Salsa Fresca. Need canning help / tips etc.

Hello all, this is going to ramble a bit, but here goes. My wife makes a KILLER salsa fresca. Not an artisanal, heirloom tomato, organic veg affair. We're talking canned tomatoes, yellow hots from a jar, vinegar and assorted spices. The problem is that a batch yields about a gallon of salsa. All our friends and family dig it, so we're able to give allot of it away, but... Anyway, the wife wants to can it in 8oz jars. We were thinking a water bath method of canning would work, but it looks like we will need to invest in a pressure canner which is fine. My question to any canners out there, is it necessary to cook the product before canning? My wife doesn't cook or heat hers. The canning websites I looked at suggested heating to at least 180 degrees. We tried that last night with some and it didn't work, taste wise. Allot of the recipes I saw call for replacing the vinegar with lemon juice for acidity reasons to inhibit spoilage. We had tried that once before also just tinkering with the taste and it changed the flavor profile quite a bit, and not in a good way, for us anyway. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. BTW, we did try making smaller batches, but it just wasn't the same.


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