How to Bottle Hot Sauce

Dish of hot sauce with chile garnish

Hot Pack Instructions

The hot sauce bottles included with the kit are primarily for the thin, vinegar based hot pepper sauce recipes. Since the bottles come with dropper fitments, they are ideal for a thin condiment. If you would like to use them for the thicker sauces or your hot sauce contains larger particulates, just omit the dropper fitment.

To sanitize and prepare your bottles for filling, place the empty bottles in a pot, and cover and fill the bottles with water. Bring the pot of water to a boil and boil the bottles for 5 minutes. Turn off heat; remove the bottles using tongs and hold upside down to remove the water. Do not boil the dropper fitments or caps.

Hold the bottle with a dry towel and fill it with the cooked sauce using the funnel. It may help to first pour the cooked sauce into a clean measuring cup with a spout and then pour into the funnel from the measuring cup. Place the dropper cap on the bottle and screw the cap on tight. Turn the bottle upside down and let set for 5 minutes; this will sanitize the lid. If you choose to use the tamper proof seals, you can use a hairdryer to shrink them in place over the cap.

Your bottled sauces should be stored refrigerated. We make this recommendation for your safety. Since we do not know the exact recipes you prepare, the ingredients used or their condition, we cannot make any claim to the stability of your sauces or their shelf life.

Canning

You may choose to package your hot sauce using standard canning methods, however, it must be properly heat processed in order to ensure safety and shelf life. The pH or acidity of your sauce will determine the canning method to use. Fresh peppers are considered a low acid food. Tomato products can sometimes be borderline high or low acid and would require different canning methods based on the level of acid.

The bottles we sell can be processed in a hot water bath as long as the bottles have been hot-filled and the caps are on securely. The plastic restrictors and the liners in the caps cannot be boiled separately. It is more important that you make sure your hot sauce has a pH level of less than 4.6. Any higher and the conditions won’t be acidic enough to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. If the pH is greater than 4.6, you cannot follow basic water bath canning instructions. You would have to pressure cook and the bottles are not intended for that.

We do not advise the use of sodium benzoate; but as long as the pH of your sauce is less than 4.6 and you follow proper water bath canning instructions for tomatoes you should be able to store your bottles at room temperature. You should consult your local agriculture extension service for proper canning instructions for your specific sauce. The following is a link to a home canning fact sheet from The Ohio State University.

Aging

Your hot sauce is going to improve with age. Keep the sauce in the refrigerator for at least one week prior to using it. The longer the sauce ages, the more complex the flavor will become. Properly packed hot sauce will last six to nine months un-opened.

Most hot sauce recipes call for fresh and dried ingredients.

Hot Sauce

Hot Pepper Sauces are Considered Marinades or Finishing Sauces Depending on How They are Used.