Do you make your own pasta sauce? We do and it tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. In fact, I won’t make a pizza at home unless it uses my own sauce. Needless to say, that means we go through a ton of tomatoes. Between the sauces alone, we would spend several hundreds each year just on tomato products if we didn’t can our own. Luckily, canning our own tomatoes and putting them up from our own garden, isn’t as hard as it sounds.
How to Can Whole Tomatoes
Canning your own foods is not only smart for budget reasons, but it’s smart for other reasons as well. Having your own canned foods on hand makes sure that in an emergency, your family can eat, and it also allows you to eat fresh foods all year long. I personally love buying in bulk and then canning most of it up. We won’t use a 40lb chicken order before it goes bad, but I buy that much anyhow. I can or dehydrate most of it and it’s fresh when we need it. Meat goes bad relatively quickly, even when its frozen, but canned foods? Done right they can last for 20 years or more.
I look at canning tomatoes the same way. We use so many of them that it just makes sense for me to preserve them. Otherwise, like I said above, we’d be spending a very large portion of our grocery budget on them each month, especially when they’re out of season.
You Will Need:
- Canning Salt
- Canning jars and lids
- Water bath Canner
To start, wash your tomatoes well then cut or pull off the green stem. Start a pot of water and wait for it to boil while you’re preparing them.
Tomatoes have to be blanched before canning so you’ll want to wait for the water to boil then drop them in for 5 or 10 seconds until the skin cracks.
If yours are taking a bit longer, that’s okay. You can help them along though by cutting an “X” into the skin before you blanch them.
As the skin starts to crack on each one, remove it from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into an ice bath.
As they cool, the skin should just “slide” right off of each tomato, but if it doesn’t…
You can peel the skin off yourself.
Remove the core from the tomato and dice if you want to. I tend to can whole and some diced so that I have more variety.
Fill your sterilized jars with tomatoes making sure you leave 1/2 to 1 inch of head space. Add 1 tsp of canning salt then fill with boiling water and wipe the rim clean and dry so that you get a good seal on the lid. Add a clean and sterilized lid and ring to each jar.
Process in your water bath canner using the table below and your altitude to determine how long. Once they’re processed, remove from the canner and let sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, check to be sure they’re sealed. Store the sealed ones and refrigerate any unsealed to be used immediately.
ALTITUDE PINTS QUARTS
0-1000 35 40
1001-2000 40 45
2001-4000 45 50
4001-6000 50 60
8001-10000 60 65