Canning salsa fresh lemon juice vs. bottled Asked October 10, 2017, 11:55 AM EDT

Asked September 30, 2019, 12:34 PM EDT

Hello- In regards to your response to the above-mentioned question wherein you indicated that they should open and boil their sauce canned with fresh lemon juice.- I have just literally finished a batch of tomato sauce and have used fresh lemon juice (it is still hot) which I understand is too low in acidity to properly preserve the sauce. At this time while newly canned can I just cool the jars overnight and put them directly into the freezer without having to boil them again for the recommended 10 minutes as indicated in your original response? I wasn’t sure if time was a factor and that is why the individual had to reboil their sauce or simply the fact that they had used fresh lemon.

Outside United States

1 Response

I will try and answer all of your questions: Fresh lemon juice does not contain a consistent acidic level, and you are correct--that is not what is recommended for canning, bottled is. Also, time is a factor as tomato sauce needs to be in a hot water bath for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts, and then you have to adjust for altitude--so it might be more depending upon how many feet you are above sea level. Now, with that said, you can definitely freeze your jars, but make sure the head space is at least an inch so it can expand. If it is not, the jars could bust. I would cool them down and place them in the fridge overnight, then in the freezer tomorrow. I see no reason why you should have to reheat it if you are freezing it.