Canning salsa entails subjecting it to high temperatures for an extended period of time for the purpose of preservation. Although most foods require a pressure canner to meet the conditions needed to eliminate harmful bacteria, the high-acid content of salsa effectively protects it from pathogens that cause food-borne illness, and permits it to be canned safely at a lower temperature. These characteristics make salsa, as well as other acidic foods, ideal for the open-kettle method of canning – processing jarred food in a 180 degree Fahrenheit hot-water bath.

Wash the pint jars and lids and scald them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, wash them in a dishwasher with a sanitizing function. Allow the jars and lids to air dry.

Fill the canning jars with the salsa, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Wipe any salsa from the jars’ exteriors. Place the lids on the canning jars and secure with the screw band.

Place a 12-inch by 17-inch wire cooling rack in the bottom of a 32-qt. stockpot. Fill the stockpot half full of water. Place the jars on the wire rack. The jars should be completely submerged.

Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat and process for 35 minutes, beginning when the water returns to a simmer. Remove the jars with a lid lifter and place on a wire rack to cool.

Check the lid for a depression indicating the presence of a vacuum. Tap the lid with the bottom of a spoon; a properly sealed jar will produce a clear ring when tapped. Immediately reprocess any jars not properly sealed or use within three days.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.