Can you use water bath to can enchilada sauce?

Asked October 8, 2017, 3:17 PM EDT

Hi, I am hoping to can authentic Mexican enchilada sauce. This is made by boiling and pureeing dried chiles as the core ingredient. I couldn't find any recipes for using a water bath method online, and a few websites hinted that a pressure cooker is needed due to acidity of the dried Chile peppers. So, I wanted to check! Do I need a pressure cooker or is there a recipe I can use for water bath? Note: I've seen recipes for tomato sauce plus spices that are called enchilada sauce (on the ball website for one), but I am looking to make authentic enchilada sauce, which has dried chiles that are roasted and pureed as it's main ingredient.

Multnomah County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

Hello and thank you for submitting your question to Ask an Expert, a FREE service of OSU Extension.

There are very few recipes for chili sauce using dried chilies. However, I was able to locate one from Ball. Please see their recipe for canned enchilada sauce using dried chilies: https://www.freshpreserving.com/enchilada-sauce---ball-recipes-br3634.html

This recipe calls for pressure canning the sauce (20 minutes for pint jars) which is very important to prevent botulism poisoning. It can NOT be processed in a boiling water bath because the recipe is low in acid. The spices in the recipe can be adjusted to suite your taste without it affecting the safety of the product. If you have any additional questions about how to use a pressure canner or having your pressure canner gauge tested please feel free to give me a call at my office line below.

Good luck!