Canning Tomato Salsa
Canning Tomato Salsa: I used to can a lot when I was younger but have forgotten some things and am more paranoid about food safety.
I cooked up a pot of salsa with fresh tomatoes, spices, lime juice, salt, etc. then I put it in quart jars in my water bath. It finally came to a boil but it was boiling so big I turned the burner down and then the boiling stopped for a bit until i got it back up.
This happened twice during the total process. But I timed them for about 1 1/2 hours over a burner then just left them in the water until it was cool.
The jars all sealed and look fine. Do you think that they are safe?
There are several reasons I hesitate to say you are fine.
The first one is that I am not familiar with your recipe. I always recommend following USDA guidelines. They are pretty clear in stating that the ratio of veggies to tomatoes is important in determining acidity. You can play with the flavors of spices but not the vegetables. Acidity is what determines if your recipe is safe in the first place. So I don't know if your recipe is a safe tested recipe.
Vinegar and Lemon juice are the 2 ingredients that add the acidity to your salsa. You mention lime juice but not lemon. I don't believe they do the same thing.
Finally as to the timing. I don't have a recipe that gives processing times for quarts. I do know that the product needs to process at a full boil for the whole time.
I'll bet your salsa would be great for freezing or simply making just enough to eat and store in the fridge, but you're better off following a tested recipe if you want to can it.