Canning Hot Sauce

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Make your own hot sauce at home using tomatoes and jalapenos to tailor the heat to your own tastes.   Use it now and keep in the refrigerator or can it and save it for whenever you need it.

We go through a lot of hot sauce in our house.   Not as much as my brother does (he eats hot sauce on everything) but we eat it a lot.

We enjoy buffalo chicken, buffalo tofu, and hot sauce on different sandwiches and meats.  So we always have an open bottle of hot sauce in the refrigerator and another one in the pantry.

Pin Image: Text, five jars of hot sauce on a table.


  • pickling spice
  • tomatoes
  • white vinegar
  • jalapenos
  • sugar
  • salt

To Make the Hot Sauce: In a large saucepan combine tomatoes, vinegar, and peppers. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Return to saucepan and add sugar, salt, and spices.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens.  Add remaining vinegar and boil gently for 45 minutes or until mixture thickens.

I wanted to try making my own hot sauce but I couldn’t find any recipes that lasted more than a week or two.  I knew it would take us longer to use a half pint or pint of it then a few weeks.

I finally looked for a recipe I could can so I could make a large batch, give a jar or two to my brother, and we could enjoy the rest ourselves.

Homemade Hot Sauce

Can I use canned tomatoes?

You can use tomatoes from the store.  I recommend you get a decent brand and try to go for the salt free version.  Use whole tomatoes if you plan on crushing them yourself or you can use already crushed tomatoes as well.

Can I use different peppers?

You can use any spicy pepper you’d like, just make sure you keep the amount the same.  Any changes in amounts in a canning recipe could be disastrous.

How do I keep the jalapeno juice from burning?

I recommend wearing gloves whenever you cut jalapenos or any spicy pepper.  Otherwise it’s very hard to get the juices off of your hands and if you touch your face, eyes, or other places it’s going to burn.

Can I add different spices?

You can add up to 1 tablespoon of dried spices to this recipe.  Do not add fresh herbs or spices as it could change the consistency of the sauce which won’t work if you are canning it.  Dried herbs and spices can be used and will not change the consistency.

The base of the hot sauce is tomatoes and peppers.  I used jalapenos because I had some from my garden and we had some from the farmer’s market.

There are a few other ingredients, including sugar and spices, but not much.   I was excited to try this recipe but I wasn’t sure it would taste like to hot sauce we are used to eating.

More Canning Recipes:

I love canning every summer and fall and this homemade hot sauce is one of my favorites!

I made the sauce but was a little concerned with the amount of sugar.  Turns out I had a right to be concerned.   While I really liked the flavor of the hot sauce and found it to have a good amount of heat behind it, I thought the sugar made it too sweet.

So while the original recipe calls for 1 cup, I brought it down to a half cup the next time and the recipe turned out so much better.

If you’ve tried my Canning Hot Sauce or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

Love hot sauce but hate the price? Make it and can it yourself!

Canning Hot Sauce

A delicious way to make hot sauce at home using tomatoes and jalapenos.
4.70 from 20 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4 half pints
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 2 Tablespoons pickling spice
  • 8 c. tomatoes chopped, cored, and peeled
  • 4 c. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c. jalapenos chopped and seeded
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt


  • Tie the pickling spices in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Set aside.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, 2 cups of vinegar, and chili peppers. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Return mixture to saucepan. Add sugar, salt, and spice bag. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken. Add remaining vinegar and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 45 minutes. Discard spice bag.
  • Prepare a boiling water canner, jars, and lids.
  • Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, and center lid on jar. Screw band down until finger tip tight.
  • Place jars in canner covering with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.
  • Cool for 24 hours. Store in a cool place for 1 year.


Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Make and can your own hot sauce this year!


  1. I use fresh onion and garlic in my hot sauces and it doesn’t cause any issues. I blend / puree them with the tomatoes and peppers and their all boiled and simmered together as well.
    Most of mine are tomato base, and most have a variety of peppers.
    Last year I had Ghost, Habanero, Serrano, Cayenne, Chili Peppers, Jalapeno, Havasu, Pablano, Cajun Bell pepper, banana peppers, Green bell pepper.
    I probably canned 200 pints last year. Since last July, I have given / sold about 125 pints. I still have about 155 pints left from canning in 2022-2023.
    I did not use any dry seasoning. All FRESH ingredients: Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Water and White Vinegar is all that is in my sauces.

    1. Sounds yummy! I vary the seasonings and use fresh herbs if I have them in my garden at the time I am making my sauces. I also tend to vary the types of based based on the heat I want in the sauce.

  2. With that much vinegar, this sauce is likely shelf-stable for months no matter how you mix and match the ingredients. Mine has less and I’ve never experienced spoilage when it’s left out for weeks.

    Anyway, I rub a small amount of olive oil on my hands before gloving. Capsaicin is oil soluble and oil is EASY to wash off. If it makes it past my gloves, a quick wash will take it right off. I’ve even tested this without thinking when a glove tore while I was cutting habaneros. After washing, I rubbed my eye. I panicked for a moment before I realized there was no burn.

    Now I need to try a tomato-based sauce…

  3. Hi! If I wanted to change ratios of ingredients, would it be safe if I pressure canned the hot sauce? I would go with the longest time by ingredient, which would be 10 minutes for the tomatoes.

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for your question! Unfortunately I cannot answer it as I’ve not pressure canned this myself. If you have a tried and true canning recipes with tomatoes then you can probably go with that.

    1. I used my best judgement and compared it to many other recipes for hot sauce and tomato based recipes. I’ve made it several times with half the sugar and it’s been fine every time. I wouldn’t use less than that. I always make the recipe several times when I change the amount of a major ingredient to make sure it still works. If you don’t mind a little sweetness you can put anywhere between 1/2 cup and the 1 cup of sugar in the recipe.

  4. I reduce the sugar in canning recipes a lot. Covid got me more into canning again and I love the idea of making your own hot sauce.

  5. 5 stars
    Hello, in the past, we boil the jars and lids, ladel the sauce into the cans, place lids on, hand tighten. Then submerge in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Is that enough? In lieu of the canner? (pressure cooker)

    1. Hi! You can use a boiling water canner but you need to submerge the jars in boiling water for 15-20 minutes as tomatoes generally take a little longer to process.

  6. Could i leave out the pickling spice? And can i replace the peppers with serranos and habaneros? Also can i add garlic, cilantro and onion then just follow the rest of the recipe?

    1. Hello. Yes you can leave out the pickling spice and replace the peppers with serranos and habaneros. You can add garlic but I’m unsure of the cilantro and onion, it may change the cooking times.

  7. 5 stars
    Easy recipe and with 4 cups of vinegar I’m confident that it’s safe for canning. Great flavor besides being hot. I wanted a more serious sauce, so I used 15 Thai hot chilies instead of Jalapeños. Rubber gloves would be a good idea. Thought I could get away without them, and I regretted that after absent-mindedness rubbed my eyes.

4.70 from 20 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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