How to Can Salsa in 5 Easy Steps

You might not believe it, but salsa has overtaken ketchup as the number 1 condiment in the US. In 2010, Americans spent over $700 million on this sexy but traditional condiment. And with tortilla outselling burger and hotdog buns, it might be time to stock up on this delicious dip.

Of course, when you think of salsa, you’re probably imagining it in large jars and more closely resembling orange slush than actual tomatoes. That’s really bad considering salsa is supposed to be very healthy.

So this year, instead of spending a lot on store-bought salsa, why not take it to the next level and can your own? It’s definitely going to be healthier and you actually get to identify the tomatoes in the jar!

Canning Salsa Recipe

Canning salsa is easy and fun. But before you can churn out those delicious jars of goodness, let’s make sure you have an equally good canning salsa recipe to follow.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 lbs of tomatoes
  • 3 cups onion
  • 6 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans (12 oz each) tomato paste
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar

I always say that salt, pepper and sugar can be mixed according to taste. Some people prefer their salsa to be more spicy, for one. So the above can serve as a guide but feel free to adjust according to your taste buds.

You can also play around with adding cilantro or cumin or any other type of pepper.

Just be a bit careful about adding your spices. You may want to add them gradually. It’s harder to reduce the heat when you’ve already added it.

The above should give you around 8 pints of salsa.

Now that you’ve got that salsa recipe, let’s get canning, shall we?

And here’s how to can salsa in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Set up your workshop.

Don’t keep running around the kitchen while mixing your ingredients. Get all your supplies ready before you even start.

What do you need to remember?

  • Jars and lids must be hot – keep lids simmering in a sauce pan until you’re ready to use them. DO NOT let the water boil though. This may damage the seal. Jars can be kept in the canner under 2 inches of boiling water until ready for use.
  • Or, instead of submerging in boiling water, you can run your jars through a “sanitize” cycle in the dishwasher.

Step 2: Get your ingredients ready.

Once you have the equipment prepared, it’s time to make the ingredients.

The start of this show is the tomato. The best kind to use is Roma. It’s got less sides, thicker walls and less water. But you can also use the Beefsteak variety.

You need to peel the tomatoes, otherwise the skin will become chewy and it won’t taste very good. The quickest and easiest way to get the skin off is to place the tomatoes in boiling water for about 45 seconds. Then transfer them into a bowl of ice water. The skins will be easier to slide off after that.

After skinning the tomatoes, you’ll need to seed ‘em and juice ‘em. Cut them into slices and just give it a quick squeeze or two. Once that’s done, just slice them up into however big chunks you want.

Chop the rest of the ingredients and mix them all together. If you’re not a fan of big chunks, you can always use a food processor.

Step 3: Cook them up!

Put everything in a saucepot and bring the salsa to a simmer for half an hour. Don’t forget to taste your salsa?

Step 4: Fill the Jars

Once the salsa is hot, get the jars and fill them up. Leave ¼ inch of headspace and make sure you wipe the rims. Wiping ensures your salsa doesn’t spoil and that the seals form properly.

Dry the lids and place them on the jars. Then, screw on the band.

Step 5: Pressure canning made easy

When the jars are filled and ready, place them back into the canner with boiling water. Heat must be at medium high. Process for 15 minutes. After the time is up, remove the jars from the canner and let it sit for 5 minutes.

The jars seal as they’re cooling. Test the seal after 12 hours. If the center of the lid is concave and doesn’t flex, it has sealed properly.

I wouldn’t suggest reprocessing the jars if they didn’t seal properly, although you certainly can. I just prefer consuming the salsa within 2 days if it didn’t set right.

And that’s it! Homemade deliciousness in a jar! Time to grab those tacos and enjoy.

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