How to Can Tomatoes the Easy Way

Here’s how to can tomatoes the easy way, especially when you need to process a large amount at one time.

You’ll notice that this method doesn’t involve peeling tomatoes, but chopping them in the food processor instead.

Small bits of skin remain in the chopped tomatoes.

They are a nice bit of added fiber and nutrients to your diet, but barely noticeable if you use the canned tomatoes in soups, spaghetti sauce, chili, and casseroles.

How to can tomatoes: what you need

How to can tomatoes: what to do

Prepare jars

  • Wash canning jars in hot, soapy water or in the dishwasher.
  • Set pressure canner on burner. Cover the bottom of canner with 2-3” water.
  • Place canning jars in the canner to sterilize. Cover. Place pressure weight on canner to create steam. Steam jars for about 5 minutes to sterilize. Remove from heat and allow pressure to reduce. Remove weight. Open canner to remove jars.

Prepare tomatoes

Wiping canning jars after canning tomatoes with Tomato Dirt
  • Wash tomatoes. Cut out bruises, cracks, and bad spots. Cut out center stem.
  • Quarter tomatoes. Process them in food processor in short bursts or slow speed to chop into chunks. (High speed whips air into the tomatoes, creating unnecessary foam.) Or, use a tomato press to save time and work, eliminate chopping, and reduce waste.
  • Pour chopped tomatoes into a heavy pot.
  • Repeat first three steps until all tomatoes are chopped.
  • Add salt to taste – about ½ teaspoon per quart.
  • Cook tomatoes on medium to high, stirring regularly, until tomatoes reach a slow boil.

Prepare lids and rings

While tomatoes are cooking, place jar lids and rings in a pot, covering them with 2-3 inches of water. Bring water to a boil to sterilize lids and rings. Remove after 3-5 minutes.

Pack jars

  • Place tomato strainer or colander in the sink, straddling a large pot. Pour cooked tomatoes through strainer to remove excess juice. Set aside tomato juice to can.
  • Place wide-mouthed funnel on top of a sterilized jar. Pour tomatoes through the funnel to fill the jar. Leave ½” space at the top of the jar. Insert a knife into the jar. Run it around the bottom of the jar to release any air pockets. Repeat packing process with rest of jars and tomatoes.
  • With a clean, damp paper towel, wipe jar rim. Place lid on jar rim. Wind ring around jar top to secure lid. Tighten. (Be careful; if you over-tighten lids, they are difficult to remove when you’re ready to use tomatoes.)

Cook tomatoes

  • Place filled jars in the pressure canner. Follow manufacture’s directions. Secure lid. Cook on high until canner releases some steam, and then place weight on vent.
  • Allow pressure to heat to between 5 and 10 pounds. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remover the pressure canner from the heat. Allow pressure to reduce. Vent weight.
  • Remove lid. Carefully lift jars out of canner and onto a heat-resistant surface.

Afterwards

  • Let jars cool. Avoid tightening rings or you may break the seals.
  • As jars cool, you may hear lids seal securely with a telltale “pop.”
  • Test seals by pressing down the center of lids. If centers are firm or concave (or if you heard them pop), lids are sealed.
  • Leave rings on cooled jars or remove rings and use them for your next batch. Sealed lids will keep tomatoes preserved.
  • Store canned tomatoes in the pantry or other dry area.


Get more tips on our Canning Tomatoes Pinterest board.

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