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Canning Tomatoes Step by Step

Ingredients

  • *2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds tomatoes per quart
  • Bottled lemon juice
  • Salt

*Tomatoes packed in their own juices. Whole, halved or quartered.

Preparation

1. Read recipe instructions; assemble equipment and ingredients before starting. Follow guidelines for recipe preparation, jar size, canning method and processing time. Do not make changes in recommended guidelines.

2. Visually examine canning jars for nicks, cracks, uneven rims or sharp edges that may prevent sealing or cause breakage. Examine canning lids to ensure they are free of dents and sealing compound is in and complete. Check bands for proper fit.

3. Wash jars and two-piece caps in hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Dry bands; set aside. Heat jars and lids in a saucepan of simmering water (180 degrees). DO NOT BOIL LIDS. Allow jars and lids to remain in hot water until ready for use, removing one at a time as needed.

4. Fill boiling-water canner half-full with hot water. Elevate rack in canner. Put canner lid in place. Heat water just to a simmer (180 degrees). Keep water hot until used for processing.

5. Select fresh tomatoes at their peak of quality and flavor. Use firm tomatoes free of cracks, spots and growths. Prepare only enough for one canner load. Wash tomatoes; drain.

6. Place tomatoes in wire basket and lower into a large saucepan of boiling water. Blanch tomatoes 30 to 60 seconds or until skins start to crack. Remove from boiling water. Dip immediately into cold water.

7. Slip off skins; trim away any green areas; cut out core. Leave tomatoes whole or cut into halves or quarters.

Prepare tomatoes (see steps 5–7 above). Add 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice to each pint jar, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart jar. Pack tomatoes into hot jars, pressing gently on tomatoes until the natural juice fills the spaces between tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar, 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 1 hour and 25 minutes in a boiling-water canner.