The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

canning salsa

Willy's Place » Members Favorite Recipes
« Prev thread: Canning Salsa| Next thread: canning winter veggies »
Back to Thread index
by Tamara from Minnesota on September 11, 2005 11:16 PM
I did some research on canning salsa and this is what I learned:
you can basically use your standard recipe and then heat it to boiling. Ladel into sterilized hot jars and process 10 min for pints and 15 min for quarts. I did half pints and forgot to reduce the time and so I processed 10 minutes.

Here is my recipe (keep in mind I detest cilantro!!!)
about 3 to 3 1/2 quarts gold roma tomatoes, squeeze seeds out, chopped in food processor to make about 2 quarts, drain in colander
3 small or 2 large chopped red onions
about 5 small hot chilis, minced
1/2 small head garlic, minced
1-2t salt
1-2t pepper
1-2t cumin
1 chopped red bell pepper (optional)
1/2c chopped herbs (I used oregano and basil instead of cilantro)
1/2T olive oil
4T balsamic vinegar
splach of lime optional (I forgot)
I think that is it but I might be forgetting something?
I chopped it all in the food processor and then put in a stock pot and brought to a boil. At this point it is liquidy again so I ladeled it into the jars with a slotted spoon to make it real thick. It is super thick, in fact you can hardly make it slosh in the jars.
Makes about 6 -7 half pints

* * * *
by ChristinaC on September 12, 2005 12:17 AM
Have you ever had a problem with it going bad? All the reading I've done calls for more acid than you use. If you haven't had a problem, I might hafta' steal your recipe. I'm so unhappy with my homemade salsa....too acidic!

* * * *
by ChristinaC on September 12, 2005 12:23 AM
Oh...another u not peel your tomatoes?

* * * *
by Lucy Lou on September 12, 2005 11:39 AM
I am sorry, but that is not true about canning salsa. If it doesn't have enough acid, you can get botulism. The recipes for boiling water bath canning are very acidic, that is what makes them safe to can. i don't know where you found that information.
Also, half pints are canned for the same time as pints.
Using bottled lemon juice instead of vinegar will make them taste less acidic.
You should peel tomatoes because the peels harbor most of the bacteria. Also, to me, they taste like paper if they are in the salsa.

I am trained in food preservation safety.
by ChristinaC on September 12, 2005 12:03 PM
Hi Lucy [Smile]
Do you can salsa? Do you have a favourite recipe? I've tried a few different ones but I'm not happy with them.

* * * *
by weezie13 on September 12, 2005 09:09 PM
Can I ask a question?
I don't can, but maybe someone else
may also have this question?? *maybe*

All the reading I've done calls for more acid than you use.
If it doesn't have enough acid, you can get botulism.
What is the acid?
Where does it come from = Source???

I am just very curious as I dont' can,
so that struck me when you both used that word??


* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by ChristinaC on September 12, 2005 09:29 PM
The acid is the added vinegar and/or lemon juice. Apparently tomatoes are a high acid vegetable but when you start adding peppers and onions, it lowers the acid. This is why you have to compensate by adding your own. Lucy knows what she's talking about it, she'll be able to explain everything. She's sure helped me a ton!!!!

* * * *
by Tamara from Minnesota on September 14, 2005 08:21 AM
I found tons of salsa recipes for canning, some had large amounts of vinegar and some did not. I don't remember the sites where I found them. I also do not know how long this will last. I would rather freeze salsa than add tons of vinegar or lemon juice- YUCK! [Eek!] I make my tomato sauce in a boiling water bath canner and have done so for many, many years, without adding acid. But that processes for 35 min. So we will see. I did find many recipes for canning salsa without excess vinegar and I am very particular about canning! I would never can without a trustworthy recipe and I did see some just like mine. Although now I do wish I had peeled the tomatoes. You can't taste the peels but I wouldn't want to harbor extra bacteria!

* * * *
by 4Ruddy on September 14, 2005 07:17 PM
I can a bunch of garden items...but I will not tackle salsa! Lucy Lu is correct about the botulism and I also do not like the "vinegar~y", I simply don't do it. I am just way too afraid of not getting the proper amount of acid and the result can be VERY bad and even deadly. I would never forgive myself if I made some one ill. My grandmother was a master at canning, but canned some stew that produced botulism and resulted in a family member being hospitalized. Lesson learned! And...thank you Lucy for making every one aware!

* * * *

Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
***  - ***
by Lucy Lou on September 15, 2005 03:29 AM
Tomatoes are now considered borderline acidic, which means that some are acidic enough, some are not. The problem is you don't know if the tomatoes you are canning are acidic enough. There is no way to test them accurately at home. So,basically all tomato products are acidified with bottled lemon or bottled lime juice, vinegar, or citric acid crystals. You use bottled juice because fresh lemons and limes vary in acidity. The bottled must meet a requirement to be sold. Even plain tomatoes canned in a pressure canner needs extra acid added.
There are so many sites online, but if the person posting the recipes are not trained if food safety, you may not be able to trust the recipes to be safe.
I do can salsa. We like the green tomato salsa fom USDA. It has bottled lemon juice. Most of my red salsas are pressure canned recipes, and must be processed that way.
My friend just used one of the USDA recipes with tomato paste and says it is good. I have not been to her house to taste it yet. It makes it thicker, but I don't know how acidic it tastes.
I will post you some recipes later, but now I have 50 lb. of tomatoes in my kitchen to be canned today.
by Lucy Lou on September 15, 2005 04:04 AM
This MUST be pressure canned to be safe, unless you increase the vinegar to one full cup, then you can BWB for 35 minutes. I made it this year, it is very tomatoey, I thought a bit sweet, but will depend upon your tomatoes. I added some bottled lemon juice along with the vinegar and also increased the salt.
Annie's Salsa
8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
3-5 chopped jalapenos
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
16 oz tomato sauce
16 oz tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process at 11 lbs of pressure in a dial gauge canner, or use 10 lb. pressure for a weighted gauge canner, for 30 minutes for pints. Makes 6 pints. Do not can in quarts or it will be unsafe.
by Lucy Lou on September 15, 2005 04:07 AM
We like this one, and use regular green tomatoes:
Tomatillo Green Salsa
Yield: 5 pints

5 cups chopped tomatillos
1 1/2 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
1/2 cup seeded finely chopped jalapeƱos
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup bottled lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
3 Tbsp oregano leaves *
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.

You may use green tomatoes in this recipe instead of tomatillos.


We dice leftover chicken,pork or beef roast, simmer in the salsa and make burritos. Very good !
by Lucy Lou on September 15, 2005 04:10 AM
This is the recipe my friend used and says is good, but I have not tasted any yet.
Tomato/Tomato Paste Salsa
Yield: 7-9 pints

3 qt peeled, cored, chopped slicing tomatoes
2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
3 cups chopped onions
2 cups bottled lemon juice
6 jalapeƱos seeded, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
4 long green chiles, seeded, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
2 Tbsp oregano leaves *
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner. 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet, 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.


The only changes you can safely make in these salsa recipes are to substitute bottled lemon juice for vinegar and to decrease the amount of spices and herbs. Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe.

Originally developed by Val Hillers and Richard Dougherty, Washington State University, Cooperative Extension Service.
by ChristinaC on September 15, 2005 06:34 AM
All of these have to be done using a pressure canner?
How much is a pressure canner? I have so many tomatoes left to preserve and I really wanna' try a new recipe for salsa. Just hate the thought of spending money. It drives my boyfriend nuts..."Save, Save, Save!!!" That's my motto.

* * * *
by Lucy Lou on September 15, 2005 08:02 AM
The green tomato salsa may be water bath canned, the time is one the recipe. Same with the tomato/tomato paste recipe. It is Annie's salsa that needs pressure canning, unless you add one cup of vinegar or bottled lemon juice, then you may water bath can it. Be sure the vinegar used is 5 % acidity, not 4 %. The bottled lemon juice actually makes the salsa taste less acidic. You use the same amount of lemon juice as vinegar.
If a recipe says lemon juice, it must be used because the vinegar is not as acidic and it will be unsafe. Lemon juice is twice as acidic, yet tastes milder. Same with bottled lime juice, any you can use it,too.
A new Presto or Mirro canner will cost about $100. I can get a nice Presto for $59 here on sale, but no one else has ever gotten that kind of deal that I know of. It is at a local store called BiMart. They are on the west coast.
You can get a used one at garage sales, but may need some parts. You need to check a used one to be sure it is not warped.
Also, pressure canners don't normally work on glass top stoves, if you have one. They can crack your stove.
I can provide more info on pressure canners if you want.
by weezie13 on September 15, 2005 08:07 AM
Sneakin' in here Lucy Lou,
I would love, *maybe on a seperate post too*
some recipes for stuff with a pressure cooker..

I have one, and have never used it yet [Embarrassed] [Embarrassed] [Embarrassed] [Embarrassed]
I don't eat alot of meat, and am often
afraid to try recipes that someone hasn't
tried yet.. or little tips and tricks about
using one....

*I orginally bought it to do some rib type things..where they fall apart supposedly..
but never found a recipe to do it, and it didn't come with a recipe book [Razz] [Mad] *

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Tamara from Minnesota on September 15, 2005 08:33 AM
Well I got freaked out and refridgerated my salsa. I opened one can but haven't eaten any yet as I have no chips. I would rather freeze or chill as I said than use a recipe with lots of vinegar or sauces. That is picante sauce then NOT salsa. Salsa should be chunky and thick!!! Anyway I hope the 3 jars will be okay in the fridge now.

* * * *
by Lucy Lou on September 16, 2005 10:12 AM
Tamara, Annie's salsa for pressure canning is thick, really tomatoey, and not vinegary at all. I thought it needed more acid taste,so I added lemon juice. You may like it. You could try half a recipe if you are interested in it.
by comfrey on September 26, 2005 11:46 AM
About pressure canners...I have gotten 2 different sized pressure canners at yard sales for less then $20 each...The biggest problem with pressure canners are making sure the seal/seals are in good condition, which can be replace very reasonable and that the gauge is correct...Here and in alot of other states you can go to your local extension center and take your pressure canner lid, and they will test it to make sure the pressure gauge is correct For Free...which really should be down yearly for safety sake. Also another important note about pressure canning...Make sure to watch the gauge, do not go off outside or in another room etc...You need to make sure the pressure stays at the recommended pressure for the time recommended for what ever you are pressure canning...Or your food will not be properly processed or even safe!!!

Jean in Arkansas

* * * *
by Sorellina on September 26, 2005 12:27 PM
Ciao Lucy,

Nice to see you here. I think I've seen you over at the garden web from time to time. Annie's recipe looks good, I've yet to try it, though. Tomatillos rock! I'm from California originally and totally took them for granted when I lived there. You can get them in any store so no one grows them. Up here in the Great White North, you're lucky if anyone's even HEARD of them, so you must grow your own. Which is what we've done..3 colours: green, yellow, and purple. I've done up 6 jars so far and if my plants keep producing, I'll try to can up another 6.

Just as an FYI for you folks who aren't keen on overly acidic canned tomato products, I use bottled lemon juice in my pasta sauce and I can't taste it. Everyone's tastebuds vary, I realize and some may be more sensitive to acid than others. I use tomato paste and white vinegar in my salsas, but they don't taste sour to me, either.

Thanks for the recipes and good luck, have fun canning!


* * * *
by lockout on September 27, 2005 12:47 AM
Pressure canning salsa question : Can I process any combination of tomato/peppers/onions/cilanto etc if I use the pressure method ? I realize that there must be some acid in it to preserve but do I have to follow these recipes exactly ? I like to make my salsa from what I have available, sometimes more tomato sometimes more peppers , maybe toss in some fresh corn and so on.
by peppereater on October 02, 2005 12:35 AM
The Ball Blue Book and Kerr's book on canning give the guidelines for time and pressure for canning most anything. These and other sources will tell what to do depending on the approximate acidity of what you're you add less acid ingredients, you up the cooking time. I made salsa a couple of years ago using a recipe that called for canning as you would jelly...simply sterilizing the jars, then pouring boiling salsa in and sealing. I was too chicken to do this this year as I couldn't find that exact recipe again, but man that salsa was great. Fresh tasting. The acidity of jelly allows for canning without even a waterbath, and assuming you can find a reliable recipe and follow it exactly, this is possible. It may be that usda guidelines assume this isn't acceptable, and I'm uneasy about doing this until I find definitve information about it.
by peppereater on October 02, 2005 12:40 AM
A question for Lucy Lou or any who may know...I noticed that some recipes that use sugar and/or salt sometimes have less vinegar or lemon juice, and I know that sugar is vital to safely canning jelly. Am I correct in assuming that there are ways of upping the sugar or salt and using less vinegar/lemon?
by Lucy Lou on October 02, 2005 10:20 AM
Reducing the acid and adding more salt or sugar would not work in salsa or other low acid foods.
The low acid veggies must have the full amount of acid to make it safe to can in a boiling water bath. The only way around it would be to reduce the acid some and pressure can it instead.
The bottled lemon or lime juice tastes less acidic than the vinegar. It is really good in salsa, I think.
As for jelly and any other food, they still must be processed to be safe. Otherwise you can still get mold or fermentation even in jelly. Putting a lid on and letting them seal is called "open kettle" and is not safe with any food. You seal up any bacteria inside the jar without destroying it. Besides, the seal is weaker than when you process and they can come unsealed.
If you do open kettle with many foods, you can get botulism.
by peppereater on October 02, 2005 11:12 PM
I've been going through some of my reference materials, and there's some really bad advice out there. Twelve Month's Harvest, an Ortho publication, copyright 1975, has numerous recipes, including salsa and relish, which do not require processing. The salsa recipe also has the alternative of putting the ingredients into the jars cold and then waterbathing for only 10 minutes. I can't imagine any way that this could sterilize the mix.
On the other hand, the instructions in the Sure Jell box state that, when using the SureJell pectin and following there specific recipes, jams and jellies can be safely packed by boiling the liquid and immediately pouring it into sterile jars and then inverting the jars for 5 minutes. They state that the boiling liquid, and inverting the jars, will sterilize the jar adequately. I can't imagine that they would risk the liability of recommending this unless they had researched it thoroughly. They do say, however, not to process anything but jam or jelly this way.
by Lucy Lou on October 03, 2005 03:19 PM
Any reference that old is outdated. Also, not everyone who writes a canning book knows about food safety. Stick with USDA approved recipes and methods if you want to be safe. The Ball Blue Book also sticks with safe methods. There are some good online sites, too from universities that deal with food safety. I use them a lot.
I know Sure jell says that, but we tell recommend water bath processing jams and jellies. If you invert the jars, the jelly can leak on the seal. They may seem to seal, but come unsealed. Also, the seal is not as strong and can come unsealed because of it.
You won't get botulism or anything like that from the inversion method, but they can mold or ferment. Then you lose your jelly. You can't just scrape off the mold and eat it since the mold you see on top is only a part of it growing in there. Molds on jams have been shown to have cancer producing properties.
I work at my local county extension office, and I know there have been "experts" in the field of food science trying to get Sure jell to change the inversion method in their recipes.

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Canning Salsa| Next thread: canning winter veggies »
Back to Thread index
Similar discussions:

Search The Garden Helper: