Made too much pico de gallo that you want to store for days? Here’s what you need to know.
Pico de gallo is best with the freshest ingredients and is also served fresh. However, it is possible to preserve pico de gallo. Preserving it in a jar is more common among many people. However, the more prevalent preservation is refrigeration and freezing, with the former being better than the latter.
So, is preserving in cans and jars the same, and why is freezing not the best way to preserve pico de gallo? Find out the answers below!
Can Pico de Gallo be Canned?
Pico de gallo is seldom, if not, never sold canned. But preserving it in jars is possible to do at home.
First things first. Canning is a term that is used in preserving food. This can be done using cans (metal) or jars (glass). In pico de gallo, canning more commonly pertains to preserving in jars.
The common preservation techniques for pico de gallo are refrigeration and freezing, not canning or adding preservatives. However, freezing is not recommended because this changes the taste drastically when thawed.
While pico de gallo calls for raw and fresh ingredients, salsa recipe doesn’t always. Salsa can utilize canned or cooked tomatoes and other raw ingredients. Pico de gallo is chunky with the vegetables you can bite into. Traditional salsa is more liquid-like in texture (source: Master Class).
This means pico de gallo is best consumed fresh. However, there are available commercial pico de gallo which you can buy online or in stores. They are usually sold in transparent disposable containers.
They are the closest to being fresh because they only keep for 3 to 7 days maximum.
Can You Preserve Pico de Gallo in Jars?
With this said, canning is still possible at home. The closest thing to canned pico de gallo (not salsa) using fresh ingredients would probably be processing the jars filled with pico de gallo in boiling water for 15 minutes, like this simple recipe from Consumer Queen.
According to Foodsguy, canning process is an excellent way to store and extend the life of your pico de gallo, especially if you’ve made too much to be consumed in a day or two.
The procedure goes to prepare the pico de gallo according to your preference in terms of cutting or pre-cooking. Next, the cans should be pre-heated with hot water or the dishwasher.
The jars are filled with about half an inch of headspace left in the jar from the top. It is then sealed and added with rims to help prevent air bubbles from entering.
The jarred pico de gallo is then subjected to a hot bath or pressure canner for 15 minutes. Let it cool for 24 hours before storing it in the freezer.
This should last for up to 12 months, provided the jars are pre-heated and have rims or are tightly sealed, and stored optimally (source: Foodsguy).
Others cook pico de gallo before canning it in a jar like this recipe. But cooking usually draws out the moisture from the fresh veggies, especially the fresh tomatoes.
Not many have canned their pico de gallo and there’s not much information about it. But if you’re up for an experiment, you always can.
Canned food is still prone to going bad. Just make sure to follow safe canning and preservation guidelines.
You can visit the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA or the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information about canning safely.
We hope this article helps you in your journey of canning pico de gallo!