Canning Salsa: Make And Can Salsa Safely

If you have an abundance of fresh summer tomatoes (and don't want to make tons of tomato sauce), why not try making — and canning — salsa? It's easy to do if you follow a few basic steps, and the finished salsa will be far more delicious than anything you can purchase at your local grocery store.

Make Your Salsa
Dice your fresh tomatoes and onion. Mince the jalapeño pepper and garlic and then combine the four ingredients in a bowl. Add lime juice or vinegar (depending on your recipe), freshly chopped cilantro leaves, and salt to taste.

Then, put the salsa into a blender or food processor and pulse the mixture until it's smoother, but still quite chunky. Add any additional seasonings that you like (a pinch of cumin or chipotle powder adds a nice smokiness to the salsa) and then cook the salsa in a saucepan over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency.

Click here to see salsa recipes that are perfect for canning.

Can Your Salsa
Then, prepare your canning jars by following  the manufacturer's instructions for pre-treating the two-piece vacuum-seal lids and filling the clean, sanitized glass jars with the hot salsa, leaving about ½ inch to 1 inch of space at the top. Clean the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel and then screw on the metal lid until it's securely fastened.

Place the jars of salsa on a wire rack in a boiling water canner that contains simmering water. Make sure that water can reach all sides of the jars (bottom, top, and sides). Add boiling water, if needed, so that the water reaches about two inches above the tops of the jars. Place a lid on the canner and bring the water to a boil. Boil the salsa for the amount of time recommended in your recipe, adding more boiling water, if necessary, to keep the jars covered.

When the jars are done boiling, carefully remove them from the hot water and put them on a rack at room temperature so that air can circulate around them and help them cool slowly. When the jars are cooled, tap the center of the lid to make sure that it's properly sealed (it should be pressed down and should not move) and then label and date the jars. Store them in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.