If you’re a fan of BBQ sauce, you may be wondering how to make it safe for consumption by pasteurizing it. Pasteurization is the process of heating a substance to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens. In the case of BBQ sauce, pasteurization can help to extend its shelf life and ensure that it’s safe to eat.

To pasteurize BBQ sauce, you’ll need a few key ingredients: a large pot or saucepan, a thermometer, and sterilized jars or bottles for storage. Follow these steps to safely pasteurize your homemade BBQ sauce:

Step 1: Cook the Sauce

Start by cooking your BBQ sauce on the stove over medium-high heat. Be sure to stir it frequently to prevent burning or sticking. Once the sauce reaches a temperature of at least 165°F (74°C), it’s ready for pasteurization.

Step 2: Fill Sterilized Jars or Bottles

While the BBQ sauce is still hot, carefully transfer it into sterilized jars or bottles. You can sterilize these containers by boiling them in water for several minutes or running them through a dishwasher cycle on the hottest setting.

Step 3: Prepare Your Pot or Saucepan

Fill a large pot or saucepan with enough water to cover your jars or bottles by at least one inch. Place a wire rack on the bottom of the pot to prevent direct contact between the jars and heat source.

Step 4: Heat Your Jars/Bottles in Water

Place your filled and sealed jars or bottles onto the wire rack in the pot. Bring the water up to a temperature of at least 185°F (85°C). Use your thermometer to monitor the temperature and make sure it stays consistent throughout.


  • If you’re using a glass container, be sure it’s heat-resistant and can withstand the temperature of boiling water.
  • It’s important to keep the jars or bottles completely submerged in the water to ensure proper pasteurization.

Step 5: Check for Seals

After about 30 minutes of heating, carefully remove your jars or bottles from the pot and let them cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, check each one for a seal. If you can press down on the lid and it doesn’t pop back up, it’s sealed correctly.


  • If a jar or bottle didn’t seal correctly, you can still use the BBQ sauce but should store it in the refrigerator and consume it within a few weeks.

In Conclusion

By following these steps, you can safely pasteurize homemade BBQ sauce. Properly pasteurized sauce lasts longer and is less likely to cause foodborne illness. Plus, it’s always satisfying to know that your homemade creations are safe and delicious!