Jason L
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How should I can tomatoes?

I have an older better homes an garden home canning cook book but it seems lacking in details and possibly over complicated. I don't have any special canning things like the pressure canner they talk about in the book. My grandma used to do a lot of canning from when I was little to the day her health was so bad she was no longer able to keep canning (a few years before she passed away). I seem to recall she never used anything special either. She had a big pot she sanitized the jars in and filled the jars with whatever she was canning and they'd sit on the counter until they were ready to go into the storage area under the ground level of her tri-level home. I'm assuming that however they are canned they would be used in the same things/ways you would use tomatoes you buy in cans in the grocery store. I know for sure I want to have diced tomatoes for making chili this winter. I also think I would like to have some tomato sauce so I can make pizzas and pasta dishes like spaghetti. I know there are stewed tomatoes though I'm not really sure what they are used for to know if that is something I should can as well. And I don't know if there are other ways to consider canning tomatoes as well. And I'm assuming that each of these types will have a different way of going about canning. Other than canning jalepeno peppers in water, vinegar, salt mix 2 years ago I have done no canning and so consider me new and knowing nothing of what I'm doing.

valley
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Hi Jason, If you have tomatoes and want to can them, do it. People have been canning for hundreds of years. If you have saved bottles Mason type or not, boil them for a bit, try 10mins, than with the tomatoes cut, mashed or sliced, cooked and spiced the way you want them, scoop them into the bottles than place the bottles or jars back in the pot you boiled them in with water half way up the jar, boil for another 10min or more screw the tops on, you can let them cool in the water if you want. Do 10 jars Jason, than show us what you've done. Have a good one

Richard

The folks here may help by adding or subtracting from what I wrote.

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applestar
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

We had a long discussion about this very topic a while ago during which many excellent suggestion were made. It's true that some advances have been made and new details have been researched regarding hot water bath canning so using older cookbooks for instructions is not recommended.

There are links to reliable resources posted in this thread. It's a sticky (red ribbon marked thread) listed at the top of this (Canning - Preserving - Recipes) forum.

:arrow: Subject: Canning tomatoes in mason jars.
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applestar
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

I think I will add this link to that thread:

USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2009 revision
https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publi ... _usda.html
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

valley
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Jason, That last thread is pretty good, give you an idea how many pounds to how many jars and some ideas on spices. If you don't wish to buy a pressure cooker use grandmas method which no doubt was a pot large enough for several, 5 or 6 jars for sterilizing and in jar heating.

Read through that last thread applestar posted for some added hints, than put up a few jars. You'll be surprised how well you do and you will be able to decide additions or changes to your next batch.

Please show and tell us what you do, about the outcome and what changes if any you plan for your next. Have a great adventure.

Richard

Jason L
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

I'll read through the thread in the morning and report back. I got discouraged when I seen it, before I started this thread, and the OP pics were all missing. I have the next two days off so I'm hoping to can the ones I have so far. I'll take a wild guess and say there are at least 6 pounds (21 fist sized and slightly smaller tomatoes) ripe on my counter top. I have dozens of both pint and quart mason jars available for use.

valley
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Don't be discouraged, 21 fist sized tomatoes are good lot to have right at your elbow, there when you need it. You have mason jars, great. Our girls saved other type jars and put up jam and pickled squash last year, great to have around.
Let us see what you can. Thanks

Richard

Jason L
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Ok I read through the thread. Some of the replies I skimmed over. I'm a little confused after reading the OP because of the lack of pictures to go with the info. The tomatoes are being cooked part I don't understand exactly how that part goes. The tomatoes are in chunks (perhaps quartered?) then put in empty pots? to cook. It's from here I get further confused. As to avoid burning they would need to be stirred. Which I expect would turn this saucy. Which only has me confused more when the next step is skimming off the skins. I have previously used the method cutting an X in the skin at the bottom of the tomato and cutting out the stem and then dipping them for 30-60 seconds in boiling water and then cooling them in cold water and peeling off the skin. I would then use those in whatever I was making with the tomatoes; chili, salsa etc. Of course those tomatoes came from the store since this is my first year with a big garden and growing tomatoes.

However reading the USDA canning tomatoes PDA I'm not nearly as confused. I think for this first batch of canning I would either want to can them whole or halved, diced or crushed. I could use it to make my chili for the cold weather starting in November. I assume in the case of diced I could use the same method as the USDA guide for crushed? It would appear they left out a guide for diced otherwise. It also appears that if I want to can sauce I need to use a pressure canner?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

I personally fill up one side of the sink (plugged) with my tomatoes and then pour boiling water over them. Let them sit for 10 minutes then pull the plug with tongs, and drain.

Then I let them cool a little and just pull them out one at a time, cut the core out, and the skin slips right off, no problem! I crush them in my palm and when I get enough, I process them according to my Ball Book. In a water bath canner. IME, skins are much easier to remove before cooking. If I make sauce, I chuck it all in and then I run it through the food mill, which removes seeds and skins.

Ball Book (or canning books in general) are full of really exciting recipes and they have step by Step instruction that are safe to follow. I share nearly everything I preserve with friends co-workers and colleagues. I also have a young child, (and another one on the way!!! Surprise!!!) so safety is VERY important to me. I don't wanna get me or mine sick, and I'd feel awful if someone got hurt from something I'd prepared.
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Ohio Tiller
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Ball jar blue book is the bible for canning.
We have canned pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce stewed tomatoes and just plain ole tomato sauce.
We just throw them in boiling water for just a few minutes and the skins just jump off of them. When can the juice I use the juicer I get a ton more juice to can and it tastes so much better. My favorite thing to make is home made canned tomato soup there is nothing you can make with tomatoes that is better then this stuff. When I would eat the store bought stuff I would fill it with crackers just to get it down. With the home made soup all I need is a spoon!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Recipe please....
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Jason L
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

I have completed canning some of what I had on the counter. I canned the ones that didn't have nice eye appeal (about 2/3 of the 30 or so I had on the counter). That made 8 pints of canned crushed tomatoes. Being my first time doing this total time from selecting the tomatoes to pulling the jars out of the water bath was about 3 hours or so. I didn't stop to take pictures of every detail but I have two of the last bit of the process.
Attachments
Jars cooling
Jars cooling
Almost done
Almost done

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Yay! You did it!!! You just open a whole new, super fun world! Preserving is one of my favorite things to do, and canning is at the top of my preserving list!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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Gary350
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

What are you going to do with your canned tomatoes? Are you going to make, soup, stew, chili, Italian food, etc.? If so you do not need to can whole tomatoes.

Sort and clean your good tomatoes. Slice whole tomatoes into pieces then puree them in the kitchen blender. Turn the seeds and skins into juice along with the tomatoes. The skins contain 50% of the tomato flavor. 3 minutes in the kitchen blender is all it takes.

Bring a large pot of puree tomatoes to a boil then fill clean jars 1/2" from the top with not tomatoes and put on the seal and ring.

No need to boil jars, lids, and cooking tools like the books say your going to boil it in jars anyway so why do it twice, I never do and have not done it in 40 years.

NO need to add salt or vinegar to the tomatoes either unless you grow yellow low acid tomatoes.

Tomatoes are already hot so the jars boil quit. Do not put jars in cold water it will crack the glass jars. Heat the water to 180 degrees before you put in the jars. You need 1" of water above the jars. Bring them to a boil 20 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts.

Turn off the heat and let them set until they cool on their own. About 12 hours later you can remove them from the water. I did 22 pints in about 2 hours that say. I did 100 pints 12 quarts for the summer.

Image

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valley
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Good for you Jason, you got that taken care of. You'll be smiling.

Richard

Thanks Gary for the information.

Jason L
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

An update from my batch last year. I had 3 or 4 pints seals fail and of course the tomatoes inside were rancid. But bad for my first time I guess. I'm not sure why the seals failed. I thought I was being very careful. Perhaps I over tightened those? This year I'm trying Roma and cherry tomatoes.

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sweetiepie
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Re: How should I can tomatoes?

Kerr and Ball have changed there formula for the seal on the lids, the last few years due to regulations.

I don't know how you applied your lids.

If you read the directions that are on the box, it now says to just stick them on. But I have found this doesn't work. So I still do it the old way which is to bring a pan of water to boiling, turn it down just under a simmer and throw my lids in there for 10 minutes. I haven't had any fail, knock on wood, yet. But I have heard of lots of people having problems because they changed. Also causing more people to use tattler lids. I haven't invested in those yet but would like to try them.

Yours look great!

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