Canning Whole Tomatoes

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By canning whole tomatoes you can enjoy that garden-fresh flavor all winter long.   Since they can be used in so many dishes, it’s necessary here in our little part of the world to grow a lot of them.

Every year, when planning the garden, I make a list of what I will need grow to restock the pantry.  These sweet red things are always at the top of the list. 

How to Can Whole Tomatoes

Not only do I can them whole, I also use them for canning salsa, stewed tomatoes, sauces – spaghetti and pizza, I make juice and more.  Tomatoes are like a staple on our homestead.

Canning List when making planting list

 

If mother nature continues to be kind with good weather – it’s about to get really busy here.  When working in the garden this morning I noticed the tomato vines are overly loaded this year.  Once they begin to ripen, they will all ripen about the same time and the window to save them is not very long.

So I will be soon be going into a marathon of preserving tomatoes and getting them into jars before as quickly as possible.  The image below is a little sneak peak into part  of last years crop.  For sure, this year, we have way more!

Tomatoes for canning
Lots of Tomatoes for canning

Warning  – Before We Begin

Canning is a wonderful way of preserving food in a jar, but it must be done correctly.  Since tomatoes are a high- acid food, it is necessary to can them in the water-bath method.  For all the proper safety measures for canning tomatoes, take  a look at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

2- Ways to Peel a Tomato

There are a couple different ways to peel a tomato.  You can either boil them and remove the skin or they can be frozen to be peeled.

To Peel by Boiling:   Fill a large pot with water and place on stove to boil.  Once boiling, using a slotted spoon – dip clean tomato into the water (3-4 times or more) until the skin begins to slip away.  Immediately remove from boiling water and place into a prepared ice bath to cool.  The skin will slip right off.

Toss peeled tomatoes into a large bowl to await stem removal.  Once all peels are removed, using a small knife, remove the stem and tough area inside the tomato.  You are now ready to start canning whole tomatoes.

To Peel by Freezing:  Jessica over at 104Homestead.com has this great video – take a look.   Easy-peasy right? I tried this last year and I’m quite the fan now.  Growing up doing with the boiling method – really hot on your fingers – I sure do like the freezing method.

Peeled Roma Tomatoes

I’d recommend you try both and decide what is best for you.  I’ll still use the boil method, but I freeze as well.  Old habits are hard to break and it keeps memories of home fresh in my mind…

In case you have some questions about general canning, take a look at my Canning Guide for Beginners to help answer any questions you may have.

Of course you know you can always contact me in the area below as well.

Equipment Needed for Canning

Canning Whole Tomatoes

 

Ingredients: 

  • 15 Pounds Ripe Tomatoes
  • Canning Salt
  • Pure Lemon Juice

Instructions: 

  1. Wash jars with hot soapy water. Rinse well.  With rack in water bath canner, place jars inside the canner, add water and boil jars for about 10 minutes to sterilize.  Place jars lids into a separate small pot of water and place on stove top to heat.     Keep both jars and lids hot and until ready to fill.
  2. Wash tomatoes in cold water and drain.
  3. Peel tomatoes using either the boiling method or freezing method (your choice).  Peel and core tomatoes. Remove any blemished or bad spots and leave tomatoes whole.   NOTE:  This recipe will work for halving and quartering tomatoes as well.  Follow instructions the same except slice tomatoes to preferred size.
  4. Place tomatoes in a large stock pot.  Add enough water to completely cover them.
  5. Bring to a boil.  Gently boil for about 5 minutes, keeping stirred to prevent sticking.  After boiling, reduce heat and keep warm.
  6. Spread a hand towel on the counter.  Using a jar lifter, remove hot jars from boiling water and place on towel.
  7. Add to each jar:  1 tablespoon PURE Lemon Juice – and – 1/2 teaspoon of Salt.
  8. With a jar funnel and ladle, gently fill hot jars with boiled tomatoes, leaving a 1/4 head-space.  (Make sure tomatoes are covered with juice).    Use bubble popper to remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim with a clean damp cloth.
  9. Remove lids from hot water using magnetic lid lifter, and place on each clean rim.  Put on screw band and tighten to “finger tight”.  With the jar lifter, return filled jars back water bath canner.
  10. Cover filled jars with hot water until it is a least 1 inch over the lids.  Adjust heat to high, place lid on canner and bring to a boil.
  11. Process jars in a rapid boil for 40 minutes-covered.
  12. Once jars have processed for the proper time, turn off heat, carefully remove lid (lifting away from your face-all steam to go away from you) and allow jars to remain in hot water for 10 minutes.
  13. Place a towel on counter and using jar lifter, remove hot jars from canner.  Allow to sit for 24 hours undisturbed.  You should hear a “pinging” sound – this is the jars sealing properly.
  14. After 24 hours, check seal on each jar by pressing the center of the lid.  If it pops, your jar is not sealed.  Use this jar immediately or place in the refrigerator and use within the next couple days.
  15. Remove screw bands, wipe jar clean.  Label and store.

Canning Whole Tomatoes

A step by step recipe to canning whole tomatoes. Preserving the flavor of fresh tomatoes.  

Course Canning
Cuisine American
Keyword Canning Whole Tomatoes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
1 hr 45 minutes
Servings 9 Pints
Author Hidden Springs Homestead

Ingredients

  • 15 pounds Fresh Tomatoes Peeled
  • Canning Salt
  • Pure Lemon Juice

Instructions

  1. Wash jars with hot soapy water.  Rinse well.   

    With rack in water bath canner, place jars inside the canner, add water and boil jars for about 10 minutes to sterilize.  

    Place jar lids into a separate small pot of water and place on stove top to heat.  
    Keep both jars and lids hot until ready to fill.  

  2. Wash tomatoes in cold water and drain.  


  3. Peel tomatoes using either the boiling method or freezing method we talked about. (see article)  Peel and core tomatoes.  Remove any blemishes or bad spots and leave tomatoes whole.  

  4. NOTE:  This recipe will work for halving and quartering tomatoes as well.  Follow instructions the same except slice your tomatoes to preferred size.  

  5. Place tomatoes in a large stock pot.  Add enough water to completely cover tomatoes.  


  6. Bring tomatoes to a boil.  Gently boil for approximately 5 minutes.  Keep stirred to prevent sticking.  After boiling, reduce heat and keep warm. 

  7. Spread a hand towel on counter.  Using jar lifter, remove hot jars from boiling water bath canner and place on towel.  

  8. Add to each jar:   1 tablespoon PURE Lemon Juice   -OR-  1/4 teaspoon Citric Acid.  (Your choice)   

    If you are using Salt - add 1/2 teaspoon to each jar.  

  9. Using your jar funnel and ladle.  Gently fill hot jars with boiled tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch space.  (Make sure tomatoes are covered with juice)

    Use your bubble popper to remove any air bubbles from the jar.

    Wipe rim of jar with a clean damp cloth.

  10. Using your magnetic lid lifter, lift lids from hot water and place onto clean jar rim.   Place screw band on and tighten to finger tight.  

    Using jar lifter, return filled jars back to water bath canner.

  11. Cover filled jars with hot water until it is at least 1 inch over the lids.  Adjust heat to high, place lid on canner and bring water to a boil.

  12. Process jars in boiling water for 40 minutes.  

  13. Once jars have processed for the proper amount of time, turn off heat, carefully remove lid (lifting away from your face - to all steam to go away from you) and allow jars to remain in hot water for 10 minutes.  

  14. Place a towel on counter and using jar lifter, remove hot jars from canner.  Allow to sit for 24 hours undisturbed.  You should hear a "pinging" sound - this is your jars sealing properly.  

  15. After 24 hours, check seal on each jar by pressing the center of the lid.  If it pops, your jar is not sealed.  Use this jar immediately or refrigerate and use within the next couple days.  

  16. Remove screw bands, wipe jar clean.  Label and store.  

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