My tomatoes are not all ripe at one time. Can I freeze them and then use the frozen tomatoes in a recipe calling for fresh tomatoes? The same goes with my hot peppers. If so, is there a specific way to freeze them?
We don't recommend using thawed, frozen tomatoes in salsa recipes for canning. The quality of the salsa will not be as good because once the frozen tomatoes are thawed, they will be drier.
One solution would be to cut your salsa recipe in half or quarter it. To avoid having to heat up a large boiling water canner for a small batch, you can make a smaller one of your own with a tall stock pot. I keep a small 12-quart stock pot on hand to make jams and jellies - it never boils over! This is perfect for pint jars of fruit or salsa, too; lots of room for that 1 to 2 inches of water needed to cover all the jars during processing.
For the metal tray to keep the jars from touching the bottom, I use the tray that came with my pressure cooker. If you don't have one, you can make your own by making a trivet from canning jar screw bands held together with twisty-ties.
You can also make salsa and freeze it for later use.