Canning Crushed Tomatoes

September 19, 2010

Ah, I love tomato season. It signals the end of summer, and the start of autumn–my very favorite season of all. I also love tomato season because I can get my canning into full gear! I have two friends who are canning fanatics, and we like to get together and preserve massive amounts of produce. Will likes to make fun of us for this, even though he reaps the benefits. I figured now would be a good time to take you through my favorite thing to can: Crushed Tomatoes.

The first rule of canning is that it is more enjoyable and faster to do it with other people. This is Katherine and Ruby. Canning is waaaay more fun with them (and with my friend Stephanie, who couldn’t make it because she had to teach a dance class). Check out Ruby’s knit leg warmers!

Next, buy a bunch of produce, preferably from a farmer’s market. I’m not above buying organic produce from the store to can, though. If you are like Katherine and me, you will buy 35lbs of tomatoes. We are enthusiastic canners.

Next, get the biggest pot you can find. Place a rack or a bunch of jar lids in the bottom of the pot (this will prevent the jars from clinking on the bottom of the pot and cracking). Plop as many jars as you can fit on one single level into the pot. Fill with water and start that pot boiling. This process is called sterilizing the jars. You only really need to sterilize jars by boiling them for 10 minutes, but if you have a giant pot, it will take a long time to get that water boiling. You might as well start early.

Next, prepare to blanch your tomatoes. Blanching will make the skin come off easily. Boil water in a pot, and fill a large bowl with ice water.  Work in batches. Blanch tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds-1 minute.

Submerge the tomatoes in the ice water.  Peel the skin off your tomatoes when they are cool enough to handle.

Cut out the center stem scar.

Squeeze out the seeds (this is seriously messy). Cut your tomato into quarters.

Place tomato pieces into a large pot. Smash them with a potato masher or with your hands. Keep adding your tomatoes until your pot is full. Cook the tomatoes on medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling.  Turn heat down. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. While this simmers, pull your jars out of the boiling water. Place 1 tablespoon store-bought lemon juice or white vinegar in the bottom of each jar. (Store-bought lemon juice standardizes acidity). This will assure the acidity of the tomatoes is high enough to keep them bacteria-free.

Next, heat your lids and rings in hot, but not boiling, water. Once your tomatoes have simmered, spoon the hot tomatoes into your jars. Having a funnel like this helps prevent you from getting tomato everywhere. Fill the jars up, leaving 1/2in-1/4in headspace.

Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean damp cloth. Place hot lids and rings on jars to close. Process (meaning boil) closed jars in a boiling water bath (with a rack or rings on the bottom of the pot) for 40 minutes. Take jars out of boiling water, let cool 12-24 hours. Check to make sure your jar has sealed. You can do this by pressing down on the lid. The lid should not pop when you press down on it. Store your delicious, home-canned crushed tomatoes in a cool, dry place.

Hungry for a pasta sauce recipe using your homemade, crushed tomatoes? My Grandma Rose’s Simple Pasta Sauce

More on canning: Canned Pears Poached in Wine

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6 Responses to “Canning Crushed Tomatoes”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hehe! Canning was very fun!! 😀


  2. […] Want to make your own canned, crushed tomatoes to use in this sauce? Canning Crushed Tomatoes […]

  3. Lily Says:

    So.. the jars don’t float around in the pot while they’re boiling? Let me get this straight. You boil the entire tomato-filled jar? Who would have known.


  4. […] of getting 2 uses out of one vegetable, I have a neat trick to share with you that my friend Katherine taught me. You can freeze leftover vegetable scraps and chicken bones make your own vegetable […]


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