Tomato Dirt answers your canning tomatoes FAQs (frequently asked questions).
Q. Which tomato varieties are the best for canning?
A. Almost any variety can be canned. The best varieties are those with little pulp, few seeds, meaty centers, and thick flesh. Experienced gardeners cite Bellstar, Druzba, Jubilee, Lynnwood, New Yorker, Porter, Rutgers, and Tropic among their favorites. One tip: combine varieties when canning for a richer flavor.
Q. What equipment do I need to can tomatoes?
Water bath canner or pressure canner, inside rack, and jar tongs
Canning lids with rings
Wide-mouthed funnel, measuring cup or mug
Lemon juice (if using a water bath canner)
Q. What do I need to know about preparing tomatoes for canning?
Q. Must I always remove tomato skins before processing?
No. You can chop tomatoes, cook them, and can them to use in sauces, chili, and soups. You can also chop tomatoes, cook them, and pour them through a colander to remove pulp, skin, and seeds to make tomato juice.
Q. Should I use a water bath canner or a pressure canner to process tomatoes?
A. Tomatoes can be processed safely either way, but follow specifics carefully. Tomatoes face two potential dangers when canned at home: bacteria and enzymes that harbor molds and yeasts.
The boiling water bath method is safe because boiling water (212ºF) inactivates enzymes. When acid (in the form of lemon juice) is added to fruit, inactivating many bacteria, tomatoes processed in a water bath canner are safely preserved.
A pressure canner heats to a temperature of 240ºF for safe tomato processing, both inactivating enzymes and destroying bacteria. Added lemon juice isn’t necessary in pressure canner processing because of the higher temperatures.
Q. Can I use a regular pressure cooker to pressure can tomatoes?
A. A regular pressure cooker is not recommended. We recommend a pressure canner.
Q. What kind of jars should I use for canning?
A. Choose canning jars like Mason jars and Ball jars which are specifically manufactured for home canning. Commercial jars, such as for mayonnaise or pickles, are not made with heavy glass and are not heat-treated. Their mouths may not be the appropriate size or shape for sealing canning lids. These types of jars are not safe for home canning.
Q. How long does it take to process tomatoes using a traditional hot water bath canner?
|Whole tomatoes||pint||35 minutes|
|Whole tomatoes||quart||45 minutes|
|Chopped tomatoes||quart||45 minutes|
|Pureed tomatoes||pint||30 minutes|
|Tomato juice||pint||35 minutes|
|Tomato juice||quart||35 minutes|
|Tomato paste||pint||45 minutes|
Q. What canned tomato yield can I expect from fresh tomatoes?
|Fresh tomatoes to yield 1 quart canned||2 ½ - 3 pounds|
|Weight of 1 bushel fresh tomatoes||50-60 pounds|
|Canned yield of 1 bushel tomatoes||14-22 quarts|
Q. What do I need to know about canning tomatoes whole?
Q. What do I need to know about canning chopped tomatoes?
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