Local Produce · Preserving the Harvest

Tomatoes, Canning Whole

For the past several years, I have been canning whole tomatoes for when winter rolls around and I’m craving tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches or stew. Canning tomatoes is easy, super easy and the tomatoes taste way better than anything you get from the store. We get our Roma tomatoes from Chavez Farms and are able to buy a 20 pound box for $1.00 / pound. Not a bad deal and after looking around at other farms in Utah, this really is a great deal. The 20 pound box yields 10 quart jars of canned tomatoes. This is just enough to get a through a winter. I could probably enjoy tomato soup more often, but I like having it as an occasional treat. Grab your box of tomatoes and get canning…

Tomatoes, Whole Packed Raw Without Added Liquid

Ingredients

  • 20 pounds, roma tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup, fresh lemon juice
  • salt

Directions

  1. Prepare water bath canner, jars, and lids. Don’t forgot to add 1/2 cup vinegar to canner water to keep your bottles looking nice.
  2. Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 60 to 90 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve.
  3. Before filling each jar, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt into each prepared jar.
  4. Fill jars with raw tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Press tomatoes in the jars until spaces between them fill with juice.
  5. Wipe rim and place hot lid on jar, screwing band down until fingertip-tight.
  6. Place jars in canner and return to a boil. Process for 85 minutes (0 – 1,000 feet elevation), 90 minutes (1,001 – 3,000 feet elevation), 95 minutes (3,001 – 6,000 feet elevation), or 100 minutes (above 6,000 feet).
  7. Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let jars sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand until completely cool, about 24 hours.
  9. Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.

Notes

  • Tomatoes can be pressure canned if you want to speed up the process. Processing time can be found here.
  • To make peeling the tomatoes faster, I use my large pasta pot. I can then put 8 – 10 tomatoes in at once and then using the strainer pull all the tomatoes out at once and dump them into ice water. For ice water, I use my kitchen sink, dump in all the ice from our freezer and then fill the sink with cold water. It takes me less than 30 minutes to peel 20 pounds worth of roma tomatoes. Get your assembly line in order and it will go fast.
  • Stuffing the tomatoes in the jars also takes a little practice. I still use my funnel just so the tomatoes go into the jars more easily. Don’t be afraid to pack the tomatoes in really tight. I use silicon tongs to pick the tomatoes up, push them through the funnel into the jar, and luckily my tongs fit into the jars to really push the tomatoes together.

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