The Art of Canning at Home

Salsa in the Studio
Posted at 10:14 AM, Apr 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-10 07:26:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Canning can be a great way to save food long term as long as it is done in a safe way.

Heidi Copeland from the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, University of Florida-IFAS Extension is talking about how canning is a project anyone can do.

Below are her instructions for how to safely can at home.

Tomato and Green Chile Salsa


3 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
3 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
¾ cup chopped onions
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-½ cups vinegar (5 percent)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
1-½ teaspoons salt or canning salt

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home CanningYield: About 3 pints

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Preparing Peppers: The jalapeño peppers do not need to be peeled. The skin of long green chiles may be tough and can be removed by heating the peppers. Usually when peppers are finely chopped, they do not need to be peeled. If you choose to peel chiles, slit each pepper along the side to allow steam to escape.

Peel using one of these two methods:

Oven or broiler method to blister skins - Place chiles in a hot oven (400°F) or broiler for 6 to 8 minutes until skins blister.

Range-top method to blister skins - Cover hot burner (either gas or electric) with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers on burner for several minutes until skins blister.

To peel, after blistering skins, place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp cloth. (This will make peeling the peppers easier.) Cool several minutes; slip off skins. Discard seeds and chop.

Hot Pack: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into clean, hot pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations found here.


The only changes you can safely make in this salsa recipe are to substitute bottled lemon juice for the vinegar and to change the amount of salt and herbs. Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe.

Additional materials:

Canning: Getting Started

National Center for Home Food Preservation