Canning Tomatoes and Sauce
Here is what you need:
- Large Stockpot or Canning Pot (11 – 35 quart – Mine was 20 quarts)
- 1 large pot for scalding tomatoes, 1 medium pot to sanitize lids, 1 large dutch oven or large sauce pot for sauce
- Pot rack that fits inside pot (I ended up using a metal trivet set inside the stock pot)
- Canning Jars with lids and rings (I used quart jars and half pint jars)
- Jar Lifter, Magnetic Lid Lifter, Funnel
- Lots of large prep bowls such as 20 qt stainless steel bowls
- Sharp paring knife
- Hand immersion blender, food processor, or blender
- Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
*It takes about 3 lbs of tomatoes to yield a quart of whole tomatoes. 7 large tomatoes will fill a quart jar. However, depending on the size of tomatoes it’s really just a “prep and see how far they go” kind of deal.
Steps for Whole Tomatoes:
You’ll want to leave them in the boiling water for around 5 minutes.
2. As you remove the jars from boiling water with the jar lifter, set them on clean towels about 1 inch apart.
Then return water to a boil for the tomatoes.
4. Start to boil water in the medium pot to sanitize the lids and rims. And fill up a sink or large bowl of ice cold water with ice to blanch the tomatoes.
6. Immediately transfer the tomatoes into the ice cold water bath and let cool completely (about 2-3 minutes).
8. Add 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to each quart size jar. This offers additional acidity to the tomatoes so they have a better chance of not spoiling.
9. Place your lids and rims into the medium pot of boiling water and sanitize them as you prep your jars.
10. Fill the jars with the whole tomatoes up to 1/4 inch from the top. You can squish them down in there to allow for more to fit.
11. Add your boiling water you used to scald the tomatoes to fill up each jar allowing 1/2 inch headspace.
12. Using a flat utensil (I used an icing knife) free trapped air bubbles by sliding the utensil up and down along the inside edges.
13. Clean the rim with a clean damp paper towel to remove any tomato bits or liquid. Place the lid and rim and tighten securely, but not too tight.
15. Then you are done. Let cool for 12-24hrs and check for proper sealing. If you tap on the top of the lid and it does not make a popping noise, it is sealed correctly. If it pops up and down with your finger it is not a proper seal. You can still use for 1 week if placed in the fridge.
Recipe and Instructions for Tomato Sauce: (for use with 30-40 tomatoes)
- Coarsely chop up 2 heads of garlic and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and let sit for 10 minutes
- Set aside 1/2 large bunch of fresh basil (20-30 leaves)
- Quarter your tomatoes (skins still on makes it quicker, if not scald and blanch them to remove skins)
- In a large sauce pot, heat up 4 TBLS of olive oil on medium and saute garlic for 5-7 minutes making sure it doesn’t turn brown
- Then add your tomatoes and fresh basil to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Once your liquid has reduced by half – puree with a hand immersion blender or transfer in batches to a food processor or blender.
- Transfer your sauce to the sanitized jars with a large mouth canning funnel and process the same way as the whole tomatoes.
Then you are good to go. You are welcome to add more ingredients to flavor if you want. Oregano and other spices would be great. However, this is a great basic and versatile sauce for pasta sauces, pizza sauce, or a simple marinara sauce that can be added and seasoned to create a full rich flavor depending on what you want.