In article <minortheobviousspamblockseventh-
> Checking a few websites, fruits can be canned by the boiling methods, and
> veggies need pressure canning. Tomatoes are listed in both categories,
> depending on whether they are high or low acid varieties. How does one
> know? None of the websites say how to determine which you have. I grow the
> usaul beefsteak, big boy, etc.
Just add a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each pint and you'll be
safe regardless of the tomato variety. Use bottled juice because the pH
is adjusted for consistency. With fresh you can't be sure of the pH
without testing. Be aware the USDA has increased safe processing times
for several tomato canning methods (cut, whole, with juice, etc.) to 85
> Also, I'm canning salsa, which has ingredients other than tomatoes
> (peppers, onions, peppers, garlic, peppers, cilantro, peppers). I'm
> assuming if I can go with the boiling method, it will be ok to can the
> salsa that way too since everything soaks in the tomato juice.
Unfortunately, your assumption is not correct. It's not a matter of the
tomato juice soaking into anything. It's the pH (acidity level) of the
whole batch that matters. You need to have the pH below 4.6 to safely
use boiling water bath (BWB) canning methods. The tomatoes are already
considered borderline (hence the addition of lemon juice for safety).
Adding less acidic veggies into the mix raises the overall pH to well
For salsa you really need to follow a recipe that has been tested as safe
for canning. You need to follow the recipe EXACTLY. You can't safely
add just a little bit more of this or that and still be sure the salsa
will be safe to can. Check here for lots of good info:
http://www.foodsafety.ufl.edu/consumer.htm. If you dig through the
tomato recipes on that site there are two salsa-like recipes (I think one
is called Mexican Tomato Sauce), one that can be canned with BWB and one
that requires pressure canning. I strongly recommend you follow one or
both of these recipes. If you want to add other ingredients, do so right
before serving, not in the prepared mixture.
Cilantro is an ingredient that is much better added right before serving.
It doesn't hold up well to canning and has a tendency to turn a rather
unappetizing brown color over time.
Check the rec.food.preserving newsgroup for lots of additional info.
Everyone over there will be more than happy to help you with your salsa