preserving the shelf life of home made hot sause

Asked June 24, 2019, 3:01 PM EDT

Is there a way to extend the shelf life of home made hot sauce without using a hot water bath? Does having lots of vinegar in the recipe make a difference? Thanks

Lane County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

I would not recommend canning hot sauce without water bath process. For your safety and those that eat your hot sauce. You should only can research based recipes for canning especially when it comes to canning high acid foods (tomatoes) mixed with low acid foods (peppers) and also sauces. The National Center for Food Preservation is a great resource to turn to. I have included their tested recipe below.

If you do not want to can you can safely freeze your own creation.

Easy Hot Sauce

  • 8 cups (64 ounces) canned, diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ cups seeded, chopped Serrano peppers*
  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar (5%)
  • 2 teaspoons canning salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spices

*Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves when handling, cutting and seeding hot peppers
or wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Yield: About 7 to 8 half-pint jars

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 half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

2. Place mixed pickling spices in a spice bag and tie the ends firmly. Mix all ingredients in a Dutch oven or large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer another 20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.

3. Press mixture through a food mill. Return the liquid to the stockpot, heat to boiling and boil for another 15 minutes.

4. Fill hot sauce into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ¼-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, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Easy Hot Sauce in a boiling water canner. Process Time at Altitudes of Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft Hot Half-pints 10 min 15 min 20 min

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. March 2003; revised February 2009.

Thanks for using Ask an Expert

Nellie Oehler