Chow Chow Relish

| September 17, 2017 | 116 Comments

Southern Chow Chow Relish recipe, as seen on Taste of
Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for making this old Southern favorite. Chow Chow relish is a great topping for hot dogs, burgers, turkey sandwiches, all kinds of great things. We’ll show you how to make the relish, then water bath can it to preserve it. Printable recipe included.


Chow Chow Relish, slider.
Southern Chow Chow Relish Recipe

Whether you call it Chow Chow, Chow-Chow, or ChowChow, this dish is made in lots of variations, just like the spelling of it’s name comes in lots of variations.

Around my “neck of the woods,” Chow Chow is one of those end of the season recipes that utilizes things that are quickly fading from the backyard garden.

It’s a way to use those tomatoes that are still on the vine, but will never turn ripe before the first frost gets them. Same for some of the other vegetables that are included in it. You pick them, then you figure out what you’re going to do with them.

Some folks use cucumbers, some use cauliflower, some use pretty much just cabbage. If you start looking for them, you’ll find lots of variations. It just depends on what you like and don’t like I guess.

I guess Daddy would have made Chow Chow more than my mom did. He took care of the gardening stuff throughout the summer, so it fell pretty much on him to clean it all up before the frost got it during the later part of Fall.

Mama on the other hand, in her later years, made a Squash Relish that I became fond of. I hope to do that recipe for you here on Taste of Southern one day. But for now, let’s make some Chow Chow.

I made this in 2016 and placed a jar in our North Carolina State Fair. It won Second Place that year, and this year (2017) I’m planning to enter a new batch with hopes of getting that prized Blue Ribbon. We’ll see.

Home Food Preservation seems to be fading away around my part of the country. At least among my friends and the folks that I know. It does take a little work, but it’s always fun afterwards to share a jar with friends and be able to say “I made this myself.” Plus, you always know what went in the jar.

Chow Chow is available at most of the grocery stores around the Eastern part of the United States. Not sure about anywhere else. I’ve never been much of a fan of the store bought kind, and I’m not sure what it is about the taste of the store purchased stuff that I just don’t seem to care for.

Chow Chow is sometimes called “Sweet” with a “Hot” version also available.

This recipe is fairly mild, but the Cayenne Pepper and Pepper Flakes give it a slight bit of heat. You could certainly eliminate that or add more, depending on your personal tastes.

We’ll take you through the steps of making the relish, then show you how to preserve it in jars that should keep you enjoying our Southern Chow Chow all year long. If it lasts that long that is.

I like it on Hot Dogs, and use to add it to Hamburgers before I stopped eating those. It’s a good condiment, and it makes a good side dish with a bowl of Black Eye Peas and cornbread.

So, if you’re ready to give it a try let’s get out the canning supplies. Get everything prepped and ready before you start chopping and dicing those vegetables, but most of all, let’s just get in the kitchen and… Let’s Get Cooking.


Chow Chow Relish, you'll need these ingredients.
How To Make Chow Chow Relish:  You’ll need these ingredients.


Chow Chow Relish, you'll also need these ingredients.
You’ll also need these ingredients.

It’s just a few spices with sugar and white vinegar.


Chow Chow Relish, begin by washing your vegetables.
Begin by washing your vegetables under cool running water.


Chow Chow Relish, dice the peppers.
I like to begin the cutting up part by dicing my bell peppers first.

Remove the inner core and seeds. Then, slice into small strips. Cut the strips into small dice pieces about 1/4 inch in size.


Chow Chow Relish, set the peppers aside.
Set the peppers aside once you get them all diced up.

I do the peppers first since they seem to hold up better while I’m working on the other vegetables.


Chow Chow Relish, dice the onions.
Dice the onions, then set them aside. Be sure to wash your hands before you rub your eyes. Just saying.


Chow Chow Relish, core and dice the tomatoes.
Remove the core from the tomatoes, then slice and dice the tomatoes. Set those aside.


Chow Chow Relish, chop the cayenne pepper.
Carefully slice the Cayenne Pepper into thin slices.

You really will need to wash your hands after you slice this pepper. You do not want to accidentally rub your eyes after you’ve been cutting up Cayenne Peppers. Take my word for it, okay?


Chow Chow Relish, use a non-reactive container.
You’ll need a large non-reactive container to mix all the vegetables in. This can be a large glass container, or perhaps stainless steel. Best that you don’t use aluminum.

Add all the diced vegetables into the bowl.


Chow Chow Relish, core and chop the cabbage.
Next, remove the hard core from the center of your cabbage. Then, chop the cabbage up into small pieces.

I started out with my hand grater, but found that it was making the pieces too small. I ended up just chopping the cabbage with a knife. Again, you will want to keep this in small pieces.


Chow Chow Relish, sprinkle with salt.
Add the cabbage to the rest of the vegetables in the bowl.

Sprinkle the top with the Pickling and Canning Salt.


Chow Chow Relish, mix well.
Use your hand and mix everything together well.

I like to scoop down to the bottom, then lift up a handful to the top. Rotating the bowl as you do this will help mix everything together pretty quickly.

As the salt starts pulling water from the vegetables, you’ll find some accumulation of this liquid in the bottom of your container. Just keep mixing it back in until you think all the vegetables have been coated with the liquid. That way, you’ve probably got the salt mixed in pretty good.


Chow Chow Relish, cover and let sit 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, or a lid if you have one.

The mixture will now need to sit for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight if possible.

I let mine sit on the counter for a couple of hours, and then set the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

After cutting and dicing the vegetables, I was ready to take a break, so letting everything just chill in the refrigerator overnight sounded really good to me. I’m not getting any younger you know. Smile.


Chow Chow Relish, wash your jars.
Next Day:  Before I took the vegetables out of the refrigerator, I started getting everything setup so I could can the Chow Chow using the water bath method of canning.

First I washed my jars in hot soapy water. While you’re washing them, carefully run your finger around the top rim of the jar to check for any chips or cracks. You’ll also want to wash any old jar bands that you might be reusing.

You’ll always use NEW jar LIDS, so washing those isn’t necessary. Rinse the jars well.


Chow Chow Relish, sanitize the jars.
After I rinse my jars, I like to go ahead and place them in my water bath canning pot. I don’t use the rack at this time, and I just set the jars in the bottom of the canning pot. Then, I fill the pot with water, making sure the jars are fully submerged.

I will go ahead and place this on my stove top and begin warming the water up.

Timing everything out is one of the things you’ll learn through trial and error with your canning process.

I know it’s going to take this big pot of water some time to heat up to boiling, so I’ll start it while I work on the other steps in the recipe.

The jars will need to boil at a slow boil for at least 15 minutes in order to sterilize them.


Chow Chow Relish, drain the mixture.
With the jars starting to heat up, I have my sink clear now so that I can drain the vegetables.

I emptied about half of them in a colander and drained them for a couple of minutes.


Chow Chow Relish, rinse and drain again.
Then, I rinsed the vegetables using cold running water. Stir down to the bottom and make sure that you rinse them well.

I had to do this in two batches since my colander wasn’t large enough to hold all the cut vegetables at once. Just let them continue to drain while you prepare the sugar and vinegar mixture.


Chow Chow Relish, add sugar.
You’ll need a large sauce pot for this step. A pot big enough to hold all the vegetables in.

First, add the sugar to the pot.


Chow Chow Relish, measure out your spices.
Measure out all of your spices next.

Don’t you like the way I labeled them all for you? I was just feeling a little creative at the moment I guess. Smile.


Chow Chow Relish, add the spices to the sugar.
Add all of the spices to the sugar.


Chow Chow Relish, add the vinegar.
Add the white vinegar on top of the spices and sugar.


Chow Chow Relish, stir it up real good.
Give it all a good stir.


Chow Chow Relish, stove setup.
Place the pot with the vinegar, sugar and spices on your stove top.

This is pretty much the way my stove setup goes for all of my canning adventures. I place the item to be jarred up and canned on the front left burner.  My jars are heating up in the water bath canning pot thats on the right front burner.

I keep a smaller pot of water in a pot on the back right burner. I heat that up so that it’s almost at the boiling point, and I can use this to add to my canning pot as needed.

Remember, you will need enough water in your canning pot to cover your jars with one inch of water while they are processing. Keeping hot water at the ready just always comes in handy.

And for the burner on the back left…


Chow Chow Relish, lids and bands.
The small pot on the back left burner is where I put my lids and bands. I cover them in water and keep this on the lowest heat setting the burner can do.

In the past year or two, jar lids are being made so that they don’t require this warming up process. I can’t seem to get away from not doing it though.  In my earlier years of canning, jar lids were always placed in warm water to soften up the red rubber ring on the lid. This was to help it seal better.

I still do it, but it doesn’t hurt anything. You just don’t want to heat them up to a boiling point as this could destroy the rubber ring all together. Just a little warm water will do the trick.


Chow Chow Relish, simmer for ten minutes.
Simmer the sugar and vinegar mixture for TEN MINUTES.

I go ahead and crank the heat up to about HIGH, but I know I intend to stay with it during the whole time. Get it up to where you just start to see a few bubbles forming around the edge, then reduce the heat to let it begin to simmer.

If you let it boil hard for very long, it will boil away a lot of this liquid. Just stir it every minute or two and let the sugar dissolve.

At this point, I also raise the heat on my jars and start them boiling at a low boil.


Chow Chow Relish, add the mixture.
After letting the sugar, vinegar and spices simmer for ten minutes, ADD the vegetable mixture.

I managed to get all of the vegetables in the pot.


Chow Chow Relish, simmer for ten more minutes.
I cranked the heat back up to High, but I didn’t leave the vegetables alone. I constantly stirred the pot until the vegetables heated up enough to start boiling. Then, I lowered the heat back down to about MEDIUM and let the vegetables continue to simmer for TEN MINUTES.

They’re boiling pretty hard in the photo above. This was just before I lowered the heat down to Medium.

Did you know that you can place a wooden spoon across the top of a pot and it will not boil over. It will get mighty close, but so far I’ve not had one to boil over. Not sure what the science is behind it, but it works.


The vegetables need to simmer on Medium heat for TEN minutes. Then, continue to let them cook until the cabbage is tender. I let mine cook for about five more minutes, so that’s a total of 15 minutes cooking time once the vegetables start to simmer.

The vegetables will continue to cook once you remove the pot from the stove, PLUS they will cook even more once you start to process them in the jars. Thus, there’s no need to overcook them at this point. They’ll get there.


Chow Chow Relish, counter setup.
This is my counter setup.

My vegetables are tender and I’ve removed them from the stove. I have all my canning utensils already in place so that I can keep moving forward with the process.

I usually remove two jars from my canning pot at a time. I place one on a plate to catch any spills, and the other one I just set off to the back. I’ve got my slotted spoon and my ladle ready. And, I’ve got my skewer to remove air bubbles, my magnetic wand to lift the lids and bands, and my head space measuring tool all at the ready. My jar lifter is nearby as well, but it’s not in the photo.

It’s time to fill some jars.


Chow Chow Relish, ladle mixture into the jars.
I always use a funnel to fill my jars.

Place the funnel in the jar and then spoon your product into the jar. Since I’m working with more solids than liquids with this recipe, I like to use the slotted spoon to scoop up some vegetables and place them in the jar first.

With the jar about 3/4ths full of vegetables, I use the ladle to finish filling the jar, adding liquid as needed.

I only lightly tap the food down into the jar before removing the funnel.

Remove the funnel from the jar on the plate, then place the funnel in the jar towards the back. It just keeps your counter cleaner during the process as opposed to trying to find a spot to set the funnel. The next jar to be filled is the ideal place for it. You can just thank me later. Smile.


Chow Chow Relish, remove any air bubbles.
I like to use a wooden skewer to remove any air bubbles that might be in the jar.

The head space measuring tool can also be used to remove air bubbles, but old habits can be hard to break sometime. Right?

Use the skewer to run around the edges, then through the middle of the product in the jar. Air bubbles can ride up the skewer and be released at the top. At least that’s the thought behind it.

It’s not important that you get each and every air bubble in the jar, but this helps to remove most of them. Just work the skewer up and down as you go around the inside of the jar and you’ll be good to go.


Chow Chow Relish, adjust the proper head space.
The head space measuring tool has notches on one end. Each notch is a 1/4 inch segment so you can be sure you’re filling your jars to the proper level.

This recipe calls for the jars to leave a 1/4 inch amount of head space. That’s the first notch on the tool.

Head space is the amount of space between the top of the product or liquid inside the jar and the top of the jar rim itself. This amount of space will vary from one recipe to another, so always be sure to consult the recipe for the proper amount of head space that you need to leave for that particular recipe.

Add or remove product as needed to obtain the proper amount of space.


Chow Chow Relish, clean the jar rim.
Next, use a damp cloth or paper towel to carefully wipe around the rim and top of the jar.

You don’t want any food particles or liquid to be on the top of the jar. It might compromise the seal once the lid is placed on top.

I will mention that with this particular recipe, the cooked onions can be hard to see on the outside of the jar. Check it carefully to be sure the entire top and the threaded part of the jar are clean and clear of any food or liquid.


Chow Chow Relish, center a lid on the jar.
Use the magnetic wand to lift one of the lids from the warm water.

Center the lid on top of the jar. Don’t worry about any water that’s on the lid, it will not be a problem. A gentle shake will remove the bigger drops, but water bubbles on the lid are nothing to be concerned.


Chow Chow Relish, add a band.
You’ll also use the magnetic wand to lift one of the bands from the warm water.

Carefully position the band over the jar, then tighten it just “finger tight” over the top.

It’s hard to explain what “finger tight” really means. I snug my bands down firm, but never try to exert much force behind it. You just want them secure. Make sure they have gone on level as well.

Continue to repeat this filling process until all of your jars are filled and have lids and bands in place.

It’s now time to process the jars.


Chow Chow Relish, jars ready to be water bath processed.
Use the jar lifter to place your closed jars in your jar rack.

Most of the enameled water bath canning pots come with a wire metal rack. They can prove to be aggravating with smaller jars, but they work pretty good with these pint sized jars.

The wire rack has curves on the handles that you hook over the top of the pot itself.

The racks let you add jars as you fill them, and they will stay warm as they are partially submerged in the water in the pot.  Hook the rack on the pot, then load the rack with your jars.


Chow Chow Relish, canning rack handle.
Here’s a closer look at the handle of the rack as it’s hooked over the top of the pot.


Chow Chow Relish, jars submerged.
Gently lift the handles up off the top of the canning pot and lower the jars down into the water.

Your jars need to be fully submerged with at least one inch of water over the top of the jars.

This is where that extra pot of water on the back burner comes in handy. It’s already good and hot, so I can just add more water to the canning pot at this time if needed.


Chow Chow Relish, cover the pot.
Bring the water back up to a boil then place the lid on your canning pot.

With the canning pot closed an boiling, you can now start timing the process as called for in the recipe.

Processing time will vary from one recipe to another, depending on what you’re attempting to preserve.

We’re using the water bath method which is good for jams, jellies, preserves, and pickles. Most all types of vegetables need to be canned using a Pressure Canner. That’s a whole different story though.

Processing times for recipes will also vary depending on the size of jar you’re using. The larger the jar, the more time is needed. And, times will vary depending on the ALTITUDE of where you live.

Always consult a source such as Ball’s Blue Book of Preserving, or your states Extension Office for proper times for the recipe you’re making and for the altitude adjustments needed for your area.

This recipe calls for a processing time of 10 minutes for me.


Chow Chow Relish, raise and hook.
When the processing time is completed, raise the jars back out of the water and hook the handles back over the top rim of the pot.

The jars should rest here for about five minutes before you try to remove them.

You may hear jars “ping” as soon as you pull them out of the water. That’s fine, it’s what they are suppose to do. Sometimes though, you might not hear a jar ping for 30 minutes or more after it comes out of the canning pot. That’s fine too.

You might not ever hear it ping at all. That will probably be fine as well. We’ll check on that later.

The jar lids have a “dimple” in the center of each lid. When new, this dimple is in the up position. After canning, the dimple should be in the down position. This tells you whether the jar is sealed or not. That ping or a “pop” sound is what you hear when the jar seals once it comes out of the water.

HOWEVER, do NOT press down on the center of the lid for 24 hours.  Patience, my friend, you’ll need some patience. Smile.


Chow Chow Relish, remove and do not disturb.
Use your jar lifter to carefully remove each jar from the water bath canning pot.

Find yourself a smooth surface away from any air conditioner vents or any drafts. Place a folded towel on the counter top and place the jars on the towel, leaving about an inch of separation between the jars.

The jars will need to stay here, undisturbed, for at least 24 hours. Block any draft if needed to protect the jars.

After 24 hours, you can press down on the center of the jar lid. If it is down, your jar should be properly sealed. If it gives in and isn’t down, you’ll hear it make a popping sound. That jar didn’t seal. The product inside will still be good, so just place that jar in the refrigerator and use it first.

Should you have numerous jars that didn’t seal, sometimes the product can be reheated and processed again. If you find you must do this, you will ALWAYS have to use new lids. The bands can be reused, but not the lids.

You will also need to seek more information than we’re providing here about how to try and redo the product in your jars.

Thankfully, as of today, I’ve still never had a jar that didn’t seal. Just saying.

After the jars have set undisturbed for 24 hours, you will need to remove the bands and store your jars.

We remove the bands before storage in case a jar still didn’t properly seal. If you have a band screwed down tight on a jar, the lid can lose the seal but not come up. You might not know the product had spoiled and that could be trouble.

With the bands removed, any lid that comes lose will be pushed off the jar as gasses form inside the jar. This would be a clear sign that the jar wasn’t to be used. You would need to discard it if that happens.

Likewise, do not sit one jar on top of another, or sit anything else on top of the jars, pretty much for the same reason.

Store your Chow Chow Relish in a dry, cool area and it will last you for well over a year.


Chow Chow Relish, enjoy.

Proper canning techniques are essential for any home canning project. It can be safely done if you follow the right information.

All of the canning recipes we’ve placed here on Taste of Southern come from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, or from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. I strive very hard to follow their guidelines with all of our canning recipes, but I also encourage you to read as much as you can about home food preservation before you start canning and preserving food at home for the first time.

We all had to start somewhere. Canning can be work, but it can also be a lot of fun.

I always think about how many hours and how much work my own Mother must have put in during her years to prepare the fruits and vegetables that our family raised in our backyard gardens.

It’s a tradition that seems to be a fading art, but I think if you will try it, you’ll enjoy the process. There’s just something about being able to say “I made this myself.” And, you always know what’s going into each and every jar.

I’ll look forward to hearing about your canning adventures in the Comment section below.


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Southern Chow Chow Recipe, as seen on Taste of

Chow Chow Relish

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-7 Pints 1x
  • Category: Canning
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for making this old Southern favorite. Chow Chow relish is a great topping for hot dogs, burgers, turkey sandwiches, all kinds of great things. We’ll show you how to make the relish, then water bath can it to preserve it.



  • 8 cups chopped Cabbage (1 small head)
  • 6 cups chopped Green Tomatoes ( about 4 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped Onions (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped Sweet Green Peppers (about 4 small)
  • 1 cup chopped Sweet Red Peppers (about 2 small)
  • 2 small Cayenne Peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup Salt ( canning and pickling salt)
  • 3 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Celery Seed
  • 4 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Pepper Flakes
  • 5 cups White Vinegar


  1. Chop and dice all vegetables.
  2. Place in non-reactive container (glass, stainless, ceramic)
  3. Sprinkle with salt. Gently mix well.
  4. Let stand 4 to 6 hours, or overnight if possible.
  5. Drain well.
  6. Rinse and drain again.
  7. Combine Sugar, Spices and Vinegar in a large saucepot.
  8. Simmer 10 minutes.
  9. Add vegetables, simmer 10 minutes.
  10. Bring to a boil, cook until veggies are tender.
  11. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4inch headspace.
  12. Remove air bubbles.
  13. Wipe jar rims.
  14. Adjust two piece caps.
  15. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Keywords: Chow Chow Relish, how to can, made from scratch, southern chow chow, southern recipes, canning, home food preservation


Your Comments:  Have you ever made Chow Chow? Ever tried it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on our recipe. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Canning-Freezing

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Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (116)

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  1. Suzanne says:

    hi from the little town of Gibsons BC. I have a ton of tomatoes…mostly red. Can i substitute the green for the red tomatoes? I know the acid is totally different when red, so I’m not sure. I just canned cucumber relish for the first time. it worked, i think…i’m gonna wait 2wks to taste it, but everything went well, sealed etc…My mom always made Chow Chow when we were able to have a garden but she never wrote it down, and unfortunately she’s passed on now so I’m navigating my way thru the internet. so glad i found your info, its so precise. thanks for the pics! So what do you think…is red tomatoes ok? Or a mix of both? Thank you

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Suzanne, Greetings to Gibsons BC all the way from the heart of North Carolina. I’m glad you stopped by. It is possible to do this with red tomatoes. I’ve never made it that way myself, but a quick search of the internet will provide many versions that do include red tomatoes. I hope you try the recipe and that it turns out well for you. I hope it brings back lots of great memories of your mom once you taste it. I appreciate your visits. Stop by to see us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Margie says:

    It came out perfect

  3. Waymon and Brenda says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. My mother used to make chow chow and many other vegetables for the family. My wife and i got all the vegetables donated except i grew onions. Also we added carrots that had been donated to us. The carrots add color to the recipe. We were up late last night cooking and putting chow chow into jars. jars popped immediately after we took them out of hot water bath. I will send you another email after our 24 hours is up.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Waymon and Brenda, Sounds like you’re busy with all that canning. Just hope you’re able to find some jars, lids and bands at a good price. They are pretty scarce and valuable right now. I look forward to hearing how your Chow Chow turns out. Thank you for trying the recipe. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Rita Roberrs says:

    I made the chow-chow and we really really like it. I am on my second round as I am writing to you. My mother has been with the Lord for 13 years now and I really miss her. I have learned so much from her and canning. I lost her recipe for chow-chow. It is l a whole lot like hers. I will continue to read your website. You have a blessed day. Rita Roberts

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Rita, Thank you for trying our recipe for Chow Chow. I’m really glad to know that it turned out well and that you like it. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your mom and I know you miss her. She would be proud to know you’re putting what you learned from her to work. Thank you for all of your visits and your support. Hope you have a great day. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Cheryl says:

    Good morning, can’t wait to try this. Never had it, sounds very good. But I do think it will be only me and my daughter-in-law eating it, that’s ok. Thank you for detailed instructions.

  6. Cedar says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe and for your wonderful photos and thorough instructions. It was so easy to follow. I can’t wait to enjoy with a bowl of pintos and cornbread!

  7. Lady Glo says:

    I just finished a batch and it is so good! No one in the family had our grandmother’s recipe so I am hoping this will be the remedy for our Chow Chow longing! Thanks so much for your clear instructions. Following them kept everything so easy and well organized! I only had to substitute a different type of pepper for the cayenne. Thanks again! Yay, I just heard lid number 4 go Pop!

  8. Lucas says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! I haven’t had chowchow in years, and this is exactly the style I grew up eating. I’m actually in Mexico so had to sub some ingredients that I couldn’t find–specifically tomatillos for the green tomatoes, and it worked just fine. Today I’m gonna make a big ole pot of beans and some hushpuppies today and try not to cry from homesickness, lol. Anyway, thanks again!

  9. Debbie says:

    Getting ready to try this recipe today. Thank you for the step by step process and pictures. This was a good refresher for me. You should do a blog if you don’t already. Thanks for the help!

  10. Lynda Thurman says:

    Makin my second batch of this today. I used Fresno peppers instead of cayenne. The steps were so easy to follow. This is my first canning experience. I also pickled beets and made peach preserves this week.

  11. Cathy Jones says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I can read it and taste it. The ingredients are easily tweaked to someone’s taste. I will be making this as my family loves chow chow and our favorite store bought made in Winston Salem is no longer available as the canner has had to go out of business. Your recipe is really similar and I cannot wait to make it! The instructions are really thorough and the photos are so helpful.

  12. Darlene Croom says:

    I gave 4 stars because I haven’t tasted it yet. Thanks for the step by step photos. As a young girl I would never eat chow chow because it was too hot. As an adult, my palate matured and I came to enjoy spicier foods. Once I set on a quest to try chow chow my mother and her friends had stopped canning. I have wanted to make some but was always intimidated by the canning process. Your directions were perfect.
    I do not have access to green tomatoes so I used 2 romas and about 4 tomatillos. I used jalapenos instead of red peppers. I cant wait to try it.
    I think I found a new hobby.

  13. Hello,
    Thanks for the step by step photos. I never tried chow chow as a girl because I didn’t like spicy foods. As an adult my palate matured 🙂 and I developed a taste for spicier foods. By this time, my mother and her friends had stopped canning. I have been intimidated by the idea, but this was pretty cool. I didn’t have green tomatoes so I used 2 romas and about 4 tomatillos. I also used jalapenos instead of red peppers. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
    I may have found a new hobby.

  14. Paul Kelly says:

    I pretty much followed the recipe. I did bump up the vegetables to make a full canner load. The only chow chow I can find in my area is about 8.00 a quart. I spent less than 5.00 for 9 pints and it is perfect.

  15. Andrea Adam says:

    Have not attempted this recipe yet, but, I was curious…..if one does not have access to green tomatoes, could you substitute tomatillos instead? I would think the taste would not vary by much and tomatillos are much more accessible more frequently.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Andrea, I’ve seen the tomatillios but never actually tried one. According to lots of other recipes on the Internet, you can easily use them to make chow chow with. So, if you try it, please let me know how it turns out. I’d love to know. Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  16. Pat Turner says:

    I sub tomatillos (Mexican husk tomato) for green tomatoes when I can’t find them. they are usually available in the produce sections of most grocery stores. I get mine at Walmart. They are small so just buy a few more to make your measurement, plus they are cheap! Great recipe! Making some black-eyed peas and cornbread to go with my chow chow as we quarantine. Everyone be well!

  17. Mary says:

    Can I use ripe tomatoes? I can’t find green tomatoes.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mary, I don’t know how ripe tomatoes might affect the recipe. I’ve never tried it with them. As we head into the summer growing season, green tomatoes should become available to you. You could even ask the produce manager at your local supermarket if they could order some for you. It never hurts to ask and they are always interested in learning what their customers want or are looking for. Never hurts to ask at least. I do hope you can find some, if not right away, in the near future. I think you’ll love the Chow Chow. I appreciate the question. Thank you for your visit. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • William donaho says:

      Here in my part of tx we use ripe tomatoes at about 75/25 to green turns out just fine.we also oven can using the tomato formula 250deg for 45min

  18. Judy says:

    Can You Freeze Chow Chow ?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Judy, I’ve never tried to freeze any Chow-Chow. I’d be afraid of what it would do to the texture of the tomatoes and some of the other vegetables that you might use in making it. Still, you’ll never know until you try I guess. I hope if you do try that you will let us know how it turns out. Best wishes with your efforts. I do appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  19. Misty Hodges says:

    This is my first time to make Chow Chow Relish. My mom used to make it when I was a kid. Does it get better over time like pickles?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Misty, I think the flavor does improve over time. It just has more time to marinate all the flavors together. Smile. I hope you get to try it and that it turns out well for you. Thank you for the question and for your visit. I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  20. Jeannie Roberts says:

    My husband showed me this recipe. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart. It sounds delicious.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jeannie, I do hope you’ll get to try the Chow Chow recipe. It’s good stuff. I think you’ll like it. I appreciate your visit and do hope you will visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  21. Carol Johnson says:

    Loved the recipe! Used most of my still-green tomatoes. Next time I will use less sugar (too sweet for my tastes) but the recipe and steps were awesome and foolproof! Need to add more hot peppers,too, but this was a great start!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you for trying the Chow Chow recipe. Making changes is the good part. That way, you can make a recipe your own. I hope your next batch turns out just the way you would like it to do. Thank you for your visit today. I do appreciate it and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  22. Kristina Roberts says:

    I’ve never canned before but have been looking for a chow chow recipe since we bought a can at the pumpkin patch last weekend. The only problem is A. I don’t know where to buy green tomatoes here and B. The jar we bought didn’t use that as an ingredient.

    As a beginner canner I don’t know how to replace ingredients…is there anyway you can tell me how to modify the recipe to remove the tomatoes from it without it ruining the whole thing. Thanks!! I’m so excited to try it out, this recipe is the closest I’ve found to what we have had so far ☺️

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kristina, I’m wishing you all the best as you begin your journey into home canning. I hope you have lots of fun with it. If you have a Farmers Market or someone in your area that sells produce, they will probably have some green tomatoes you can purchase. But, if you don’t want to add them, just leave them out. It will only make a slight difference. You could also add a bit more cabbage if you like to fill in for the tomatoes. If you still have the jar you purchased, take a look at the list of ingredients in that jar. It will list the ingredients based on the order of the amounts included in their recipe. You might find something used in theirs that I did not use in mine. Chow-Chow was a way to use up all the vegetables at the end of the growing season, and that would vary from one year to the next, so you’ll find lots of variations on how to make it. I hope this helps. Best of luck with finding something that you like and keep up the great work. It’s always great to hear of someone getting started in home food preservation. I appreciate your visit today and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  23. Edward Wisener says:

    Love this recipe,going to try it going to try it in a week or so,so wish me luck never canned before!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Edward, Congratulations on your decision to venture into the home food preservation process. The first time or two can be a bit scary, but you’ll pick it up quickly. I wish you nothing but the best. Look up all the information you can find before you get started. That will also help. You’ve got this. I look forward to hearing how it goes for you. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  24. I made this chow chow and it’s a good recipe. I cut back on peppers and added more crushed peppers. Just hot enough.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Natalie, Thank you for sharing your results with us. I’m thankful you tried the recipe and glad to hear it turned out well for you. Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  25. Alice says:

    Hi. If I want to can this in half pint jars, would I still leave a 1/4 inch of headspace and process them for 10 min? I’m at sea level. Thanks!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Alice, Yes, same headspace, same amount of time. I hope this helps. Thank you for trying the recipe. Keep up the great work with your canning adventures. Please let me know how you like it once you try some. I appreciate your visit today and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  26. Cheryl says:

    Hi Steve,
    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I do plan to in a couple days. I have a bunch of apples and tomatoes to work up first. I would love to process this in my steam canner. Can to tell me how long I need to set it for?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cheryl, Chow-Chow does not have to be processed in a pressure canner, all you need to do is use the water bath method. If you really want to use the pressure canner, I’ll have to refer you to your local Co-operative Extension Service for help. I’ve never done it that way. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Best of luck with your canning adventures, keep up the good work. I appreciate your visit and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Steam canner time would be same as water bath, starting timing from when you get the 7″ plume of steam, I believe. Pressure canner is entirely different and don’t think ot is recommended for pickling, but you can use the canner pot to water bath…just leave the weight off so it doesn’t hold pressure.

  27. Annette says:

    Love this recipe! Thank you for sharing. Can you add the nutritional info for this great recipe that is less sweet than others I have made. I would specifically like the CHO/ sugar content/ calories per tablespoon as I am Diabetic. This could allow me greater freedom in adding it to many meal options. Blessings to you also!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Annette, I’m sorry, but I don’t have any nutritional information with my recipes. I know a good number of folks look for such, but just never have delved into trying to provide it. I’m sorry I can’t be of help in that regard. I know it’s difficult for diabetics. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  28. Kayla Mcderment says:

    DELICIOUS! Everyone that tried it wanted a jar too! I making more tomorrow.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      HI Kayla, I’m so glad to hear that you made the Chow Chow and enjoyed it. Keep up the great work. I appreciate you taking the time to share your results with us. Maybe it will encourage someone else to give the recipe a try. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  29. Rochele says:

    Great recipe. I grew up watching my grandmother make chow chow but never got her recipe before she died. This recipe was perfect and tasted almost as good as hers! I will be using this recipe moving forward. Thanks again!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Rochele, I’ll gladly accept the “almost as good as hers” comment on our Chow Chow. I take that as a high honor. Smile. I’m glad you found our recipe and decided to give it a try. Keep up the great work. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  30. Andy Krantz says:

    Hi Steve. I came here to read your chow chow recipe, which I will try very soon. I want you to know what an amazing job you do with this website. From your outstanding photos to the thoughtful and consistent replies to comments, seems to me you put the same effort and love that your Mom did for all of you back in the day. Great job! Did you end up staying at the radio station after they called back. Seems like the website would be full time. -Andy, Montgomery AL

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Andy, Thank you for your very kind compliments on our recipes. I’m glad you found us and I do hope you get to make some Chow Chow real soon. I left radio back in August of 2012 due to health concerns. I enjoyed all my years in broadcasting, but I guess it was just time to move on. I had just started posting recipes at the beginning of that same year. Taste of Southern does take up a lot of time, but it’s not totally full time work. Smile. It’s kind folks like you that make it all worthwhile. Thank you for your visits and for your support. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  31. I have a question..since the veggies are cooked, what’s the point of the filled jars going back into the hot water bath..I don’t own a canning pot.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      HI Sarah, The water bath canning part seals the jars so they become shelf stable and will keep the relish fresh for up to a year or longer. I know some folks years back use to make jams and such and just turn the filled jars upside down to let them seal. It seems to have worked for them, but the US Dept of Agriculture doesn’t recommend that process and I’ve tried to stick with their guidelines so as to not make anyone sick. I hope this helps. I do appreciate the question. Let me know how the relish turns out for you if you try our recipe. Thank you for your visit and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  32. Valerie G says:

    Hi Steve,

    My mom loved canning. I love chow chow (mom called it chi chi). I planning to can some next weekend! It’s wonderful on beans, burgers, brats lol just out of the jar by itself. I remembered the recipe but went on line to double check. Thanks very much.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Valerie, I do hope you get to try the Chow-Chow and that it turns out great for you. Keep up those canning adventures and let me know if you like the relish or not. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  33. Amy Whittenberger says:

    Good morning. First, thanks for the canning details. The photos and descriptions validate my canning technique.ive only been canning for 5 years (dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, tomatoes some with peppers and garlic, bloody mary mix from the left over juice, salsa, chow chow, jam, jalapenos). For all of you with too much zucchini in your garden, I make chow chow with zucchini instead of cabbage. I also don’t use the green tomatoes probably because I want them to turn red in my garden and use a couple more red peppers. I’m sure it’s just as good with tomatoes. That is for the recipe and comments. I’ll be done canning by Tuesday. Happy Labor Day!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Amy, It’s my pleasure to share the recipes and photos. I’m thankful you found us. Sounds like you’ve been busy with your canning projects. I think that’s awesome and hope you keep up the great work. The nice thing about Chow Chow is that you can use up whatever vegetables you have an abundance of. Smile. I hope you have a pantry full by Tuesday. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. I do appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  34. Nicole says:

    I’m fairly new to the US and I had never heard of Chow Chow before. I over heard,one day, a few people talking about it and I was puzzled, thinking “Why are these people eating dog food?” I mentioned it to my husband, who got a good laugh about it and told me it’s a perfect relish for so many things. I came across this recipe and decided to try it out. OMG! This recipe is so delicious. My husband loves it. I ended up with 6 and a half pints and at the rate my husband is going through it I will have to make more really soon. I ended up with some extra brine so I’m not entirely sure I made it correctly but I’m sure I can find a use for it so it wont be wasted.
    Thank you for such a great recipe

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Nicole, Welcome to the US. We’re glad you’re here. Thank you for your very kind comments and compliments on our Chow Chow Relish recipe. I’m honored that you tried it and congratulate you on your effort in doing so. Keep up the great work. It does serve a multitude of uses, and I’m glad your husband is enjoying it so much. Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  35. Elizabeth Wesley says:

    Amazing outcome, I tasted a bit after making it exactly as you wrote it and I canned 6 pints. I am not new to canning and am always searching for new recipes to add to my repertoire. I WILL be making this again. One small adjustment to your canning process that I learned some years ago, I always wipe the rims with white vinegar after I fill them, before I put on the lids and rims. It is just another of those “old school” tips I learned that I continue to use. Thank you for this recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for trying the Chow Chow Relish recipe. I’m glad you liked it. Congratulations on the 6 pints. Thank you also for the suggestion about the white vinegar. I’ve always just used water to dampen a cloth, but could see using the vinegar instead. Always good to learn another trick. Smile. I do appreciate your visit. Keep up those great canning adventures and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  36. Kate says:

    Just made this for the first time. Still finishing up the canning process, but we tasted it already, and yum! I made mine spicy with homegrown jalapenos and used 2 cups of sugar instead of 3. Very excited to share with friends and family!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kate, Congratulations on your canning adventure. I’m glad you’re keeping the tradition alive and wish you much success with it in the future. Thank you for trying our Chow Chow Relish recipe. Keep up the good work. I’m thankful for your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  37. Paula says:

    Haven’t ever canned, but from GA and love Chow Cow and all your recipes, Steve! I will get my ‘canning expert’ friend to help me and we will make a fun day of it!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Paula, I’m glad you have a canning friend that can help you get started. You’ll enjoy canning once you get started with it. I hope the Chow Chow turns out well for you. Thank you for your visit. Be sure to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  38. Dawn says:

    Thank you for this thorough step-by-step article. For someone who’s never canned before this is very helpful. And I agree with you about store bought chow chow…IT IS NOT THE SAME. If I do buy it, it’s from an old roadside country store in the north Georgia mountains where they can it themselves. I will be making my own soon. Wish me luck.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Dawn, I do hope you get to make some of the Chow-Chow. I’m going to be waiting to hear how it turns out for you. You’ll enjoy canning once you get into it a bit, so don’t be afraid to give it a try. We all had to start at the beginning. Smile. Thank you for your kind comments and compliments. I appreciate your visits and your support and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  39. Johanna Siebert says:

    Thank you for the clear, thorough, and well-illustrated article! I think even the most timid canner would be able to gain confidence enough to achieve success following your post! Oh…and MMmmmmmm!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Johanna, Thank you for the very kind comments and compliments on our recipes. It’s my pleasure to share them. I was a bit skeptical about canning food stuff when I first started, so I know that feeling. But, the more you do it, the more confidence you gain. That’s the whole objective of what we do. I’m thankful you found us and hope you enjoy the Chow Chow. Thank you for your visits, be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  40. Linda Coleman says:

    OMG! Just finished my second batch. My first batch was without the heat. It made my cheap balogna sandwich taste like $1M bologna sandwich! Second batch is for hubby, full of heat. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, It’s my pleasure to share the recipes. I’m really glad you tried the Chow Chow and that it turned out well for you. And, there’s no such thing as a cheap bologna sandwich. They’re just too good. I’m not a fan of the hot stuff either, but I hope your second batch turned out perfect for your husband. Thank you for trying the recipe and for sharing your results. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  41. Julie Bolduc says:

    I made your chow chow today and although I could not find ONE green tomato anywhere (and I live in the country), I used everything else listed plus chopped yellow squash and zucchini and a carrot, I cut the sugar down by half a cup, increased the red pepper flakes and also added jalapeño relish to the veggies as they cooked. . . We like it spicy in our house!

    I have to tell you, WOWZER! Had just a little left over that wouldn’t fit in my jars and we (hubby and I) ate it with a spoon! 3 of the jars have already sealed! We have beans of some sort probably once a week – so buying chow chow at $6 to $7 a jar when it’s not even very good. . . Just doesn’t work for us! This will be my go to recipe that I will hand down to my boys (both chefs of sort). Thank you for taking the time to share!

  42. Ed Matthews says:

    I gotta try this recipe. I love my chow chow and I really do appreciate the detailed instructions. Now to go buy the pots and whatever to make this stuff. Back later. Ed
    Semper Fi 66′-

  43. Jen says:

    I was looking for a chow chow recipe. After falling in love with your pickled beet recipe a few years ago, I figured I could trust this one for chow chow. Turns out I could; this has a great balance of heat, salt, sweet, and tart. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jen, Thank you for trying the Chow Chow Relish recipe. I’m happy to hear it turned out well for you and that you enjoyed it. I didn’t get to make any this past year but hopefully will get to do so again one day. It is good stuff. Smile. It’s my pleasure to share the recipes and I hope you’ll keep trying them. I appreciate your visits and look forward to you stopping by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  44. Steve Sturgeon says:

    Hello Steve. Just canned this recipe and got 5 pints off it. Smelled amazing as it simmered and brought back memories of going to my great grandmas as a kid. The taste was really good too as I couldn’t wait to try it before i jarred it up. Four jars have popped and only been out of canner for 5 minutes. Thanks for this awesome recipe Steve. Saved me from spending $6.99 a jar for it in Gatlinburg.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Steve, Thank you for trying the Chow Chow Relish recipe. I’m happy that it turned out well for you and really glad we could bring back some good memories for you. Great job on your canning adventure and I do hope you’ll keep it up. Enjoy that Chow Chow. I appreciate you sharing your comments and results with us. I hope you’ll continue to stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  45. Hi I just finished making this recipe and loved doing it all of the directions were easy to follow. I have shared it with many of my friends who have leftover green tomatoes to harvest.This will be my forever recipe for making Chow Chow. I am printing it an mailing it to me friend who does not have a computer.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Barbara, Thank you for sharing your comments with us. Maybe your high praise will encourage someone else to give it a try. Sadly, I didn’t get to make any this year, but maybe next. Smile. I’m really glad you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing the recipe with your friends. I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Steve Sturgeon says:

        Hi Steve. We just tried chow chow for the first time while visiting gatlinburg so went and got everything to make this recipe. What id like to know is does it still have a little crunch to it after making it? What we sampled did almost like a sourkraut has.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Steve, I think it has a little bit of a crunch to it, but not a lot. It might depend on how much cabbage you end up placing in the recipe. You can certainly add more if you like. I hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out for you. Keep up the great work. I appreciate you stopping by today and I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

          • Steve Sturgeon says:

            Hello again Steve. Do you reckon 16-18hrs in fridge would be too long? Was hoping to prep it all tonight then can it tomorrow after i get home from work. Otherwise I may have to get up a little early from work and prep then before I go to work

          • Steve Gordon says:

            Hi Steve, The recipe calls for letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight if possible. I don’t think a few extra hours will be a problem. Wishing you great success. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  46. Lucy Anne Bannister says:

    Thank you….I do lots of canning here in Ontario, Canada but have never done chow chow. Your instructions look clear. What a good way to clean up the garden vegetables. Already thinking about saving some seeds and planting next year’s garden. How fortunate we all are.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lucy Anne, Greetings to Ontario all the way from North Carolina. I hope you’ll try the Chow Chow Relish, it’s a big favorite here in the South. I think it’s original intent was a way to “clean up the vegetables” as you mentioned. Please let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you. Keep up the great work. Thank you for your visit and I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  47. Marianne says:

    I’m new to canning. Your instructions are awesome! Laid out perfectly and with the pics, it’s so easy to follow. I have everything chopped and in the fridge. After they are canned, how long until we can try it? Thank you.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marianne, YOU are awesome. Congratulations on your new hobby. Smile. The Chow Chow is ready once it’s cooked and ready to be put into jars. However, I’d let it sit in the jars for a week or two at least so it can really develop the combination of the flavors. I do hope you’re going to like it. Keep up the great work. I’ grateful that you were willing to try the recipe and I trust you’ll try some others. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Marianne says:

        Thanks for your reply!

      • Amie Jo says:

        You may wonder what to use it with< my Grandmother ,would always have it on the table. Poppy would put it on green beans,or red beans pinto beans.pork or beef, yum with corn bread made in an Iron skillet .

  48. Madeleine Hardt says:

    Thank you so much for your very informative and helpful post on making Chow Chow at home to put up. I found your site after I’d made a big batch, but it was very, very much like yours. I used some allspice in place of the cinnamon and cloves. But the rest was almost identical. My batch was bigger but the ratios of each ingredient were also very similar to yours. Here is my question that I hope you can answer for me. I tasted it before it went into the jars and it was great, for me because I like strong bold flavors, but there was a bit of a harsh flavor that I’m thinking must be the mustard seeds/powder. I used the “ground mustard seeds” that actually look like flakes not powder that are widely available in Indian grocery stores to be used for the infinite pickled goods that are made in that country. Can you tell me if after a good six weeks or so before being opened if all these flavors will mellow a bit? Sorry for the long post. I can’t find an answer anywhere. Thank you for your amazing site. I’ll be back!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Madeleine, Thank you for the question. I suspect that it will indeed mellow out a good bit over time. Can’t promise since your recipe is somewhat different from mine, but I always think it just gets better with time. I make a pickle from an old recipe my mom had, and it takes about six months for them to taste like hers did. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best with your Chow-Chow. I hope it turns out great for you. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  49. Terry says:

    Gotta ask. You say process for 10 minutes. Whats your elevation? Need to know for adjustments 😉 Thanks for posting!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Terry, We’re just 354ft above sea level here. Hope that helps, and I appreciate the question. Please let me know if you try the Chow Chow recipe how it turns out for you. I just won 2nd place again this year at our State Fair with this recipe. Same thing last year, so I’ll have to try a little harder to get that First Place ribbon next year. Thank you for your visits to Taste of Southern and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Terry says:

        (Note: Terry is partly responding to my note in the Newsletter that I won 2nd Place with this Chow Chow that I entered into the 2017 NC State Fair, it’s the second year in a row that I’ve placed 2nd, still working on getting a blue ribbon one day.)

        Well, that ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at 😉 Congrats!! You’ll get it dialed in, and the the blue will be alllll yours.

        Thanks for the info, I am a tad over 3000 feet, so I will need to adjust times. I am trying to source some green ‘maters as we speak, as my attempt at growing this year flopped majorly. People in the desert southwest don’t have a clue what you would ever want green tomatoes for lol

      • Shana Chambers says:

        1 mile above sea level. Canning adjustment times??

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Shana, The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving says you will need to add 10 more minutes for altitudes between 3,001 and 6,000 feet. Thus you will need to process your jars in a water bath canning pot for a total of 20 minutes. I hope this helps, and hope you’ll enjoy the Chow-Chow Relish should you give it a try. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  50. Carrie says:

    Came across this recipe, and decided to try it out. I have lots of green tomatoes left from the garden. The only thing I did differently – is leave the red peppers out. We are not much for the spicy thing, and it did have pepper flakes in it. It came out wonderful! Definitely a keeper. I made 10 pints and will be passing some of those on. Thank you!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Carrie, Thank you for trying our Chow Chow recipe. I’m glad you tried it and very glad that you liked it. It does make a great gift to share. Keep up the great work and best wishes for all your future canning adventures. I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  51. Chele says:

    Thank you for sharing your chow chow recipe. Still looking forward to your Mother’s sweet pickles recipe someday. I wasn’t thrilled with the one I tried this year.
    I think canning is making a comeback. I’ve seen canning supplies more prominently displayed at stores than they used to be. Also have one of husband’s co-worker’s wife asking to talk to me to learn about canning.

  52. Sandra Lowry says:

    Hi Steve, I have made chow chow before but my recipe does not have cabbage. I like the ingredients in yours and will give it a try. To give you a laugh, the first time I made some the recipe called for 5 cups of sugar and I read it as 5 pounds. I spooned out as much as I could after my blunder but the relish was way too sweet. I tried a second batch with ingredients given to me by my aunt. I assumed I was supposed to use all of the cayenne peppers she gave me. Wrong! That batch was way too hot. Since we don’t waste food in my family, we just opened a jar of each and mixed them together. Worked perfectly! Mistakes happen and you learn from them. Thanks for all your recipes and good luck at the fair.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sandra, Thank you for sharing your “blunders” with us. Looks like you might have been the original creator of both the “Sweet” and the “Hot” versions that I see in the grocery store. Smile. You are so right in saying “mistakes happen.” It’s the best way to learn. I appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us. Thank you also for your visits to Taste of Southern, and be sure to stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  53. Joy Lynn Risher says:

    Haven’t heard the name ‘Chow-Chow’ in ages, or at least since we moved from Arkansas to California in the early 1960s. It’s not something I would want to buy in a grocery store even if I happened to see a jar of it. Oh, and thank you for describing how you set your stove up, as I have ADD–the Chronically Disorganized sub-type, and would probably ruin the canning process by forgetting to have something ready! Still plan to make the Bread ‘n’ Butter Pickles, and now the Chow-Chow, as the temperatures have dropped out of the high-90s down to the mid-70s. My Mom didn’t have that luxury. Also, we live in an apartment and don’t have a kitchen garden, so I can plan when to go to the Farmers’ Market to buy the vegetables – what a blessing! (Although I miss having my own garden.) Thank you again for your thoroughness!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joy, What are you doing way out there in California? Smile. I think Chow Chow is a East Coast-Southern type of food. I do hope you get a chance to make some and to make the Bread and Butter Pickles. I’m sure you’ll enjoy both. I appreciate your comments, and I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern. Please stop by and visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  54. Jack Pugmire says:

    Hello Steve –
    Just finished another great read and recipe…so much so, that I sent it on to my sister-in-law and my middle son. FYI, I took the liberty of sending a few words from the email I sent to them:

    “Well, this morning I received my weekly newsletter from Steve Gordon at “Taste of Southern”, and lo-and-behold chow chow was his recipe this week. I have taken the liberty of forwarding y’all that newsletter…his version is certainly much more descriptive that the copy of Hilda’s that I may have given you. Only with the exception of a very, very few items is this not almost identical to hers…as Steve says, it is a matter of personal taste the and availability of fresh vegetables.
    I realize that this appears to be very time consuming and hard work, and it is. But that is what truly illustrates the love and joy that both she and her mom enjoyed during and after the process….don’t forget Hilda was 75 when she made her last batch…and her mom was in her mid-eighties!!! That is true love and dedication…I watched and helped Hilda at times…I saw the smile and look of delight on her face. And I, like her family members and some very fortunate friends, all enjoyed that true labor of love.”

    Steve, sorry if I’ve overstepped my bounds of brevity, but I thought you might enjoy reading of my respect and admiration for home canners and for you. You’re absolutely right, their skills are disappearing almost daily and weekly…what a tragedy! My best wishes, and thanks for your fine work product.

    Jack Pugmire
    Kennesaw, GA

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jack, What a nice comment. I appreciate you taking the time to write, and I’m thankful that you shared news about our recipe with your family. I hope they’ll consider trying it. As I’ve mentioned, I can’t start the canning process without thinking about how many times my own mother did the same. I’m thankful that I finally picked it up in my old age. Smile. Can you imagine canning and preserving foods at home by not even having running water. Think about all the trips to the hand water pump outside and carrying buckets of water back inside. We have so much to be thankful for these days. I always appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, and for your visits to Taste of Southern. I hope you’ll continue to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  55. Josie says:

    It’s amazing that I’m from the south and never had Chow Chow. However, I was eating at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Louisiana and there was a side of it with my meal of beans. Fell in love with it. Now here’s the kicker. I live in the Northwest and no one here has ever heard of it. Ordering it online is the only way to get it. I am not a canning kind of girl. Never have been and probably never will be but this looks so good I might even try to do it. I can almost taste that Chow Chow from the pictures. So here’s to the maybe I will. 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Josie, I do hope you will turn that “maybe” into an “I’m gonna do this.” You’ll enjoy it if you ever get started. I’m going to look forward to hearing from you before long that you took the big step and have started on your home canning adventures. You can do it. Thank you for your comments, and for your visits. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  56. Brad Corn says:

    My wife and I made chow chow over the weekend too! our recipe is similar to yours it is a family recipe that was my wife’s grandmother’s. Yummy on a cold day with pinto beans. You were in our neck of the woods we live off Hwy 52 in Cana about 4 miles from the Virginia Carolina Enterprise we support their business a lot. They have the best local produce around!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      (Brad’s comments are in response to one of our Newsletters) Hi Brad, I’m glad to hear that you’ve been making some Chow-Chow. It’s a bit of work to dice and chop everything up, but well worth the effort. Happy to hear you’ve visited the Virginia-Carolina Enterprise. It’s such a neat place to visit there in Cana, Virginia. I have to visit anytime I get close. Thank you for being a subscriber to our Newsletter, and for your visits to Taste of Southern. I hope you’ll continue to stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Judy Griffin says:

        My husband opened a jar, closed it and left it on the counter overnight! Do I need to throw the jar away? I can’t find an answer on the web.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Judy, At my house, I would just stick it back in the fridge. But, I can’t encourage you to do that at yours. It will be entirely up to you. Smile. I hope this helps. Please don’t give the hubby too hard of a time for doing this. Surely he had good intentions. I do appreciate your visits and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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