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June 19, 2011

Canning crushed tomatoes

Tomato harvest is upon us and if you are like me, you have a lot of tomatoes in your back yard garden. I grow Roma variety specifically for canning. Lately I only can crushed tomatoes. The advantage of canning crushed tomatoes in a raw and simple form is that they can be used later as a base of salsa, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, chili, gumbo, you name it. Canning crushed tomatoes saves time and provides versatility.

First, I chop tomatoes with skins on (never a problem in later cooking) and put in a large pot:

Simmer chopped tomatoes with no added water for about fifteen minutes:

I do not add salt or lemon juice to my crushed tomatoes, they are acidic enough to hold their own. After simmering, ladle tomatoes into a clean hot jar:

Put clean sterilized lid (dipped in boiling water) and the ring on the jar. Hand tighten, but do not over tighten.
Put a kitchen towel on a bottom of the pot so that jars do not have contact with the metal bottom. Place jars into a large pot, tall enough to cover the jars with hot water from the tap for about an inch.  

Bring to a boil and then boil for twenty minutes, then take the jars out of the pot using a jar lifting tool. Set on the counter to cool. The lids should not have a bubble on top of them; if they do, press on the bubble with your finger. The bubble should go down and stay down. If it does not, and pops back up, use this jar for your immediate cooking, storing it in a refrigerator. Here's the finished product, canned crushed tomatoes: 

The jars should be stored in a dry cool place, such as your kitchen pantry. I cannot testify if they will last for more than a year as we eat them way before that... :)  Enjoy!


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