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How to Can Salsa Recipe


  • 5 lbs tomatoes
  • 6 onions chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (or other peppers of your choosing), diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Hot pepper sauce or dried chile pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt


  • Preparing Your Tomatoes, Peppers, and Onions
    Start by boiling your water. You will need to blanch and prepare your tomatoes before you can do anything else. Make sure you cut out any bad spots in the tomatoes.
    Place your tomatoes gently in the boiling water and let them cook for a minute. You’ll know they are ready once the skin starts peeling off. Put them in an ice bath to cool, and allow them to fully cool before you start to peel - this is an easy way to get a steam burn, otherwise!
    Peel each tomato and cut it into fine pieces. If you’re like me and want to expend as little effort as possible, you can also just squeeze or press them into a stock pot.
    You will also need to cut up your peppers and onions. I recommend wearing gloves to cut your peppers unless you are using sweet bell peppers. I’ve burned my hand cutting up jalapeno peppers before, and let me tell you, it’s not fun! Let's not even talk about what happens if you get that spiciness into your eyes.
    Put this stock pot back over the heat. Add your other ingredients, including your diced peppers and onions. Let this cook down for a bit while you prepare your jars and canners. I recommend tasting the salsa as it’s cooking to make sure it’s at the desired level of heat.
    blanching tomatoes
  • Prepare Your Jars and Canner
    If you have a helper while you’re canning, you can make quick work of these tasks, as well as the previously mentioned one. Otherwise, prepare your jars while you are getting your ingredients ready so that you aren’t just waiting around.
    Heat your jars, either by warming them in a hot water bath or by running them through the sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher. You will need to do this for your bands, too. You can reuse jars and bands for an infinite number of times - as long as there are no cracks, rust, or damages - but you will need to purchase new bands each and every time.
    jars in dishwasher
  • Fill Your Jars
    Use a funnel to carefully fill your jars with salsa. The jars must be hot and clean in order for you to do this.
    Once your jars are filled, leaving about ½ inch of headspace between the lid and the salsa, go ahead and remove any air bubbles. You can do this either by tapping it on a flat surface or you can use a bubble remover tool. Either way, make sure you remove extra air, because this can cause your salsa to spoil in storage.
    When you have filled your jars, go ahead and wipe the rims and sides of the jars. Make sure you’ve removed any extra food particles. This can not only dirty the inside of your canner, but it can create an unsanitary canning environment. Put your lids on the jars and screw them on tightly.
  • Place the Jars in the Canner
    Put your jars into the pressure canner. You can double-stack your jars if your canner has enough room for it. Fill with water according to the manufacturer’s deirctions - this will vary depending on what kind of pressure canner you have.
    jars inside the canner
  • Process Your Jars
    Bring your canner to the ideal pressure. You will need to process it at 10 to 11 pounds, about 10 minutes for pint jars and 15 minutes for quarts. Let your canner get up to pressure and then set your timer to make sure you have processed your canner long enough.
    Monitor your pressure canner closely as it is heating up to the ideal pressure. It does not take long at all for the canner to exceed the optimal pressure, and at this stage, you will have, in effect, made a disaster. Don’t let your canner exceed the desired pressure, and if it does, reduce the heat immediately. If your canner loses pressure after you have started your timer, you will need to restart your timer once it gets back to the desired pressure.
  • Remove the Jars
    Let the jars cool in the canner if you’re worried about burning yourself. Otherwise, it’s safe to use tongs to remove the jars as soon as they are done being processed.
    Put the jars on the towel somewhere where they will not be exposed to a cool draft - this can cause the jars to crack. As they cool, you may hear occasional popping noises. This is nothing to worry about- it simply means the lids are forming a seal.
  • Store Your Jars
    Pressure canner’s done? Great! Whatever you do, don’t immediately remove your jars. You need to let the canner come back down to zero pressure or you will burn yourself with the steam.
    What I usually do is allow the canner to come back to zero and I leave the jars in there overnight to be sure. Then I won’t have to handle any hot jars or risk burning myself. Once they are cooled, I pull them out and put them into storage.
    Make sure your lids have sealed and that there is no breakage or damage to the jars. Pressure canners get hot, and you might even hear the jars rocking and rolling in the canner while they’re being processed.this is totally fine, but it’s a good idea to check for any damages. This is also why it’s so important to bring your jars up to a warm temperature before you put hot salsa in them.
    If you take your jars out of the pressure canner as soon as it’s released pressure, you can go ahead and let them sit for about twelve to twenty-four hours on a clean, dry towel to protect your countertops.
    Once your jars have cooled and you are sure that all the jars have a good seal, you can put them into your desired storage location. A cool pantry or basement is ideal, where yous salsa will last for quite some time.