Quick Barbecue Sauce Recipe for Canning

Reader Contribution by Dede Ryan
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If your tomato crop is like mine, right now you have just enough ripe fruit for salads and sandwiches with none left over for canning. Here’s a barbecue sauce you can make without waiting for the end-of-season tomato tsunami.

Balanced Heat and Sweet

This is a pleasant, balanced sauce with just the right amount of heat and sweet, and comes from one of my canning bibles: the Kerr Home Canning and Freezing Book. It could be the simplest and quickest barbecue sauce I’ve ever made since there is no need to skin, core or chop tomatoes.

The recipe makes about four half-pints, depending on how thick you like your sauce.


• 6 tbsp brown sugar
• 3 tbsp paprika
• 3 teaspoons salt
• 3 tsp dry mustard
• 3/4 tsp chili powder
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• 6 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 3 cups tomato juice
• 3/4 cup chili sauce
• 3/4 cup vinegar
• 1-1/2 cup chopped onions


1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large pot with room to stir and slosh around. Bring to a nice rolling boil and continue to stir for about 15 minutes. Simmer your sauce until it reduces to the consistency you like best.

2. In the meantime, wash four half-pint jars, lids and screw bands in hot soapy water.

3.Bring the water in your water-bath canner to a boil and lower the clean jars into it to sterilize them. Pour boiling water over the lids and bands in a heatproof bowl.

4. When your mixture is the right consistency, lift the sterilized jars out of the canner and onto a towel next to your pot of barbecue sauce.

5. Lift each of the filled jars into your water-bath canner and boil for 10 minutes, adding minutes for your particular geography. You can find altitude adjustments online and in nearly all reputable canning books.

6. When your barbecue sauce is fully processed, lift the jars out onto a towel on the counter and listen for the musical sound of a “ping” as each jar seals.

This sauce is great brushed on chicken, chops, ribs or anything else you grill – including vegetables.

You can read more at my website or in archived features of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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