Off-the-Hook Homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce

“Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down & hope nothing hits you, or stand as tall as you can, show it your teeth & say: ‘Dish it up, baby, and don’t be stingy with the jalapeños.’ ” — Grey Owl.

Wow! I’ve had a lot of hot sauce in my day, but never have I tasted anything this magnificent. Yeah, it’s hot — it’s made with jalapeños after all — but the fire is smooth and amazingly flavorful. So many hot sauces pack all heat and no flavor, or just taste like ketchup with some cayenne tossed in. You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you try homemade! The general consensus among my family is I’m gonna need a bigger garden.

ripe jalapeñosJalapeño peppers, like most green peppers, turn red when they’re completely ripe. It’s true that they’re hotter than the green ones; I’ve done the taste test on peppers from the same plant. But since their heat is smoother and not as harsh, you can better appreciate their flavor. Now, not everybody has ready access to the kind of peppers that make this sauce possible. If you like hot sauce, though, you’re going to want to start a garden (it’s easy with an Earthbox) or find a farmers’ market. It will be well worth the effort. I discovered a couple of years ago that jalapeños freeze really well, at least for uses where they don’t need to remain intact. Just rinse them off, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and pop them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, gather them up into a zip-top freezer bag. I’ve thawed them to mince as long as 9 months after freezing, and they’re perfect. So if you can’t make your hot sauce at harvest time, just freeze the peppers for later. You can also freeze the finished sauce.

You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ever wonder about all the different spellings out there?
• Chile: a country in South America
• chile/chilli: a spicy pepper (though considered a vegetable in the culinary sense, it’s actually the fruit of a capsicum plant). The spelling depends on your location. “Chile” is more common in the Americas.
• chili: a spicy dish, whose proper ingredients are often the subject of heated debate.
• chilly: cool, cold. Definitely not what we’re talking about here!

PLEASE DON’T SKIP THIS BIT:

Yes, I know all-caps is shouting. You’d shout to stop a kid from running out in traffic, wouldn’t you? So many people ignore safety warnings that I felt the need to holler. Capsaicin, the stuff that makes hot chiles hot, can actually be dangerous in the right circumstances — such as a hot potful under pressure. There’s no need to be frightened, but there is every need to be careful. The rules are pretty simple:

• All non-essential personnel (including kids & pets) out of the room.

• Ventilation. Lots of ventilation.

• Do NOT turn the steam valve to “release.”

• Wait for all the pressure to go away on its own and the contents to cool before opening the pot.

•  Wear gloves and/or goggles

• Keep your face away from the pot

Ingredients:

0 hhs

1 pound fully ripe (red) jalapeño peppers*

1½ cups (about 8 ounces) chopped red bell peppers*

2½ ounces red onion (about ¼ of a large one)

6 large cloves of garlic

5 ounces apple cider vinegar

5 ounces white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons smoked salt (may substitute Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt)

*If you prefer a milder sauce, just use more bell peppers and fewer jalapeños.

Directions:

1.) Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated. Unless your fan/range-hood actually vents to the outdoors, it doesn’t count! You can open the windows to catch a breeze instead. If you don’t have a well-ventilated kitchen, find someplace outdoors to set up your Instant Pot or just walk on by this recipe. You like your eyes and lungs, right? So you need ventilation. Use tongs or gloves to work with the jalapeños, too, so you don’t make your hands spicy. Spicy hands + absentmindedly rubbing eyes = ouch!

2.) Remove the stems from the jalapeños and cut them in half lengthwise. Place them in the Instant Pot’s inner pot.

2 hhs

3.) Chop the bell beepers if you haven’t already, discarding the seeds and stems. Peel the garlic, and roughly chop the onion.

3 hhs

4.) Add everything to the pot.

4 hhs

5.) Park the inner pot in the Instant Pot and close and lock the lid. Close the steam vent. Then check to be sure you closed the steam vent.

5 hhs

6.) Set the pot for 3 minutes on manual, then leave the room. Allowing for about 10 to 20 minutes to come to pressure and 3 minutes to cook, pop back into the kitchen to turn the pot off after the cook time is done. Don’t release the pressure, just turn the pot off. You’re going to allow a full natural pressure release, followed by at least an hour (I waited two) for the pot to cool down.

7.) Keeping your face well away from the pot, and still having your kitchen really well ventilated, very carefully remove the lid and set it aside. Remove the inner pot, then cover and refrigerate it. If you’re in a hurry, you can put it in an ice bath. You may have noticed that the peppers still look mostly whole. Don’t worry, you’re about to fix that.

8.) When the contents have cooled completely, use a food mill with its finest disc to remove the seeds and skins.

9.) Use a funnel to pour your sauce into small jars. I used six 4-ounce hot sauce jars. Kept refrigerated, the sauce will last about three months — but only if you bury it in the back of the fridge. If people can find it, it might only last a week!

Off-the-Hook Homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce

  • Servings: makes about 24 fl. oz.
  • Print

Ingredients

1 pound fully ripe (red) jalapeño peppers

1½ cups (about 8 ounces) chopped red bell peppers

2½ ounces red onion (about ¼ of a large one)

6 large cloves of garlic

5 ounces apple cider vinegar

5 ounces white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons smoked salt (may substitute Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt)

Directions

Capsaicin, the stuff that makes hot chiles hot, can actually be dangerous in the right circumstances — such as a hot potful under pressure. There’s no need to be frightened, but there is every need to be careful. The rules are pretty simple:

• All non-essential personnel (including kids & pets) out of the room.

• Ventilation. Lots of ventilation.

• Do NOT turn the steam valve to “release.”

• Wait for all the pressure to go away on its own and the contents to cool before opening the pot.

•  Wear gloves and/or goggles

• Keep your face away from the pot

1.) Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated. Unless your fan/range-hood actually vents to the outdoors, it doesn’t count! You can open the windows to catch a breeze instead. If you don’t have a well-ventilated kitchen, find someplace outdoors to set up your Instant Pot or just walk on by this recipe. You like your eyes and lungs, right? So you need ventilation. Use tongs or gloves to work with the jalapeños.

2.) Remove the stems from the jalapeños and cut them in half lengthwise. Place them in the Instant Pot’s inner pot.

3.) Chop the bell beepers if you haven’t already, discarding the seeds and stems. Peel the garlic, and roughly chop the onion.

4.) Add everything to the pot.

5.) Park the inner pot in the Instant Pot and close and lock the lid. Close the steam vent. Then check to be sure you closed the steam vent.

6.) Set the pot for 3 minutes on manual, then leave the room. Allowing for about 10 to 20 minutes to come to pressure and 3 minutes to cook, pop back into the kitchen to turn the pot off after the cook time is done. Don’t release the pressure, just turn the pot off. You’re going to allow a full natural pressure release, followed by at least an hour (I waited two) for the pot to cool down.

7.) Keeping your face well away from the pot, and still having your kitchen really well ventilated, very carefully remove the lid and set it aside. Remove the inner pot, then cover and refrigerate it. If you’re in a hurry, you can put it in an ice bath.

8.) When the contents have cooled completely, use a food mill with the finest disc to remove the seeds and skins.

9.) Use a funnel to pour your sauce into small jars. I used six 4-ounce hot sauce jars. Kept refrigerated, the sauce will last about three months.

 

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6 Comments Add yours

    1. julie says:

      Awesome! Thank you so much!

      Like

      1. moorezart says:

        Julie, you bet! – Douglas

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This might be the best use of the Instant Pot ever! I love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      It’s amazing how much better it is than store-bought. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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