family make.
(This is your cue to try a bottle for yourself! *wink, wink*)
Come on by and let us know what you think. We’d also love to hear in the comments your go-to sauce, as well as what you like to use it on.
What are you waiting for? Get tastin’!



Photography by Maggie Griffin (unless otherwise noted)