How to Can Tomatoes

Whether you are a brand new canner or have been canning and preserving food for decades, tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to can. Gather a few tools, a box of tomatoes from your garden or your local farmers market and you are ready to enjoy the taste of summer all winter long.

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How to Can Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are going a bit crazy in the garden, so I’m spending lots of time picking, canning, and preserving them for the winter. But if you don’t have your own bumper crop of tomatoes, you can stop by your local farmers market or Amish produce store and buy a box and still preserve plenty of summer goodness.

**If you are just wanting to can them, you can sometimes buy a box of tomatoes that are not quite pretty enough for slicing but are perfect for canning at a discount price.

  • Rinse them in cold water and slice off the stem end.
  • Drop them in a pan of boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. You will know this step is complete when you can see the skin start to peel away.
  • Drop them in a pan of cold water and let the peeling just slip off the tomatoes. By boiling them for a brief time period and then putting them in cold water, there is no need to peel the tomatoes. Super simple process!
  • Cut the skinless tomatoes into small pieces or smash them with your hand. Let them cool briefly if you plan to smash them so they don’t burn your hand.
  • Put all the tomato pieces in a large pot and let them simmer for a few minutes. If you are simply canning the tomatoes, then you can fill your jars, add a little bit of lemon juice and move to the canning stage.

To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed or juiced tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, add 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.

canned tomatoes

Pasta Sauce

  • If you are making salsa or pasta sauce with Mrs. Wages spice mixes, add the packets to the tomatoes and let the mixture simmer for 20-25 minutes. This will ensure the spice mix incorporates into the tomatoes before canning.

I love having homemade pasta sauce canned and ready for meals all winter long. Some people make their own spice mix for the pasta sauce, but I prefer using a packet of Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce. When I’m ready to cook spaghetti, I simply heat one of the cans of pasta sauce, add a small can of tomato paste and pour it on top of a plate of spaghetti. A super easy meal for a busy school night when I don’t have time to cook.

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