How to make your own jalapeno hot sauce

When my dad came over from Texas to visit us a few months ago, one of the things we requested that they bring was Louisiana Hot Sauce. We can buy Tabasco here, which we use a lot in cooking, but the flavor of Louisiana Hot Sauce is so much nicer on tacos, eggs and other things we want to spice up a bit. They brought one of the biggest bottles of Louisiana Hot Sauce we’ve ever seen (among other regular-sized bottles) and one bottle of jalapeno hot sauce. Neither of us had ever tried jalapeno hot sauce but I have to say it has a delightful flavor.

We’ve been harvesting jalapenos from our plants in the greenhouse for a couple weeks now and finally found a recipe that appealed to us which answered our question of what to do with all those fiery little peppers. We’ve got Burpee Jalapeno M and Jalapeno Gigante strains growing and had about a pound of chilies to work with. It was almost a shame to cut all those little guys up for sauce, but it tastes absolutely fantastic. And we’re fairly sure it’s hotter than the store-bought version.

making jalapeno hot sauce

When you’re cutting up chilies of any kind, be sure to wear rubber gloves. The heat from the peppers will burn your skin, especially from the hotter varieties, and NEVER touch your face while working with them. Some people even harvest their peppers while wearing gloves. You might also want to wear eye protection when you’re sauteing the onions, garlic and jalapenos to avoid getting any juice splashed into your eyes.

cutting jalapenos

The following recipe made about 6 cups of hot sauce. We processed the finished sauce in 1 cup (250ml) jars for 15 minutes afterwards so we don’t have to keep it all in the fridge. I’m not sure that even we would use it up fast enough. Unfortunately we lost two jars when they opened up in the canner. That will teach me not to buy the cheapest little jars available for canning! Those suckers are going to find their way onto eBay very shortly.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 50 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

Directions

  1. In a medium glass or enamel lined sauce pan over high heat, combine oil, peppers, garlic, onion and salt; saute for 4 minutes. Add the water and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. With the processor running, slowly add the vinegar.
  3. Pour into a sterilized jar with a tight lid. This sauce will keep for 6 months when stored in the refrigerator.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. When I plant Jalapenos~~I will definitely give this a try. I am from Louisiana(100% Cajun) so we love Spicy things & have great access to La.Hot Sauce & also Tabasco. I live about an hour from where Tabasco is grown & made. Great reminder not to take what we have for granted. Glad you had your Dad visit from Texas.
    I enjoy your blog so mch & especially hearing about your garden & anything about cooking.
    Hugs & Blessings,
    Pam

    • Over here in Germany jalapenos are a rarity and very expensive – about 2 euros for a cup of sliced jalapenos…American hot sauce is just as bad. Strangely enough the sliced jalapenos in a jar here are just not as hot as the ones you buy in America, either. All the more reason to grow our own!

      Thanks so much for dropping in! Your comment brightened my day :)

      • Hi..born and raised in Arizona. If you can get someone to send you some seeds to grow, the difference in hotter peppers comes from the soil. The more alkaline the soil the hotter the pepper.

  2. So it really is the jars’ fault then? I have tried canning for the first time this summer and although the little two-ring hotplate cooker I have been using turned out not to be good enough to get the water in a proper water bath canner hot enough (it took four hours to get the water to just above simmering point) I decided to look on it as an opportunity to save up to buy more of the leifheit jars I had used.

    But then a few weeks ago I persuaded myself that doing some more smaller jars in my ordinary big stock pot would be worth a try. So I made salsa for the first time and put it into smaller jars, which I then tried to process in the stockpot. Three of them opened up although I was keeping a good eye on it and got them out as soon as I saw it happening and decided to close them up and try again (figuring that since everything was well sterilised and it was just water, I would end up with watery salsa but not by poisoning myself). I hadn’t put the lids of very tightly at first because I know with the leifheit ones you’re supposed to release them a quarter-turn to allow steam to escape and so it seemed logical not to put the ordinary screwtop ones on too tightly. It seemed to go okay in the end so the next week I tried a second lot.

    This time I used bigger jars (440 ml ones rather than the 290 ml ones I had used the first time) but although I bought them from the same place and they were a similar price they did feel ‘cheaper’, somehow less sturdy or something. But I was more careful to close the lids properly this time and figured it would be okay. Not so, every single one of them opened. I lost one jar entirely and cleaned and closed up the other ones again, resigning myself to more watery salsa. Then, when I was taking them out, two of them opened again, one half exploding all over the place. Aaaaghh. This canning malarkey seems easy when I’m reading other people’s blogs and books. Those jars are now in the fridge waiting for me to eat them soon and the rest are still sitting on the counter while I decide if they’re even worth labels. They really are very watery looking with all the water on the bottom with the fruit suspended above.

    So, after the longest comment ever, do you think that it’s better off to just leave those screw-top jars (they cost between 80 and 99 cent depending on the size) and resign myself to waiting to do any more canning until I’ve saved up for more leifheit jars (which are between four and five euro for the half-litre and litre sizes and not much less for the smaller ones)?

    • I do think it has a lot to do with the jars…although I canned a bunch of peach chutney and peaches in rum sauce in them since then and didn’t have a single one open. I still prefer the old style Weck jars, though…with the glass lids and the metal closures to close them. I grew up with the Liefheit type double lids on Ball and Mason jars so I was pretty apprehensive about them–but after using them a lot this year I’m not quite so scared of them anymore.

      The cost of the Liefheit jars was a real problem for me, especially if I want to give stuff away to people. That’s how I ended up with the cheaper single lid jars…and several hundred 1 liter Weck jars via ebay and freecycle. I’d guess I didn’t pay more than 30 bucks for all the Weck jars I have…maybe you can look into getting some of those. They don’t seem to come smaller than 500ml…and the smaller ones are harder to find. But you can usually find someone cleaning out their basement near you on ebay who is practically giving them away. And I got around 100 free jars from 1 lady on freecycle just by asking if anyone had jars to give.

      Canning can be both a blessing and a curse. I find it rather monotonous and it’s not really something I like doing alone. But you gotta do what you gotta do. A friend of mine read this post and told me she actually wants to try canning now. I just had to laugh. Not because I don’t think she can but because I must have made it actually sound really fun :)

      So glad you wandered across my blog. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in homesteading here in Germany too!

    • Margaret Reynaud says:

      Jars must be scrupusly clean and if you’re doing a canner method,syrup or brine should not bubble(boil)over in the jar.When this happens bits of fruit or veggies lodge on edge of jar,then you tighten the lid rings and they don’t seal tight. The problem of jars exploding:maybe the water in canning pot boiled to hard,water needs only to simmer.wait until simmering subsides in the jars before removing them.Enjoy your preserving. M.A.R

  3. tina stassens says:

    Aloha,

    I have been canning liliqoi (passion fruit) jelly using regular 2 piece lid “Ball” & “Mason” style jars with “Pamona’s” pectin and having really good luck.
    I bought some jars from a friend who has a honey business and uses the jars for his honey and macadamia nut butter (which need no canning). These jars are, from what I am learning by your other customer comments and questions, single lid style (Leifheit?). I have never canned with the single lid style and am very concerned about poisoning people!! aah!! Can anyone give my some direction? Can I can jelly safely with these? And can you give me some instructions too?
    Mahalo from Hawaii,
    Tina

    • Hi Tina! Thanks for dropping in and for your questions and comments.
      Your single lid jars have metal lids, right? I’m just asking because here they are generally glass, like in the photo of my post about canning potatoes.

      If you are just canning jelly, you don’t need to be afraid of botulism. It’s mostly meats, veggies and low acidic foods that tend to be an issue (which is why many of them need to be pressure canned instead of done in a water bath). If the seal does not take, the jelly could mold and get funky, but who’s going to eat that? And even if they do, they still will not get botulism.
      To get a really good seal with single lid jars, one of the keys is to make sure the rim of the jar and the lid are COMPLETELY clean. I wipe them with a damp paper towel to clean off any spills and then with a dry one to make sure they are clean. Screw on the lid and make sure it is tight. When we had the issues with them popping open, I think it was because my husband didn’t check them twice before he dropped them in the water. Hence they opened. I wouldn’t dare tell him that, though, or he’ll never help with canning again! :)

      That’s really all there is to it. They should bubble and release the air inside while in the water bath, just like any other canning jar. When sealed, the lid will be concave. This is where I often have a problem because many of the cheaper jars do not cave in very well. I find that good ones will even make a popping noise when you depress them.

      US safety recommendations say single lid jars should only be used once but many people will tell you otherwise and I know that most people here in Germany use the jars many times, as well as the pickle, mayo, etc jars that you buy in the supermarket. I generally only use the latter for stuff that is just going to be sitting in my fridge for a while or in the freezer. Basically, if the plastic seal on the lid starts to look funky, discolored, cracked, etc. DO NOT use it for canning. Otherwise, most people who have been canning for a long time will tell you it’s ok for jellies and jams. Veggies, meats, etc I would be more careful about.

      Let me know if you have other questions and your jelly sounds fabulous!

  4. tina stassens says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    Thank you for your info on the single lid jars.

    Today I canned a full batch successfully with them. The lids went concave. It is sort of slight but I can tell by looking at my reflection on the lid and seeing that it is warped compared it to an un-canned lid. I did notice that there were a few bubbles in some of the jars of jelly, but I think that since I put it through a water bath it is fine.

    I can’t tell how much I appreciated your thorough and thoughtful response to my questions. I did so much looking on line and no one seemed to be able to supply the info I needed.

    Happy Holidays,
    Tina

  5. Michelle says:

    I do canning regularily with the ol’ standard Bernardin glass jars and double lids.

    Since we’ve mastered our tropical hot sauce recipes, we’re going to try selling at the fall home show in Toronto.

    To can bottles you need a specific lid that is lined in what’s termed a “Plastisol” liner. Use a metal screw top lid if possible.

    This thin liner forms a vacuum seal between the lid and the product just like the old double lids. FOOLPROOF.

    We “canned” down 120 4oz hot sauce bottles on the side burner of the bbq for 15 minutes. Every lid showed the concave providing visual and physical proof of a positive seal.

    Only 480 more bottles to go! And then I suppose come up with a label design.

    If anyone would like the recipe please email me at michellem62@hotmail.com
    Around these parts the stupid hot wing places won’t let you take suicide out of the restaruant.. god knows why, it’s not HOT in my opinion. Our recipe will cook the hell out of you but has huge flavour. We’re making mild to attempted suicide.

    Keep blogging, I’m learning from everyone else.

  6. Charlie Sommers says:

    You mention that you should never touch your face while working with hot peppers, good advice but I have found out through experience that there are other “things” you should also avoid touching. A good friend just gave me a huge bag of jalapenos, probably 5 pounds, so I am off to the kitchen to try your delicious sounding recipe.

    Thanks

  7. Charlie Sommers says:

    Thanks for the recipe Tiffany, the sauce was delicious. I am giving a jar to the donors of the jalapenos in hopes I will be remembered next time they have a surplus. Even if I am forced to buy the peppers next time the local Hispanic markets sell them for as little as 89 cents per lb.

  8. desiree says:

    Wow! great recipe.. I think that food is delicious but I have question can this increase my calorie in the body? I really want to maintain my figure, currently I’m doing the TurboFire.

  9. Michelle says:

    Cherries:
    Has anyone canned down cherries? Surely these are pitted first. Then what? Simple syrup or juice or? And how long to process?

    Looks like we’ll have a great crop of cherries in Southern Ontario this year. Would like to take advantage of this.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Michelle says:

      … also… Think we’ll have another spectacular year of hungarian hot peppers and habanero’s.

      If anyone is in Canada, I’ll mail you seeds if wanted (at end of year). Am not sure if these can be mailed elsewhere (phytosanitary reasons imposed by governments).

      • TANNICE LINDSTROM says:

        Hi,
        I have been growing all sorts of peppers for years. This year I have grown habs yellow and red, jalpen burpees and some other slender ones. I have some round red ones that grow upright, no idea what they are and some large long red ones all supposed to be hot. Will be picking next week…and yes I would like some of your seeds.

        Thanks a bunch,
        Tannice

      • EH, just tried this recipe and its to die for.great stuff love to have some of the seeds mailed to me if possible
        JOHN FARINA
        1060 THOMPSON STREET
        SARNIA, ONTARIO
        N7S 1A5
        Thanks

    • Tiffany says:

      I feel silly asking but what’s a down cherry? Does that mean the cherries that have dropped already? Or is that some special type of cherry? :)

  10. Your recipe calls for 50 sliced jalapeños. CN you approximate how many cups that is?

  11. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Have you ever tried using Apple Cider Vinegar?

    • I haven’t tried ACV as a substitute in this recipe, but it should work. Any type of vinegar can be used for pickling so I don’t think it should be a problem. But I’m not a canning professional and altering any canning recipe can be risky. So I would pay close attention to any canned jars of this you end up with, looking for bulging lids, strange smells or weird consistency.

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  14. I was looking for popper recipies but I think I’ll make this instead!

    Cindy

  15. My husband made this stuff!!! It is awesome!!!!I It was the best I’ve ever eaten!!!!! Thanks for the recipe!!!
    Tammy 

  16. can I use a stainless pot? don’t have a glass or enamel one…

  17. I´m also from Texas and now living in Germany and have been making my own hot sauces for quite some time now. I always make habanero hot sauces but I want to try this jalapeno recipe as well. Looking forward to it :)

  18. Leah Blomberg Johnson says:

    I love this! We have an abundance of cayenne and jalapenos again this year. Last year I made jalapeno jam which is great, but I wanted to try something a little different. http://sistersplayinghouse.com/2012/09/wordless-wednesday.html

  19. Emilee Dahman says:

    Stupid question, but can you process the jars in a boil canner so they last longer then 6 months. I have a ton of Jalapenos and want to make multiple batches, and would rather not store them all in the fridg. I also want to give away a few.

  20. Vicky Duecker says:

    Hi! Just read this post. One question….how many cups did the 50 japs cut up make? Japs vary in size and shape. I want to make this sauce; I have japs and Serrano chilis that I would like to combine into a sauce but need to know measurement of total quantity of peppers you used if possible. Thank you! You can e-mail me at simpledinners@verizon.net. Thank you!

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