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need help with preserving bbq sauce


Fire Starter
Joined Jun 8, 2010
I read online somewhere that if you add water to a mason jar and microwave it until the water boils you can empty the water out and put your fresh homemade bbq sauce in it and tighten the lid and it will be safe. So my question is has anybody tried this? Another question is can you give a hot water bath to any homemade bbq sauce and do I store it in the fridge or basement? I plan on making a jim beam bbq sauce.  

 Thanks for your help.


Joined May 23, 2010

I wouldn't count on what you are describing, it may result in contaminated sauce.  Here is what I do with my barbecue sauce when I make a large amount.
  • Clean and wash Mason jars in the dishwasher
  • Boil jars (after they come out of the dishwasher), lids, and screw tops in a boiling water bath
  • Drain boiled jars upside down on a clean towel
  • Ladle hot/boiling barbecue sauce into sterile jars (if you use a funnel to do this, boil it too)
  • Using tongs, place a lid on the jar and then screw a screw top down on the jar
  • Place filled jars in a boiling water bath that covers the jars by at least 2 inches
  • Boil for 25-30 minutes
  • Remove jars and allow to sit until the "pop up" part of the lid sucks down (sometimes you can hear this happen; it goes "pop."
  • When jars have completely cooled, remove the screw top, and store in a cool dry place.
You remove the screw top so that if something causes the jar to lose vacuum, it will be more apparent (the lid will be loose).  This can happen due to improper seal, bacteria growing inside, etc.

The overall idea is to put very hot liquid in sterile jars, capped with sterile lids and then process in boiling water to cause a vacuum effect in the jar while further heating the product.

I have done this with large amounts of barbecue sauce and it has lasted more than one year.  A key point is not to use jars that are too large to open and use during a reasonable period of time.  I originally did some in quarts and ended up throwing out sauce because we didn't use it fast enough.  Now I do a bunch of pint jars and that works out real well.  Remember, you can always open another one if you need more!  A helpful hint is to write the month and year on the top of each jar with a felt pen (you tend to forget what you canned and when).

I know this seems like a lot of work, but you will get good at it after you do it once.  The alternative is ruined sauce or something that may make you very sick or worse!  This process is the same when "canning" tomato sauce, jams, etc.
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Joined Oct 26, 2011
Thanks for the post.....4 questions

1. Why do you remove the screw top when the jar cools? couldn't the seal pop if moved around? is this a necessity?

2. Once in jar and sealed, how long can it last?

3. How much do you fill up to the jar?

4. store in fridge or pantry?

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Rest in peace. Lost but not forgotten!!
Staff member
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
#1, I don't remove the rings on anything i can . just make sure it is sealed b4 consuming .

#2  Stored in a cabinet it will last a year , Maybe more ,but a lot of things start losing their flavor after a year or so.

#3.  Leave 1/8 to 1/4 " head space .

#4. Store them in a pantry until opened and then in fridge.

 If you can your sauce w/ 2 people working together it makes it much easier.

one person gets the jar ,lid and ring out and sets them on the table where it is to be filled. the other fills the jar wipes the lip of the jar places cap and tightens ring.  1st person moves filled jar back next to boiling pot so that once all jars are filled you can place them all back in the pot for boiling water bath.

 we do one jar at a time . then after all are full, boil them and set them on  a towel to cool.  When you have placed the caps on and tightened the rings,do not tilt the jar until cooled.

Also be careful when fooling with the hot jars in the boiling water, if you bump them together they may break.

if you get a broken jar .you need to start over w/ the washing and sterilzing of the jars to make sure you have no glass shards in any of the jars.

always work w/ jars on a folded towel so that they are not contacting a hard surface.

 Make sure and boil any utensils that you will be using in the canning process.
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