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Jun 24, 2012 03:07 PM

Canning barbecue sauce questions

I am looking to make some large quantities of BBQ sauce to can but I'm not sure if the jars would have to be processed in a pressure canner or hot water bath. I do three diff types, tomato based, mustard based, and bourbon. Does any one have experience with canning BBQ sauce. I'd prefer to use my own recipe and not one made specifically for canning.

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  1. how large of a quantity? I did a big batch a while back and just put em straight into mason jars. I kept one out at a time to use and had the other 12 in the freezer. I would just pull one out a day or 2 before i make bbq and it held up fine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gerry27

      If you're freezing sauce in glass Mason jars, you have an explosion waiting to happen. Surprised it hasn't already happened unless you're not filling the jars to the top.

      1. re: rjbh20

        I used to freeze home-made stock in mason jars.

        I do not anymore.

        Cleaning out a chest freezer was the impetus to investing in a pressure-canner.

        Now, my wife LOVES trotting downstairs for a LIQUID quart of stock. We currently have chicken, beef, and crawfish stock on hand.

    2. FA8,

      I make my sauce in a large batch and the results are a total of about ten quarts.

      My sauce is heavy on citrus, so it contains "safe" levels of acid for water-bath canning. I consulted with my USDA canning guide, and a canning forum and decided to go to pressure canning.

      I just feel more comfortable with the safety of pressure canning. But that's just me.

      I notice little, or no, difference in the final product, but a SIGNIFICANT increase in my peace of mind.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Monch

        "USDA canning guide"
        There is a reputable source to look to when asking questions that put life and limb at risk, when it comes to canning safety.

        1. re: chefj


          I'm always interested in hearing the opinions of others.

          Can I ask? Was your note intended to be a sincere ratification of the USDA guide?

          Sometimes it's hard to discriminate between sincerity and sarcasm. I am not defensive...just curious for a clarification.

          1. re: Monch

            It was sincere, I try not to be sarcastic, it is not constructive or instructive.
            When it comes to safety questions I do not think that a open forum with no way to know if the other posters have any idea what they are talking about is a good source of information.
            Of course people are welcome to do what they like. I just want to support using reliable and trustworthy sources when it comes to food safety.

            1. re: chefj

              Thanks for the clarity.

              I took it as sincere, but the "World-Wide Inter-tubes" have caused me to become cynical...seen too much snarkiness.

              I should have remembered the fact that I was on CH...the home of thoughtful, helpful Hounds....THAT was intended to be UBER sincere!


      2. It all depends on the contents and the acidity level. If you're using your own recipes, you should obtain pH testing strips to test the acidity. I assume all your sauces have added lemon juice or vinegar? However, since even lemons and vinegars vary in acidity, testing in the absence of a reliable recipe developed specifically for canning is the way to go. Otherwise, assume your sauce is low-acid and use a pressure canner operating at 10 to 15 PSIG. If you haven't already done so, please read up on canning. Just google home canning and you'll find a link to the USDA home food preservation guide, an invaluable resource, as well as links to the Ball website.

        1. I BWB can my tomato based bbq sauces without issue, I use my own recipe but the timing guidelines form the Ball canning book. I'd have to see the full ingredient list to comment on the other recipes you listed.

          1. Thanks everyone. It seems I should invest in a pressure canner. I have been jamming for years with no issue but this would be my first departure from that. Pressure canners have always made me a bit nervous though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodaholic8

              Get a good one.

              Don't buy used.

              READ THE DIRECTIONS and follow carefully.

              Get the USDA book:

              After a couple of times, you'll relax. It IS an intimidating prospect...I remember.

              But a good canner...I own a Presto 23 quart...that does (7) quarts per batch...and love it.

              I got it at my local farm store...for "cheap".

              I'm respectful of the heat and pressure, but no longer nervous.