01 October 2013

CSA home canning: two-day habanero hot sauce

When the CSA delivery gives you habanero peppers, make 20% habanero hot sauce.

If you are not familiar with home canning, please see the National Center for Home Food Preservation. This recipe does not substitute for a complete set of instructions on safe home canning practices.

I didn't have an actual recipe for this, so I based my work on a tested recipe for pepper relish. It yielded just under 2 pints.

One wide-mouth half-pint, three 4-ounce jars; another 4 ounces
ended up in the fridge for immediate use


  • half a medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups finely chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 cup finely chopped habanero peppers, seeds retained
  • 3 tablespoons canning (non-iodized) salt
  • white vinegar to cover


    Combine the onion, peppers, and salt in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Take off heat, cover, and let sit overnight.

    Heat again to boiling. Taking care with the fumes rising from the pan, crush the peppers with a potato masher (or use an immersion mixer). Heat through. Take off heat, cover, and let sit overnight again; or start the canning process.

    To can, bring the sauce to boiling again. Simmer 10 minutes. Then pack heated sauce into hot jars, leaving half-inch headspace. Carefully release air bubbles from jars and add more sauce, if needed, to bring back to half-inch headspace. Clean rims of jars and apply lids and bands. Process pints, half-pints, and 4-ounce jars 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath canner.

    Let sit at least 6 weeks before opening for use.

    Note: Handle the habanero peppers safely. Some people hold the pepper with a fork while chopping with a chef's knife. Most people advise wearing rubber gloves. I'm a hippie who hates disposables, so I pinched the habaneros by the stem and used a 5-inch kitchen utility knife. I scraped the seeds and chopped pieces into a prep bowl, then dropped the stem end into the trash, without using my bare fingers anywhere on the peppers' flesh. The cutting board went straight into the dishwasher.
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