Canning Salsa – How to Can Salsa at Home
Salsa, which is a chilled sauce, is a big part of Mexican cuisine. It can be served with tortilla chips as a snack, on burritos or in tacos, alongside seafood or as an accompaniment to many other Mexican food recipes. There are also various types of salsa. Fruit salsa, perhaps made with peach or pineapple, is great with Mexican shrimp recipes or with a tilapia recipe. Tomato salsa ranges from mild and soft flavored to very piquant.
Popular salsa ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion and bell peppers but recipes vary widely. You can add lemon or lime juice to the salsa recipe and whichever spices and seasonings you like.
If you want to learn how to can salsa, you will need to find a suitable salsa recipe or modify an existing one. This is because you have to simmer the salsa before you can it and also because for canning salsa you need the right amount of acidity. Also, you should use the best quality ingredients you can get, especially the tomatoes. Use fresh, ripe tomatoes instead of over-ripe ones because you will get a much better result.
How to Prepare the Jars for Canning Salsa
When the salsa is made, you need to prepare the canning jars. Sterilize them, plus the lids, in hot water or run then through the dishwasher. Fill them with salsa, leaving a quarter inch space at the top of the jar. Make sure the undersides of the rings and lids and the top of the jars are clean, so you get a good seal. Put on the rings and lids and put the filled jars in your canner, making sure they are covered by at least an inch of boiling water.
The jars should sit in the hot water for fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on their size. If you live at altitude, you might need to give them an additional five or ten minutes in the canner. It is best to follow the instructions that came with your canner if you are canning salsa.
Let the jars cool overnight and then take the rings off. Label the jars with the canning date and contents. If they are sealed properly, the lids will curve down in the center and you will not be able to press them down. If you press one down and it does pop up, that means it is not sealed. You can store such a jar in the refrigerator for a few days. Some people re-can jars which did not seal properly but this is risky because bacteria might have got into the jar so it is best to eat the salsa within a couple of days.
How to Store Canned Salsa
Once you have learnt how to can salsa, you will want to know how to store homemade salsa. Keep it somewhere dark and cool and use it within a year. The amount of light and the temperature will affect the salsa’s shelf life. It is a good idea to check the salsa before you use it. Make sure the jars are not leaking or bulging and check the salsa smells fresh when you open the jar. If there is foam or mold in the jar, throw it away. If not, enjoy it with your favorite Mexican food recipes.
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