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Canning home made salsa


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#1 RS67Man

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:50 PM

I just got a new 23 quart Presto pressure canner, and some books on canning. I have read the recipes on salsas in the books, and along with adding vinegar, they want you to process in a hot water bath. I would rather make salsa without the vinegar. since the PH may be borderline without the vinegar, would pressure canning be the route to go? I want to be safe, but I have read the warnings about messing with the recipes. I would hate to make a batch of hot salsa, using the only super hot peppers I have, and have it fail in processing.

On a related question, is there anything you would NOT pressure can, just do hot water bath process?
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#2 Silver_Surfer

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:59 PM

I don't think there is any disadvantage to pressure canning, so nothing I would omit from the process.

The whole deal with pressure canning is that water boils at a higher temp when under pressure, so you process your food at a higher temp that kills off more nasties. I'd still add a little lime juice to that salsa for flavor, though, but probably not necessary. :)
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#3 Pepperfreak

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:03 PM

While I'm an advocate of pressure canning, there are some advantages to water bath. For example, if you are canning whole peppers, of pepper slices, the high temps in pressure canning will turn them to mush. Pressure canning is great for low acidic foods, but the foods will be cooked more with that method. I water bathed all of my pickled peppers. But, my diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes, I pressure canned.
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#4 DownRiver

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

On a related question, is there anything you would NOT pressure can, just do hot water bath process?



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#5 POTAWIE

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:50 PM

While I'm an advocate of pressure canning, there are some advantages to water bath. For example, if you are canning whole peppers, of pepper slices, the high temps in pressure canning will turn them to mush. Pressure canning is great for low acidic foods, but the foods will be cooked more with that method. I water bathed all of my pickled peppers. But, my diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes, I pressure canned.


+1 on that, especially with pickled peppers and chunky salsas
You may also want a low Ph to give it some shelf life once its opened
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#6 jjs7741

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:35 PM

I don't like the taste of vinegar in the salsa myself, so I use lemon juice. Lemon or lime juice are also more acidic than vinegar as well. I like my salsa chunky, hot and a little tart as well. I use a little over 1 cup of lemon juice per 6 pint batch to counteract the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes that I use. I boiling water bath them as well so they don't get too mushy.

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#7 The Chile Farm

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

I agree with the use of lemon or lime juice as an acidifier. The point about PH is that you don't want certain things growing in your salsa. The FDA wants folks who sell products to be at 4.0 PH. The acual safe mark is 4.6 but clearly they want a safety net so 4 is there number. (I just finished my better foods processing school at the university of Oregon) so that I could leagally make the products I now sell. Instead of flying under the radar like so many sauce makers. The preasure cooker won't kill anything more than the hot water bath. It just cooks your food more. If you get your product up to temp. when filling the jars and cover as recommended and cook for the right amount of time, your salsa will be much better that way. Using the preasure cooker DOES NOT replace the need to have your PH at or under 4.6. Better at a notch under. Hope this helps, Dave
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#8 Silver_Surfer

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:38 AM

Pressure canning does raise the temp of the canning process, that is the whole purpose of the additional pressure. A water bath can't reach the same temps and higher temps kill organisms that a water bath can't touch.

OTOH, for pickled peppers, all I've ever done is pour a boiling vinegar/salt brine over the top of the sliced or slitted pods packed in a sterile jar, capped and sealed. Never had a problem with them and been doing it that way for many years. I'm not saying that is the best way for pickling pods/pod slices, but using boiling 5% vinegar and salt (plus spices) is my preferred method.
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#9 AlabamaJack

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:00 AM

hot water bath canning does not get the temp high enough to kill clostridium spores...you have to pressure can...pH needs to be somewhere around 4 (as was already said)

"By cooking under pressure, you can bring the temperature of boiling water up to 116oC (240o F). This is the minimum temperature necessary to destroy botulism spores, and the only way to guarantee safe canning for food items such as vegetables, meats and seafood."

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#10 POTAWIE

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:20 AM

Using the preasure cooker DOES NOT replace the need to have your PH at or under 4.6. Better at a notch under. Hope this helps, Dave


Actually I believe it does. Pressure canning is the only safe way to process low acid foods. You don't really need to worry about pH until the jar is open
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#11 jjs7741

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:49 PM

The preasure cooker won't kill anything more than the hot water bath. It just cooks your food more. If you get your product up to temp. when filling the jars and cover as recommended and cook for the right amount of time, your salsa will be much better that way. Using the preasure cooker DOES NOT replace the need to have your PH at or under 4.6. Better at a notch under. Hope this helps, Dave


I agree that the pressure COOKER will kill the same as the BWB and does not replace the hot water bath, which is needed to seal the jars. And the lower the Ph, the longer the shelf life after it is opened, but with a pressure CANNER, you can process all foods regardless of the Ph and get it safe. That is the only way to can green beans, corn, peas, etc. and will kill the nasties that are still alive after a hot water bath.

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#12 salsalady

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:51 PM

I agree that the pressure COOKER will kill the same as the BWB and does not replace the hot water bath, which is needed to seal the jars. And the lower the Ph, the longer the shelf life after it is opened, but with a pressure CANNER, you can process all foods regardless of the Ph and get it safe. That is the only way to can green beans, corn, peas, etc. and will kill the nasties that are still alive after a hot water bath.

jacob



jacob, what is the difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner? I've heard cooker and canner used interchangably when referring to the pressure canning method. the other method is the hot water bath or boiling water bath.


And to try to clarify-
foods that are acidic with a pH below 4.0 (either naturally or with added acids like vinegar or citrus) can safely be processed with a hot water bath. High Sugar products like jam, jelly, fruits in sugar syrups can safely be processed in a hot water bath. They can also be processed in a pressure canner if that's how someone wants to do it, but it's not necessary.

low acid foods like green beans, or other vegetables MUST BE pressure canned. Any sauce where the person does not know for sure what the pH is Should Be pressure canned! Refer back to Alabama Jack's post that had the link in it.





Q for Dave who just did the Better Process School...
how does a processor test the pH of a chunky salsa? The sauce has vinegar or other acid in it, but the chunky
bell peppers, hot peppers, onions and garlic are low acid foods. Simply testing the sauce does not give an accurate reading of the whole product.

SL

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#13 jjs7741

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:13 PM

The difference is just the jars. A cooker is just that, a large pot that you can pressurize and cook at a higher temp, while a canner is for sealing the jars and killing the nasties inside it. My pressure canner can double as a pressure cooker, as most probably can, but I have never used it as one.

#14 salsalady

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:20 PM

thanks for the reply, jjs.

I think I'm still a little confused...(not uncommon for me :) )

Is the difference maybe that one has a gauge and the other one doesn't?

I'm thinking of the sauce-pan size pan I have that has the locking lid with rubber seal, but it does not have the pressure gauge on top. You could fit maybe 6 pint jars into the pan. It's probably 4-5 qt size. And then there is the large kettle-size pressure "canner" that is about 18"w x 24"h and has the gauge and vent thingy with the wobbly stopper that someone should make look like a Hula Girl.


I have used the large pressure canner to cook beans for chili and for salsa. I cook 1 gallon of dry beans with 2 gallons of water and spices at 15lb pressure for 1 hour. Is this what you mean by pressure cooker _vs_ pressure canner?

If you feel so inclined as to post pics that would be great. Thanks for your input.

Edited by salsalady, 24 September 2010 - 09:23 PM.

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#15 Silver_Surfer

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:40 PM

The difference is usually size, cookers being smaller and shallower and often with a spin lock lid, while the canner will have latches around the perimeter and come with jar racks. You can do the same pressure canning in a cooker and you can put a gauge on either, just add a rack to hold the jars off the bottom. The added pressure and higher temp is the same result in both.
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#16 salsalady

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:46 PM

OK, thanks, SS, sounds like what I was thinking, but I was thrown off by the different terminology. I figured if I was confused, others might be also.







PS- thanks for the goodie box for the NW chlehead party! I snagged a bottle ;) :woohoo:

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#17 Silver_Surfer

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

You're welcome. Cool, hope you enjoyed the sauce. :)
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#18 salsalady

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:31 PM

You're welcome. Cool, hope you enjoyed the sauce. :)



Oh YEAH! took it to work on the construction site, it made a few boys pay attention, still have some for us~~~ :D

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#19 POTAWIE

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 07:34 AM

Pressure cooker and canners usually refer to the same thing where I'm from. You need a pressure cooker to pressure can
http://www.pickyouro...surecanners.htm
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#20 salsalady

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:51 AM

that's a great link Potawie. I bookmarked it as this question comes up regularly, and that's a whole lot easier than typing it all out...again..and again... :)

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