Grandma's Chili Sauce

Just like grandma used to make! Try this classic chili sauce as a garnish to any meal.


  • 16 cups (4000 ml) prepared tomatoes, about 8 lb (3.6 kg), 30 medium
  • 6 onions, chopped
  • 6 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh shredded horseradish, or drained bottled, optional
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Each: celery salt, mustard seed and pickling salt
  • 1 tsp ( 5 ml) Each: ground allspice, ground mace and ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves


  • Wash, blanch, peel, core and chop tomatoes; measure 16 cups (4000 ml).
  • Combine prepared tomatoes, onions, green and red peppers, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, horseradish (if using), celery salt, mustard seed, pickling salt, allspice, mace, cinnamon and cloves in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil. Boil gently, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until mixture reaches desired consistency, about 2 hours.
  • Place 7 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Ladle sauce into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more sauce. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining sauce.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 20 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.