Texas Pete

Texas Pete is a brand of hot sauce in the United States developed and manufactured by the TW Garner Food Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Texas Pete is the third best selling hot sauce in the United States as of 2004.[2]

Texas Pete Hot Sauce
OwnerT.W. Garner Food Company


Texas Pete hot sauce was introduced in 1929 by Sam Garner, operator of the Dixie Pig barbecue stand in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Customers asked for a spicier sauce, and the Garners concocted one with cayenne peppers.

Developing a product name, a marketing adviser suggested "Mexican Joe" to connote the spicy cuisine of Mexico. However, Thad's father Sam Garner opposed this, saying that the name should be American. Texas is known for its spicy food; this was combined with Pete, the nickname of Thad's brother Harold Garner.[3]


Phillip White of California filed a lawsuit against J.W. Garner September 12, 2022 for a "false marketing and labeling scheme". White said he was deceived into thinking the sauce was made in Texas. The 49-page complaint says, "There is nothing 'Texas' about Texas Pete."[4]


The ingredient Sodium Benzoate ("Benzoate of Soda" under "...Nutrition Info"[5]) is a common preservative. Scientists have shown that when mixed with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it turns into benzene, a known carcinogen.[6] Sodium benzoate in beverages that also contain vitamin C may, therefore, be problematic.[7] Hot peppers naturally contain vitamin C ("nearly as much as in one orange"[8]) so the observation about beverages applies to pepper sauces containing sodium benzoate, like Texas Pete. Hot pepper sauces typically contain some vitamin C,[9] as does Texas Pete.[10]


The brand has 6, 12, and 24 ounce bottles with bright red sauce, flip top, and white and yellow label featuring the name in red and "Texas Pete," a red silhouette cowboy. Texas Pete is fairly mild, registering 747 on the Scoville heat scale.[11] Its auxiliary branded Hotter Hot Sauce is claimed to be three times hotter than original Texas Pete. Texas Pete also makes a sautéed garlic hot sauce. In 2013, Texas Pete introduced the "Cha!" Sriracha sauce.[12] Sabor! by Texas Pete was released in 2016 as their Mexican style hot sauce.

In 2015, the TW Garner Food Company discontinued production of its Texas Pete Chili Sauce for hot dogs and hamburgers.[13]

See also


  1. Texas Pete - Legend (Official site). Retrieved September 2009.
  2. Gray, Tim (December 4, 2004). "Selling the sizzle: our 2004 small business of the year has been making hot stuff a family affair for three-quarters of a century". Business North Carolina.
  3. "Texas Pete Legend". Texas Pete. August 12, 2009.
  4. Marnin, Julia (October 13, 2022). "Texas Pete hot sauce 'deceptive,' made - in NC, lawsuit says". News and Observer.
  5. "Hot Sauce". Texas Pete. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  6. "What to Know About Sodium Benzoate". WebMD. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  7. "Sodium benzoate (Benzoic acid)". Center for Science in the Public Interest. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  8. Health, Advocate Aurora (2016-11-04). "Is hot sauce good for your health?". health enews. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  9. "FoodData Central". fdc.nal.usda.gov. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  10. "Hot sauce by TEXASPETE nutrition facts and analysis". www.nutritionvalue.org. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  11. "The Scoville Heat Scale for Chilli Peppers and Hot Sauces". www.chilliworld.com. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  12. Tom Ryan. "Cha! by Texas Pete Hot Sauce Review". Pepperheads For Life.
  13. "TW Garner Discontinues Texas Pete Chili Sauce for Hot Dogs, Hamburgers". 6 May 2015.
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