canning home made bbq sauce

Asked April 29, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT

Hello, I have my own bbq sauce recipe that I would like to try and can. It consists of Ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, apple cider vinegar, chipotles in adobo sauce, onions, coffee, molasses, and cinnamon. Everything I have found has said not to use your own recipe because of the risk of botulism. I was debating buying pH strips so I could make sure I can do this safely in a 20 minute hot water bath. But am not exactly sure what pH it needs to be - or if I should just scrap this idea all together. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated! Thank you! Oh - I don't use measurements for my recipe, but am definitely open to doing so to ensure there is enough vinegar. Thanks, Kaitlin

Clark County Washington

1 Response

Hi Kaitlin,
We recommend USDA tested recipes for home canning because they have prior testing to assure safety. This means they have been tested to assure there is adquate acidity, the acidity is stable, the the processing time is adequest to assure heat penetration through the jar. Testing of each of these elements must be done in a laboratory setting, using pH strips is not sufficient to give you this information. Freezing is a safe alternative to canning your product. Also, we do have a Food Processing and Support Services Lab at WSU. Their contact information can be found at:
I notice you live in Clark County. Your local Extension office has a Master Food Preserver program, so can answer any additional questions you might have on home canning. Their information is available at:

Hope this helps.