To help save money we do a lot of canning around here. Our family goes through roughly 48 quarts of canned pasta sauce a year. That doesn’t include the diced tomatoes for cooking, the crazy amount of salsa a Mexican American family can go through, or any of the other forms of tomatoes we use.
I am a bit of a rebel canner and prefer to can pretty much everything with water bath canning because I can set it and leave it while I do other things. Canning tomatoes fresh from our tomato patch growing in our garden goes a long way.
What is water bath canning
Water bath canning is a home canning method that is used to preserve high-acid foods such as fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and jams. The process involves boiling filled jars of food in a large pot of water, which creates a high enough temperature to destroy microorganisms that can spoil the food.
Water bath canning is a safe and effective method for preserving high-acid foods, as the high temperature of the boiling water kills any microorganisms that can cause spoilage.
What are the best ways to water bath can tomatoes?
Whole or diced tomatoes: Tomatoes can be canned whole or diced, with or without added seasonings such as salt, basil, or garlic.
Tomato sauce: Tomato sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes, from pasta sauces to soups and stews. It is typically made by cooking tomatoes with onion, garlic, and other seasonings, and then pureeing the mixture until smooth.
Salsa: Salsa is a flavorful condiment made from tomatoes, onion, peppers, and other ingredients. It can be water bath canned and stored for later use in dishes like tacos, burritos, and salads.
Tomato juice: Tomato juice is a refreshing and healthy beverage that can be canned and stored for later use. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for cocktails like Bloody Marys.
Stewed tomatoes: Stewed tomatoes are a delicious side dish that can be canned and stored for later use. They are typically made by cooking tomatoes with onion, garlic, and other seasonings until they are tender and flavorful.
What do you need for water bath canning tomatoes?
These are the every day stapes for water bath canning and water bath canning for tomatoes.
Canning jars: Glass jars with two-piece lids are used for canning. Mason jars are the most common type of canning jars, but any jars that are designed for canning will work.
Canning lids: Two-piece lids are used for canning, consisting of a flat metal disc and a metal screw-on band. It’s important to use new lids each time you can as they are designed to form a seal only once.
Water bath canner: A large pot or canner with a rack inside to hold the jars is required. Water bath canners are specifically designed for canning and often come with a rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the pot.
Jar lifter: A jar lifter is a tool that is used to lift hot jars out of the canner. This is important for safety, as the jars can be very hot and heavy.
Canning funnel: A canning funnel makes it easier to fill jars without spilling the contents.
Bubble remover tool: A tool designed to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped in the jar.
Towels or dishcloths: Towels or dishcloths are used to clean up any spills or drips.
How do you water bath can tomatoes
Prepare the tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and remove the stems. If desired, dip the tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds to loosen the skins. Remove from the boiling water and immediately place in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins.
Sterilize the jars: Place the canning jars in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep the jars in the hot water until ready to use.
Prepare the lids: In a separate pot, boil the lids for a few minutes to sterilize. Keep the lids in the hot water until ready to use.
Fill the jars: Using a canning funnel, fill the sterilized jars with the prepared tomatoes. Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jars.
Remove air bubbles: Use a bubble remover tool to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped in the jar.
Wipe the jar rims: Use a clean towel or dishcloth to wipe the rims of the jars to remove any spills or drips.
Apply the lids: Using a magnetic wand, remove a sterilized lid from the hot water and place it on the jar. Screw the metal band onto the jar just until it is finger-tight.
Place the jars in the canner: Using a jar lifter, carefully place the filled jars into the canner. The water level should cover the jars by about 1 inch.
Process the jars: Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for the amount of time specified in the recipe. Processing times can vary depending on the recipe and the size of the jars. Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for a few minutes.
Remove the jars: Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel or wire rack to cool. Do not disturb the jars until they have cooled completely and the lids have formed a seal.
How to store water bath canned tomatoes
To store home-canned tomatoes, it’s important to follow proper safety procedures to ensure that the canned tomatoes remain safe to eat. Here are some steps to take when storing home-canned tomatoes:
Check the seal: Before storing the jars of canned tomatoes, check the seal on each jar to ensure that it is tight and secure. You should be able to press down on the center of the lid and feel it “pop” or “click” to confirm that the seal is tight.
Label the jars: It’s important to label each jar with the contents and the date that it was canned. This will help you keep track of how long the tomatoes have been stored and when they were canned.
Store in a cool, dark place: Store the jars of canned tomatoes in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or basement. Avoid storing the jars in direct sunlight or in a warm area, as this can cause the food to spoil.
Rotate the jars: To ensure that the tomatoes are used before they expire, it’s a good idea to rotate the jars so that the oldest jars are used first. This will help ensure that the tomatoes are consumed while they are still fresh.
Inspect the jars before use: Before using the canned tomatoes, inspect the jars for any signs of spoilage, such as mold, discoloration, or a foul odor. If you notice any signs of spoilage, do not consume the food.