David’s Homemade Hot Sauce

Last week we canned Hot Sauce.  This is the kind of hot sauce that you serve with chips.  Some people call it Salsa.  No matter what you call it – it’s scrumptious!

Sometimes it turns out HOT and sometimes it is relatively mild.  It really depends on the peppers.  We went back to our favorite Weatherford Farmer’s Market for our peppers.  Along with a bunch of jalapenos, we also picked up a hot banana pepper.

Here is what you will need:

In addition to the HOT (see, they spell HOT) peppers, you will need a couple of bunches of cilantro, onion, garlic, lots of canned tomatoes, water, cumin, salt and pepper.

Yes, the bird is observing – he’s not part of the ingredients.  In my last recipe, a reader requested a name for the bird – he has now been dubbed Y.R. Bird 🙂

This recipe makes 6 quarts of hot sauce so get out a BIG pot and add all your canned tomatoes.  Put some of the water in the empty cans before adding to the pot so you get every last bit.

Remove the stems and then chop up your jalapenos – seeds and all.  The seeds and the white membrane is where the heat is.  Be careful not to touch your face or eyes!  That would hurt!

If you got a banana pepper (optional), chop it up too.

Add the peppers to the pot.

Chop and add your onion.

Chop and add your bell pepper too.  You may notice we have three tiny bell peppers – they are from our garden and that’s about as big as they get in the awful drought this year, but they are still sweet and tasty!

You will need 10 cloves are garlic.  Peel the garlic and either chop it finely or put it through the garlic press.  I really think the garlic press is cool!

Open it up, throw in a couple of cloves.  Close and squeeze.

If you don’t have one of these – go get one today!  This garlic press is from Pampered Chef.

Add the garlic to the pot.

Add the ground cumin, the salt and pepper.  Now chop up your cilantro.  First, whack off a good portion of the stems and then chop chop chop.

Reserve a good handful of cilantro for later and add the rest to the pot.  Give it all a good stir, bring to a simmer (watch for the tiny bubbles).  After it starts to simmer set your timer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare to can the hot sauce.

You will need a pot deep enough to hold quart jars with an inch or two of water above.  Since you don’t want the jars sitting directly on the bottom of the pot you can put a wire rack in the bottom.  I’ve also seen where you can wire some jar rings together to make a platform.  I use a round wire rack:

Put water in the pot.  You will need enough to cover the jars, however, when you add the jars, the displaced water will rise – so you don’t want too much.  You may as well get started bring the water to a boil.  It will take a while.  BTW – to try to keep the kitchen relatively cool, we used the burner on our gas grill to bring the water to a boil.

Meanwhile, wash your jars.

Drop your jar lids into a small pot of boiling water.

Remove the pot from the heat but leave the lids in the water.

After your hot sauce has simmered from about 25 minutes, it is time for a taste test.  Take a small bowl of sauce and stick it in the freezer for a minute or so to cool it down.  Then get out a chip or two and try it out.

If you need more salt this would be the time to add it.

Now, do you remember that handful of cilantro that we saved?  Add it to the pot now.  This will add a very fresh taste to your hot sauce.

Now it’s time to fill your jars.

We have a set of very useful canning tools which includes a wide funnel to keep the rim of the jars clean, a magnetic lid lifter to remove the lids from the hot water, a tool to measure headspace and a jar lifter to safely get the jars in and out of the boiling water.

Leave about 1/2″ headspace:

Add your lid and ring.

Now, we are finally ready to process the jars.  Carefully, using the jar lifter, place the jars in the large pot of boiling water (that we are boiling outside):

Allow them to process for 30 minutes and then carefully remove them.

You may hear a little pop sound within a few minutes as the jars cool.  That is the lid sealing itself. To quote Martha “…it’s a good good thing.”

After the jars have cooled tighten up the lids a bit.  And enjoy for months to come!

Recipe:  David’s Homemade Hot Sauce


  • 140 oz. crushed or diced tomatoes (we bought BIG can of crushed from Costco and added a couple of extra cans of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cans of water or 28 oz.
  • 10 jalapenos (add a hot banana pepper too if you wish)
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1 large onion (we used a 1015)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 10 cloves of garlic (pressed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • A lot of salt – start with 1/4 cup
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Put tomatoes and water in pot.  Chop jalapenos, cilantro, onion and bell pepper put in pot except for a handful of the cilantro for later.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the rest of the cilantro.

There are several web sites that have great instructions for canning.  Here are just a few:

It can sound intimidating but it really isn’t hard and the results are fabulous!  Think of all the great hot sauce you’ll have next winter!

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5 thoughts on “David’s Homemade Hot Sauce

  1. Mexican hot sauce typically focuses more on flavor than on intense heat. Chipotles are a very popular ingredient of Mexican hot sauce and although the sauces are hot, the individual flavors of the peppers are more pronounced. Vinegar is used sparingly or not at all in Mexico but some sauces are high in vinegar content similar to the American Louisiana-style sauces. Some hot sauces made in Mexico may include using the seeds from the popular achiote plant for coloring or a slight flavor additive. ”

    Have a good week

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