Is It Safe to Can My Own Salsa Recipe?I have a couple of food preservation classes coming up that focus on canning salsa. One of the common things I hear at these classes are the number of people who take their family favorite salsa recipe and can it for future consumption.
Here’s what the National Center for Home Food Preservation advises: Salsas typically are mixtures of acid and low-acid ingredients; they are an example of an acidified food and appropriate for boiling water canning if the final pH of all components is less than 4.6. If the mixture has less acidity, it would need to be treated as a low-acid canned food and require sufficient research to eliminate a botulism risk as a canned food. If it is acid enough for boiling water canning, the actual proportions of ingredients and preparation method will help determine what the canning process time should be. So there is no way to can a homemade salsa without having detailed knowledge of the recipe, procedures used in preparation, and acidity and consistency of the final product. The amount of tomatoes, peppers, herbs and other vegetables will greatly influence what the safe canning process should be.
At this time, only recommend tested recipes can be safely processed in a boiling water canner. There are not safely tested recipes for using a pressure-canning process for a low-acid salsa. Salsa recipes could be frozen for long-term storage, but a person will need to determine if you like the texture and flavor after freezing and thawing; there likely will be changes in both texture and seasoning. It would be best to try a small batch the first time for freezing. Many times herbs and spices are better tasting when added fresh after freezing and thawing, at serving time. Please do not experiment with canning your own recipe which could lead to food borne illness.
Recommended recipes for canning salsa safely are available from your County Extension Office, Ball Blue Book, Complete Book of Home Preserving by Ball and the National Center for Home Food Preservation.