Canning Tomatoes


{image via curator magazine}

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a family recipe for canning tomatoes. This recipe is at least three generations old, according to my Mom, and she really wants it to continue on in someone's family (You can read about my first canning attempt here, but we're not a big tomato family. So even if I do somehow get the hang of things, it's questionable if I'd do this.). My Mom says that when you use this canning method, the tomatoes don't get mushy but instead stay as fresh as when you put them in the jars. So here is the perfect way to buy local, eat local, and enjoy local throughout the year!

Recipe:
1. Skin the tomatoes by putting them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then into an ice water bath. This splits the skins.
2. Peel off the skins. Then cut the the tomatoes into cubes (or leave whole if small).
3. Put the tomatoes into canning jars. Put on the lids (these should be boiled previous to use) and rings, and tighten as much as possible.
4. Put the jars on a cookie sheet making sure they do not touch. Put this into a COLD oven, then turn the oven on to 250 degrees for 75 minutes.
5. Take jars out and place them on a cooling rack...cover with a towel to keep drafts off the them. You should hear the lids pop as they cool.
Bridget said...

Thanks Heather! This is actually something I've always wanted to try, but have never seen it done. Most people tell me it is more work than it's worth... but maybe I think it is worth more than they do? With the big garden we look to have this year, I think I'll definitely need to take a stab at canning and freezing!

P.S. See you in a few days! :)

Karri said...

Wow - thanks! I've only ever canned using the hot water bath method. I will have to try this, because I am growing a ton of San Marzano tomatoes this year!

Rachel said...

this sounds SO WAY easier than a big ol' pot of scalding hot water!
you should re-post in the fall to remind all of us who're prone to forget just which blog we saw that great tip on! ;-)

Amy said...

thanks for this! i have wanted to try canning and never do it.

also a big THANK YOU for your tip on UTURN!!! I hadn't heard of it before!

Anonymous said...

are the jars hot or cold when you put the tomato's into them?
Thanks for the information
K.D.

heather said...

Hi K.D. - I believe the jars are cold when you begin. I know that you have to boil the lids and rings for them to be sterile, but the jars are just normal room temp.

Jim Ryan said...

What if you have several batches to can do you have to wait until the oven is completely cool to start your next batch?

heather said...

Hi Jim-
I checked with my mom and she said that the oven must be cold when you start or the tomatoes will get mushy. I also double-checked and the jars should not be warmed.

Deb Craven said...

That is not the way to can tomatoes. You will risk the health of anyone eating it. Pleas check the National Center For Home Food Preservation (nchfp.org.edu) for proper and safe way to can tomatoes and any food that can be canned.

Marilyn Hansard said...

How long can you keep them on the shelf or do they have to be refrigerated or frozen? How does this work not using citric acid?

heather said...

I've been getting lots of questions lately about this post. As I stated originally, it's a family recipe done this way for a couple generations. I have never done the process myself, but my mother swears by it. If you are unsure of it or worry about the safety, then please search out another method.

This is one more update from my mom to answer some questions:
They have lasted me more than a year on the shelf. No they do not have to be refrigerated. Don’t know how these things work..not a scientist..but it beats having to put them in a boiling water bath.
Just put everything cold into a cold oven...when the time is up, you will see they will be boiling, so be very careful removing them from the oven. Best to put them on a study baking sheet. Make sure your lids are secure with the rings. You will find that they taste like you did them the day you want to use them.

Marilyn Hansard said...

Thanks "MOM". I guess the trick to making them safe is to be sure they are boiling before you take them out of the oven. You have been doing this for many years and you are still alive! I'll give this a try. Thanks for the response!!

Eddi said...

You need the right PH or you'll have a toxic batch. A 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid on top of tomatoes once in boiled jars. You can use vinegar as well, don't like taste.

Anonymous said...

How long for pints?

Anonymous said...

I processed at 250 for 75 min and they were not boiling. Looked at the Facebook post and it said 275. Here it says 250. ???? I am turning the heat up to 275...hope they turn out!

Anonymous said...

I
This recipe sounds like it could produce good tasting tomatoes, but I do wonder what Home Economists would say about it. From them I learned that most tomato varieties now are low acid. Because of the possibility of botulism one is to add 2 T. lemon juice to each quart or to a pint 1 T. The tomatoes should be precooked then put into hot sterile jars, the placed in the cooker and processed 45 minutes for quarts and 40 for pints.

Otherwise, you cannot know if they are safe to use. I do think if a person has always done it that way, and they are still alive, something doesn't add up! -- Anonymous

Anonymous said...

This is not a safe method for preserving any type of food. Tomatoes have to be water bathed for shelf stability. Never "dry can" in the oven. The jar manufactures say that the jars are engineered for wet heat environments and can shatter in the oven. When canning we never lay jars on their sides. Oh..... a sealed jar does not mean that the food inside the jar is safe. It means the temp fluctuated and it sealed. They also seal in my car on the way home from the store. It doesn't matter if your family has done this for years, it matters that you are passing along an unsafe method that could hurt someone.

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