If you’re like me, you love a good tomato in the summer. I typically only have little tomatoes growing in my garden, but my local farmer’s market is always stocked full of my favorites- the Roma! I just love their taste and how meaty they are. Compared to other tomatoes, there are less seeds and more meat which makes them great for sauces and, in my opinion, sandwiches. Here is what 15 lbs of Roma Tomatoes looks like…
The summer is winding down now so I am starting to stock up for the off season. Home-canned tomatoes are great to use in lieu of store bought diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. It really does make a big difference in taste.
Things you need to can tomatoes:
- Water Bath Canner (what I used) or Pressure Canner
- Tomatoes (15 lbs of tomatoes made 6 Quart mason jars for me)
- Citric Acid or Lemon Juice
- Clean Mason Jars (Quarts or Pints)
- Mason Jar lids (can only be used once)
- Mason Jar lid rings (can be used multiple times)
- Large Stock Pot for scalding the tomatoes in order to peel them
- Large Ice Bath to help with peeling process
- 6 Piece Canning Set (includes Magnetic Lid Lifter, Vinyl Coated Tongs, Vinyl Coated Jar Wrench, Bubble Popper/Measurer, Extra Wide Mouth Canning Funnel and Vinyl Coated Jar Lifter)
- Boiling Water or Tomato Juice for filling in the air pockets (about 1 quart)
I got my stuff online, but I’ve seen almost all of it at my local Walmart. There is an entire section of the store dedicated to canning!
Before we begin:
- Fill halfway and start boiling water in Water Bath Canner pot- it takes a while.
- Once boiling, add jars to sanitize for several minutes. Alternatively, you can run the jars through the sanitize cycle of your dishwasher.
Got it? OK, let’s begin.
First, you have to start with peeling the tomatoes. The easiest way to preserve the meat and get just the skin is to blanch and then drop into an ice bath.
Score the bottom of the tomatoes with an “X” shape. Plop several into a pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute. Remove from water and place directly into prepared ice bath. Once cool enough to handle, the skins should peel right off using the “X” as your start point.
Once the tomatoes are peeled, I recommend that you seed them as well. Be patient, this is a process but I feel it really helps in the log run. To see them, I cut them into quarters and scraped out the seed with my fingers. Once deseeded, cut into desired size (I cut my Roma tomatoes in half, so about 1 inch chunks).
Add to sanitized jars using your handy dandy funnel from your canning set. Pack it down occasionally to make sure you get as much in there as possible.
Once the jars are sanitized, add the lids and rings to the boiling canner pot until ready to use.
When all the jars are filled, add your citric acid or lemon juice.
- 1/2 tsp Citric Acid per Quart, 1/4 per Pint
- 2 Tbs Lemon Juice per Quart, 1 per Pint
Then, top off with boiling water or tomato juice to fill in any air pockets to 1/2 inch of the top. Use the Bubble Popper/Measurer from the kit to slide gently down the sides to get rid of any bubbles. This helps resist spoilage.
Make sure the lip of each jar is wiped clean.
Now, using the Magnetic Lid Grabber fish the lids out of the boiling water and place on top of each jar. Finish off with the ring and use the Wrench to tighten since it will be hot.
Now, place the jars into the boiling Water Bath Canner and let boil vigorously for 45 minutes. There should be 1 inch of water above the top of the jars.
When finished, carefully use the Jar Grabber to remove the jars from the canner and set onto a heat proof surface. Once cooled slightly, tighten up the lids if necessary. Now, you have canned tomatoes that you can keep all through the off season in your pantry!
I rewarded my efforts with one of my most favorite things- a tomato sammich with Duke’s Mayo! I recommend you do the same.
Most of my info was obtained from the link below. They do a great job of going into detail and answering questions.