Canning Tomatoes – Fall 2009

I like tomatoes, but there is no way that I can eat all the fresh tomatoes that I have, so it’s time to test out some more of my canning skills.

I put off canning the tomatoes from the garden for a while now. Since I had a very tough time finding citric acid. But after a little bit of searching on the net, I found out that a lot of homebrew websites carry citric acid. I swung by my local homebrew shop and sure enough they had 1 lb bags of citric acid in stock. So I was back in business.

Again referencing the Ball Blue Book for the baseline recipe, I ended up using the recipe for the raw-pack method of canning tomatoes. But before any canning can happen there was a whole lot of tomato prep work, mainly peeling and cutting that needed to happen. Really the only “easy” way to peel tomatoes is by dunking the tomatoes in boiling water for about 60 seconds until the skins check, and then transferring them to ice water and the skins will slip off without a problem. With the skins removed, then just quarter and core all the tomatoes, and dump them into a bowl.

With that little bit of messy prep work out of the way, it was pretty straightforward with the rest of the process. To each quart jar I added 1/2 tsp of citric acid & 1 tsp of canning salt, then basically packed the tomatoes in the jars (I used a muddle to aid in compacting the tomatoes.)

After the jars are filled with tomatoes I added hot water until it reached 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Finally a quick cleaning of the rim, put the cap on the jar and process in boiling water for 45 minutes. After they were done “cooking”, I just transferred the jars to a corner of my kitchen countertop to let the vacuum occur and cool down at its own pace.

For some reason I thought that this was being to be much more difficult, but it was really easy. If anything I need to find a better way to remove air bubbles from the jars. I’ve thought about maybe getting the Food Saver Jar Sealer accessory for my Food Saver. Since it might be a better method to remove air from jars, compared to using a plastic wand. Maybe for next time.

2 comments on “Canning Tomatoes – Fall 2009

  • You know I was going to try and play around with some new varieties of tomatoes next year, maybe tryout a couple of heirloom varieties to see how they turn out.

  • looks good. Once you get the garden really pumping you should be able to grow enough to last until the next growing season. Plus you can play around with varieties.

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