I’ve been wanting to watch and learn how to can tomatoes from Nan for a while now. A few weeks back someone brought her a bucket of tomatoes, so she called me and I got to come up and take lots of pictures, notes and videos! 🙂 Please don’t be intimidated by the idea of canning… I was for a long time but it’s really a pretty simple process. It’s all just about sterilizing the jars and making sure they are properly sealed when you’re finished!
How to Can Tomatoes
- First you must start with jars that have been sterilized… we do this by boiling them.
- Secondly, scald your tomatoes in boiling water. This will take a few minutes. Do them in batches and remove them with tongs once the skin starts to break.
- Have a bowl of ice water ready and place the tomatoes immediately out of the boiling water and into the ice bath. The skin will start to loosen and become easy to peel.
- Remove tomatoes from ice bath, peel the skin off and cut into halves or quarters. Some people can them whole I guess, but we quarter ours. Also, you can trim off any “bad spots.”
- Tuck them into your sterile canning jars on top of one another and push down until now open spaces remain. Use an offset spatula or knife to go around the sides of the jar and remove any air pockets. Only fill to base of jar neck, don’t fill them too full.
- Top each filled jar with a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt right on the top – Kosher salt is important here.
- Clean and dry the top of jar around the rim and at the very top where the lid will set well with a paper towel. Make sure there are no wet spots. Then place clean lids and rings on top and close them good.
- Next you will place the closed jars in a bath of boiling water to seal them. They make a special rack for this… You need some kind of rack for them to sit on in the large pot so they are not directly touching the bottom of the pot and the direct heat. Boil the jars for about 15 minutes. Then remove them carefully using a jar-gripping tool (like the one in the slideshow).
- Allow them to cool completely. As they are cooling you will hear a “pop” sound – That means they’ve sealed correctly! Don’t forget to label the tops of your jars with a marker once they’ve cooled.