Wondering if I have to boil my homemade jars of salsa to seal them if they sealed on their own. (Yes I sterilized them before hand) The salsa went in hot and once the lid was on, about 5 minutes later there was the telltale pop!

IF this is safe, how long does something like homemade salsa and homemade sauces keep for in sealed jars?

Thanks! ~Andrea

2 Answers 2


Yes, you should fully process your salsa, even if you got the "hot jelly" seal just from hot packing.

The reason for this is that part of the processing is to ensure that the entire contents of the jar, all the way through, is at a high enough temperature for a long enough time to be safe as a shelf-stable product. This may or may not already be true from the initial cooking down, but in these matters, you absolutely positively want to be sure.


All the books I have read on canning and preserving say that in order to safely process a non,or low acid fruit or veg ,you must pressure can it. They even go so far as to say that Tomatoes ,which have usually been the one "veg" you can hot -water bath, should be pressure canned ,because todays' market tomatoes are low acid. The best book I have found on storing food is called " Putting Food By" the book explains how and why to preserve food to get the best results, (I just checked, it's available at Amazon,an as a Kindle) but I borrowed my copy at the library. Another source of Good info is the Bernardin website, take care.

  • 3
    This is true - though I don't think it's because today's tomatoes are different, but rather because tomatoes are very close to the boundary between low-acid and high-acid for canning. In the past, people were a bit less cautious, and sometimes there is sufficient acid anyway, but in general, it's not safe.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 8, 2014 at 15:56
  • 2
    I just add ascorbic acid powder (vitamin C) to my tomato-based preserves. It raises the acidity using something out bodies actually use. Then I can hot-water process with impunity. :)
    – Shalryn
    Sep 22, 2016 at 16:46

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