We'd happily turn all of our leftover summer tomatoes into zesty, zippy salsa (especially since it can be saved for later in the year). If you also end up craving a bowlful of homemade salsa long after summer is over, then canning is for you! We'll teach you how to can salsa so not a drop goes to waste (your chips will thank you). Canning at a high altitude? Not to worry—we've included adjustments you can make depending on how high above sea level you are.
While all tomato-based salsas will be acidic, certain recipes have been specially formulated to ensure the acidity is at the right level for safe canning. Before you get started, make sure you're using a salsa recipe that's been created for canning. If you try to can a salsa recipe that isn't meant for canning, it may not keep well over time and may not be safe to eat—stick to salsa recipes that specifically mention canning to make the most out of your tomatoes.
To get started canning salsa, you'll need some basic supplies. Included in this list: the boiling water canner (the large pot where you'll process your canning jars); a jar lifter for pulling jars from boiling water; canning jars, lids, and metal screw bands; magnetic lid wand for lifting sterilized lids from the boiling water; a nonmetallic spatula for pressing bubbles out of jars; a ruler to measure headspace; and a funnel to direct hot liquids into jars. These items can be found with canning supplies in most grocery stores and supercenters.
Because tomato skins can add an undesirable texture to your salsa, most recipes recommend that you peel your tomatoes before chopping. This is an easy four-part process following these steps.
The timings in these recipes are for altitudes up to 1,000 feet above sea level. Water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes, so you'll need to consider a few adjustments before you begin canning.