Thursday, September 3, 2009

Canning Tomatoes: Step by Step

Canning makes you feel like a full on pioneer! I love to can foods because 1-- they taste way better than what you buy in the store, 2--they are minimally processed with no chemicals or preservatives, making them healthier, 3-- Once you own the jars and continue to reuse them, not only is more environmental, but it is also cheaper by about 50 percent than buying cans of tomatoes or peaches or pears . . 4-- They make your pantry look so pretty! So stop by a farm stand on your way home and get some tomatoes so you can have fresh garden tomatoes all year long to use in your recipes!
What you will need to do two boxes of tomatoes, or one bushel:

One cold pack canning pot (the big black speckled ones, they are cheap!)
25 quart jars w/ rings and lids (rings and jars you can reuse, you have to buy new lids every year).
bottle of lemon juice
kosher salt

Make sure your jars are very clean and its best to keep them in the dishwasher staying warm while you prep your tomatoes, that way they won't crack when they go into the hot boiling water. Fill your canning pot with water about 2/3 full (add a little vinegar to water so your bottles won't get water spots)
Also get some water boiling in another big pot so you can blanch your tomatoes. Get some water boiling in a tea pot as well for the lids and to top off the jars.


Go get a route 44 diet coke with vanilla from Sonic, you will be glad you did.


Core all the tomatoes


Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for about 60 seconds then peel off the skin.


Dice the tomatoes.


Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the bottom of your clean, warm jars (7 jars fit in one canning pot, so do it seven at a time).


Add tomatoes to the jars, fitting as much in as possible. Top the jar off with some boiling water, it should be only about 2 or 3 tablespoons, use a stick or a knife to release any air bubbles in the jar. The jar should be filled like the pictures shown here, to full or not full enough could hamper the seal of the jar.


Wipe the rims of the jars so they clean and ready for the lids.


Place the lids in a bowl of hot water for about 3-5 minutes then place them securely on the jars and add the rings and twist them on tight (you don't have to go crazy, just make sure they are on right).


Put seven jars on the wire canning rack and place them in the boiling water. Make sure the water goes at least an inch over the jars. Bring it back to boil and boil them for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are up, grab the wire rack with hot pad and remove the jars (they are heavy be strong!) and let them cool on the counter. Add the next 7 jars. Once they are are cooled, check the seals by pushing on the top. If seal still moves, there is a problem, and you will have to redo the steps. However, if you did the steps right, the jar will seal. Always check the seal of a home canned jar before you use them.
Now don't blame me if you get botchulism, because this is how I do my tomatoes. There are probably other "safety" things that other people do. I have never had any problems. The biggest thing is to keep the canning area clean, keep the jars clean and sanitary and keep your hands clean so nothing will go into the jars that could potentially get you sick later. and if the jar isn't sealed, its not eatable!


rookie cookie said...

I just giggled out loud because of the Sonic drink. Nothing beats a diet Coke with vanilla on a hot day during Happy Hour.

This is a great tutorial. Nice work. I am going to bookmark this one.

Country Cookin' Mama said...

I am so craving a diet coke with vanilla now. I just had my first one the other day when I was running errands in town. I love them now. yum! Oh, by the way, I'm going to do this with my extra tomatoes too! Once they start rippening!

Mum in Bloom said...

Ok, I think I'm ready to do this now. Great tutorial... now to find some tomatoes! Off to the Farmer's Market and Sonic I go!

Photina said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I found this on a Canning collection website and I can't wait to try it.