Easy Way to Can Tomatoes at Home
If I told you canning tomatoes yourself is almost as easy as making spaghetti, would you believe it? Check out this trick that makes it so easy you’ll wonder why everyone isn’t doing it!
Whether you grow your own fruit and vegetables or buy them from a local farmer’s market, home preserving is a great way to save money and avoid lots of extra additives and preservatives. Nothing is more healthy than growing your own food!
I’ve had a garden for a few years now, and have gotten fairly good at growing tomatoes! My grandmothers were excellent gardeners. I can’t believe I waited so long to find my love for gardening.
Growing your own organic fruits and vegetables is highly rewarding and fun! And, I have never, ever had better tasting tomatoes!
But during harvest season, you might be a little overwhelmed with the abundance of fresh produce. And without a lot of additives and preservatives, home-grown produce will spoil faster than store-bought. So, there’s no time to waste.
Luckily, with the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning system, canning or jarring produce from your garden is so easy you can do it any time. It’s not a day-long production. I’ve canned tomatoes twice already, and I’ve had NONE spoil because it’s easy to keep up this way! I highly recommend this ingenious kitchen appliance. Ball sent me one to try out, so I could review it and share my findings with you! Despite that generous offer, the opinions here are 100% my own.
FreshTECH makes canning so easy, my grandmothers would be seriously jealous!!
Here’s how to Can Tomatoes the Easy Way!
Before you start, you’ll need jars, rings and NEW lids (lids and rings work together to close the jar; you can reuse rings but always use new lids). Where to buy cheap jars: I’ve purchased canning jars on clearance at the end of the season. I’ve also gotten them free from people (think: Freecycle) and I’ve purchased cheap at thrift stores and yard sales. This year I stocked up at the latter two, and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of extra bugs and spiders in my newly acquired jars. So, I ran them through the dishwasher after doing a quick hand wash on them. New jars from the store are typically sealed in plastic and wouldn’t need the extra scrubbing. But, ew… spiders!
Step 1: select tomatoes
Pretty simple stuff. Just choose disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm fruit for canning. Don’t can tomatoes removed from dead vines (such as those killed by frost or sub-freezing temps).
If you’re using the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning system, you’ll be making 4 pints or 3 quarts at a time. You’ll need 6 lbs or 9 lbs of tomatoes, respectively.
Can I can green tomatoes?
Yes! Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened (red) fruit, and can be canned safely the same way red tomatoes can.
Step 2: preheat empty jars
Sooo easy! Using the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning system, you just press a button to preheat your empty, uncovered jars to sterilize and clean them!
Step 2a: prepare tomatoes
This is where the reference to making spaghetti comes in! While jars are preheating (which is done for you by the FreshTECH system), you
have time to prepare your tomatoes. Wash thoroughly, blanch them (dip in boiling water for a minute until skins split, then plunge into ice-cold water and set in strainer to dry). Remove skins, cores and any bruised or problem areas; cut into four quarters.
I used a cutting board that fits over my sink, with a bowl under it to catch the juices. That way I could just scrape the cut tomatoes into the bowl.
Step 3: canning
Your FreshTECH should be done preheating the jars. Open lid carefully and remove one jar with jar tool. Set on a towel or in the sink. Close FreshTECH’s lid but don’t lock it. This will keep your other jars warm.
Add lemon juice (or citric acid) and salt to jars (see chart below). Pack jars with tomatoes, pressing gently until natural juice fills the spaces between them. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles.
Leave 1 inch of headspace (the empty space between top of tomatoes and top of jar). This varies by recipe.
Wipe rim of jar; center new lid on jar and twist on band until fingertip tight.
Return filled jar to rack in inner pot of the FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning system.
Repeat until all jars are filled with tomatoes and replaced in inner pot. Close and lock lid.
Jar Size;;; Acid Type;;; Quantity;nn;
Quart;;; Ball brand Citric Acid;;; .5 tsp ;nn;
Pint;;;Ball brand Citric Acid ;;; .25 tsp;nn;
Quart;;; bottled lemon juice;;; 2 T ;nn;
Pint;;;bottled lemon juice ;;; 1 T;nn;
Jar Size;;; Salt;;; Quantity;nn;
Quart;;; ;;; 1 tsp ;nn;
Pint;;;;;; .5 tsp;nn;
Step 3a: preserving
Set the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning system to automatically sense your recipe. For tomatoes packed in their own juice, simply press the Tomato button and recipe 6. Refer to your manual for the exact recipe you’re making. They’ll be ready in about 1.5 hours!