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Greener Thumb
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Question about canning


I don't know much about canning. I am interested in canning some of my own salsa and maybe a few other recipes. The impression I have is the process includes boiling the jars to sterilize, adding your recipe into the jars and sealing, then boiling once again. How long does the last boil need to be? And does it cook the food when it is boiling?


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Canning salsa, stewed tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce is rather easy. Basically, cook your salsa, stewed tomatoes, or spaghetti sauce to taste. Make sure it is HOT HOT HOT (temperature). We let ours come to a low, rolling boil.

You'll also want to have a large kettle to sterilize your jars and lids in. Make sure the jars & lids are fully submersed. Some will tell you that you don't need to boil your lids as long as they're new out of the box. We do anyway.

Have a good set of tongs or two to grab them and turn them as necessary. We let the water in that kettle come to a boil and we let ours go for a good 10-15 minutes.

We then carefully pull out the jars and lids and set them upright on a dishtowel. Then, using a canning funnel, we pour in our piping hot (salsa, stewed tomatoes, or spaghetti sauce). Using a clean, dry towel, make sure to carefully wipe the rim of the jar to remove any spatters. You want CLEAN contact with the lid. Then, put your lid on, and tighten the ring on nice and tight. When finished, we like to cover our jars with a dry towel. Then, just let them sit.... After a long while, you'll hear some "popping." Those are the seals on the lids (that's a good thing). Try not to press down on the lids to make them pop. Let it happen naturally. We let ours cool overnight. Then, the next morning, we check them to make sure all the lids have popped.

It's also a good idea to use a Sharpie to write the date on the lid (after they've popped).

That's really about it! If you decide to can other things (like green beans and such), be sure to read up on each recipe, as you need to go with pressure canning for some of those - (which does cook whatever is in the jar). And cooking times will vary depending on the food.

Happy canning!
Last edited by nofeargardener on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Green Thumb
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If you have multiple questions on canning times the ball company has a web site that gives a lot of info, and I think presto does too, but that may only be for pressure canners, it as has been a few years since I looked at that particular site.

hit or miss
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I highly advise new canners to research this website for reliable canning information and tested recipes. Mike misspoke when he mentioned that greenbeans needed waterbath canning, they absolutely have to be pressure canned. High acid foods and fruits can be waterbathed, everything else needs pressure canning.

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Thanks for the correction Hit-or-miss. You are most definitely correct - meant to write "pressure canning." We've certainly canned our fair share of beans over the years. Guess my brain needed to catch up to my fingers as I was typing. :D I'll correct that line in my post.

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Not to pile on Mike, but the procedure he outlined is not even a proper water bath. A water bath, at least to me, means boiling the filled and sealed jars for a specified period of time.

Also, you have to watch the ingredients you include in a salsa or spaghetti sauce, too many low acid additions can make the mixture unsuitable for a simple water bath and necessitates pressure canning.


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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:19 pm
Location: NY

Ball puts out a good canning guide that is affordable and accurate. It was super helpful in my first attempt at strawberry jam.

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[url=]This thread[/url] from last year contains excellent photos, information, and links to authoritative sites (e.g., Ball, USDA) about canning. Please do not use "kinda sorta" procedures you read about on the Net, whether here or elsewhere, when it comes to canning food. Read authoritative sources, use their procedures, and maintain scrupulous cleanliness of your jars, lids, and food.

Avoiding food poisoning (in this case, possible botulism) is well worth some effort.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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