Pressure Canning Salsa

Elbourne(8b)January 29, 2011

All the information I'm finding on canning salsa recommends sticking with tested recipes and using the water bath method. I'm new to canning, but know that not having the right acid levels proves dangerous. I don't want to kill anybody.

My question is:

Can I use my own recipe and pressure can the salsa instead? If so, how long should I process it?

For the curious:

Last summer I canned one jar of my bhut jolokia peppers in vinegar. I'm itching to crack the jar open and make a big batch of salsa with store bought diced tomatoes, and then can the salsa to give away.

My recipe will be something like this:

1 #10 can of Diced Tomatoes (102 oz)

5 Cups diced onions

1 cup minced garlic

12 or so Bhut Jolokia Peppers

6 Jalapeno Peppers

A bunch of Cilantro

1/2 cup of lemon juice

Kosher salt

Miscellaneous other seasonings such as basil, thyme, etc

I roast the garlic and tomatoes in my cast iron dutch oven and cook down the onions and peppers for a nice full flavored (and very hot) salsa. I've made smaller batches of this and it turns out great, but I've never tried canning it for later. I'm guessing this ought to make about 14 pint jars. Would it be safe to pressure can this?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Where to start?

1 - As gifts? No. If you are going to use risky practices then at least don't give them as gifts. That isn't fair to the receivers. We can all choose the level of risk we accept for ourselves but we don't have the right to pass that risk on to others.

2 - Basic principle of safe home canning - you cannot use your own made up recipes. You have no way of knowing the proper pH or the proper safe density or the proper processing times.

3 - Salsa is one of the most risky things to play around with as it is eaten fresh from the jar with no further cooking to destroy any toxins it may contain from improper pH, density, or processing.

4 - Pressure canning something doesn't automatically make it safe. Density and pH issues play just as much of a role in pressure canning as they do in BWB processing.

5 - Even if you could use your own recipe and pressure can it you would just have to guess at a processing time. Any guess is worth the money you pay for it. ;) There are no tested processing time for salsa.

6 - Your recipe as listed is too low in acid for all of the low-acid vegetables. It is a fresh made-to-eat recipe, not a canning recipe. You can make it as you wish and freeze it with no safety issues. But it cannot be safely canned.

Further minor point - recanning commercially canned foods is not recommended.

Sorry. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Dave, No problem. that is a great answer and is exactly what I wanted to hear - the truth. Why would I want anything else? If its not safe then I do not want to do it.

If I make this big batch, I need to freeze it, pass it along for immediate consumption, or buy a truck load of chips and invite over a whole lot of friends all at one time for a big party. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 7:37PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Since you understandably prefer your own recipe, allocating freezer space for it is the way to go.

There would be nothing wrong with pc-ing an approved recipe using the BWB time. Some find pc-ing more convenient and prefer to do that.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 8:59PM
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What can the inproper ph levels do to a person? Would it make you sick or could it kill you?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:25PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Would it make you sick or could it kill you?

Either or both.

Proper pH in home canned foods is one the most important safety factors. Canning creates an anaerobic environment inside the jar and the pH, in combination with the proper processing, prevents the growth of mold, yeasts, bacteria, and botulism spores. The resulting toxins can make you seriously ill and botulism toxin can kill.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:43PM
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