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Selecting, Preparing and Canning
Barbecue Sauce


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Barbecue Sauce

  • 4 quarts (16 cups) peeled, cored, chopped red ripe tomatoes (about 24 large tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 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)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 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 Pressure Canners and Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure:
  • Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
  • 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).
  • Tie peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag; add with remaining ingredients and cook slowly until mixture is the consistency of catsup, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove bag of peppercorns.
  • Fill hot sauce into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2 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.
  • 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 Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 20 min 25 min 30 min 35 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.




Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products

These documents were adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009 &
From "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.