Canning tomatoes

About every other year  I make my mother come over for a day of canning tomatoes.  I love to be able to make chili, lasagna or almost anything with our canned tomatoes.  I am trying to eat healthier and this will help with fresh tomatoes that we know what all is in the jar!  I do not want to forget how to do this , so I am going to blog how…that way if you don’t have an awesome Mom like mine, you can learn too! So here goes …first you must make sure all of your jars are clean.  I run mine through the dishwasher.  If you are in the market for a new dishwasher, I just love my two drawer one from Fisher & Paykel.  It was a great descision.

DSC02330Gather up all your necessary equipment as follows: Pressure canner, canning salt, funnel, big ladle, paring knives lids, rims  and jars and jar grabber for taking out hot jars from the canner.  We made two kinds of tomatoes: Stewed ( with green peppers, onions and celery) and then just whole tomatoes alone in the jars.  So if you want to make stewed tomatoes, you will need some green peppers, onions and celery.  

DSC02331Cut or chop your green peppers, onion and celery  then add a little water and simmer them for a bit to soften them a little .

DSC02334While that is simmering, dump your tomatoes into the sink and rinse them to get any dirt or bugs or junk off of them.  

DSC02335Then place them into a roasting pan with boiling water to scald them for a few minutes.  The skins with break.  Do not leave them in too long or they will become too hot and mushy to handle.  

DSC02337Transfer them into a sink of cold water.  You will then remove the center stem and all of the skins,  Cut then in quarters and place in a bucket. Do this until you have all of your tomatoes cleaned, scalded and peeled and cut.


DSC02340Add fixings for stewed tomatoes if desired to pot of cut tomatoes, stir…

DSC02341Looking real good right now!

DSC02342add about an 1″ or two of water to the canner.

DSC02346add a teaspoon of salt to each jar

DSC02344using a large funnel (get it at fleet farm) scoop your tomatoes in the jar- i used small mouth jars for the stewed tomatoes and wide for the whole.  You would use your hands to pack the whole tomatoes.

DSC02345fill jars almost to the top and leave a half inch of space at the top not counting the lid rim.





DSC02350carefully wipe of the top of each jar- so the lids will seal properly

DSC02347Place lid and ring on jar

DSC02348place 7 jars in canner, place cover on  and place the “jimmy” that is what I call the pressure gauge, on 10lbs of pressure

DSC02349I place the burner on HIGH until the “Jimmy” starts to jiggle.  I then turn it down a little.  The “Jimmy” does not have to jiggle constantly.  Once the canner start to jiggle you need to let it pressurize to 20min.  After 20 min.  turn off heat and let the canner release its pressure.  When it is all out  it will allow you to open it.  I have to admit Mom taught me how to cheat and hold a long meat fork on the pressure gauge until all of the steam is let out.  This helps if you have lots of canning to do and don’t have time to wait, but I am sure this is not recommended anywhere and you cannot hold me accountable if something happens to you when you are doing yours.

DSC02351When all of the pressure is released from the canner open the lid and lift out your jars with the canning tongs.  

Place hot jars on a protected surface.  I used towel on the kitchen table, double folded.  The jars will ting when the lids seal.  

DSC02352Here are our 84 jars!  It took us from 10am to 7pm when the last 7 were processed.  We have 31 stewed tomatoes and 53 whole tomatoes.  I think we will be set for awhile.  We did this last Wednesday.  My uncle brought us over 2 bushels and this is how many we ended up with.  Now I will remember how to do this and maybe you will now try it yourself!

Hey…here is a pic of my Mom…on our boat this her “Jackie O” sunglasses…she wore them long enough that they are back in style now..


9 responses to “Canning tomatoes”

  1. Kristan Avatar

    All of the Idaho ladies are doing their tomatoes this week, too! Miss Emma says WOW! She loves telling her new friends that she got to meet LISA BONGEAN! (Most have no idea who you are, but they are still impressed ;)) Hope all is well for you!


  2. JudyC Avatar

    MY mom did the same thing…slide that meat fork in there and tilt it so the steam came right out slowly!! YUM! they look fabulous! I miss my father’s tomatoes.

  3. Lori Avatar

    I’ve just recently found your blog. The new quilt is great. As a matter of fact I love all the quilts you’ve been doing to get ready for market.

  4. tammy Avatar

    love the new quilt! can’t wait for you to complete the pattern and i can start sewing!! love everything about it.

  5. Amy Avatar

    thank you, thank you, thank you Lisa!! I would love to can some tomatoes, but my mom has never canned, so I don’t have her to teach me. This looks very do-able. Now I just need to run to Fleet Farm and get the necessary equipment.

  6. lisabongean Avatar

    Good! that is what i was trying to accomplish with this post!

  7. Kathy B. Avatar
    Kathy B.

    You make this job look so neat! I just worked with a mere 15 tomatoes from my garden; made 2 cups of sauce, froze a pint of scalded, seeded and cut up tomatoes and ended up with a 16 oz glass of yummy juice but it’s sooo messy. If I wasn’t a ‘clean up as I work’ person, I’d have really had a mess. The pasta sauce is easy and fantastic…let me know if you’re interested in the recipe.

  8. Kathy B. Avatar
    Kathy B.

    Here’s the sauce recipe.

    Fresh Tomato Sauce
    1 T. olive oil
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    2 T. minced garlic
    2 t. salt
    1/2 t. white pepper
    2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
    3 T. basil pesto (I use Alessi brand)

    Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat – add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until onions are translucent – add the basil pesto – add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce thickens slightly (about 15 minutes) Makes about 2 cups

    Excellent served over pasta with a touch of fresh, grated Parmesan.

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