This is a recipe for old-fashioned home-canned chili sauce. It’s probably one of the most delicious chili sauces you will ever come across.
In fact, you’ll probably claim it as “your own” and pretend you invented the recipe. Go ahead!
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR half-litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 6 x quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml) jars
Headspace: 1 cm (¼ inch)
Processing time: 15 minutes either size jar
Smokey Chili Sauce
3 x half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz.) jars
- 4.5 kg tomatoes (10 lbs. About 2 dozen)
- 600 g onions (chopped coarsely. 4 cups / 1 ⅓ pounds / 4 large)
- 900 g bell peppers (cored, seeded and chopped coarsely. 2 pounds / 6 cups / 6 large)
- 125 g refined white sugar (½ cup / 4 oz)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 750 ml cider vinegar (5% acidity or higher. 3 cups / 24 oz)
- 1 ½ teaspoon chile powder (Optional. chipotle gives a nice smokey taste. )
- dashes liquid smoke (Optional. To taste (go easy))
Wash tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes then coarsely chop them.
Combine in a pot all the ingredients from the tomatoes down to the salt.
Whisk the cinnamon into the vinegar, then add to pot (otherwise you may be chasing cinnamon lumps for hours.)
Add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a good steady simmer for about 3 hours, stirring frequently.
Pack hot into quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars or half-litre (US pint) jars.
Leave 1 cm (¼ inch) headspace for either size jar.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process either size jar for 15 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
Best after at least a month of jar time.
Note: In our experience the yield can vary from year to year -- it may depend on the tomatoes used.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
More information about canning tomatoes in general.
Australia and New Zealand vinegar strength special notes.
- For the tomatoes, paste type (e.g. Roma, Amish paste, etc.) are ideal. If you use slicing tomatoes (tomatoes with a lot of juice in them), it will take quite a while to boil it down thick.
- You really want to peel the tomatoes for this recipe the peel WILL go very stringy in this recipe and you’ll be forever picking it out of your teeth. No need to seed.
- Instead of the salt, you can use a non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub. We have found Herbamare Sodium-Free performs well in that regard.
- You can reduce the sugar, or use ½ cup / 10 g of granulated Splenda®, or use 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia. For stevia, we’d recommend Better Stevia liquid stevia .
- No, that is not too much cinnamon.
- If you want a plainer chili sauce, omit the liquid smoke and instead of the chipotle chile powder, use 1 teaspoon regular chili powder or cayenne pepper, or nothing.
- You can play with the hotness and spice seasonings to taste. Do not cut back on the acid (the vinegar); do not use any kind of starch thickener (flour, corn starch or Clearjel even) as that can interfere with heat reaching through to the centre of the jars during processing time. Do not add any additional “low-acid” ingredients such as celery or more onion, pepper etc. You may swap out some of the Bell pepper for equal weights of a hotter pepper.
- The vinegar can be white or cider vinegar, 5% or higher.
- You can swap out 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz.) of the vinegar and replace with an equal amount of bottled lemon juice to brighten the flavour if desired.
- If you double the recipe, it’s best to use two large pots if at all possible — that way, you get twice the surface for evaporation / more efficient thickening. Or, just allow a much longer boiling time for reduction.
- If it just gets to be too late at night and you have a ways to go yet in boiling it down, take off the burner, let it cool enough to be safe to pack into Tupperware etc. containers, then do so and refrigerate overnight, and start the boiling down process again in the morning.
“Aunt Mary Goodsell’s Chili Sauce.” In: Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. 2016. Page 417
- Suggested option of partial lemon juice swap, to brighten the flavour;
- Suggested alternative sweeteners;
- Added chipotle powder and liquid smoke for smoky taste.
Per 2 tablespoons / 30 ml
- 42 calories, 299 mg sodium
Sugar and Salt-Free Version
Per 2 tablespoons / 30 ml
- 33 calories, 9 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 to 4 tablespoons: 1 point; 5 to 8 tablespoons: 2 points.
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.