Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Canning Tomatoes

Every year my husband plants lots of tomatoes.  This year  we planted 24 tomato plants. He watches them grow, (literally), and then comes the harvest!

The tomatoes get picked right before they are completely ripe and laid on a flat surface.  This helps to keep them from splitting open.   Once they are ripe, they are ready to can.

Once the tomatoes are washed, they are put in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds.  This procedure scalds the skin off of the tomato so you do not need to peel them.

Once the tomatoes cool; you just slide the skin off.  Cut the tomatoes in half, cut out the core, and lay the tomatoes in a pot or bowl.  Once you have enough to can, you are ready to put the tomatoes in the jars.

Get the jars ready by washing them.   My husband and I like to preheat the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and place the jars into the oven to dry.  This keeps them warm so that when you put them into the cannier, the chance of the jar breaking is minimal.  We also boil our lids in a small pot.

Place the tomatoes in the jars and mash them down.  Fill the jars with tomatoes until the juice covers the tomatoes.  The juice needs to come to the bottom of the neck, or 1/2 " from the top.  Add 1 teaspoon salt for a quart, 1/2 teaspoon for a pint.  For those of you who like a little spice, you can  add one cayenne pepper per pint.

We do not pressure can the tomatoes, we use the water bath system.

Place the jars into a large pot and bring the water to a boil.  Quarts need to boil for 30 minutes; pints need to boil for 20 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the jars of tomatoes from the pot and place on the counter.  We like to cover our jars with a towel so the jars don't cool down too fast.

Once you are finished you can be assured that you will have some wonderful canned tomatoes to use for soups and sauces throughout the long cold winter!

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