Cayenne Pepper Sauce


Quantity: Yield 5 pints

Jar size: Pints


3 pounds hot peppers (for example, Anaheim, Hungarian, Jalapeños)

1/3 cup minced garlic

4 cups sliced onion (about 2 medium as bought)

1/3 cup stemmed, chopped cilantro

3 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes

3 cups cider vinegar (5%)

2½ cups water


Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.


1. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

2. Wash, trim and slice peppers and onions into rings, using a mandolin slicer or a food processor.

3. In a 10-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, mix together all ingredients. Bring to a boil and boil 1 hour. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 1 additional hour. Turn heat off, and cool mixture slightly.

4. Puree vegetables in a blender about 2 minutes per blender batch. Return pureed mixture to stockpot and bring carefully just to a boil. (The mixture will start to spatter as it gets close to boiling; heat slowly while stirring constantly, being careful not to get burned by splashing sauce.) Turn off heat.

5. Fill hot sauce into hot, clean pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.

6. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

7. Process in a boiling water or steam canner according to the chart. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

NOTE: This is a very hot sauce. Some suggested uses include:

  • Add a small amount to a soup to give it a "spicy-hot" bite.
  • Stir a small amount into vegetable dishes to give them an extra "zing."
  • Pep up your cheese dip with a small amount to make it a "hot" item.
  • Add some to that pot of chili you're cooking up – make it fiery!

Processing time:

Processing Times for Boiling Water Canner or Steam Canner



Process Times at Altitudes of:

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0-1000 ft

1001-6000 ft

Above 6000 ft



10 min

15 min

20 min


National Center for Home Food Preservation