Today we’re talking all about canning tomatoes! I know nothing about canning, but my mother does 🙂 So over labor day weekend I went home to my family’s cottage in the Poconos and mom schooled me all morning so I can break it down for you.
Step One: Pick your tomatoes, wash them and cut off any bruises.
Step Two: Then chop em in half and place in a food processor/blender. Meanwhile put a large pot on the stove. You’ll be pouring your tomato puree in here to be cooked.
At this point you can strain your tomato puree through cheesecloth to remove seeds. But as you may or may not remember from my previous posts I am a rebel (aka lazy) and I always end up keeping the seeds.
Step Three: Bring your puree to a boil, stirring from time to time and turning down to a simmer. At this same time put a medium sized pot of water and LARGE pot of water to on high to bring to a boil.
Step Four: Get your mason jars (which can be purchased at grocery and craft stores) all with the lids off lined up and ready to go on all fronts to be sterilized.
Put the jars on a baking sheet and bake at a low heat to sterilize them. Think 200 for 20 minutes. Notice there are no lids on these:
You might have some waiting to do while all this stuff is boiling and cooking. I suggest you get a wiener dog to keep you company. My mom’s dapple dachshund was happy to wait.
Another thing you might want to purchase is a simple canning kit because everything you touch will be liquid hot magma temps…and the tools just help save your hands. These are available at supermarkets, cooking stores and craft stores.
Step Five: Once your jars are sterile. You can use the funnel from the canning kit, or just a ladle to spoon the puree into the jars. Leave about 1 inch of room at the top and add 2 tsp of lemon juice to each jar.
Step Six: This is a little random, but there are probably little teeny tiny bubbles in your jars. You can run a toothpick around the inside edge of the jar. Don’t go crazy and start stirring…someone I know did that and their mother corrected them. ha! Just a quick once around each jar should work
Step Seven: Boiled the insert in your small pan. This causes the glue to be more adhesive when you screw on the lids.
Once they’ve boiled about 15 minutes take them out and put them on the jars. Instead of sticking my hand in lava the canning kits has a stick with a magnet that you can use to get the inserts out.
Step Eight: You might be hearing your jars pop a little as you screw on the lids tightly, this is normal. Now set them in the BIG pot of boiling water so that they are submerged. Let them boil for about 30 minutes. It helps to use the “jar claw” as I like to call it. The jaw claw keeps you from burning your hands.
Step Nine: Take out the jars from the water and leave them in a a cool dry area overnight. You’ll hear them pop for the next few minutes. This is normal. Don’t pick them up and shake them or try to play hockey with them. The jars need a good seal and if you’re playing the maracas using the jars, it’s going to be a mess…in many ways.
Step Ten: Enjoy at your leisure! I put all of my tomato puree cans in the cabinet for a rainy day when I want to make sauce.
Shout out to my mom Mom for helping me learn the ropes. Thanks!
How was your labor day? Did you do any canning or pickling of your summer veggies?
Here’s a peak at our cottage from the dock: