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Canning Salsa

April 16, 2012

Out of the hundred pounds or so of tomatoes my daughters and I picked up from the U-pick farm, I decided to make at least a few batches of salsa for canning in addition to the diced tomatoes and marinara that I am also canning from them.  Canning salsa is very easy, and the bulk of the effort goes to prep time.

First, I skinned the tomatoes.  The easy way to do this is to dip them in boiling water for about a half of a minute and then put them in ice water to shock them.  This will cause the skin to peel back.  First, core them and nick the bottom of the tomatoes in an “X” shape so that the skin will peel back easily.

Then, place them in boiling water for about a half of a minute, less if the tomatoes are very ripe.  It doesn’t take long at all for the skin to loosen and you don’t want to cook the fruit underneath.

Place them straight from the boiling water into the ice water to shock them.  The skin should start peeling back slightly, and it will slip right off when you peel it.

Then, I cut them in half on the equator so they are in two halves, and use my thumb to push the seeds out.

I’ve made salsa quite a few times, so I don’t really use a recipe, but rather tend to just throw things in a pot.  I add about ten tomatoes or so, two green peppers chopped up, two onions chopped up, about five or six jalapenos, add some cider vinegar, sea salt and fresh cilantro, then bring the whole gigantic pot to a boil.

Once it is boiling hard, foam rising to the surface which I then skim off.  I call it skimming the scum.  I’ve read that the foam is really impurities, but to be honest I’m not really sure.

While I’ve been boiling this, I’ve been bringing my canning water to a hard boil, as well as heating up the lids in a small pot that is simmering to the side.  I also use a bowl of hot water to keep my jars and rings hot so that when I pour the mixture into them I am not pouring boiling liquid into cold glass.  I have sterilized them earlier.  Another good way to do this is to have run them in the dishwasher with the heated dry on so they are nice and hot when you need them.

Then, I fill my pint jars, add the lids and rings and process them in batches.  I have been using a starter canning kit that works with your existing stockpot, but I think I will be picking up a proper water bath canner since, as of this writing, I still have about fifty pounds of tomatoes to can.

Fifteen minutes submerged without an inch of water over the tops of the lids while the water is boiling hard is generally enough, depending on elevation above sea level.  I live about ten minutes from the beach, pretty much at sea level, so I only need fifteen minutes.

All said and done I got about seven pints of salsa out of it.  I pretty much always put one immediately in the fridge, since my family goes through salsa like it’s water.

From → canning, Food

  1. I love to can salsa…..when i can get my husband to do the chopping of the peppers! Do you put cilantro in yours? I don’t care for it, so I don’t but my kids like it and I was wondering if it got bitter after a while?

    • I do put cilantro in it, but not a lot. I find less is more sometimes. As for it getting bitter, honestly it doesn’t last long enough in our house for that to have happened yet, so I’m not sure. My husband and daughters go through salsa like crazy. 🙂

      • Mine too! I made a case of it last year and was out by Christmas. This year, I will try the kids with some cilantro. Thanks!

    • I actually love cilantro, but have always made fresh salsa with basil. Basil in salsa is amazing – especially if you are not a cilantro fan.

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