Nothing can jazz up a dish better than tomatoes. Explore this article to know how to can tomatoes and bite into the delicious goodness of this fruit.

How To Can Tomatoes

Whether you are trying to woo your date with some delectable Italian fiesta, or need to storm up a quick casserole for the Saturday potluck party, you can always bet on canned tomatoes to bail you out. Canned tomatoes are as good as canned tuna or green beans, and are absolutely safe for consumption, provided you process it on your own. Tomatoes are any gourmet basic, and unless you have these red savories growing in your backyard, it's best to store them for future use. From fries to sauces to yummy taco shells, tomatoes just fire up the flavor of almost all dishes. What’s more, the tomato is deemed as one of those super foods that not only helps to boost your immune system and shoo away illnesses, but also helps to add years to your lifespan. Now with so many benefits to its name, isn’t it just good that you relish this delightful fruit for the entire year. If you love tomatoes and can’t think of your spaghetti and sauces without this tasty antioxidant, then knowing how to can tomatoes at home should leave you with a stockpot of this delicious delight.
Canning Tomatoes
Things You Will Need 
  • Several Pots
  • Canning Pot
  • Canning Rack
  • Jar Lifter or Canning Tongs
  • Tongs
  • Canning Jar Bands
  • Vacuum Seal Lids
  • Canning Funnel
  • Several Clean Towels
  • A Thin Rubber Spatula 
  • Whether you wish to stash away your rich ripe garden fresh tomatoes for winter, or have received a big bushel of farm-grown tomatoes from your uncle, knowing how to preserve the yummy goodness of tomatoes will only help you relish these red delights later. To can tomatoes, the first two ingredients that you will need are tomatoes and lemons.
  • Yellow, green, orange or red, you can preserve almost all variety of tomatoes without any hitch. However, most people prefer Italian varieties like Roma or San Marzano, because of their low moisture content. It doesn’t matter if you are using special varieties of tomatoes or commercial ones; make sure that the fruit is fairly firm and not overly ripe.  Ripe tomatoes are low in acids, which makes them unsafe for canning. Also make sure that the tomatoes are not cracked, bruised or have blemishes on them.
  • When using lemon juice for canning tomatoes, it's best to go with bottled lemon juice that has standardized levels of acids in it. You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice to can your tomatoes. However, before that, make sure that the vinegar has the right levels of acid levels in it.
  • Safe canning begins with safe jars. So make sure that your jars do not have any cracks, nicks, sharp edges or uneven rims, as it might damage the jar while boiling. Also, ensure that your canning band fits in snugly. Check the vacuum seal lids to make sure that the sealing compound is perfect and free of dents and holes.
  • Rinse the jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water or a dishwasher. Pat the bands dry and keep them aside. In a saucepan, take some water, simmer it for some time, and dunk the jars and lids in it. Keep the jars and lids soused in hot water until ready for use, using one at a time.
  • Fill the canning pot partially with water and put it on heat.  Fill all the jars with water until half-full and put them on the canner for sterilization. Allow the jars to sterilize for about ten minutes.
  • Rinse the tomatoes to scrub off all the dirt and debris from its skin. Slit the stem and cut an “x” at the bottom of each tomato. Dunk them in boiling water for a minute and then remove it. Allow the tomatoes to cool, then peel, and core the tomatoes. The skin should come off easily. Hold the tomatoes over a bowl and squeeze them well to remove the seeds. Put all the tomatoes in a big pot and boil them over low flame for about five minutes.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the canning jar from the hot water and place it on a clean towel. Pour 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice in each jar. Position the canning funnel on top of the jar and carefully spoon out tomatoes and their juices into it. Slip a narrow rubber spatula between the tomatoes and the jar and press the tomatoes to expel all trapped air bubbles.
  • Wipe the threads and rims of the jar with a moist cloth. Using tongs, pull out a vacuum lid from hot water. Put the lid on the jar, sealing the compound to secure the rim. Take a band and screw it on the jar. Do the same for all the jars.
  • Place the jars on the canning rack, making sure that the flame isn’t too high. Lid the canner and bring the water to a boil. Make sure to simmer the water for 45 minutes. If the water level drops, add some more water from the second pot.
  • Once you are done, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow the canner to cool for 15 minutes before taking off the jars. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from canner and place them on a dry towel. Allow the jars to cool for a day. Once they are cooled, check the lids to see if they are sealed well by tapping the center of each lid.
  • Store the jars in a cool, dry and dark place. These canned tomatoes are best consumed within a year of canning.

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