Canning tomatoes is easy. If you can boil water you can can tomatoes.
If you are new to canning, this is a great place to start. If you are not new to canning but like to do things the easy way, this post still may be helpful.
There are 4 steps to canning tomatoes:
- Remove Peels
- Shove in jars
- Adjust lids
- Boil in Waterbath
That’s all. So Easy!!!! Here’s the detailed step by step:
Around here tomato day is a party. Unlike “Weed the CSA Day” or “Put up Hay Day,” “Tomato Day” doesn’t cause grumbling, groaning, whining, or complaining.
“Tomato Day” is big fun. Everyone helps. Everyone laughs. Everyone likes canning tomatoes.
When it comes to getting the skins off of tomatoes (or peaches for that matter) you could spend a couple of hours peeling; or you can blanch them.
If you want to slip off tomato skins in seconds blanching is the way to go. My kids have always participated in the blanching process. If you have small children, or children who don’t like getting splashed with really hot water – you should do the blanching without kids.
We like to live on the edge around here, have giant teenage kids and have learned how to get the hot water splashing to a minimum…….
So, the kids help blanch.
Here’s how you blanch a tomato (or 400 tomatoes):
- Cut out the core
- Cut an “X” on the bottom
- Drop tomatoes into simmering/boiling water (we do 6-8 tomatoes at a time)- Leave them in the simmering water for 20-30 seconds
- Transfer tomatoes into ice water
- Slip off peels
We line our counters for the process and put one person in charge of each step. With this assembly line approach, we can blanch 400 tomatoes in no time at all.
We don’t discriminate around here. Guys blanch tomatoes too. And sometimes we sit on countertops. Don’t judge us.
Once all the tomatoes are naked, get the jars ready. I stick all my jars in my dishwasher when we begin the blanch-fest and set it on “sanitize.” When it’s time to start filling jars, they are hot and sanitized. Just stop the dishwasher mid-cycle and grab the hot jars to fill (be careful, don’t hurt yourself).
I add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each quart jar (you can also use apple cider vinegar). This ensures the proper acid level so you don’t poison yourself this winter.
Then I add a teaspoon of salt to each quart (1/2 tsp salt for pints). Salt is optional.
Fill hot jars with tomatoes. Top off jars with hot liquid. You can use water or tomato juice. If you use water you will only have to process in a boiling water bath for 45 mintues. If you use their own juice for the liquid they need to be processed for 1 hour 25 mintues.
Run a knife around the edges and center to remove any air bubbles. Leave 1/2 inch headspace and wipe the rims with a damp, clean cloth.
You want to tighten the rings fingertip tight. Not so tight that Hulk couldn’t open them.
Drop the jars of tomatoes into a simmering water bath. Bring to boil. Start timing.
Here’s something crazy about canning tomatoes:
- If you can tomato juice only you boil in water bath for 40 minutes.
- If you can whole tomatoes packed in water you boil in water bath for 45 minutes
- If you can whole tomatoes packed in their own juice you boil for 1 hour 25 mintues.
Don’t ask me, I just go by the guidelines in my Ball Blue Book. If you packed your tomatoes in tomato juice (like me) you will be boiling these for the next hour & a half and your kitchen will be 84 degrees by dinnertime.
Yay! Canning season!
Process quarts in water bath. After the bath, set them to cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for a seal before moving to long term storage.
Canned Whole Tomatoes
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Happy Canning Everyone!
Preserve the fresh tomatoes from your garden to enjoy all year with this simple process.
Wash tomatoes. Peel and remove cores.
Get jars ready – (I run my jars & lids through the dishwasher on sanitize to get them clean and hot for stuffing). Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each quart jar (1 Tbsp for pints). Add a teaspoon of salt to each quart if desired. (1/2 tsp for pints).
Pack tomatoes into hot jars. Fill hot jars with hot water or hot tomato juice.
Run a knife around the edges and center to remove any air bubbles. Leave 1/2 inch headspace and wipe the rims with a damp, clean cloth. Adjust lids & rings. Process in boiling hot water bath for correct time based on liquid used.
- If you packed in water you boil in water bath for 45 minutes
- If you packed in their own juice you boil for 1 hour 25 mintues.
Begin timing after it starts to boil.
After the bath, set them to cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for a seal before moving to long term storage.
Disclaimer: Always follow directions specific to your equipment and elevation for canning. Dispose of any home canned goods that show signs of spoilage which can include: bulging lids, leaking, corrosion, cloudy, mushy, moldy foods or disagreeable odors.