4 Easy Steps to Canning Tomatoes from your Garden

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4 Easy Steps to Canning Tomatoes from your Garden

You have so many tomatoes and you can’t eat them so what can you do with them? Well, you can can them. I have canned up all kinds, cherry, yellow, multi-colored as well as just plain old red tomatoes.  It’s so great to have (almost) fresh tomatoes when they are not available in the garden.

Here are some easy step-by-step directions:

STEP 1:
Get some canning jars.

I like to use quart jars.  It seems like a good size for most recipes. You can grab at your local hardware store or grocery store.  Most come with lids; I use self-sealing lids.

STEP 2:
Then you are going to sterilize.

I use my big spaghetti pan, but any big pan that you can fit 5-7 Quart jars in will do.
Fill it up with water, heat to boiling and submerge all jars and turn upside down on a towel and dry.
And if you really want some help, you will grab a pair of canning jar lifter tongs. (Sometimes you can find them at garage sales!)  It grabs the jar by the mouth and lifts it out of the boiling water.  Seriously, one of the best gadgets I have invested in for canning.

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STEP 3:
Wash your tomatoes.

Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, and remove cores.
Trim off any bruised or discolored portions and quarter.
Heat one-sixth of the quarters quickly in a large pot, crushing them with a wooden mallet or spoon as they are added to the pot. This will exude juice.
Continue heating the tomatoes, stirring to prevent burning.

Once the tomatoes are boiling, gradually add remaining quartered tomatoes, stirring constantly. The remaining tomatoes do not need to be crushed. They will soften with heating and stirring. Continue until all tomatoes are added.

Then boil gently for 5 minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.
Fill jars immediately with hot tomatoes, leaving ½-inch in the top of the jar.
You want to clean around the rim of the jar with a paper towel, place the flat part of the lid gasket down, then you put on the ring.

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STEP 4:
The water bath canning method.

Bring the water to boil again and fill about 2 inches above the top of the jars.
Place the jars in the boiling water one at a time. When the pan is filled, cover it with a lid.
Turn down the heat so that you have a rolling boil.  The process time is 7-10 minutes.
Lift the jars out of the water (with your jar lifter tongs!!!) and let the jars cool.
When the jar clicks, you have successfully sealed it!  They will all do it at a different time as they cool.
When they are all cooled, tighten down the lids and you can store in the pantry ready for your next spaghetti, chili or other favorite recipe!

 

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