A Lasting Fire
June 8, 2014 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Can I safely preserve my homemade peri peri sauce?

I have hacked this recipe and want to put up some batches for later. (I've added smoked peppers, preserved lemon rind and citric acid. And I cook it for a bit more than four minutes. And it needs an habenero or two.)
I can't find anything even remotely comparable in the pressure canning recipes or guidelines, how does one find out if one's home canning recipe will work? I've taken a servsafe course, they make sure that you know that oil-based, low-acid sauces with garlic are breeding grounds for botulism...I am hoping that the pressure canner will kill those bugs dead. Because I just made a batch. Figured 35 minutes@ 10 lbs, let it go for five more minutes for overkill.
Am I going to poison my friends? I've planted a lot of hot peppers this year in hopes of making tons of sauce.
posted by cometwendy to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Adding citric acid and lemon will definitely help, but I'm not sure how the oil plays into it. Have you taken the pH? Ph paper is cheap. We always make sure our salsa is below 4 for hot water bath canning.
posted by rockindata at 7:44 PM on June 8, 2014

From what I've read, you're right on the line between safe and not safe. 240 F for 30 minutes is purportedly required for killing botulism spores in meats and vegetables, but the required temperature for safety goes down as the pH goes up. 240 F between 0 and 2,000 feet requires 11 psi.

Did you record numbers as you made it? You can get a rough idea of the pH if you know the amount by weight of citric acid you used and the weight of the water-containing ingredients, and you scour the web or other sources for the typical water contents and pH of those ingredients.

Personally, if there's enough acid in the piri piri that it tastes notably sour, I'd call it safe. If you're still in doubt, tell your friends to keep it in the fridge.

I am not by any means a canning expert.
posted by WasabiFlux at 7:53 PM on June 8, 2014

My local extension office will answer this sort of question. Do you have a local extension office? If not, my office has an 800 number for food preservation questions.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:08 PM on June 8, 2014

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