Episode 40 – Canning How To: Barbeque Sauce

canning how to

These canning how-to tips came out of necessity. You see, I’ve been making my own barbeque sauce since I was a kid, but it caused conflict in my household.

I’d make gallons of my “New York Attitude” Barbeque Sauce and portion it into used plastic Wonton Soup containers. The shear number of containers would fill my Mom’s refrigerator.

I had to find a better way to preserve my sauce without taking up the whole fridge. “People have been preserving food for generations,” I thought to myself. “They didn’t have refrigerators or Chinese take-out containers, how did they do it?”

At the time, I probably had to go to the library and look through the encyclopedias. That seems laughable now, but even as a child, I knew there was a better way waiting for me. I found it with a 125 year old device, the two-part lid canning jar.

The inventors of these jars are really the creators of every canning how to instructions from that day forth. The idea is simple. Their jars consist of a flat lid with a rubber washer to seal the jar. A band fits over the lid, securing it to the jar but also allowing air to escape.

Under boiling water, air leaves the jar between the two parts of the lid. When it’s cooled, it creates a vacuum, sealing the jar in an anaerobic environment. This not only preserves the sauce, but keeps it safe from bacterial growth as well.

Hot water canning is meant for highly acidic products like tomato sauce, marinades, and perfect for my barbeque sauce. At sea level, water boils at 212F or 100C. This is certainly hot enough to let the two piece lid do its job, and the acid content of the sauce will keep it safe.

The Precise Canning How To Steps:
1 ) Inspect all jars, lids, and bands for defects.
2 ) Wash all jars, lids, bands, and any other equipment that will come in contact with the sauce.
3 ) Place a round cake cooling rack in the bottom of a very large stock pot and fill with water.
4 ) Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.
5 ) Place the empty jars in the boiling water to sanitize them.
6 ) In a small saucepan or bowl, remove some boiling water and place the flat lids in the hot water.
7 ) Prepare your barbeque sauce and keep it very hot.
8 ) Remove the jars from the water bath, one at a time, and fill with barbeque sauce
9 ) Be sure to leave 1-2 inches of “head room” between the sauce and the lid.
10 ) Wipe the rim clean of any spilled sauce
11 ) Stir the jarred sauce with a wooden stick to drive out excess air
12 ) Remove the flat lid from the warm water and place it on top of the jar.
13 ) Secure the lid with a band and hand-tighten only.
14 ) Place the filled jar, standing up, into the boiling water canner.
15 ) Wait 15 minutes and remove the jar to cool.
(Add 5 minutes for every 3000 feet above sea level)

As the barbeque sauce cools, you’ll hear the vacuum created as the jar lids are sucked toward the interior of the jar. Soft “ping”, “ping”, a symphony of suction is created and the jars are now safe for storage. Any jar lid that still yields to pressure when pressed with a finger has not sealed correctly. It should be refrigerated and not stored at room temperature.

The canning how to instructions are different for low acid products, because there’s greater risk of bacterial growth. Items like vegetables or protein-based soups must be canned in a high-pressure canner because the boiling water bath does not get hot enough to assure the safety of the food.

As a child, I simply wanted to preserve refrigerator space. What I discovered is a process that’s been around for more than a century. Home canning saves money, preserves fresh ingredients, and is a fun and easy hobby when you know the canning how to steps.

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Leave A Reply (15 comments so far)


  1. Ward
    3 years ago

    Now I know why there is no formula… that open bottle of bourbon!
    Sounds like a great combination and after having completed the 48-week classes I have an idea of your ratios so I can’t wait to start experimenting and creating my own perfect BBQ sauce. This gives me more ideas for the sauce although I created a couple during the classes — you can’t have enough of a good thing.

    Thanks for everything! Like I’ve said before about your web cooking classes, “Your gonna love what you learn”, and it’s true.

    Alumni forever!!


    • ChefTodd
      3 years ago

      The recipe for bourbon? Some for me, some for the sauce. More for me, some for the sauce.


  2. greadygranny
    3 years ago

    I grew up in the fifties and watched my mom canning every year for a family of seven. The younger ones, my twin brother and I, did a lot of the cleaning and peeling of vegetables. I developed a love of vegetables. Tomatoes, hot peppers, vinegar and brown sugar became the love of my life, because I loved barbeque. To this day I always can my own, homegrown vegetables, to make the barbeque sauce that I use all year round, even in the dead of winter in a foot of snow. My neighbors call me the Barbeque Queen. A little hickory and home made sauce will make you a lot of friends.


    • ChefTodd
      3 years ago

      You’re of the generation where Mothers and Grandmothers actually included the children in the kitchen. You then grew up with an understanding and appreciation of good food. These days, most children are too busy with video games, and a generation of cooks is lost to take-out food.

      Thank you for your kind comments.


  3. Larry
    3 years ago

    I really enjoyed this course on canning. I often wondered how it was done. Would love to have your recipe for your BBQ sauce
    thanks once again


  4. Shane
    3 years ago

    Hi Todd ….where’s the (Non) Recipe for your New York Bourbon BBQ sauce?

    I’m a Web Cooking Classes member ..if you talked about it there, opps I must have missed it then ;-P …you gotta problem with that?


    • ChefTodd
      3 years ago

      bah, ha ah ha (dastardly laugh).
      I’ll never give away the award winning formula for New York Attitude Bourbon BBQ Sauce.
      (actually, that’s because there is no formula. Only I can make it, and it’ll die with me!)

      In case I die soon, I’ll trust you, Shane. It’s ketchup, cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, sugar, 4 types of pepper, onions, and bourbon. There’s the recipe, but do you now know HOW to make it? Sorry, you’ll still need me to stick around longer.

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