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Salsa canning question

Posted by lana_lang CA (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 6, 09 at 1:42

Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to canning. I steam-canned whole tomatoes for the first time last year and it worked great! I'd like to can my salsa recipe, but I'm wondering what method of canning I should use. I understand that non-acidic veggies should be canned in a pressure cooker. My salsa has peppers and onions in it, so does it need to be pressure-canned? Or will the acidity in the tomatoes ensure that it will not spoil?

Also, can anyone recommend a good pressure canner?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Salsa canning question

Whether your salsa recipe would require pressure canning or BWB canning all depends on the recipes ingredients so we'd need to see the whole recipe please.

Acidity of tomatoes alone isn't sufficient for canning - they require additional acid to be added to them when canned in any form - whole, chopped or juiced. And steam canning isn't approved. Some use it but only for high acid products like pickles.

You'll find all the details on this at NCHFP linked below.

As to pressure canner, a search here using that term will pull up many past discussions on them. The most commonly recommended one is the Presto 23 qt along with the purchase of the optional 3 piece weight set.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP


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RE: Salsa canning question

Please use an approved recipe for canning salsa!
There are many. If you search this forum for Annie's Salsa, you'll find a really great one.
Salsa is one of those products you don't want to mess with.
The ratio of acid (vinegar, lemon or lime juice) to the tomatoes and the low acid veggies is very important!!
If you post your recipe, we may be able to help determine whether it may be canned.
Some recipes are "cooking" rather than canning recipes.

Also, search the forum (the search function is at the top of the home page) for pressure canners. Many, many discussions here.

It needs to be large enough to hold at least 4 quarts.
Lots of us have a more traditional size that holds 7 quarts.

I use a Mirro 23-quart canner with weighted gauge. The "23-quart" doesn't mean it holds 23 quart jars, it's the total volume size. It holds 7 jars at a time.

I prefer the weights to a dial gauge that needs to be calibrated professionally every year.

Lastly, but most importantly.....

Welcome to the forum!!! Don't hesitate to ask questions.
Most everyone here is way more than helpful!!! We all started somewhere and this is a reliable place for sound information.

Also, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Reliable site for procedures and recipes!!

Deanna (in Oregon)


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Mornin' Dave!

All I can do is smile.
I had a feeling someone was posting at the same time!!

Good Mornin' Dave!!!

Deanna


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RE: Salsa canning question

Mornin' Deanna! :^) What are you up to?

I'm just checking in between canning batches of potatoes today. 16 pints of Annie's Salsa and 4 quarts of crushed tomatoes yesterday.

Dave


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RE: Salsa canning question

Thanks for the info, guys.

I saw the recipe for Annie's salsa. It sounds like a popular one, so maybe I'll just use it instead. And it looks like it requires BWB, am I right? Can I just use any large stock pot to do that?


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RE: Salsa canning question

Annie's Salsa can be done in pints only (no quarts) in a BWB IF you use the full cup of acid required (vinegar or a mix of vinegar and bottled (never fresh) lemon or lime juice).

You can use a stock pot to do BWB as long as it has a lid, is deep enough to allow for 1-2" of water above the jars and if you have a rack of some kind to sit the jars on. They can't be in direct contact with the sides or the bottom of the pan. You'll find many discussions here on things that can be used for a jar rack in a stock pot.

Dave


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RE: Salsa canning question

Sorry, I logged off to go can!
13 3/4 pints of Annie's salsa (yeah, the "3/4" pint is in the fridge, not canned).
12 pints of spaghetti sauce (modified the spices in Annie's salsa, omitted cilantro and hot peppers, added basil, oregano).
6 pints of Dilly Bites last night (lost a jar to thermal shock...first one in years!!). I'm calling them "Bites" because I snapped the beans like you would for regular green beans, but used my Dilly Bean recipe and added a bit more red pepper flakes...hence the "bites".

I've only got about 20# tomatoes left to process (for now), but they need a few more ripening days.

Made zucchini boats with the extra spaghetti sauce I didn't can and Walla Walla onion rings for dinner.

Ahhhhhhhhhh.
I love playing hooky from work! Shhhh....don't tell.

Deanna


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RE: Salsa canning question

Deanna, how did that sauce turn out when you modified the spices? I'm intrigued, I don't use spaghetti sauce but Amanda and the Grandkids love the stuff and I haven't found a recipe they like yet. They'd rather have Prego or Ragu, but I keep trying....

Annie


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RE: Salsa canning question

It's a little watery, but "doable". I didn't want to pressure can, so kept the 1 c. vinegar and canned in pints.
I added brown sugar to offset the vinegar (I put it in my Spaghetti sauce anyway). The flavor is good.
Tomatoes
Peppers
Onions
Brown Sugar
Vinegar
Oregano
Basil
Garlic

All using the same amounts as the salsa, except a little extra sugar.
I only used 2 12oz. cans of tomato paste, no sauce to try to thicken it a little, but not too much.
The consistency was pretty close to salsa.

In any case, it'll be a nice base for soups and stews this winter and I can always thicken it when I open it.

Deanna


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RE: Salsa canning question

ok, hopefully this is where i post my question...this site isnt the most user friendly.. Q1: when canning salsa or sauce for those who arent picky when it comes to texture, why cant you just pressure can at 11 lbs for 25-30mins (qts) and call it done without the fear of illness that the extensions services have bestowed upon newby canners? Q2: in order to ensure adequate acidification, cant one just use a litmus strip to tell if more vinegar/lemon/lime juice be added? (and yes, i do understand that the ph value will change during processing when veggies absorb liquid)


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RE: Salsa canning question

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 16:19

Q1: why cant you just pressure can at 11 lbs for 25-30mins (qts) and call it done without the fear of illness that the extensions services have bestowed upon newby canners?

Why can't you? You can if you wish. It is always your choice to ignore the safety recommendations. Many do. It is your risk to evaluate and take.

Why the recommendations? a) because it is eaten fresh from the jar with no further cooking to destroy any toxins that may have developed. b) because it is a mix of low acid vegetables. c) because pH is not the only concern. Denisity to allow for proper heat penetration is just as important. d) you have no way to know if 25-30 min. is long enough because no pressure canning time has ever been tested much less approved for any salsa recipe, even the approved ones.

Granted you can pressure can the hell out of it using the Mixed Vegetables processing times of 75-90 min. (depending on jar size) and it would like be very safe to eat. But the mushy end product wouldn't be very appealing or even look or taste like salsa.

Q2: in order to ensure adequate acidification, cant one just use a litmus strip to tell if more vinegar/lemon/lime juice be added? (and yes, i do understand that the ph value will change during processing when veggies absorb liquid)

Again you can if you want to as long as none of the problems with the false readings associated with litmus paper are of concern to you.

Why isn't it recommended? a) because of all the false readings. b) because of the wide margin of error when it comes to properly reading litmus paper (they give a range of pH, not specific reading. c) because pH doesn't remain stable during shelf storage. It rises.

Of all the foods canned in the home, salsa is one of the most risky foods there is. It's pH is borderline, it is very dense, it is eaten raw, it is full of low-acid vegetables that are commonly associated with c. botulium and other pathogenic bacteria, and it doesn't possess long-term storage stability. So while we can afford to play around a bit with canning many other foods, salsa's very nature means it isn't one of them.

You can freeze any salsa recipe you wish but when it comes to canning it in an anaerobic, vacuum sealed environment it is a whole other ballgame.

But it is still your choice. No one is going to come arrest you if you choose to do as you wish. :)

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Burning Issues: Canning your own salsa


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RE: Salsa canning question

I added brown sugar to offset the vinegar (I put it in my Spaghetti sauce anyway).
---------------------------------------------------------

I am a bit confused:
When you add sugar, doe it not reduce acidity ?! I know that BASEs (alkaline) neutralizes acidity, but how about SUGAR?


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RE: Salsa canning question

Sugar doesn't reduce acidity. It just makes the product taste less acid.

A lot of "low acid" tomatoes aren't. They just have more natural sugar and taste sweeter.

Carol


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RE: Salsa canning question

Thanks readinglady.
So sugar just hides the acid from our pallet. But it does not help the bacteria. Interesting.


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RE: Salsa canning question

I also have a fresh salsa recipe, how do I know what levels of "acid" are ok for canning?


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RE: Salsa canning question

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 15:01

Dalaman, you can't know without having it tested and the cost is prohibitive. Please use only tested approved recipes for canning salsa, following those without substitutions. Since canned salsa is typically eaten fresh from the jar, no further heating or cooking, it can be a particularly dangerous product to experiment with.

If you want to try keeping a fresh salsa you especially like that hasn't been tested, try freezing, see if you like the results thawed - always a chance it would be perfectly satisfactory to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Canning your own salsa


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