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Canning BBQ sauce 2014

smoker jb

Joined Aug 6, 2013
Having gone through every post about jarring/canning sauce from 07' to last year...there was nothing to put my foot down on, nothing definitive. Let's do this...1) I want to can "Jeffs Sauce" in a pint jar. I have both pressure and boil methods at hand.
2) I want to make a sauce from the Presbyterian Women's cookbook from 1968 (yes...I have one!). Ball isn't hookin' me up. Time and pressure from those that have done it...and yes, I will try what you provide and we can see the results.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Nov 12, 2010
Home canning can be dangerous.... Yes, the pressure canner but also botulism.... Not all tomatoes can be water bathed... too high in pH.... Pressure canning from 5-10 or 15 #'s depends on jar size, type of product.... etc....

You will have to figure out all the parameters you are using and determine the method.... There is no way anyone on this forum can give you a safe method not knowing everything you are doing...
The USDA Guidelines below are "probably" the only reliable source for processing....



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 4, 2014
If the sauce is tomato based I see no real need to pressure can unless you have some sort of meat in the sauce.

For a standard water bath can, I usually pour the  almost boiling sauce into a sterilized jar, place a sterilized cap on the jar, and then gently screw on a sterilized ring.  I then place the jar(s) into boiling water in my canning pot and boil for 15 minutes.  remove from the water bath and allow to cool at room temperature.  I've had sauce in the pantry for >1 year with no issue. (forgot it was back there until the following years canning session)

Hopefully others will chime in soon.

I'll bet that cookbook from 68 has some interesting stuff in it!


smoker jb

Thread starter
Joined Aug 6, 2013
Thanks folks! My main concern was the lack of vinegar in the sauce, but pressure will overcome that issue.


Joined Jan 29, 2014
Is this just for your use, or planning to sell?  I saw the "Jeff's Sauce" name and was curious.  

Regardless, CA has a great extension program for food processing.  I wouldn't hesitate to give them a call.  The Food Science Department at UC Davis or others should be able to hook you up.  If you are intending to sell, they can get you in touch with a "Better Process Control" authority who can certify your process.


Master of the Pit
Joined Jun 23, 2011
You'll need to know the equilibrium pH of the sauce to determine if it needs to be pressure canned...the only way to do that is with a proper pH meter that's intended to be used with food along with the proper technique...it's not wise or safe to make pH assumptions based on included ingredients.
If the pH is low enough, the sauce can be "hot packed"....where the sauce is heated to a certain temperature and sealed in sanitized jars....no pressure required. This is how many acidic sauces are packed.
Don't try it without knowing exactly what you're doing....do your research.

Choosing and using a pH meter for food products.

Last edited:

smoker jb

Thread starter
Joined Aug 6, 2013
Thanks folks!! This is for my consumption only!! UC Davis has a canning/preserving day class through Fresno State that we will both be attending in a couple weeks. They ask that you bring what you want to can...so hey...why not! Actually we are bringing green beans, but they said bring the sauce questions and ideas. Being a professional wood turner and HHS employee...safety is the only issue...do it right or go home.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jun 11, 2012
I have made Jeff's sauce in a large batch and canned it before.  My tweaks to the sauce include adding cooked bacon, so when I canned it, I pressure canned just as if I was canning something like a stew or soup with meat.  Even when I made it without bacon, the question of pressure cooking vs water bath was still there.  In my opinion, I felt better safe than sorry.  So I pressure canned.  

I've kept the sauce for about 6 months in the pantry without any issue.  Unfortunately I cannot comment on longer storage timeframes.  It never lasts that long in my house. 


With the BBQ though, be sure when you can, you leave a lot of headspace.  Most canning folks tell you an inch.  With BBQ, I recommend an inch and a half.  You don't want to clean up the mess when / if you overfill one.


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