Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures in Canning

I have never canned anything before in my life. But I was feeling really domestic this year and wanted to try it out. Thank goodness for blog tutorials like this one and this one. People on the internet are so talented. How did our parents do anything without blog tutorials?

I got everything I needed for canning here from CSN. It was perfect one stop shopping (plus quick shipping) and I ended up needing everything that came with it (I was a little doubtful at first). Zak and I spent Saturday afternoon canning. It wasn't nearly as difficult or time consuming as we had expected-meaning we will be doing it again!!

Canned Salsa Recipe-adapted from here
*"chopped" can be replaced with "pulsed in food processor"

40-50 ripe tomatoes, washed and cored, chopped
3 green bell peppers, chopped
3 red bell peppers, chopped
12 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded, chopped (for a spicy salsa, keep the ribs and seeds in)
5 small onions, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs salt
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup bottled lime juice
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 T sugar
1 bushel chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch of green onions, chopped

  1. Read all of the instructions on this website to prepare and sterilize your canning jars and lids.
  2. Combine ingredients in a large stock pot (we bought ours at the grocery store).
  3. Bring salsa to a boil, then simmer, stirring constantly to avoid scorching at the bottom, until the salsa reaches desired thickness. The original directions I read said 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but we only simmered for about an hour. I think this depends on how chunky your is salsa to begin with.
  4. Using a soup ladle and funnel, add warm salsa to sterilized (warm) jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space between top of salsa and top of the mouth of the jar.
  5. Add lid and screw band to jar, twisting until band is finger tight.
  6. Place jars into canner, ensuring that water covers the jars by at least one inch. Boil for 35-40 minutes. The water must boil the ENTIRE time. Don't start the timer until it comes to a boil.
  7. Remove jars from canner and allow to cool for 24 hours. Check to make sure the lids have sealed (they should be concave).
  8. If sealed correctly, the salsa can be stored on a shelf for one year.

My tips:

  1. Please, for the love, learn from my mistake and wear gloves when you cut the jalepenos.
  2. If you happen to not wear gloves-sour cream will be your best friend. Lather it on. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't. Too bad, just use your imagination.
  3. Use the grill if you have a glass top stove. Apparently because of the ridges in the bottom of most canners, the food doesn't seal correctly because the water isn't evenly warm when using a flat glass top. So instead, we used the grill. Just make sure you have enough propane before you start. We ended up making an emergency run for propane.
  4. A food processor makes life so much easier. We like slightly chunkier salsa, so cut the vegetables in half and pulsed them a couple of times.
Next year, I am definitely going to can peaches.

**I settled on the Columbian Home Graniteware Canner Set after doing a lot of research into different canning systems/methods. It was perfect for my needs and held up great. I plan on getting a lot more use out of it! Although CSN Stores provided me with the canner set to review, all portions of this review are 100% my opinion.


Betty said...

Looks sooo good! My son-in-law makes excellent salsa but we usually just refrigerate a few jars and sell the rest to friends. But he does want to know how to canned and seal them properly for long storage. I will be passing your post along to him.

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