This recipe yields about 8 pints of salsa, but this can vary depending on the water content of your tomatoes and how thick or thin you make your salsa.
Here is a short glossary of basic canning terms:
Band: A metal, threaded screw band used with a lid to form a two-piece cap.
Boiling-Water Canner: A large pot or kettle big enough to completely immerse filled jars; used to process jars.
Headspace: The unfilled area between the rim of a jar and the top of the contents of that jar.
Lid: A flat, metal vacuum sealing lid used with a band to form a two-piece cap.
Processing: Sterilizing jars and their contents in a canner (a boiling-water canner, in our case) to destroy any bacteria or enzymes that may harm you.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Supplies
Gathering all of the necessary ingredients and supplies before you begin will save you time and make the canning process much smoother.
You will need the following ingredients and supplies:
Approximately 15 lbs. of tomatoes (this is about 3 quarts of prepared tomatoes)
3 cups onion
6 jalapeño peppers
3 cloves garlic
2 cans tomato paste (12 oz each)
2 cups lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs sugar
Optional: Cilantro, cumin, and any other peppers. I used banana and hot chile peppers that I grew myself, plus an ancho chile - different combinations of peppers will give you different flavored salsas, so be creative. Just be sure you taste it as you go - you don't want to make it too spicy to eat and share!
large saucepot (the bigger the better - keep in mind that we'll have around 3 quarts of just tomatoes)
small saucepot (This is just to keep the lids in, so size isn't as important)
canner or large stockpot (This is what the filled jars will process in)
large stirring spoon
three large bowls
lids and bands
You'll also want to either have your trash can handy, or another bowl to use as a trash bowl - this will make getting rid of the skins easier.
It is very helpful to have canning utensils, such as a jar lifter, lid lifter, wide-mouth funnel, and headspace tool. However, if you do not have these, you can use tongs (to lift jars out of the hot water), a fork or a magnet (to lift lids out of the hot water). Just be very careful not to drop your jars!
*I know that sounds excessive, but we're going to be getting rid of the skins, the seeds, and squeezing a bunch of juice out of them.