How to can those extra tomatoes

Firm, ripe, organic tomatoes are the best ones to use for canning. Make sure that they are completely red and have no soft spots.

Firm, ripe, organic tomatoes are the best ones to use for canning. Make sure that they are completely red and have no soft spots.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

If you are overwhelmed with an abundance of tomatoes in your garden and want to can them, it is easy to do, but it is very important to read up on canning so that you ensure your food is safe throughout the process. The Internet has lots of articles to help you learn how to can fruits and vegetables, so you will be on your way in no time. Following are the basics for canning tomatoes.

1. Firm, ripe, organic tomatoes are the best ones to use for canning. Make sure that they are completely red and have no soft spots. Peel the tomatoes by dipping them into boiling water for about half a minute and plunging them into cold water. Cut out the stem ends, and they will peel easily.

2. Wash your bell jars in the dishwasher and make sure they finish the rinse and dry cycle. Heating the jars right before you use them not only cleans them, but also kills bacteria. Quarter the peeled tomatoes. If tomatoes are bruised or overripe, add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons lemon juice per quart. Bring them to a boil. Pour boiling-hot fruit into clean glass jars, leaving a half-inch clear space at the top of the containers. Wipe jars. Secure lids and tighten metal rings.

3. Put filled jars into a canner containing boiling water; add more boiling water if necessary to bring liquid an inch or two over tops of containers. If you do not have a canner, you can use a large pot of boiling water on the stove, following the same instructions of covering the lids with water. Process hot-packed tomatoes in pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 45 minutes, starting when the water in the canner or pot comes to a rolling boil. Boil gently and steadily throughout the time period.

4. Always keep jars covered with water during cooking, adding more boiling water, if necessary. Remove jars immediately when processing time is up. Let cool. Store in a cool, dark place. After opening, keep refrigerated, and use within one week of opening.

Source: myrecipes.com and allrecipes.com.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 2, April/May 2013.

 

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