Canning Fresh Tomatoes
Canning is a great hobby, a way to preserve vegetables and fruits that can’t be eaten before they spoil and an excellent way for home-gardeners to save money and be more self sufficient!
Before trying to can your own tomatoes, you will want to get up to speed on basic canning procedures. For more information, see: Basics of Canning: Canning 101. If you are interested in growing your own tomatoes, you can find more information here: Growing Tomatoes: Step 1 (choosing).
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds of tomatoes per quart
- Bottled lemon juice or citric acid
- Salt (optional)
Prepare your canning jars and closures according to the manufacturer’s instructions (or see: Basics of Canning: Canning 101) for more information.
Wash the tomatoes and dip in boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds; immediately dip in cold water. This should allow you to easily slip off skins. You will also want trim away any green spots after removing the skins.
Cut out the core and cut as desired: You can leave the tomatoes whole, cut into halves or cut them into quarters.
Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice (or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid) to each quart-sized jar (for pint-sized jars, add 1 tbsp. bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid).
Pack the tomatoes into heated jars until the space between them fills with juice (leave about 1/2-inch of head-space). Then, if desired, add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart-sized jar (1/2 teaspoon to pint jars).
Be careful to remove any air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula (see: Basics of Canning: Canning 101), and wipe the jar rim clean. Place the lid on the jar with the seal against the glass and screw down tightly and evenly (just to the point of resistance)
Process both pints or quarts for 1 hour and 25 minutes in a boiling-water canner (at elevations higher than 1,000 feet, boil an extra two minutes for each additional 1,000 feet of elevation).