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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

September 28 2009

Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Traditionally, canning tomatoes has usually been done by using the hot water bath canner method. Recently, however, more people are finding that canning tomatoes in a pressure canner will result in higher quality and give you a more nutritious product.

Pressure canning is also required for many canned tomato combination products because the pH value is above 4.6 which is a low acidic food. Tomatoes themselves fall close to the low acid level, just slightly above 4.6 and when mixed with meat for sauces or with vegetables like peppers or zucchini, which are a low acidic food it raises the pH value above 4.6 and must be processed by pressure canning to insure food safety. Foods that have a pH value of 4.6, or lower, may be processed in a boiling water bath canner.

When canning tomatoes by themselves, it is recommended that acid should be added to lower the pH level. This can be done by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid per pint of product. For quarts, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid. This may be done by adding directly to jars before filling.



Tomatoes-Whole or Halved (with liquid)
Ideal for use in soups, stews, casseroles and sauces


To remove skins, wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins begin to split. Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, core and remove any blemished or discolored parts. Leave whole or cut in half.


Raw Pack

Heat water, for packing tomatoes, to a boil.
packing ball jars Add lemon juice or citric acid to canning jars along with 1/2 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired. Pack hot jars with prepared tomatoes and fill with boiling water leaving -inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.


Hot Pack

Place prepared tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Heat to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice or citric acid to canning jars along with 1/2 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired. Pack hot jars with hot prepared tomatoes and fill with boiling water leaving -inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.


Processing Methods

Boiling Water Bath Canner
Pints 40 minutes
Quarts 45 minutes


Pressure Canner

Dial Gauge Type @ 11 pounds pressure or Weighted Gauge Type @ 10 pounds pressure.
Pints 10 minutes
Quarts 10 minutes

After processing, remove jars immediately, place on a rack to cool.

Test for Seal.