Preserving · Recipes

Spicy! Sweet! Salty! Thai Style Sweet Chili Sauce

I had wanted to make my own Sweet Chili Sauce for a long time, to can and put up in the pantry. Thai sweet chili sauce is not cheap, especially if you buy a good brand (and there are plenty of bad brands in the Asian aisle). But more than that….it is pretty darn sugary. I had found a recipe via Ball that called for 7 cups of sugar. That is basically pourable sugar jam.

I approached Pomona’s Pectin and asked if they had a recipe. They got back to me and gave me a working recipe (Pomona Pectin has guidelines to follow in how much you need to set up a jam, so I just needed that). They cut the sugar back to 2¾ cups for a whole batch! The base recipe they gave me called for 3 to 4 tsp of the pectin. I opted for the lower amount so that it would not gel fully, and be spoonable.

Thai Style Sweet Chili Sauce


  • 1 Tbsp pickling salt or kosher salt*
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • ¼ to ½ cup red pepper flakes**
  • 6 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp calcium water***
  • 2¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp Pomona’s Pectin


Add mason canning jars into a water bath canner. Fill jars with water and the pot about halfway. Bring to a boil.

Add the bands and new lids to a small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer, turn off.

Measure the sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the sugar. Set aside.

In a large non reactive pot, add the salt, garlic, pepper flakes, and vinegar. Bring to a boil.

Add pectin-sugar mix, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Return to a full boil, stirring often. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Drain canning jars, place on a clean kitchen towel. Sterilize ladle and funnel.

Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with a new damp paper towel. Place a drained lid on each jar, screw band on finger tight.

Place filled jars in canning pot, lower rack in. Make sure the jars are covered with water. Bring to a boil, and maintain boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).

Remove jars from water. Let jars cool on a clean kitchen towel. Remove bands and wash, check seals on jars; lids should be sucked down.

Jelly should sit for a few days/week before eating, as Pomona jelly/jam can take a bit longer to fully set up. If the pepper flakes/garlic sink, gently shake the jars while it is cooling, to help it float. It can also be mixed back in once opening.

Consume within 1 year, once opened eat within 3 weeks.


You can use whatever size mason jars you have on hand. Makes about 9 cups.

I used jarred minced garlic to save time. Make sure it is not packed in oil.

*Only use pickling salt or kosher salt. You want a pure salt that has no impurities, particularly iodine, which can cause discoloring.

**½ cup red pepper flakes produces a nice hot and spicy sauce. If your taste to spice is less, a ¼ cup will be your friend. Find in bulk spice sections for the best price.

***Calcium water is made from the second packet in the Pomona’s box. It is mixed with water. The leftover water can be stored for months for further projects.