Canning Salsa without Using Pressure Cookers
You should not use a pressure cooker to can salsa.
The best way to make salsa is with a pressure canner. This is not the same as a pressure cooker and is specifically designed with home preserving in mind. This is unlike a pressure cooker which is a very versatile appliance, designed for cooking meals and preparing all sorts of food but not is designed for canning.
With a pressure canner, you fill the jars with your salsa mix and cook the jars within the sealed unit of boiling water in a process known as a water bath. Because a pressure canner, cooks under intense pressure this means that the boiling point of the water is much higher than the temperatures reached by boiling water on the hob.
The result is that any bacteria are killed and you won’t be struck down with botulism or food poisoning when you decide to eat your salsa in a few months’ time.
With a pressure canner, there is a wire rack in place to prevent the jars from wobbling or potentially smashing into each other. It also makes it easy to remove the jars once the process is completed. Temperature controls are incredibly accurate so you know exactly how long to water bath the salsa in safety.
By contrast, a pressure cooker is not a good method of canning and the National Center for Food Preserving warns against doing this for safety reasons; you can’t place glass jars in your pressure cooker and cook under pressure for safety reasons.
Also, you would not be sure that sufficient heat would be reached in order to kill off the bacteria. Because there is such a wide range of pressure cooker models and temperature settings are not as precise as with a canner, it is impossible to generalize so the safest way is to not even try canning in a pressure cooker.
All that said, you are able to can salsa without using a pressure canner. If you are careful about sterilizing the jars, and if you increase the vinegar content in recipes in order to increase preserving time, you can make salsa without a pressure canner by boiling or water bathing the salsa jars in a large saucepan supported by a wire trivet.
You may find that your pressure cooker pot is suitable for this function but it is important that you are not tempted to put the pressure cooker under pressure.
When making salsa without a pressure canner, you need to ensure that your jars are totally submerged by boiling water in the saucepan and to boil over a slow even heat for around 35 minutes.
If you are using mason jars, the depression on the lid will indicate that that the salsa has been cooked under a vacuum and is sealed correctly. If any jars fail to show this depression, try the process again.