How To Can Tomato
It is essential to learn how to can tomatoes if you wish to enjoy this delectable fruit vegetables throughout the year. Though, tomatoes can be preserved using other methods, canning is supposed to be the oldest and most efficient form of preserving tomatoes for the lean season. So read on find all about canning tomatoes....
Precautions before canning tomatoes
It is always recommended to sterilize jars and lids before using them for canning.
To sterilize jars
- Wash jars in hot soapy water. Rinse well.
- Place them in a water bath canner or a large pot of water and boil them for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from water and place upside down to dry. Try this step only when you are ready to use the jars since they are ready in less than a minute after being taken out from water.
To sterilize lids
- Take some water in a small sauce pan and place jar lids in it.
- Boil the water for 10 minutes.
- Leave the lids in hot water and remove only when it is needed. If you are not using it immediately, cover the pan with a plate.
Different ways of canning tomatoes
Since tomatoes themselves come under low acid food category, the canning method of tomatoes depends on food it is to be mixed with. If it is to be canned alone, it is safe to use water bath processing method, else use pressure canning method if it is to be mixed with meat or vegetables like peppers or zucchini.
Canning tomatoes by Water Bath Canner method
Fill a kettle with enough water so that when you place food jars in it, some 1-2 inches of water remains above the tops of jars.
- Place rack in the pot and place jars on them. Bring water to the boiling point and keep on heating it for five minutes or unless tomatoes get boiled. Reduce heat slowly and boil gently for a few more minutes and turn off the heat.
- Remove jars from heat and place them on a towel instead of keeping them on any draft. Keeping them elsewhere may break off the jars due to sudden change of temperature.
- Press on the lid’s center to test the jars’ sealing once they cooled down on its own. The jar will make high-pitched sound if sealed correctly, else will make dull sound.
- Label the canned jars with date and content and store in cool and dry place. Do not keep under freezing temperature during storage.
The Pressure Canner method
Fill the pressure canner with adequate water so that 2 to 3 inches of water remains even after the jars stand on the rack. Make sure that none of jars touch each other inside the pot.
- Cover it with lid and turn on the heat. After nearly 10 minutes, you will witness first sign of steam from the vent that comes out of the canner in the form of almost invisible white vapor.
- Wait until you reach desired pressure level that is when weighted gauge starts rocking, then turn the regulator to medium or simmer and maintain steady pressure during processing.
- A standard heavy-walled canner need nearly 30 minutes to boil tomatoes loaded in pint jars, while 45 minutes, if loaded in quart jars. Once processed, remove the canner from heat. Neither try to release pressure from canner nor cool pot with chilled water as it can cause liquid to leak out from jars.
- Once pressure goes to zero, slowly open the lid after 2 minutes and remove each jar with a jar lifter and place them on non-metallic surface. It is advised to leave space between jars for proper circulation of air. Test for seal once jars cool down, label it and store in cool, dark place.
Last but not the least, store canned tomato jars away from hot water pipes, furnace or a water heater to protect them against any kind of spoilage and enjoy its longer shelf life.