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Old March 1, 2018   #1
fordido
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Question Canning Tomato/Chile Pepper Blend?

Hi All!
I am brand new to canning & apologize in advance if this is a really dumb question, but I've searched online & in the forums and can't seem to find exactly what I'm looking for. Canning feels so intimidating, especially pressure canning! I'd like to can a homemade Rotel-type mixture, which is usually diced tomatoes & anaheim chiles, but I can't find any specific approved recipes for it in any of the official guides online. However it does say that you may pressure can a mixture of low-acid vegetables & process them according to the guidelines of the vegetable with the longest time. I referenced these two links to come up with a proposed plan for a mixture of 3 parts tomatoes to 1 part chiles:
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_juice_pack.html
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/peppers.html
1. Prep chile peppers according to NCHFP guidelines (roast, peel, chop)

2. Prep tomatoes according to NCHFP guidelines for hot-packed halved tomatoes in juice (blanch, peel, cut)

3. Add chile peppers & tomatoes to a pot. Continue to process mixture according to NCHFP guidelines for tomatoes by gently boiling for 5 minutes.

4. Add citric acid to jars & fill with tomato mixture. Top with juice, leaving appropriate headspace (tomato recipe calls for 1/2 inch, peppers recipe calls for 1 inch - not sure which to use??)

5. Process using weighted gauge pressure canner for 35 minutes at 15 pounds. This is the specified time for processing peppers, which is the higher of the two. Just tomatoes would process for 25 minutes at 15 pounds.
Does this sound like the proper method I should be using or would you recommend a different way? Has anyone else tried to make Rotel and have any suggestions/recipes? All of the information I've read online seems to say to only use an approved recipe for safety, so I'm nervous about deviating in any way.

Thank you so much for humoring my newbie question, so I can get back to obsessing about my 2018 grow list!
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Old March 1, 2018   #2
coronabarb
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Hi fordido, what size canning jars are you using? What elevation are you at? Above 1000 ft? This sounds fine and I would use the 1/2" headspace but you could leave a little more just to be sure it won't siphon.
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Old March 1, 2018   #3
fordido
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Thanks so much for your reply coronabarb!
I'm planning to use pint jars & our elevation is around 1700 ft. I hadn't heard of siphoning until you mentioned it, so thanks for putting that on my radar as well
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Old March 1, 2018   #4
coronabarb
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If you haven't already, take some time to read the basics at NCHFP. Siphoning can happen when jars are packed too full or not enough headspace or sometimes, just because. Dense things like purees expand a lot, causing siphoning. Good luck.
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Old March 1, 2018   #5
fordido
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Will do, thank you!!
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