How to Can Tomatoes

by on September 17, 2012 » Add the first comment.
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canning-jarsThese step by step instructions are USDA approved.  It is very important to read up on canning before getting started, so that you don’t accidentally miss a small but very critical step.


  • Lots of firm, ripe tomatoes from your garden or from the farmers market.
  • 12 Canning jars, lids, and screw rings – 16 oz – 1 pint
  • A BIG pot of water – Fill with enough water to just barely cover the top of your canning jar.
  • A medium pot of boiling water


  1. Time the entire wash cycle of your dishwasher WITH the dry cycle.
  2. Your tomatoes should be firm, red and ripe and have no soft spots.
  3. Wash your canning jars in the dishwasher making sure they finish the rinse and dry cycles.
    The rinse cycle will rinse off most bacteria, and the heat of the drying cycle will kill any remaining bacteria.
  4. Start your big pot to a boil on medium high heat
  5. Make a small X on the tip of the tomato
  6. Plunge them in boiling water in the medium pot for 60 seconds, then into cold water for another 60 seconds,
    The skin should easily peel off
  7. Discard the peels, and quarter your tomatoes and discard the hard stem end
  8. Using a slotted strainer or a spider strainer or a strainer basket, lower your tomatoes into the medium pot with boiling water
  9. Let them heat for 30-60 seconds
  10. Pack the fruit directly into the canning jar, leaving 1/2 inch clear space at the top.
  11. Add 1 TBL lemon juice to the tomatoes
  12. Add a bit of your boiling water to cover the tomatoes
  13. Wipe jar rim with a damp cloth, and secure tops with the metal rings.
  14. Add your jars to your BIG pot of water.
  15. When the last jar is in place, verify that your water level has risen to about two inches above the tops of the containers.
    Add more water if you need to raise the water level.
  16. Increase heat to bring your big pot to a boil
    Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and start timing
  17. Let your pint canning jars simmer for 35 minutes.
    If you are using the larger quart jars, let them simmer for 45 minutes
  18. If water level starts to drop substantially, heat water to boiling in the microwave, and add to the pot to raise the water level.
  19. Remove jars right on time and place on a cooling rack.  DO NOT TIP THE JAR.
  20. Let cook and store in a cool dark place until they are ready for use.
  21. Store opened cans in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  22. DISCARD a can if the lid seal seems to have broken, or if the lid is puffed up.


Find more like this: Make Ahead - Serve Later, Part of another recipe

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