canning hot sauce, safe recipe? possible to use bottles?

Asked August 23, 2019, 5:45 PM EDT

I am going to have a bumper crop of habanero peppers and would like to bottle hot sauce. Question 1: I haven't been able to find a recipe on the USDA site so am considering a version with this combination of ingredients. Does this appear safe? 3 pounds peaches, quartered and peeled 2 cups apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup sugar 1 small onion, chopped 1 sweet orange pepper, seeded and chopped 5-6 habanero peppers, stemmed and seeded 5 garlic cloves, peeled 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt all ingredients are cooked, pureed, and water bathed processed for 15 minutes. Question 2: I would like to preserve this in bottles rather than standard jars with rings and caps. Are they bottles and caps that work in a water bath? Question 3: if this recipe is fishy, do you have any leads on good hot sauce recipes that could be preserved?

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

There is an Easy Hot Sauce recipe on the National Center for Food Preservation site. You must have missed it. It uses tomatoes and Serrano peppers but you can certainly substitute habanero peppers and be safe.

There is also a recipe for Red hot sauce in the latest edition of the Ball Blue Book if you have that available. There recipes are research based and safe to use. The recipe uses 2 quarts chopped tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups of chopped hot red peppers, The recipe calls for 1 quart vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons pickling spice and 1 tablespoon salt.

All of our home canning instructions recommend canning in standard canning jars not in bottles. This requires a different process that has not be researched for the home food preserver that I am aware of.

As to your recipe, I do not feel comfortable looking at a recipe and decide if it is safe or not or how long to process it. If you make up recipes it is always safe to freeze them.

If you have other food preservation questions you might like to call the OSU Food Preservation Hotline that is now open M-F from 9 am - 4 pm. until mid October. Certified Master Food Preservers are available to answer you question.

Thanks for using Ask an Expert

Nellie Oehler

Thanks for your help.

Are you aware of any way to test the PH of a recipe?

I am not sure where you would get a pH test for your product however I do know that there is more to safety than just the pH of the product. Density, size jar, composition of foods mixed together etc. are all taken into consideration. I always tell my students that food preservation is a science not a creative art and we shouldn't be creative when canning. As I said before freezing could be a safe option for your sauce.

You might call the Food Innovation Center in Portland to see if they would test your product. They work with people who want to develop products for selling and might have a better idea what to tell you. They might also know of testing labs in the Metro area. There main number is 503-872-6680.

Good luck

Nellie Oehler