I've found when making spicy sauces they usually taste better when they've had time to rest in the fridge for a few hours, for example curry or chicken tikka masala. To obtain full flavor I've debated on making the sauce in a batch and canning it in a ball jar using balls recommended canning process but because these two sauces have cream I was wondering if this is safe?

All sauces would be consumed or tossed if not consumed in six months. Also, not wanting to add any preservatives. The sauces do have acid which is more than the dairy but I'm unsure. Can a dairy based sauce that contains dairy be canned?

All sauces would be cooked. If this isnt a good idea the other alternative is to bring to desired vacuum sealing temp, bag, vacuum seal and freeze but prefer to can if I could.

2 Answers 2


No, you shouldn't can products containing dairy. Dairy products can be contaminated with botulinum bacteria and the canning process kills off any beneficial bacteria that can compete with the bad ones. See eg this link.

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    This side of the Atlantic (Europe) the recommendations wrt. canning and botulism are somewhat different in that they give 3 options for such a sauce: can in a pressure canner so that the complete food is > 3 min at >= 121 °C to kill also spores or do "double canning" where the cans are heated to 100 °C again after > 1 d at room temp, i.e. when spores have formed bacteria again. Or heat the food directly before eating to 100 °C (> 80 °C for > 5 min): botulinus toxins are destroyed by heat. This 3rd option sounds quite natural for the sauce. Nov 1, 2019 at 14:46
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    Nevertheless, I'd suspect that such sauces may become rancid quite soon at room temperature. Air is not needed for the hydrolysis path of going rancid, which is moreover catalysed by acids (or bases). I'd expect that the best outcome is to give the sauce the appropriate rest to develop its flavor in the fridge, but not too much longer. For storage, I'd go for freezing like Tetsujin. Nov 1, 2019 at 14:48
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    How do commercial operations successfully can sauces made with dairy products? Nov 1, 2019 at 20:29
  • @whatsisname They have access to canning machines that operate at much higher temperatures than you do in your kitchen. And also preservatives. Lots of preservatives.
    – user141592
    Nov 2, 2019 at 7:19

As already mentioned - no, don't keep dairy for extended periods.

Have you considered making just the sauce base without the dairy - or even without the final elements that would differentiate it from being 'generic curry' to being a masala sauce?

Sauce bases can be stored for months in the freezer.
I usually have containers with just enough to make a single meal for the family, perhaps 4 to 6 different types of sauce base portioned out at any given time.

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    We use large ice cube trays for this purpose. Freeze concentrated sauces in portions which are then stored in a ziplock bag. Easy to reconstitute for meals later on. Nov 2, 2019 at 4:04

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