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Thread: Salsa canning/chemistry question

  1. #1
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    Salsa canning/chemistry question

    I got a little carried away this week making salsa. I was following the Ball Blue book recipe and then got creative

    So I used:
    6 cups of chopped tomato
    2 cups chopped peppers
    1/2 cup or so of onion (plus whatever spices)
    and maybe 2 cups of corn

    I didn't want to use vinegar so I put in a teaspoon of lemon juice in every half pint and filled them. Processed them 12 minutes in a boiling water bath.

    Do I have a problem? I was okay with the lemon juice sub until I started thinking about the corn addition. Any help is really appreciated.
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  2. #2
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    Red face

    Unfortunately your salsa is NOT safe. Once you added the peppers, onions, and corn you completely changed the balance of the pH. This is not safe to eat sad to say. Most salsa recipes that are in a BWB require lots of vinegar/lime/or lemon juice at a 5% acidity for the salsa to be safe.

    Go to GardenWeb's Harvest site: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/harvest/

    Just found this link specific to safe salsa canning...http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...4529620.html?7

    There is lots of information about safe canning and you can not ad lib canning recipes like you can regular recipes...

    I use Annie's Salsa recipe (actually making some tomorrow!) that is on there with a 50/50 blend of cider vinegar and bottled lime juice rather than white vinegar (safe swap). It has been tested for safety. It is the only BWB salsa recipe my family likes. Here it is for your info...
    __________________________________________
    Annie's Salsa Ingredient Checklist:
    • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
    • 2 ½ cups onion, chopped
    • 1 ½ cups green pepper, chopped
    • 3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped - Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1 ¾ cups.
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced - Do not increase. But small differences in size of cloves should not matter.
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 2 teaspoons pepper
    • 1/8 cup canning salt - For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped - Can be reduced or left out entirely. Do not increase.
    • 1/3 cup sugar - For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • 1 cup 5% cider vinegar - Pressure canning is no longer recommended, which specified 1/3 cup vinegar. Must include full 1 cup of vinegar for BWB processing. However, may substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice). Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%.
    • 2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce - For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • 2 cups (16 oz.)tomato paste - For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 6 pints.

    >Cannot BWB quarts. If doing half-pints or smaller, process for the pint time of 15 minutes.
    __________________________________________


    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news about your salsa...
    Last edited by TwinMom; 08-24-2009 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Adding safe salsa link...

  3. #3
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    Twinmom is right. Put that salsa in the fridge and plan on eating it soon.

    You can get away with using less vinegar if you pressure can, but you still need it.

    Twinmom, I know Annie from way back on the GW cooking forum. She's a good person and knows what she's talking about.

  4. #4
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    charley - Annie is a wealth of knowledge on that board. I am so glad to have her salsa recipe as I've not been happy with a homemade salsa you can BWB until hers. It truly is the best!

    Just got done prepping 25# of tomatoes to make 4 batches of her salsa tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    I really appreciate the reply Twinmom! Especially the link. My searches didn't get much in the way of details.

    I was thinking about making and freezing enchiladas (more like a Mexican lasagna) so I think I will pull the whole batch and use it that way.

    Thanks for the help! I'm headed over to gardenweb for a better understanding!
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  6. #6
    I must say this thread is really very informative . I am not a good cook but here we can understand many things.

  7. #7
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    I need to buy a pressure canner... maybe it will go on my Christmas list. It would be so hard on me to be unable to fiddle with a recipe - like I love cilantro. I would want more than 1/4 cup!

    I am so sorry you went to all that trouble to can salsa and have to undo your work! What a pain.
    - Josie


  8. #8
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    Thanks Josie. I think I have it figured out. I had DH move it to the fridge and he mentioned there were only 6 half pints although it wouldn't have been the waste of food that bothered me the most. It can be so overwhelming working full time, tending the garden, trying to can and have half a life in the summer that weighs heavier on me. but I think I will do a TexMex lasagna type of thing. I have at least 3 varieties of salsa in the fridge now ~ left overs from not prepping enough jars~ that I will make this work. I figure I can make at least two 8 inch pans and as long as it's half decent DH and I can eat it. We're not very picky and he is very good about helping eat my mistakes And I'm with you on the cilantro. Thankfully I'm lazy and didn't wash all of it otherwise I'd have another problem!
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  9. #9
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    I have canned both red and green salsas from the Ball Blue book and they were both pretty vinegary and not really to our tastes.

    Now when I want to make extra salsa I freeze it. There was a cookbook a while ago called Fresh from the Freezer by Michael Roberts and he recommended you just make your favorite salsa to freeze with one change. Put the chopped tomatoes in a colander to drain well before freezing. I like this method because it tastes pretty close to fresh salsa without being too watery.
    Cooking in Color blog - Plant-based recipes from the Land of Enchantment

  10. #10
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    Let me know if you need help weeding your garden I am available during the day

    I thought about this thread today when I made this salsa. I hope it tastes good after sitting around for awhile... it definitely has a stronger vinegar flavor than I would normally choose, but I think it works better with the tomatillos. I love tomatillo salsa on scrambled eggs! The best part is that all of the produce came from my parents' garden or the farmers' market (except the limes). I love using up free ingredients!! My mom's tomatillo plants are collapsing they are so loaded.

    http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com...os-for-winter/

    Tomatillo Salsa For Hot Water Bath Canning

    Ingredients:

    11 cups husked, cored and chopped tomatillos
    2 cups diced red onion
    1 cup green Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, diced finely
    1/2 cup green jalapeno chiles, diced finely
    1/2 cup green poblano chiles, diced finely
    8 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup white distilled vinegar
    8 tablespoons lime juice
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    4 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
    1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon salt

    Method:

    Wash five pint or ten half pint jars, their lids and rings thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well.

    Fit jars in the rack to a three-quarters full hot water bath canner, lower into the water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. (Make sure water comes over the top of the jars and fills them all the way up. Turn off heat and allow jars to sit

    Put lids in a saucepan and bring to a simmer–not a boil–and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Turn off heat and keep the lids warm.

    Put all the ingredients to the salsa in a clean, heavy bottomed dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn heat down and cook at a vigorous simmer for ten minutes, stirring now and again. Turn heat off of salsa.

    Following the instructions in my post on pressure canning–fill hot jars with hot salsa, and leave 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars, and wipe rims of jars, then top with a lid and screw down the ring. Do not tighten ring–just scew it on until it is firm, but not tight.

    Put filled jars back into rack in canner, and lower them into the water. Make sure the water covers the jars. Bring to a boil, cover the canner, and process at a full boil for fifteen minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let the jars cool for five minutes, then remove from the canner with jar lifter and set on a folded clean towel on your counter away from drafts. (If your kitchen is drafty, or your counter is near an open door or window, cover the jars with another clean towel.

    Leave undisturbed for about eighteen hours. Check to make sure the lids have sealed properly–they should be concave and you shouldn’t be able to easily pry the edges up–then tighten the rings on the jars, wipe the jars down and store them in a cool place out of direct light.

    Makes ten half pints or five pints of salsa.
    - Josie


  11. #11
    very nice recipe .
    Thanx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    Let me know if you need help weeding your garden I am available during the day

    I thought about this thread today when I made this salsa. I hope it tastes good after sitting around for awhile... it definitely has a stronger vinegar flavor than I would normally choose, but I think it works better with the tomatillos. I love tomatillo salsa on scrambled eggs! The best part is that all of the produce came from my parents' garden or the farmers' market (except the limes). I love using up free ingredients!! My mom's tomatillo plants are collapsing they are so loaded.

    http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com...os-for-winter/

    Tomatillo Salsa For Hot Water Bath Canning

    Ingredients:

    11 cups husked, cored and chopped tomatillos
    2 cups diced red onion
    1 cup green Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, diced finely
    1/2 cup green jalapeno chiles, diced finely
    1/2 cup green poblano chiles, diced finely
    8 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup white distilled vinegar
    8 tablespoons lime juice
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    4 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
    1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon salt

    Method:

    Wash five pint or ten half pint jars, their lids and rings thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well.

    Fit jars in the rack to a three-quarters full hot water bath canner, lower into the water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. (Make sure water comes over the top of the jars and fills them all the way up. Turn off heat and allow jars to sit

    Put lids in a saucepan and bring to a simmer–not a boil–and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Turn off heat and keep the lids warm.

    Put all the ingredients to the salsa in a clean, heavy bottomed dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn heat down and cook at a vigorous simmer for ten minutes, stirring now and again. Turn heat off of salsa.

    Following the instructions in my post on pressure canning–fill hot jars with hot salsa, and leave 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars, and wipe rims of jars, then top with a lid and screw down the ring. Do not tighten ring–just scew it on until it is firm, but not tight.

    Put filled jars back into rack in canner, and lower them into the water. Make sure the water covers the jars. Bring to a boil, cover the canner, and process at a full boil for fifteen minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let the jars cool for five minutes, then remove from the canner with jar lifter and set on a folded clean towel on your counter away from drafts. (If your kitchen is drafty, or your counter is near an open door or window, cover the jars with another clean towel.

    Leave undisturbed for about eighteen hours. Check to make sure the lids have sealed properly–they should be concave and you shouldn’t be able to easily pry the edges up–then tighten the rings on the jars, wipe the jars down and store them in a cool place out of direct light.

    Makes ten half pints or five pints of salsa.
    Dang it! I appreciate your offer but it's 2 days late! With that crappy (cool and cloudy) weekend we just had we took care of it Sunday. It needed it too! I ended up uprooting as many as 15 of my Roma plants that were just horrible looking with dead branches and really cleaning up the others. It's been a tough summer for my tomatoes. The fruit is good but they looked horrible. DH tilled and we did the usual weeding and clean up. Looks so much better. Had to water last night.

    Thanks for the salsa recipe. I'm collecting these because we do a lot of green salsa at the end of the season altho I did process a batch already from all the green tomatoes we got with the rip out. I'm excited to try this one; it's the first I've come across with lime juice in it.

    Thanks again!
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post
    • 3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped - Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1 ¾ cups.
    Will the 3-5 peppers make a hot, medium, or mild salsa in this recipe? I plan on adding at least a cup of tomato sauce and at least a small can of tomato paste.

    And is your estimate of 6 pints with or without the added sauce and paste?

    Thanks!
    Just another Susan

    "Peggy, here I am tryin' to contain an outbreak, and you're drivin' the monkey to the airport!" Hank Hill

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  14. #14
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    I made 4 batches and got 27 pints, so about 7 pints per recipe using 2 cups of sauce and about 1 cup of paste per recipe. Last year I used the full 2 cups of paste and it was a little too thick for my liking. This year the consistency is more what we like.

    As far as hot peppers...2 batches were made using 1/4 cup (1/2 cup total) as per the recipe and it was mild. The other 2 batches I doubled the jalapenos to 1/2 cup (total of 1 cup) and it was still milder than I would like - just a hint of spice. I do like things pretty spicy, but even my DH didn't detect much heat. I think the next batch I might do 1 cup jalapenos per batch or change to a spicier pepper. My biggest issue with canning salsa is you can't add more hot peppers to get it to the level of heat since you can't go above the 1 3/4 cups of peppers for safety so once that's in the pot you're stuck with that heat level...

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the info! I'm anxious to make this recipe before all the veggies are gone for the season. What did you think of the sweetness level? I like a spicy/sweet salsa.

    Thanks again!
    Just another Susan

    "Peggy, here I am tryin' to contain an outbreak, and you're drivin' the monkey to the airport!" Hank Hill

    www.thebreastcancersite.com Click here to fund free mammograms!

  16. #16
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    It is a sweet salsa (I use a bit less sugar than the recipe, so you might like it with the full amount of sugar for more sweetness). I highly recommend using a 50/50 ratio of cider vinegar and bottled lime juice to have a less vinegary taste. You can definitely taste the lime juice and the vinegar is there, but less pungent using the cider vinegar.

    I'd love to know how many jalapenos you put in and the level of heat you end up with. I'm just trying to find that "perfect" level of heat since mine has not been nearly spicy enough yet!

  17. #17
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    So after pulling the suspect jars I dumped them in a stock pot and proceeded to boil it for 20 minutes as recommended. Probably overkill since they were only 4 days old but I was going to eat it and needed to be sure.

    I opened a can of black beans and a can of refried black beans and tossed most of the salsa in and used that as filling for my Mexican lasagna. I just lined an 8X8 pan with some salsa, added corn tortillas, the filling, cheese, another layer of tortillas and sauce. Baked for 15 minutes covered. Uncovered it added more cheese and baked another 15 minutes. It turned out very good. DH raved so that help with my bruised ego

    Thanks for all the help and salsa recipes.
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post
    __________________________________________
    Annie's Salsa Ingredient Checklist:
    • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
    • 2 ½ cups onion, chopped
    • 1 ½ cups green pepper, chopped
    • 3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped - Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1 ¾ cups.
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced - Do not increase. But small differences in size of cloves should not matter.
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 2 teaspoons pepper
    • 1/8 cup canning salt - For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped - Can be reduced or left out entirely. Do not increase.
    • 1/3 cup sugar - For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • 1 cup 5% cider vinegar - Pressure canning is no longer recommended, which specified 1/3 cup vinegar. Must include full 1 cup of vinegar for BWB processing. However, may substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice). Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%.
    • 2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce - For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    • 2 cups (16 oz.)tomato paste - For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.
    Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 6 pints.

    >Cannot BWB quarts. If doing half-pints or smaller, process for the pint time of 15 minutes.
    __________________________________________
    I made this today... ended up with 7 half pints and 4 12-oz jars. I BWB, only used one small can of tomato juice and 1 small can of tomato paste for the optional items. I used all hot peppers for the total 1 3/4 cup - a couple poblanos and several serranos and jalapenos. I used only about 1 T of sugar. I did half bottle lime juice/half cider vinegar. It is a very tasty, very spicy salsa.
    - Josie


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    I made this today... ended up with 7 half pints and 4 12-oz jars. I BWB, only used one small can of tomato juice and 1 small can of tomato paste for the optional items. I used all hot peppers for the total 1 3/4 cup - a couple poblanos and several serranos and jalapenos. I used only about 1 T of sugar. I did half bottle lime juice/half cider vinegar. It is a very tasty, very spicy salsa.
    I'm so glad it turned out for you! To the heat factor! Wow- ours is so hot with just the few serranos we used, I can't imagine using only hot peppers.

    Do you think that tablespoon of sugar really adds something? I'm debating just leaving out the sugar altogether for the next run.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
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  20. #20
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    Glad to hear that using all hot peppers didn't make it inedible - thanks for letting us know. I'm going to definitely increase the hot peppers to be the majority, if not all, of the pepper amount after your update. Then we can have several hot batches - yum!

    As far as the sugar, It's strictly for your specific taste preference. I've been cutting back on that for each batch I've made and think I may leave it out all together and taste it before canning and then if it needs a little sweetness to balance the acidity, I'll slowly add it in to taste, since it's optional...

    Thanks for all the updates!

  21. #21
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    I added the tablespoon of sugar after I added the vinegar. I think I mentioned to you that I am anti-vinegar flavored salsa, so I did it to cut back on that strong acidic taste. I think it added a very slight flavor, but certainly nothing discernible.

    Regarding the peppers: My poblanos were not very hot, and I used 2 of them in my hot pepper mix. So I would keep in mind that you should taste your hot peppers before adding if you are at all concerned about heat level... I am a heat addict so I don't think I could make it too spicy for me to eat

    This recipe was delicious raw - I used my food processor so it was a total snap, and I plan to make it again in the future. Thanks to both of you for bringing it to my attention
    - Josie


  22. #22
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    I made the Annie's recipe with a few modifications (only a couple of which were intentional ):

    Annie's Salsa Ingredient Checklist: My changes in bold, amounts for 2 batches
    • 8 cups tomatoes
    • 2 ½ cups onion about 3 cups total
    • 1 ½ cups green pepper omitted
    • 3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped used this amount total, but added 2 chopped canned chipotles in sauce
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced used this amount total
    • 2 teaspoons cumin one teaspoon total
    • 2 teaspoons pepper one teaspoon total
    • 1/8 cup canning salt - zoned and forgot I was making 2 batches, only used this amount total
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped don't care for cilantro and only used this amount total
    • 1/3 cup sugar zoned and forgot I was making 2 batches, only used this amount total
    • 1 cup 5% cider vinegar 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 vinegar, lemon and lime
    • 2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce 1 cup total
    • 2 cups (16 oz.)tomato paste 1 1/2 tiny cans total

    WE LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! It's not totally Annie's anymore, but I give her the credit. It came out sweet enough and just spicy enough to suit us, and it will be my go-to salsa recipe from here on. Thanks for sharing it! Oh, and I got 7 pints out of it to can, and a quart to put in the fridge (and it's almost already gone).
    Just another Susan

    "Peggy, here I am tryin' to contain an outbreak, and you're drivin' the monkey to the airport!" Hank Hill

    www.thebreastcancersite.com Click here to fund free mammograms!

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