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Barbecue Sauce

Print Makes about 3 (16 oz) pints
Everyone will want to grill at your house when they taste this homemade barbeque sauce made from fresh tomatoes, onions, brown sugar, and lots of spice.

Level of Ease:


Preserving Method:

Waterbath Preserving

You Will Need:

  • 20 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes (about 21 medium)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions (about 3 to 4 medium)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp celery seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


  1. COMBINE tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot pepper flakes and celery seeds in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. TRANSFER mixture, working in batches, to a sieve placed over a glass or stainless steel bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid and pulp. This can also be done using a food mill. Discard solids.
  3. RETURN liquid and pulp to saucepan. Add brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, mace, mustard, ginger and cinnamon. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 30 minutes.
  4. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
  5. LADLE hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  6. PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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