Home canning tomatoes are the one thing that I do the most of every year. Most of my basic staple recipes just canned tomatoes in some way, shape, or form. Thankfully, tomatoes are also one of the easiest things to can! I want to note that many newer recipes either use a pressure canner or citric acid (--Buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs) to can tomatoes. You will need to do one of these things if you are canning conventional tomatoes. If they are heirloom or organic they still should have enough acid in them to can regularly in a hot water bath. If you are brand new to canning you might want to check out my Canning and Preserving 101 video first.
Gather your supplies. I used Tattler Reusable lids for this batch. You just use regular metal rims with them
Canning tomatoes isn't hard but takes up alot of room and many bowls in your kitchen! I start by filling a large bowl with water and ice.
Make sure your jars are good and clean. If I have time and space I will run them through the dishwasher first since mine are stored outside, otherwise a good soapy hot water wash will be fine.
Like I said above, choose your tomatoes wisely when canning. Otherwise make sure you have citric acid on hand.
Fill a large stockpot with water and boil. When the water is warm, add in the tomatoes a few at a time. Only put in as many as you can handle at once. I used a huge saucepan for this batch I canned and only 4 of my tomatoes fit in. When the tomatoes are ready to take out, the skins will break.
Move the tomatoes from the hot water right into the ice water. This makes them so easy to peel!
Peel and chop the tomatoes.
Use a colander to put the tomatoes in the jars. Pack them as tight as you can.
You can add a 1/2 t. salt to each jar if you want.
Fill the jars with water. I just use plain ol tap water.
Use some kind of long straight utensil to get the air bubbles out of your jar. I know they sell a special "air bubbler" thing for this but I promise the handle of a spatula works just the same. You may need to add more water as you let the bubbles out. Add enough water to cover the tomatoes but leave a little bit of headspace.
Ignore the amount of water in this jar, it's a little too much! After you are done, wipe off the rims of the jars to remove any food pieces or stickiness.
Put your lids on top the jars. Make sure to boil the lids in hot water first.
Add the rims on. If you are using regular lids make sure you tighten the rims very tightly. If you are using Tattler just tighten enough to keep the lids on.
Fill your hot water bath canner with water and bring to a boil. Add in the jars and make sure the water is covering them. Process for 15 minutes. Remove carefully when you are done. I always cover the countertop with flour sacks and put the jars on top of those. If you used Tattler lids make sure to tighten the rims as soon as you pull them out of the hot water. Otherwise do not disturb the jars until the lids have sealed.
Please check with your local extension office for any changes on times/temps/high altitude.
Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living! And don't forget to check out The Canner's Cookbook, it has recipes on how to use all your home canned goods!
Have you ever tried home canning tomatoes?
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