Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canning Tomatoes

We're learning so many gardening and canning tricks this year - it's pretty exciting really :) Today at Mike's we canned tomatoes for the first time!

Grant, Shorty and Ben taking the stems off.

To can tomatoes: first, start some water boiling in a large saucepan. Once it comes to a boil, add tomatoes. Once it returns to a boil, let it boil for 1 minute or until the tomato skins start to crack.

Next, dump the tomatoes into ice water and peel the skin off.
Mike peeling tomatoes.

Then cut the core out and any black spots (be sure to cut any bad spots off - one bad spot could ruin the whole jar).

Cut the tomatoes into slices (usually quarters unless it's a big tomato).

Then, put them into a jar.
Nice work, Grant :)

Use a butter knife or something similar (they do make a special tool for this that you should be able to find with canning supplies - it just looks like a long butter knife) to jab the tomatoes and get any air out.

Once the jar is full, add a tsp of salt and put on a hot lid and finish with the ring.

Once you have enough jars ready for whatever size canner you have, put a little vinegar into the canner so the jars don't get a scaly residue on them. Then, put the sealed jars into the canner and fill the canner with soft water. Once it gets to a rolling boil, don't let it boil too rapidly. Boil for 25 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary if it gets boiling too fast (this should hopefully avoid making water at the bottom of the jars). The boiling can be done on a turkey fryer base as shown below or on a stove with coils. It's not recommended to boil for that long on a flat top stove because it might break.

After you're done boiling, take the jars out and as they cool they should seal. That's it!

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