Canning Crushed Tomatoes with Water Bath Tutorial
If you’ve never tried to can tomatoes at home or you’ve tried and failed, this video is for you. I take you through the process of making crushed tomatoes and then walk you through step-by-step how to water bath can them so that they can be shelf-stable for storing in your pantry.
The good news is that you don’t need a pressure canner or any other special equipment. If you have a water bath canner, great! But if not, a stockpot will work just fine. And I’ll show you an easy way to make a homemade rack that literally takes seconds to put together!
And don’t worry. You CAN do this! With the foolproof tips and tricks I share, you’ll be canning tomatoes like a pro in no time!
Now that you’ve learned about canning crushed tomatoes, take an in-depth tour of the water bath canning books, supplies, and other equipment you’ll need for your future canning projects. And if your next canning adventure is marmalade, I’ll show you how to make a three citrus marmalade for your pantry and for gifting to your friends and family.
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Canning Crushed Tomatoes
- 8-9 pounds Tomatoes You will want to have a total of 12 cups of chopped tomatoes.
- 6-7 tablespoons Bottled lemon juice MUST be bottled lemon juice. DO NOT use fresh lemon juice.
- 6-7 Pint-sized wide mouth canning jars
- 6-7 Wide mouth canning lids MUST be new lids
- 6-7 Wide mouth canning rings
- Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. (See video.)
- Place a large stainless steel or enabled cast iron pot on the stove. You will be cooking the chopped tomatoes in the pot. Do not use an aluminum pot as it will react with the acid in the tomatoes and create an “off” flavor.
- Next, place a small stockpot on the stove filled to 3/4 full and bring water up to a soft boil (a high simmer).
- Next, fill a large bowl 3/4 full with ice water.
- Working in batches, put 4-6 tomatoes at a time into the stockpot with the soft boiling water for 30-60 seconds until the skins split.
- Remove tomatoes using a strainer and plunge the tomatoes into the ice water bath. Leave the tomatoes in the ice water bath for approximately 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, remove tomatoes and slip off the skins.
- Working with one tomato at a time, remove the stem end of the tomato. If you want, you can remove the entire core of the tomato as well. Once the stem end is removed, chop the tomato and transfer the chopped pieces into the large pot on the stove. Turn on heat to low and allow tomatoes to simmer while you continue to work through preparing all the tomatoes and transferring them to the pot.
- Once all the chopped tomatoes are in the pot, bring the tomatoes up to a boil and remain boiling for 5 minutes, stirring and crushing the tomatoes.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove and place the pot on a heatproof surface close to the canner.
- Working with one jar at a time, remove the first jar from your canner, and drain the water from the jar. Check the jar for nicks using a clean paper towel tipped in vinegar. Next, fill the jar with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and then place a funnel over the jar and ladle in the crushed tomatoes up to a 1/2 inch headspace. Use a remove any bubbles or air pockets from the filled jar using a debubbler device or another similar tool, such as a knife. Check again for proper headspace and add additional tomatoes if needed. Next, take a clean paper towel dipped in vinegar, and run it over the rim of the jar to make sure it is clean.
- Place a lid on the jar, put a ring on the jar, and then tighten the ring to "finger-tip-tight." (See video.) Using a jar lifter, lift the jar and place it down into your canner onto the submerged rack. The jar should be covered with 1-2 inches of water.
- Boil pint-sized jars for 35 minutes. (If you use quart-sized jars, they will need to be boiled for 45 minutes.) Do not begin timing the 35 minutes until the water comes up to a boil.
- After 35 minutes, turn off the heat and carefully remove the lid of the canner. Allow the jars to rest in the canner for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the jars using a jar lifter and place the jars on a cushioned surface, such as a counter that's lined with a thick dishtowel.
- Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours. Next, remove the rings and check that the lids are sealed tightly to the jars. Store the jars in your pantry based on manufacturer's suggestions. (Most Ball brand lids guarantee that food canned using their lids will stay shelf stable for 18 months.)
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Water Bath Canning Supplies
- Canning Essentials Kit (includes debubbler)
- Canning Scoop/Ladle
- Canning Funnel with Head Space Markings
- Ball Quilted 12-ounce Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands
- Ball Regular Mouth Lids and Bands
- Ball Regular Mouth Pint 16-oz Mason Jar with Lids and Bands
- Ball Wide Mouth Jars 32-oz with Lids and Bands
- Secure Lift Jar Lifter
Favorite Water Bath Canning Books
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