How to Can Tomatoes

After the growing season some people may feel overjoyed about how many tomatoes they have grown, but what are they going to do with all of them? Tomatoes only last from one to two weeks, and this is not long given how many tomatoes some of us grow. I do not think most of you will be eating all of our tomatoes at once. My grandmother has been canning for many years after she picks her vegetables, this allows her to save all of her tomatoes. She also makes salsa with her tomatoes and cans them as well. My parents just recently started canning vegetables too, it is a great way for us to work together and save what they grew for the year, and in this case they canned jalapenos, last year.

Canning is a great option to take into consideration, for it allows you to keep those precious tomatoes you grew up to one year after they are canned. I think this would be a great way to keep that hard work lasting as long as possible, because we do not want it all to go to waste. I am here to help you get an idea of how to can your tomatoes.

There are many different ways to can tomatoes I will go over how to can crushed tomatoes. The first thing that we do is check for the highest quality of tomatoes, because we do not want to can sickly tomatoes, ones with signs of spoilage, bruising, or bug infestation.  We will need the following for the canning process:

Quart Jars with lids and bands
Ladle
Measuring Cup
Tomatoes
Pickling Salt Lemon Juice

Our next step is to submerge these tomatoes in a bath of boiling water for around thirty seconds to one minute or until the skins of the tomatoes separate from the tomato.

After the skins start to split then you will want to remove the skin by dunking them into cold water and then peeling the skin while removing the core.   Now that we have removed the skin and removed the cores, it is time to trim off any distorted parts of the tomatoes such as bruises or discoloration.  Next, we will want to quarter the tomatoes.  After quartering the tomatoes we want to take about of one sixth of our batch and heat it in a large pot while crushing them with a large spoon or wooden mallet.  Be sure to stir the tomatoes so they do not burn. If you were wondering what you do with the remaining quarters this is when they come in. Once our batch starts to boil we will now add the remaining tomatoes, and these do not need to be crushed.  Once all your tomatoes are added, boil for five minutes.

While preparing the tomatoes it is important that we also prepare the jars. We should first check them for cracks and check to be sure there is no disfiguration of the lids or bands.  Next we will sanitize the jars, so there are no bacteria that will grow in the jars while they are stored.  So we should first wash the jars, lids and bands with hot soapy water. After rinsing off the soap we will put all these jars into a water filled canner where we will leave the jars to boil in the water to be sanitized. You must keep the jar hot until it is ready to be filled with the tomatoes. The lids will be put into a sauce pan with water and simmered on the stove top once simmered reduce the heat and keep them hot until they are ready to be put on the jar.

Now that our tomatoes and jars are prepared it is time to put it all together. Add to the jar   2 T. of bottled lemon juice this and 1 tsp. pickling salt, which is optional.  This will ensure the acidity of the tomatoes is safe; vinegar can also be used but may cause an undesirable taste change.

We will now put the tomatoes in the jar while everything is still hot. After we have done this we will put the lids and bands on the jars.  After the lids and bands are placed on the jars we will put them into a water filled canner.  The jars will need to be boiled for forty five minutes. Once the jars have been boiled we will want to let them set for twenty four hours without being disturbed. Then we need to ensure that the lids have been sealed.  We can do this by removing the band and lightly pressing on the lid to make sure it does not pop up.  We can also check it by carefully lifting up on the edge of the lid, ensuring that it is sealed.

We can use this technique of canning tomatoes to help preserve all the wonderful tomatoes that we have worked so hard to grow. This can help us eliminate having to throw away some of our crops once it goes bad. I hope this will help preserve your hard work for many growing seasons to come.

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