How to Can Tomatoes

Reader Contribution by Candi Johns
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You can do this! Canning tomatoes is easy. If you can boil water you can can tomatoes.

If you are new to canning, tomatoes are a great place to start. If you are not new to canning but like to do things the easy way, this article still may be helpful.

There are four steps to canning tomatoes:

1. Remove peels
2. Shove in jars
3. Adjust lids
4. Boil in hot water bath

That’s it. Let’s can some tomatoes!

STEP 1: Remove peels

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 fun. Everyone helps. Everyone laughs. Everyone has fun canning tomatoes.

When it comes to getting the skins off of tomatoes, you could spend a couple of hours peeling; or you can blanch them.

Take a closer look in How to Blanch Vegetables.

My teenagers help. We line our counters for the process and put one person in charge of each step. With this assembly line approach, we can blanch a bunch of tomatoes in no time at all.

STEP 2: Fill jars

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 vinegar to each quart jar (you can also use bottled lemon juice). Use 1 tablespoon for pints.

Then I add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart (1/2 teaspoon salt for pints).

Fill hot jars with tomatoes. Top off jars with liquid (I use tomato juice for the liquid). Run a plastic 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.

STEP 3: Adjust lids

You want to tighten the rings fingertip tight. Not so tight that Hulk couldn’t open them.

STEP 4: Boil

Drop the jars of tomatoes into a simmering water bath. Bring to boil. Start timing. Process quarts in water bath for 45 minutes (pints for 40 minutes). After the bath, set them to cool 12 to 24 hours. Check lids for a seal before moving to long-term storage.

Ta-Daa! Canned tomatoes.

Another method:

Canned Tomatoes
• Tomatoes
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Salt

Peel (or blanch) tomatoes. Heat peeled tomatoes in saucepan. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to each jar (1 tablespoon per pint or 2 tablespoons per quart). Add 1 to 2 teaspoons salt to each jar (1 teaspoon for pints or 2 teaspoons for quarts). Fill hot jars with hot tomatoes. Top off with tomato juice leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in boiling hot-water bath for 40 to 45 minutes (40 minutes for pints; 45 minutes for quarts).

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Happy Canning everyone!

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