Posts Tagged ‘half-pint’

Barbecue Sauce – Canning a Condiment

I had been looking for a good barbecue sauce recipe for a long time. This sauce is pretty good. I wanted a tomato-based sauce that I could make from my own garden and for the most part I found it. I did end up using one canned ingredient, because I had used up half the can two months ago and the rest was in my freezer…chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

I wanted my sauce to be very sweet and reasonably spicy. As I was cooking the recipe I found in the Ball Blue Book (1987 edition) I could taste that it wasn’t going to be NEARLY as sweet as I wanted, so in addition to the 1/2 cup brown sugar I added a heaping half cup of molasses as well. If I were going to make this again tomorrow I would jump right in with 3/4 or more.

Then again, I think if I really wanted this to be sweeter I would have to start with a sauce with less tomatoes in it. The last thing I wanted to do was to put in corn syrup. Yuck!

My biggest concern as I was cooking this was that it was going to be CRAZY spicy. There was a time while I was cooking it that I thought I had ruined it with the chipotles. After processing and opening a jar and having it on some ribs yesterday I was pleasantly surprised at how much the spiciness had settled down.

The usual disclaimer about canning at your own risk applies here. I am 100% sure that this modified recipe is a safe recipe, but I know that I have used acidic tomatoes and quality vinegar, and that all substitutions were done with like-quantities of similarly p.h.’ed items.

Give this a try and let me know what you think.

  • My garden: tomatoes, bell peppers
  • Local: onions, molasses, garlic
  • The store: celery, brown sugar, dry mustard, paprika, salt, peppercorns, vinegar, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Canning tomatoes

Mrs. Wages spice packets

Mrs. Wages spice packets

I love Mrs. Wages.  Don’t tell my wife.

Actually, I think my wife loves Mrs. Wages too.

I have harvested over 18 pounds of tomatoes so far this year from the back yard.  I have also learned to do canning in glass jars! I’m very excited about having this skill now.  It’s very comforting to know that I have not only saved the food I’ve grown from rotting unused in the kitchen, but that I’m not counting on the freezer to keep running either. These have all been labeled as experiments to see if our family likes the recipe.

I have canned:

By far my favorite thing has been the sweet pickles. I experimented with cucumber slices ranging in size from 3 inch shorties to a big 8 inch cucumber with semi-developed seeds.  They all taste awesome, but I do like the smaller ones a bit better.

My wife’s favorite, and a close second for me, has been the salsa.  It is truly awesome salsa and I can’t believe I made it myself!  Then again, I’m pretty sure I’m not really allowed to take much credit because I used the Mrs. Wages spice pack.

Using the tomato based spice packets does add a significant cost to the tomato-based products.  $2.25 per packet makes 5 quarts.  I would spend less than half of that on spices if I used my own recipe.

The pickling packets make far more product…10 to 12 pints I think it said, so I’ll definitely continue to use those.

Oh!  I canned up experimental jars of bread & butter Jalapeños and Banana Peppers. The sweet brine flavor was tasty, right at first, with the jalapenos, but then…FIRE!  By *FAR* the hottest jalapenos I had ever tasted.  I’m not going to have another one.  They are HORRIBLE by themselves they are so hot.

By the way…aren’t the quarter-pint jelly jars just FUN?  Too bad they cost the same as halves and full pints.

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