Condiments/ Preserving & Canning/ Recipe

Grated Horseradish Root (aka Death by Chemical Weaponry)

Hello my darlings!
Fresh Horseradish
Have you ever been in the kitchen, rockin & rollin’ away, shakin’ your tail feather to your favorite tunes, cooking up your best batch of your best dish… only to be stopped dead in your tracks by an over-whelming and teary eyed confusion of burning pain? 
It could be that you grabbed the handle of a hot cast iron pan. Or perhaps you were chopping chiles and despite the fact that you’ve washed your hands eight hundred billion times, somehow the residue of those bastard chiles have embedded themselves into your DNA (or under your finger-nails) and you accidentally rubbed your eye or nose. Or maybe you hacked into a room temperature onion with a dull knife and their sulphoxides accosted your eye balls… 
horseradish collage
Let me tell you something, my friends… I had an experience recently that makes the above tortures seem like a relaxing hot bath with a bottle of wine, chocolate covered strawberries and this guy.
Horseradish Root
A few weeks ago, we made Snackin’ Caesars. Glorious. What wasn’t so glorious? Grating fresh horseradish. Seriously – that shit could be made into a chemical weapon. Like, O.M.G. I’m pretty sure I have permanent lung damage. My vision has never been the same, that’s for sure!
I’ve never felt such pain before. And it hung in the air for days. The kind of annihilating, burning, blurry, headache, sinus fuck that it was – I was sure we were going to suffocate in the stuff. We threw open the windows, turned on the oven fan and buried our heads in the freezer but nothing made it better. 
Word to the wise: Grate your horseradish not only in a well ventilated area, but outdoors. Get that shit out of your house. And for the love of God, don’t lean directly over the stuff. Ouch. 
That being said, there’s nothing better than fresh horseradish in your Caesar. Except for maybe that bath thing. And making sure it’s easily on hand makes Sunday morning cocktails a cinch. 
Just remember – Out. Side.

Grated Horseradish Root

Yield 4 jars


  • 1 Piece of Horseradish Root (approx. the length of your hand or so), peeled and chopped into 2" pieces.
  • 'Lil Water.
  • 'Lil Vinegar.


  1. Put chopped horseradish and water into your food processor. Start with a couple Tbsps of water. Add more if necessary as you go. Process until finely ground. Add the vinegar and pulse a few times to ensure it gets worked in.
  2. Alternatively, you can grate on a cheese grater but it's much more painful. For everyone. Then mix with water and vinegar after.
  3. Make sure your jars, lids, rings (or whatever container you're going to store this bad boy in) are very clean or sterilized. Spoon grated and mixed horseradish mixture into the container and cover.
  4. Store in the fridge and be sure to use within a couple of weeks.Now, Caesar up!


What’s your kitchen kryptonite? Any horrible, over-whelming and teary eyed confusion of burning pain experiences?


  • Page Clothier/A Velvet Leaf
    June 10, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    We have friends whose grandmother started a horseradish business along with a family dynasty in Beaverton Oregon, Beaver Horseradish. Can you IMAGINE the fumes migrating from that little house where the whole thing started in the early 1920’s? Whew! Love your blog!

    • Kristy Gardner
      June 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      O.M.G…. that woman must have had sinuses made of steel! Steel I tell you!!

  • Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts
    June 11, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    I ate wasabi once, a big scoop of it on my finger, thinking it was (Larry the Cable Guy doing Tow Mater in Cars’ voice) pistachioooooo ice cream. Ok I didn’t think it was pistachio ice cream, but I did think it was some sort of pistachio butter or something. It was almost comical the super slow mo “noooo” from my brother to get me to stop, but too late.

    I think my eyeballs bled.

    Worst thing for me is that my throat seems to close when I am working with jalapeños. Luckily my daughter is fine, so guacamole is now her job.

    I’m remembering this if I ever get a big ass horseradish.
    Thanks, Kristy!

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Oof. I am intrigued but terrified of this whole experience.

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife
    June 13, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I think you are seriously brave to tackle horseradish 🙂 Having said that I bet the fresh stuff tastes amazing. I’ve only ever had commercially prepared varieties.

  • Anonymous
    October 22, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Trying this tonight. I process habanero peppers so this surely can’t be worse.

  • Anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    the heat of your horseradish depends on the amount of time between grinding and setting with vinegar

  • Handful
    November 4, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    LOLOL Dad and the neighbor used to make horseradish. That is some strong stuff. Way more than store bought.
    My story is about making homemade wing sauce to can. Every recipe called for a bottle of this or that hot sauce. Sooooo… I made my OWN hot sauce. We had to evacuate the house critters and all.

  • Raj @
    September 22, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    I have a horseradish story too. Was making my own for the first time and the vinegar I used was coconut vinegar. I’d never heard of coconut vinegar before so tried it and it was super potent! Grated the horseradish, combined my ingredients in a bottle and shook it.
    I NEVER do this, EVER, but this one time I opened it and ND instead of wafting to smell it, I stuck my nose right in there and took a big sniff. My airways immediately shut closed and there was NO air moving in or out of me! I was on my tip toes grasping the edge of the sing thinking “THIS is IT. This is how it ends!”
    Finally I was able to gasp and gulp some air, followed by the most violent coughing that lasted for what seemed like forever but I believe was 10 minutes. When it was all done I was certain that I had either herniated something or cracked a rib.
    I ended up alright and (more importantly) the horseradish was the best I’d ever had.