I have no talent (or so my kids tell me) for making either pizza sauce or salsa. However our family enjoys both these sauces in appreciable quantities. So what's an avid canner to do?
My solution may not be for everyone, but it works for us: I buy large commercial quantities of these items, and re-can them into smaller packages.
Recently I purchased a case of salsa in #10 cans.
By nesting my two largest pots double-boiler style (so the salsa wouldn't burn at the bottom), I was able to fit three cans in at a time. I like to hot-pack the salsa, which means I need to heat it up to near-boiling before packing the jars.
I washed and saved the cans, of course. Large cans are always useful around here.
I always pressure-can my re-canned salsa. I'd rather play it safe than sorry. My canner holds 18 pints at a time, so that's how many jars I filled. I had some leftover salsa, which I canned in the next batch.
Scalding my Tattler lids and rings.
Into the canner.
My pressure canner is an All American, which has a metal-to-metal seal between the lid and the body. This means that about every five uses or so, I need to lubricate the metal on the lid by applying a thin coat of petroleum jelly. This keeps the metal lid from "sticking" to the body of the canner after processing something. I keep the tub of Vaseline inside the canner when I store it away so I never have to go searching for it.
I re-canned the salsa at 12 lbs. pressure (adjusted for our higher elevation) for 25 minutes for the pints.
While the first batch processed, I heated the other three cans of salsa and packed the jars.
This left me with six clean empty large cans, which I stashed in the barn for the time being.
First batch, out of the canner.
While the second batch processed, I washed the large pots and other accouterments. Sheesh, it seems my stove has been FULL of large pots lately, since I've been canning so much.
I ended up with four extra pints above what the canner would hold during the second batch. I toyed with just putting them in the fridge for immediate use, but I was afraid that much salsa would go bad before it could be eaten. In the end I processed a third batch in the pressure canner -- four lonely pints in a canner that holds 18.
The case of salsa cost me about $42 at a wholesale grocery. I got 40 pints canned up out of that case, so that comes to a hair over $1/pint (not counting the cost of the propane to re-can everything). What does a pint of salsa go for these days? Did I save money doing this?