Since we have our own vegetable garden this year, we have really been enjoying fresh vegetables, especially the tomatoes. We have harvested a lot of beautiful tomatoes and love eating these freshly sliced with dinner. But we had more come in than we could eat fresh, and I am not one to waste food.
So, we decided to give canning a try. This was my first time ever canning and I can tell I need lots of practice.
We had a lot of spaghetti sauce from my last freezer cooking session, so we decided to go with a salsa recipe. I love fresh salsa and salty tortilla chips!
I’ll show you what we did and appreciate any tips or pointers in the comments section!
My First Experience Canning Salsa
We found a canning pot and kit on clearance at Tractor Supply for $25. Actually, this is what started the whole deal. And if we don’t ever can again, this will be the most expensive salsa ever.
This is the canning pot and kit we found!
I had some Ball pint jars leftover from craft projects and plenty of tomatoes for the recipe we used. The recipe called for 4 lbs and I just used my postage scale to weigh them.
Tractor Supply also sold packets of seasoning to add to the tomatoes for an easy salsa recipe. We thought this would be a good place to start. It was about $2 and had the recipe and instructions included.
Our canning process:
We followed the directions on the package, and also asked my mom and mother-in-law for help throughout the process.
- I peeled and removed the core of the tomatoes, and my husband diced them.
- They went into a large saucepan with the spices and a small amount of lemon juice.
- That came to boil and simmered about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, we warmed the jars and lids and got the canning pot ready.
- Once the salsa mix was done, we used the funnel to fill the jars to the 1/2″ mark using the little tool that came in our kit.
- We put the lids on tightly and put them on the rack in the canning pot. Side note: The recipe said it would make 4 pint jars, but only made 2 and a half? Maybe I was supposed to weigh the tomatoes after they were sliced? So our canning pot is way overkill for 2 jars.
- Let the jars boil for 30 minutes. It took forever for the water to boil. I would have just used a smaller pot if I knew this was only going to make 2 and a half jars.
- Once the 30 minutes were up, we removed the jars with the jar lifter and set them on a towel. They immediately popped and we knew they had sealed up.
- We put the 1/2 jar in the fridge to eat now, and the 2 sealed jars should last a year. I’m sure they will be gone way before then!
Thoughts on this whole canning thing…
This was quite a bit more work than I was expecting it to be. With the amount of tomatoes we had, I think we would be better off making fresh salsa than would keep for a couple weeks in the fridge and eat the rest fresh or in other recipes.
Next time, we will wait till we have more tomatoes and make it more worth our while to go through the whole process.
I’m excited to have the supplies and have a little experience with canning, so we will know what to expect next time.
I can tell this is a learned skill and I admire people who regularly can things for their family! The idea of growing your own food, and being able to feed your family from the garden all year round is so neat and something I hope to be able to do one day!
I was joking to my husband that we are almost ready to live off the land! All 2 jars of salsa and us. Ha!
Ok, I’m ready for the tips and pointers!!!
What are your best canning tips and tricks? What works, what doesn’t? How about an easy pickle recipe? We only have about 6-10 cucumbers, is there a recipe that makes just one jar?
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