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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Tomatoes and Salsa > Canning Tomatoes

Tomatoes and Salsa

Canning Tomatoes

William Schafer, Food Technologist — Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Reviewed 2014 by Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

Canning tomatoes safely

General USDA methods

Quality: Select only disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm fruit for canning. Caution: Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations. Varieties grown today may have insufficient acidity, including but not limited to, Ace, Ace55VF, Beefmaster Hybrid, Big Early Hybrid, Big Girl, Big Set, Burpee VF Hybrid, Cal Ace, Delicious, Fireball, Garden State, Royal Chico, and San Marzano.

Canning tomatoes safely

Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon or lime juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon or lime juice or ¼ teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of vinegar with 5 percent acidity per quart maybe used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.

 

Following are selected tomato methods.

Tomato juice

Quantity: An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 15 to 18 quarts of juice — an average of 3¼ pounds per quart.

Procedure: Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions. To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of fruit into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing. Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture. Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes after you add all pieces. If you are not concerned about juice separation, simply slice or quarter tomatoes into a large saucepan. Crush, heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before juicing.

An average of 23 pounds is
needed per canner load of
7 quarts, or an average of
14 pounds per canner load
of 9 pints.

Press both types of heated juice through a sieve or food-mill to remove skins and seeds. Heat juice again to boiling. Add additional acid to jars: add two tablespoons of bottled lemon or lime juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid or four tablespoons of vinegar with 5 percent acidity per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon or lime juice or ¼ teaspoon citric acid or two tablespoons of vinegar with 5 percent acidity. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Fill jars with hot tomato juice, leaving ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

Processing Times and Methods
  1. Boiling-Water Bath
    Pints–40 minutes
    Quarts–45 minutes
  2. Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner
    Pints or Quarts–15 minutes @ 11 PSI or 20 minutes @ 6 PSI
  3. Weighted-Gauge Pressure Canner
    Pints or Quarts–15 minutes @ 15 PSI or 20 minutes @ 10 PSI

Note: Processing times and pressures in this publication are for Minnesota altitude ranges.

Tomatoes, whole or halved (packed raw without added liquid)

Quantity: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 15 to 21 quarts — an average of 3 pounds per quart.

Procedure: Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. Add additional acid to jars: add two tablespoons of bottled lemon or lime juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid or four tablespoons of vinegar with 5 percent acidity per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon or lime juice or ¼ teaspoon citric acid or two tablespoons of vinegar with 5 percent acidity. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Fill jars with raw tomatoes, leaving ½ inch headspace. Press tomatoes in the jars until spaces between them fill with juice. Leave ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

Processing Times and Methods

  1. Boiling-Water Bath
    Pints or Quarts–90 minutes
  2. Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner
    Pints or Quarts–25 minutes @ 11 PSI or 40 minutes @ 6 PSI
  3. Weight-Gauge Pressure Canner
    Pints of Quarts–25 minutes @ 15 PSI or 40 minutes @ 10 PSI

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has over 30 tomato product canning recipes. Choose processing times and methods for Minnesota altitudes of 1001-2000 feet.

Note: Processing times and pressures in this publication are for Minnesota altitude ranges.

Source:

Tomato Juice. National Center for Home Food Preservation

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