Canning Tomatoes 101

Preparation:

Let’s talk about the preparation needed to can tomatoes. There are very few. But the ones there are really are IMPORTANT .

1) Begin by reading the recipe completely. Taking special note to the size of the jars you will be needing, canning method and processing time.

2) Get all the utensils you will need ready.

3) Gather all ingredients.

4) Check all jars for nicks, scratches, cracks or chips. Check the lid to make sure the sealing compound is even all around. Check the bands for proper fit.

5) wash the lids, jars, and bands in soapy water. Rinse well. Dry the bands completely.

6) Place the jars and lids in a pot of simmering not boiling water till ready to use. DO NOT let the jars come to a boil. Remove one jar and lid at a time when ready to fill.

7) Fill the canner half full with hot water. Put the canner lid on. Heat the water just to a simmer, maintain until you are ready to process the tomatoes.

Preparing The Recipe:

Make sure you choose only the freshest, unblemished tomatoes. Wash and drain enough tomatoes for one batch at a time.

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds or until the skin cracks. Immediately place the tomatoes in to cold water. Slip of the skins: trim away any green spots; core. You can either leave the tomatoes whole or quarter them.

Place the tomatoes into a large stock pot filled with enough water to cover. Boil gently for 5 MINUTES.

And now with either a jar lifter or a pair of tongs remove a jar and lid from the pot and set on a towel. Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart jar or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for each pint jar.

Packing the Tomatoes:

Carefully pack the hot tomatoes into the jar leaving 1/2 inch headspace between the tomatoes and the top of the jar. Now carefully ladle the hot cooking juice over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. You can now add salt to the jar if you wish 1 teaspoon to a quart jar and a 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar.

Insert a rubber spatula between the tomatoes and jar. Press back ever so slightly to release the air bubbles. Do this 2 or 3 times around the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp towel. Remove the lid and place on the jar, screw on the band. Hand tighten but do not over tighten; just until resistance is met.

As you fill each jar place on the canning rack. Continue filling jars till the rack is full.Make sure the water level in the canner will cove the lids by 1 or 2 inches. 2 inches is the best. Add boiling water if needed. Cover with lid. Bring water to a boil.

Start counting the processing time when the water comes to a rolling boil. Process quarts for 45 minutes and pints for 40 minutes.

If your altitude is over 1000 feet above sea level check the chart in the previous posting.

When processing time is finished remove from canner and set about 2 inches apart on a towel on a sturdy table to cool. DO NOT RE – TIGHTEN THE BANDS. Let the jars cool for 12 to 24 hours.

After the jars have cooled, check to make sure the lids a well sealed, by pressing on the center of the lid to make sure it does not spring back and can not be lifted of. Wipe off the jar and lid with a damp rag. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Now sit back and enjoy your summertime tomatoes anytime you would like.

See ya’ll soon.