Yes, I said it! Canning tomatoes is easy. Now, I didn’t say it isn’t time consuming but it is easy!
There are so many reasons to do it too. It saves money, you are actually using field ripened tomatoes, you are using local produce, and you know exactly what is in your jar of tomatoes!
When I can tomatoes, I do whole tomatoes and I do juice. I like to use the juice for sauce, soups and whatever else I can think of in the winter. I’ll post about whole tomatoes later, this will just be the steps for juice.
First things first, find a good local source of tomatoes. Don’t be afraid to buy seconds as they are often just fine for canning and it will save you quite a bit of money. Tomatoes don’t need to look pretty to can in jars.
Wash the tomatoes.
Make sure all your jars and clean and sanitized. You can do this easily if you have a dishwasher, if not just boil the jars in the some hot water.
Now, this year is the first year I’ve done tomatoes this way as I traditionally blanch my tomatoes and run them through a mill like this one. (Any links to Amazon are through my Affiliate code) But, I recently got a Vitamix and it will eat up the skins and seeds like nothing so I am going to do most of my juice with the blender this year.
Then, cut and core your tomatoes.
Put them in the blender and run until the tomatoes are juice.
Pour the juice into the jars, leaving some head room.
Wipe the rims of your jars. This is important because if you have any tomato on there you will not get a good seal on your jars.
Put the canning lids in the some boiling water to soften the seal and then place on your jar. I love this little tool for getting the lids out with out burning your fingers. This kit has all the gadgets that make canning a bit easier. Well worth the investment.
Tightly put the rings on your jar.
Then put jars in your canning pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. You will know the water is boiling when you start to see steam coming from under the lid.
Once boiling set the timer for 30 minutes.
Carefully remove jars from water and let sit. (These jars are HOT!) In not much time you’ll be hearing the sound of ‘ping’ as your jar lids seal down. (It’s a beautiful sound!)
Let the jars sit until cool and then remove the lids to make sure you have a tight seal. (The ping is a good sign it sealed but I do like to double check)
Wipe down your jars, label with the year and content and you are sitting pretty!
See, how easy it is! I promise the sauce and soups you make are going to rock as you can’t beat the taste of summer tomatoes!