In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda. Using a wooden spatula, stir mixture constantly until it reaches 210°F.
Add butter, pecans, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to stir mixture until it reaches 233°F, then remove from heat.
Stir in orange zest, cayenne, and Crystal Hot Sauce. Cool for 3 minutes. If your caramel is still runny (not coating the pecans well), stir it for up to a minute until it becomes thicker.
With a spoon, drop your batter quickly on wax paper, non-stick foil or a silicone baking mat. Let harden.