How I Canned Roma Tomatoes in a Water Bath Canner
I am pretty new to canning but have done it more that a few times… In this post, I share how I canned Roma tomatoes this year in a water bath canner…
A Vegan Diet
A couple of years ago we changed to a vegan diet, (a diet that I have not been able to maintain) because I needed a good source of fruits and vegetables, I searched for buying groups where I could buy in bulk. One of the places I found offered tomatoes and other fruits several times a year…
Last year, we purchased a few boxes of tomatoes in August, and later in September. I had planned to can the tomatoes but instead we blanched, peeled, chopped, bagged and froze them…
For being my first time freezing tomatoes, they came out really nice, and I guess we froze enough because they lasted all year and then some, we still have a few bags left.
This year we ordered 3 boxes of tomatoes, but instead of freezing them, I water bath canned them… You can read the process that I used below while I tried to follow the process with pictures there were a few steps that I missed…
I don’t hear it often but when I think of these I want to call them lugs… Do you remember calling a half box of fruit a lug?
We got two boxes of Roma and one box of Beefsteak Tomatoes, these are the Roma’s, don’t they look pretty? They were beautiful when we got them, but I got lazy and did not get them canned as quickly as I should have.
It is always best to can your fruits at the peak of ripeness. Because these were still a little hard, I let them ripen for awhile and waited to long, they started to go bad before I finally got them canned. It turned out ok, but I would not recommend waiting so long, I lost some that were over ripe…
To get started, I boiled a large pot of water for sterilizing the canning equipment. When the water was boiling I then added the Jars, Lids, Rings and tools. When they had been boiling long enough to sterilized them they were removed from the water with tongs, and placed on clean dish towels to drain.
When removing the jars I had to be careful not to get the boiling water on my skin, because each jar was full of boiling water not only was it hot it was to heavy for me to lift without first pouring out the hot water, so I lifted each jar one at a time while still over the pot then tilted them pouring out the water till they were empty, then placed them on a dish towel.
Because I do not have a dedicated Water Bath Canner, I canned the tomatoes using what I have, and you can do the same all you need is a pot that is large enough to hold the jars and enough water to cover them.
You can see I have two pots, the smaller is being used to blanche the Roma tomatoes, and the larger is my pot for canning the filled jars, and sterilizing my equipment.
Before the tomatoes were put into the boiling water to blanche them, I prepared a large bowl with ice water for cooling them off after they come out of the boiling water. This makes handling the tomatoes easier, but it also stops the cooking process.
To blanche the tomatoes, I placed several tomatoes 5 or 6 at a time into the pot of boiling water for a minute or two, just long enough to loosen the skins. When they seemed to be just right, I removed them from the boiling water and put them into the bowl of ice water. They stayed in the ice water till they were cool to touch, then they were moved to another bowl waiting to be peeled.
To peel the blanched tomatoes, I take a sharp knife and cut a slit in the tomato and peel the skins off, when they are well blanched the skins slip right off.
Once the skins are off then I remove the core and any bad spots (fresh tomatoes will have few bad spots). I could have chopped them but chose to keep them whole.
To keep things safe and prevent any bacteria from getting into my finished tomatoes, I decided that I would use the hot pack process, and further cook the tomatoes before canning them, after peeling them they went straight into the pot for cooking.
Once all the tomatoes were peeled and in the pot they are brought to a boil and boiled for 5 minutes, stirring and pressing with a potato masher to help release some of the juices.
If you are following my method, this would be a good time to get your water bath boiling hot so that you do not have to wait for it to heat up.
Canning Jar Rack
I could not find a jar rack that fit my cooking pot, so instead I used the jar lids to lift the jars off the bottom of the pot. My husband suggested it, but I was not sure if I should until I read about someone else using the rings, and it worked just fine.
Because some tomatoes have less acid than others we add an acid to keep our water bath canning safe, low acid foods are not safe to can with a water bath, and would require a pressure canner to be safe, adding extra acid corrects any low acid tomatoes.
There are 3 choices for an acid, Citric acid, Lemon juice or Vinegar. Acid amounts per quart are; Citric acid 1/2 tsp, Lemon juice 2 tbsp, Vinegar 4 tbsp.
Before filling the jars, I added vinegar and salt to each one, because salt is not a requirement it can be added to suit your taste.
After adding vinegar and salt to each jar, I filled each one with hot tomatoes with the juice, leaving about 1/2 inch of head room…
When the jars were filled, I wiped the rim of each jar with a clean paper towel to remove any debris that might keep it from making a tight seal.
After the rims are cleaned each jar gets a lid and a ring and are tightened, then the jars are ready to be put into the pot of boiling water.
Once the jars are put into the pot of boiling water, be sure that the tops of the jars are covered by about an inch of water.
Cover the pot, and let it simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the filled jars, remember that they are going to be hot, so be careful not to get burned.
Detailed Water Bath Canning Instructions
USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
Never Water Bath Can Low Acid Foods. To learn more about water bath canning see USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
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