Canning Tomatoes

During the summer we est as many fresh tomatoes as we can! However, with just two people and 12 tomato plants, we get more tomatoes than we can handle. Canning is how we deal with this “issue.”

I like to can the tomatoes peeled and whole without salt so I can use them in whatever purpose I’d like to later.

We start by prepping all our materials. For this you’ll need:

  • Water bath canner of your choice
  • Mason jars (size is up to you)
  • New lids
  • Jar bands
  • Tomatoes (type is up to you)
  • Large pot
  • Paring knife
  • Bowl
  • Jar lifter or tongs
  • Ladle
  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Water

Start by preparing your canner. Fill it with water and start boiling the water. Place the jars, lids, and bands you plan to use in the canner to boil so everything gets cleaned and sterilized.

You should wash the tomatoes with a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.

While your washing the tomatoes, fill a large pit halfway with water and put it on the stove to boil.

Then, with your paring knife, cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.

Once your water is boiling and all your tomatoes have an X, move the tomatoes to the pot and let them boil for about 30 seconds. This helps the skin separate from the insides for easy peeling.

Once your tomatoes have boiled, remove them from the water and let them cool on the counter for a moment. They will be too hot to handle.

Once they have cooled to a temperature where you can handle them, start peeling the skins off. Place the peeled tomatoes into a bowl. You can compost the skins.

Once all the tomatoes are peeled, you can smash them or leave them whole. If you want to add salt, now is the time to do so. I didn’t so that I could have more flexibility later on.

Once your jars have boiled in the canner for at least 15 minutes, you can remove the jars, lids, and bands.

Set out your jars for easy filling.

Using a ladle, scoop the tomatoes into the jars. Leave about 1 inch of space between the tomatoes and the top of the jar.

Once all your jars are filled, give them a quick stir and tap to let out any air.

Using the paper towel, dip it in some white vinegar and run the vinegar covered paper towel along the tops of the jars to give everything one last cleaning.

Now place on the lids.

Now add the bands. When screwing on the bands, only tighten them hand tight. That means don’t put extra pressure when tightening them.

You can now move the jars back into the boiling canner. The cans should be fully submerged into water. If you need to add more water, do so now.

Once all the jars are in the canner, put the lid on and set a 30 minute timer. Let the cans boil for 30 minutes. You may hear clinking and popping. That’s okay.

After 30 minutes, carefully remove the jars. Use a jar lifter or tongs for this as the jars will so very, very hot.

Place the jars on the counter and let them sit for 24 hours, undisturbed.

After 24 hours you can remove the bands and check that all the lids have bonded to the jars. You can check this by looking at the button on the lid and by tapping them. If the button moves, the jar isn’t sealed. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used first. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for about six months. Always check the seal, smell the food, and check the food before using it at a later date. Enjoy!

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