How to Make& Preserve Caramel Sauce - a Simple & Frugal Recipe

You all asked how to make caramel, so here it comes. Some of you may already know how to do this, but for those who don't or forgot it existed, let's make some caramel sauce. This is the easiest thing you all could can. I mean, it is the easiest!

We're going to need four-ounce Mason jars. Four ounces works best because you will use a crockpot. Yes, a crockpot, not a water bath. A crockpot filled with water. This is easy.

Next thing, you're going to need sweetened condensed milk. That's it. We're not going to use vinegar to wipe the rims. We will use water to wipe the rims because vinegar and milk do not mix. It won't spoil the caramel if you accidentally get a little drop of water there.

Filling a crockpot with water

1. Fill the crockpot with water

Fill your crockpot with water, preheat, and set on high. I want to set mine for 5 hours and 30 minutes. The 30 minutes is for preheating while we're getting this ready.

The Ball canning instructions say to do this for 4 to 5 hours. I always usually lean to the five-hour mark. Okay, set the crockpot aside. 

Wash your jars and your lids, and your rings. I have my jars right next to my crockpot. They've been washed. I'm doing six jars of caramel dip for this first round. 

Pouring the sweetened condensed milk into jars

2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into jars

I want to take my sweetened condensed milk and pour it into each jar, leaving an inch of headspace. Usually, I don't need to use a funnel for this because it pours right in, but if you want to use a funnel, you can.

Removing air bubbles with a stick

3. Remove air bubbles

One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk roughly does two and a half, four-ounce jars. I will roughly poke through the thick milk to ensure no air bubbles are in there.  

I have a damp paper towel with water, not vinegar. Wash the rim of each jar well. Make sure that the edge is clean since we're not using vinegar. Push hard.  

Placing the jars into the crockpot

4. Place the jars into the crockpot

I don't think the water is hot yet, but I'm using my Ball grabber to place the jars in the water just in case.  

However big your crockpot is, that's how many you can do at a time. Mine only comfortably holds six. If yours is bigger, you could do more. I have about one and a half inches of water over the top of the jars. I will add a little more water because I want two inches.  

Now you're going to put the lid on and forget about it until the timer goes off. I usually think I'm going to take mine out in 4 hours, but every single time, I always let it go for another hour. So I'm going to go ahead and let the timer run out. 

How to make caramel sauce

5. Remove the jars from the crockpot

After the timer runs out, I will take the jars out like regular canning, let them seal, and continue with my next batch. 

The caramel sauce keeps for up to 18 months. That's what the Ball recommendation is for the lids. I have some that have been in jars for two years that we're eating, and it's just as tasty. So do your research.

How to make caramel

6. Preserved caramel sauce

Now I'm just going to take them out, let them sit for 12 to 24 hours before I move them, and make sure to check the seal. I'm going to pop one open because making this caramel dip made me want some caramel dip. This tastes fantastic!

How to make caramel sauce

It's super easy to make and preserve homemade caramel sauce. If you have never canned anything before in your life, you can do this. This is so easy. I'm going to cut up an apple, and I'm going to have an apple with my caramel dip.

Follow my directions for how to make caramel sauce, and you'll always have a sweet treat in your pantry. Let me know your thoughts on this recipe in the comments below.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Kathy Koehler Kathy Koehler on Oct 05, 2022

    I'll probably do this. I love caramel sauce! It would most likely persuade me to eat more fruit. Mmmm. How about a dab on a sweet potato?

  • Betty Klooster Betty Klooster on Aug 11, 2023

    So sweetened condensed milk once cooked is all that Carmel sauce is? No other ingredients?!