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Safety of canning BBQ sauce


Joined Jul 28, 2016
Is it safe to can the bbq sauce "Jeff's". I think there is enough acidity in the lemon juice and ketchup to do it safely.

I would like to give a small batch to a friend.




SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
If you have the vinegar ratio the same or greater, it "should" be OK to hot pack....  In canning, you want the lids snug....   air has to be able to escape from the jars to form a vacuum....  Worthy note..  some tomato strains are not acidic enough to directly can....  therefor acid is added...

The recipe below is just an example of what is recommended for canning....   You are free to make adjustment remembering acidity is very important.....

Read up on canning......

How do I? ...Can Tomatoes[hr][/hr]
[h1]Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes[/h1][h2]Barbecue Sauce[/h2]
  • 4 quarts (16 cups) peeled, cored, chopped red ripe tomatoes (about 24 large tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1½ cups chopped sweet red or green peppers (about 3 medium peppers)
  • 2 hot red peppers, cored, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon canning salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (e.g., Tabasco[emoji]174[/emoji])
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups of (5%) vinegar
Yield: About 4 pint jars

*Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.
  1.  Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
  2.Combine prepared tomatoes, celery, onions, and peppers. Cook until vegetables are soft (about 30 minutes). Puree using a fine sieve, food mill, food processor or blender. Cook until mixture is reduced to about one half, (about 45 minutes).
  3.Tie peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag; add with remaining ingredients and cook slowly until mixture is the consistency of catsup, about 1½ to 2 hours. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove bag of peppercorns.
  4.Fill hot sauce into clean, hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
  5.Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Barbecue Sauce in a boiling water canner.
 Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar Size0 - 1,000 ft1,001 - 3,000 ft3,001 - 6,000 ftAbove 6,000 ft
HotHalf-pints or Pints20 min25 min30 min35 min

Note: There are many types of barbecue sauce recipes and the acidity will vary among recipes. This canning process is intended for this recipe and procedure.

Trade and brand names are used only for information. The Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and College of Family & Consumer Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not guarantee nor warrant published standards on any product mentioned; neither does the use of a trade or brand name imply approval of any product to the exclusion of others which may also be suitable.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
It used to be and I'm not sure if it still is but you could take your recipe, and a jar of your sauce to your local extension and they could test it for you to see if it had enough acidity or not.

When I have leftover sauces that I want to keep, I freeze the sauce in ice cube trays. Pop out the sauce cubes, then vac pack and freeze. When I need sauce I take out what I need. If you pou from a measuring cup, remember how many cubes it take to make a cup. If you need a cup or tho count the cubes. I do this with stock also. Works great!

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