How to: Can Salsa

how-to-can-salsaA family favorite recipe from reader Brenda Davis

Equipment Required
Food Processor (optional)
8 Quart bowl
Medium bowl
2 large stockpots
Strainer or colander
Large slotted spoon
1 dozen pint jars with lids and screw-on bands
Canning funnel
Magnet lid wand or tongs
Pressure canner
Jar tongs

1 Fill a large stockpot half-full of water; bring to a high boil. Fill sink half-full of very cold water.

2 Wash and core 16–18 large tomatoes then place in the rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes to blanch. Remove
promptly with a large slotted spoon and place in sink of cold water. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and remove any hard cores or bad spots.

3 In food processor, or by hand, chop to desired size 2 large onions, 6 medium garlic cloves, 6 sweet bell peppers and 10 to 14 assorted hot peppers (jalapenos, habaneras, Texas red hots—for milder salsa, remove seeds from hot peppers before chopping). Place all in second large stockpot. Wear gloves when handling hot peppers.

4 L ightly crush tomatoes in colander to remove excess juice then add to stockpot of peppers and onions. Add ¼ cup fresh—not concentrated—lime juice, 1–1 ½ Tbsp. sea salt and 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste to stockpot. Stir well; bring to a high simmer. Cook 1 hour, stirring often.

5 Wash pint jars; put flat lids in small pan of hot water to warm. Measure 2 quarts of water into the pressure canner on stove. When salsa is cooked through, fill jars up to a half-inch from the top using a canning funnel and ladle. Wipe rim of jar with a wet cloth to remove spills. Remove lid from hot water using magnetic lid wand, and place on jar. Screw band down evenly and firmly onto jar and place in pressure canner.Repeat until canner is full.

6 Put top on canner, and turn flame on high. When steam comes out of the pressure spout, put the cap on the spout and bring pressure to 10 pounds. Adjust heat to keep at 10 pounds for 10 minutes then turn off heat. LET STEAM IN CANNER COME DOWN ON ITS OWN. If you remove the pressure cap too soon you can break your jars or get burned.

7 Once the canner reads 0 pounds pressure and cap has dropped down, remove your jars using jar tongs and place on a towel until they are completely cool. If you move them too soon, the seal might break.

8 Save with other canned goods or serve and enjoy! For more on canning, see the “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preservation” or visit

Food editor Margo Stich expresses her appreciation to Brenda Davis of Davis Asset Documentation for her canning expertise and help in preparing this article.