Thursday, July 7, 2011

Canning Tomatoes!

If you have been blessed with a bumper harvest of tomatoes, what is your favorite way to preserve them? In the past I have made dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, frozen tomatoes (they are not recommended however), catsup, tomato soup, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and tomato juice.

What we need most in our storage at this point is canned tomatoes. We enjoy them in soup, chili, many other recipes and just to open up a jar and serve it as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Here are the basics of canning tomatoes and they are one of the easiest things to put up:

1 – Prepare your canning jars and place 1 teaspoon canning/Kosher salt in each quart jar or ½ teaspoon in each pint jar.

2 – Wash and sort them and only use fully ripened tomatoes for best results.

3 – Place in them a heat resistant container (I usually just put a stopper in my stainless steel     kitchen sink)

4 – Cover them boiling water for about one minute. Leaving them in the hot water any longer will cook them before you are ready for that step.

5 – Using a long spoon, release the sink stopper to drain the water.

6 – Replace the stopper and cover them with cold tap water. This stops the cooking and makes them cool enough to handle comfortably.

7 – Peel and core the tomatoes and cut as desired (whole, quartered or diced) and pack tightly into the jars. Pack them tightly and press out any air pockets.

8 – Wash the top of the jars and place wet lids on them. Place the rings on them and tighten firmly.

9 – Process for the times below:

Pressure canner:
Quarts and Pints - 5 lbs. pressure for 10 minutes

Water bath: (Make sure there is at least one inch of water over the tops of the jars)
Quarts and Pints – 30 minutes of full boiling.

Tomato juice is canned for the same times.
My apologies for forgetting to take pictures of each step along the way.  Today, I had enough extra tomatoes to make up a batch of fresh spaghetti sauce for supper. 

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