How To Can Tomatoes

Just-canned tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is so easy!

Of all the vegetables I can each year, tomatoes have to be my favorite. Not only is the process easy, but I love the fresh flavor of canned tomatoes

How to Prepare Your Tomatoes for Canning

This recipe works for any amount of tomatoes. I've canned as few as 10 lbs, and as many as 60 lbs. As you read through this recipe, you'll see why I don't indicate how many tomatoes to use.

HOW TO REMOVE THE SKINS:

Put a big pot of water on the stove to boil.

Meanwhile, wash your tomatoes in cold water.

Once the water is boiling, drop in your tomatoes a few at a time.

The tomato skins will begin to blister (peel) after about one minute. Have a fork handy, because this is the easiest way to remove them from the boiling water.

If the tomato skin is still difficult to remove, then put it back in the boiling water for another 30 seconds or so.

Using a knife, remove the skins (they'll peel right off) and then remove the stem end. As I peel and de-stem them, I drop them into my largest pot.

How To Can Tomatoes

While the pot of peeled tomatoes is coming to a boil, I prepare my jars and lids. I always put my jars in the dishwasher about the time I start peeling tomatoes. My dishwasher will have the jars clean and piping hot by the time I'm ready for them.

I put a skillet on the stove with about one inch of water in it, and put my lids in so they can boil -- the lids need to be sterilized, and the heat will soften the rubber seal.

How long should your tomatoes boil? Long enough for the tomatoes to begin to break down, and the entire pot of them is boiling rapidly. Note: there will be juice in the bottom of the pot when you first put it on the stove, and that liquid will come to a boil rather quickly. Wait a while though -- make sure the tomatoes themselves have heated to the boiling point. See the photo below.

How long will this take? It depends on how many tomatoes you're canning. Sometimes this takes 15 minutes, sometimes half an hour or 35 minutes if I'm using my largest pot and it's full.

Once the tomatoes are boiling, I add salt -- approximately 1/2 tsp. per quart. I just guesstimate since the acid of the tomatoes is plenty and they don't need salt to preserve them. You can always add salt later when you open the jars to use them.

I put a funnel into my hot clean jars and ladle the tomatoes into them. Leave about a 1/2 inch headspace. See the photo below.

Wipe any tomato juice off the tops of the jars, then put your lid on, then screw on your rings tightly. I turn the jars over, then move on to the next one.

Set your timer for about 12 minutes -- that's how long I keep my jars upturned before I turn them right side up. Then leave them on the counter for about 12 hours to fully come to room temperature. As they cool, you'll hear the lids popping downward -- indicating a complete seal.

Tomatoes At A Full Boil

Funneling Tomatoes Into the Jars

Boiled Lids Ready to put on Filled Jars

Ways To Use Your Canned Tomatoes

I use canned tomatoes in my homemade pasta sauce, in goulash, chili-mac and any dish that requires tomatoes. It's so easy when you have jars of the "good stuff" in your kitchen that you've canned yourself.

Other ways to eat them? Sometimes I put a jar into the fridge to get ice-cold, then pour them into a bowl, add in a swirl of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper (maybe some chopped chives or dill if I have it) then eat them with a spoon like a cold soup. They taste fantastic.

I like spicy food, so in the winter I will also eat them as a hot soup. Here's how:

sauté half of a shallot (or about a tablespoon of onion, if you prefer) in a little olive oil, then add a chopped jalapeno. If you don't like such spicy food, you can cut the jalapeno in half and scrape out the seeds and inner membrane -- this will remove almost all of the hotness.)

Once the shallot (or onion) and pepper have softened, pour in a jar of tomatoes (I use a pint jar, or a quart jar if I'm serving several people) and heat it. I like for the pieces of tomato to remain, rather than like a sauce -- so this dish comes together really fast.

Pour into bowls and serve with salt and pepper. They taste fantastic.

Final Notes

I realize that most canning instructions tell you to put the tomatoes into a canner, or into a hot water bath now, but I never do. My mom has been canning tomatoes like this for years - -and her mother before her. Tomatoes are highly acid, and I've never had a problem.

The reason I don't like the water bath or canner? It causes the tomatoes to become, essentially, tomato sauce. These are canned tomatoes -- I want to see pieces of tomato in those jars.

If you're of the school that feels like you have to pressure-can, then go ahead. I'm just telling you how I do it.

I know a woman who simply can't believe that I don't pressure-can my tomatoes -- to each his (or her) own I suppose. She has never had chunky canned tomatoes because as she admits, she ends up with soupy tomato sauce.

Canning tomatoes is incredibly easy. Enjoy!

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Comments 225 comments

Teresa 6 weeks ago

My Mother-in-law taught me this year how to can tomatoes and she does it exactly like you do her mother taught her the same method and she said that they never had a problem. So I decided to skip the water bath method for this one this year. I like doing it this way better.


Carolyn 2 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing. I have always used open kettle for tomatoes and juice. With all the hoo rah rah over that not being the correct way to do it. I quit telling anyone that I did and seriously thought I was the only one who still did LOL... when coring the tomatoes, I use the sniff and cut out method, if it don't smell right cut it out till it does Happy Canning everyone, I have lost very, very few cans of tomatoes that didn't seal. Excellent instructions step by step ....


Aplethora23 profile image

Aplethora23 2 years ago from North Cali

Awesome tutorial! I am going to can some and try the cold soup with olive oil, dill and fresh ground pepper! That sounds amazing! Voted up and Awesome.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 2 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sophie,

I'm glad you're canning tomatoes! You'll love the flavor.

You mentioned "quart pints" but the jars would hold either one quart, or one pint. Not both. Ten pounds of tomatoes isn't a lot (but a great place to start, by the way!)

:-)

... So I wouldn't be surprised if you only had a few jars. I've canned as few as 20 lbs at one time, and as many as 50 lbs (took me most of a Saturday.)

I keep the rings on. My personal preference only.

Best of luck,

Buster


Sophie Tran 2 years ago

Hello Buster,

I just tried out this canning method 5 minutes ago and it worked great so far!! Now we'll see if they seal up. Thank you so much! 10 lbs of my tomato (a mix of greenhouse and heirloom) yielded 3 quart pints, is that too little? One of my friend said for 10 lbs of tomato usually turn out to be 6 quart pints. Also, I want to ask if you remove the ring after your pints seal up and how ripped your tomatoes were when you start canning.

Again, thanks so much! I enjoy your blog so much!

Sophie


Toytasting profile image

Toytasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

This seems very useful. I will try this method for canning tomatoes. Thanks for sharing ! :)


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I am just starting to learn how to can, but I love it! I have canned tomatoes right out of my garden. I wrote a hub about it. It is nothing like my other hubs, so it won't appear on the Christian hubber site.

Also canned more vegetables from my garden. Once you taste vegetables from your own garden, the ones from the store, seem to have no taste at all.

Need to learn more about canning, since I just started so thank you for writing this, I have a lot of tomatoes growing this year.

Thanks for writing this hub!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 3 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Mary615,

Canning is a pleasurable way to spend time, that's for sure. The taste is always superior to store-bought!

Thanks for taking the time to write --

Buster


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I enjoyed reading your Hub on canning tomatoes. I preserve many foods including pecans and even cooked meats and vegs. I have written Hubs about doing that. I've never turned my Mason jars upside down, though. That's interesting.

I voted this Hub UP, etc.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Dani Plus 4,

Roma tomatoes are usually done as sauce, but I've used my method with Roma's before, so you'll be fine. After you have removed the skins (method described in recipe) then cut them into 4 pieces. Not smaller, because they will disintegrate completely into sauce.

I think that adding dried herbs is fine, but I wouldn't use fresh ( for the canning Process.) you can always add fresh herbs later once you open a jar.

Good luck, and thanks for writing!

Buster


Dani plus 4 4 years ago

Buster,

Thank you soooo much for the most helpful/easy post I've been able to find. I have never canned before so I am very nervous from reading all other methods and words like "pressure cook" and "water bath" methods. Last year I had so many tomatoes from my garden and not enough recipes, so unfortunately many of them we're wasted. This year I'm calling for a re-do. :) I have two questions please:

One: I only have Roma tomatoes and want "grocery store diced tomatoes", will my verity work ok?

Two: I would also like to add dehydrated garlic, and a few dried herbs to get "Italian style" tomatoes. If I add those herbs do I need to add a presservitave? Salt? Vinegar? Or nix your method and will be forced to water bathe my tomatoes?

Thanks again! :)


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sharon,

Yay! Glad you're happy with your tomatoes.

I will be canning tomatoes soon -- I can't wait!

Buster


Sharon 4 years ago

It has been 20 years since I canned tomatoes, but I was pretty sure I didn't heat process them. My husband was so sure I was going to ruin all our tomatoes....until we turned the jars upright and within 20 minutes the first one "popped". I agree with you about not wanting tomato sauce as the end result. Thank you for taking the time to put this online and I also appreciate the very detailed instructions. The 6 quarts we did yesterday are beautiful.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jim,

I've never added other vegetables to my tomatoes. Personally, I wouldn't do it. Salsa recipes (which is kind of what you're talking about) usually have extra vinegar and salt added as preservatives.

Wish I could be more helpful.

Best regards,

Buster


jim in michigan 4 years ago

Can you add onion and peppers to your tomatoes and can them the way you have suggested. Using the same method.

Thank you

Jim


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Chris,

Glad you've had success! This is the easiest and most effective method I know.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Buster


Chris F 4 years ago

I have been growing for a number of years and never canned tomatoes untell now because before I retired I would give them away . But your recispe for canning is very easy to follow , thank you for shairing

Chris F. York, SC.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for writing to me -- this method is definitely a keeper!

Buster


Patricia 4 years ago

I first tried your way of canning tomatoes in late summer of 2010. It is still the best and simplest way.In 2010 i tried the lemon juice,i didn't like the taste.Last season i went back to the salt method but i tried 2 jars with no lemon juice and no salt and to my surprise it was as if i just sliced a fresh tomato. They were delicious.I was very happy to know that you really don't need any preservative to keep them from spoiling.This summer i will try this method with a half a bushel.(field tomatoes). Those 2 jars i eat with some toast and butter. Not at the sametime. HA! HA! SUMMER IN A JAR. So much better than hot house tomatoes. I would like to thank u again for taking the time to inform us of this method. Patricia


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi SquirrelPrincess,

I hope your tomatoes turn out great!

Unfortunately, this method doesn't work for green beans. Wish I had better news.

Best regards,

Buster


SquirrelPrincess 4 years ago

Love what i have read so far on not having to use pressure cooker...cant wait for tomatoes to rippen in my garden....Question can you can green beans in the same fashion? Last year i made pickled hotdogs and eggs and peppers....though i used the boiling method to seal the jars ..


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Heather,

Wash your jars by hand in hit soapy water. Rinse. Place the jars into a large kettle, add enough water to cover the jars then being it to the boil.

That's all there is to it!

Good luck with your tomatoes.

Buster


heather 4 years ago

Hi!

We don't have a dishwasher. How do you recommend we get the jars hot enough?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pam819,

How little is little? If you mean the plum-type (about the size a golf ball) then yes you can. If you mean cherry tomatoes, then I don't think those would do. It would be too much work to remove the skins, which really needs to be done before the canning.

Good luck!

Buster


pam819 4 years ago

Hello, I've got a question. Someone gave me a bucket of those little tomatoes and I need to know if I can can them the way you can the round tomatoes?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Melissa,

Sometimes you hear the ping of the jars sealing, and sometimes the jars are already sealed when you turn them over.

Sounds like you've been busy! Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

Best regards,

Buster


Melissa 5 years ago

Hi Buster,

I just wanted to thank you so much for this site. I'm a first time canner and have already canned 8 pints of tomatoes and about 14 pints of salsa (I think, we were eating it as fast as I was canning at one point).

I did see a couple of questions I wanted to comment on. With all of the jars I canned, I don't think I heard one of them actually seal. Most were already sealed when I turned them over.

To make my salsa, I peeled the tomatoes like you mention then break them up a bit with my hands, I added sauteed veggies, peppers, cilantro and lime. I also used canning salt rather than regular salt. I brought all of that back to a boil and used your method for canning. It is so good!

I did try pickles using these same instructions, that didn't work out for me as they did not seal, I don't think they got hot enough to create a seal. However, I have some of the best refrigerator pickles I've ever eaten!

I feel like I really learned a lot from you and I share it with anyone that asks, so thanks again!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Wiscottie,

I think that freezing is the easiest (and foolproof) method for preserving apples.

Here's my article describing how it's done:

http://hubpages.com/food/How-To-Preserve-Fresh-App...

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Best regards,

Buster


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Grendl,

Yes, the skins need to be removed for the canning process. They will keep better (and longer) without the skins.

When you make fresh sauce, from fresh tomatoes (not for canning) then by all means -- leave the skins on, if you like. Remove them for canning.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


Grendl 5 years ago

Hi!

I'm wondering if you must remove the tomato skins for sanitation reasons. I actually like them in my tomato sauce and would prefer to leave them on if possible. Please advise!


wiscoscottie 5 years ago

I love the simplicity of this method, which a friend of mine tells me her grandma also used, so I tried it, seems to have worked great, love the color of the tomatoes. I am now surrounded by apples and wonder if you've ever tried your "open kettle" method of hot packing into sterile jars without the hot water bath step to can apples?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Diane,

I wish I did! If you come across one, let me know, okay?

Best regards,

Buster


Diane 5 years ago

Do you have a salsa recipe for canning that uses canned tomatoes?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Diane,

There are so many types of salsa recipes for canning that I wouldn't know how to answer your question. I really wish I could be more helpful.

Best regards,

Buster


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sandra,

So glad you've had success! We're often opening jars soon afterward, too.

:-)

As to your friend -- the short answer would be that she didn't follow the directions.

:-(

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Best regards,

Buster


Diane 5 years ago

I want to make and can salsa, but my recipe for fresh salsa uses canned tomatoes. Is it possible to can salsa that is made with canned tomatoes? Or must I convert the recipe to fresh tomatoes to can? Thanks for your help!


Sandra 5 years ago

I followed the directions to the letter and didn't have a problem...all of my jars sealed. We're actually going through a lot of the jars already! However, a friend of mine who I shared the garden plot with didn't have my luck...hers are starting to get moldy and the seals are breaking and unpopping....any idea what might have happened?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Robin,

Yes, this is how my mom taught me, and how her mother taught her. 100+ years of canning tomatoes.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Best regards,

Buster


Robin 5 years ago

This is how my mother taught me to casn (except for turning them upside down first) and I've been doing it for years. The only thing I do different is that I add a teaspoon of salt to the tomatoes in the jar just before I put the lids on. They always turn out great! Thanks for showing me that I'm not the only one who does it this way.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Tanya,

It isn't necessary to hear the ping. Sometimes when I can tomatoes I hear every jar ping, other times I don't hear any of them.

To check for a seal: press your finger on the top of the jar -- the lid should be "down" and not move up and down. If you can pop it up and down, you don't have a good seal and the jars should go into the fridge. Plan to eat these tomatoes within the next week or 10 days.

If you follow my method closely, all of your jars should seal.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Buster


Pam Ohio 5 years ago

Thank you, Buster. I am looking for a salsa recipe that I could use this method of canning. I appreciate any help as this will be my first summer of attempting to can tomatoes and salsa. This method seems so user friendly.

Once again, thank you.

Pam


Tanya 5 years ago

I just canned up 10 quarts and I'm very excited about it. But, I do have a question. I only heard one ping from the first batch. Can they seal even without the sound? So far the lids seem sealed, not bumpy. What do you think? What does a good seal look like?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pam,

I would need to see your recipe -- some salsa recipes include enough vinegar and salt/sugar that you could use this method.

Wish I could be more helpful!

Best regards,

Buster


Pam 5 years ago

Hi Buster~

Can I can my salsa with the same method you can your tomatoes? I do not have a pot with can jar holder and would love to can some salsa this year to give away for Christmas.

Thank you for your help.

Pam-Ohio


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Rhonda,

No, the rings don't need to be boiled. They never come in contact with the food.

They do need to be washed, however. I put mine through the dishwasher.

Good luck with your tomatoes!

Best regards,

Buster


Rhonda 5 years ago

Do you also boil your rings, or just the lids?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Carrie,

No, I wouldn't add beans to salsa, or to something that I canned.

Thanks so much for writing to me.

Best regards,

Buster


Carrie 5 years ago

Hi there

I want to can salsa and would love to add beans is this a good idea?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Paul,

I'm unable to advise you about the safety of the tomato sauce you've canned. However, based on what you've written to me, it sounds to me like you're going to be fine.

How many jars did you make? Maybe you might want to focus on using them up within the next few months... just to be sure.

Anyhow, good luck! And thanks for taking the time to write.

Best regards,

Buster


Paul 5 years ago

Great read.. thanks. I recently made tomato sauce and canned using the water bath method. I'm now worried as I've read on other web pages that I should have added lemon juice or citric acid to prevent botulism. The sauce has no meat and the vegis were cook until dissolved and everything was passed through a sieve, then reduced further over heat before canning. The sauce looks great - has some red wine in it too, and the lids are definitely sealed.

I'd appreciate your opinion on whether I'm good to go or should I scrap it all and start over.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Melissa,

It's always difficult to advise someone as to whether what they've canned is okay to put onto the shelf after having been in the fridge. Did you use a vinegar/salt solution to can your pickles? I'm going to assume you did.

My guess is that it would be okay to remove them from the fridge and put them on your canning shelf. Keep an eye on them, okay? If you notice that one of the pickle jars has lost its seal, then you'll want to put them into the fridge and eat them within 3 or 4 weeks.

Good luck!

Best regards,

Buster


S Pascoe 5 years ago

I do all my canning with the flip method! Everything taste's and looks better.


Melissa 5 years ago

Since your method worked so well with tomatoes, I thought I'd try it with pickles. I canned 7 pints and left them on the counter to cool. Once cooled they never did take a seal (I am sure I overfilled them)so I put them in the fridge. This morning I checked on them and they were all sealed. Is it OK to pull them out of the fridge to store in my cabinet or is it too late since they're already cold?

I'd appreciate your input. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.


Elisabeth 5 years ago

Hello Buster!

As I write this, my jars are upsidedown, awaiting the turnover. Thank you for such simple instructions. I was wondering if you canned everything this way: other veggies, fruits, etc?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Melissa,

Sounds like success to me! As you can see, it's really easy to do... and you'll enjoy having tomatoes all year long that you've canned yourself.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best regards,

Buster


Melissa 5 years ago

I'm a newbie to canning. I started with these instructions and 5 pounds of tomatoes. I didn't want to feel too bad if I wasn't successful. I was able to get 4 pints out of the 5lbs. I never did hear them pop, but the lids definitely are not flexing like the originally were. I did forget to put the salt in. I assume that'll be OK, right? I'm still going to call it a success! Tomorrow I'm going to stop back by my local produce lady and get another 10 pounds of tomatoes.


angeladale2 profile image

angeladale2 5 years ago from columbus, ohio

Hi this is just the perfect hub that i needed. Thanks for the details. Great hub


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Eddie,

I've never heard of this before. Wish I had info for you.

Best regards,

Buster


Eddie 5 years ago

I peeled a bunch of tomatoes yesterday, put them in the frig overnight in a stainless steel pot and when I just got them out of the frig a couple of them in the pot had white all over them almost like a wax .. does anyone know what this is or has anyone ever seen this before????


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Linda,

100 quarts! Wow -- that's amazing. Yes, I use canned tomatoes in lots of ways, and never tire of having them handy for cooking. We eat canned tomatoes like a cold soup a LOT.

Enjoy those fried green tomatoes. I plan on frying some this weekend.

Best regards,

Buster


Linda 5 years ago

Thanks for your posts... I have always canned tomatoes this way. It is so much easier and I have had them last over two years. That is just because I had over 100 large quarts 2 years ago. I use the canned tomatoes as a base for all my soups, chilli, vegetable, you name it. We love it. Thanks for the tip on turning them upside down for 12 minutes. I just got done canning 17 quarts and am already hearing them "pop" to seal. I am going to cook some of your fried green tomatoes tonight! Thanks for all you do!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Abby,

It's really difficult for me to advise you without being able to see the sauce. The things I would look for: did the tops seal? Did the sauce come to a boil inside the jars during the hot water bath? Did the sauce go into the jars already boiling (or at least really hot?)

How many jars do you have? If it was me, I would empty the sauce into freezer bags, and freeze the sauce. This way you know they will keep, and you don't have to worry about the seals, etc.

I wouldn't pressure can jars that have already been sealed and on your counter for a few days.

Good luck!

Buster


Abby 5 years ago

I recently made 2 batches of tomato sauce, but didn't follow a canning recipe. One has tomatoes, herbs, garlic and onion - the other those plus peppers. I added some sugar, salt, and EVOO to both, and fresh lemon juice at the end. I processed in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes. Now I'm reading most of this was a big no no.

The sealed and have been on my counter at room temp for 24 hours. A couple of questions:

First, if this will not be safe canned like this, would it be possible for me to empty the jars into freezer containers and freeze?

Second, could I do a pressure canning on these batches after I've already done the boiling, or will this just create more problems? And if it's possible - what would be the procedure?

Just hoping you might have some expertise - as I clearly am a newbie, and not following the rules already!! Never was any good at it.

Thanks a heap... and can't wait to try your method!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Leah!

Thanks for describing your tomatoes -- they must be beautiful.

I completely agree with you -- not only does the food taste better, but you know exactly what's in it (no chemicals or pesticides) and there's a personal satisfaction with growing and preserving your own food.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me!

Best regards,

Buster


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

Buster,

The purple prudence are an heirloom variety - they are a purplish pink color when ripe. I have the cans pinging on the counter now. I love it! I just canned strawberry jam for the first time this year, and now I'm moving on to tomatoes. The food tastes so much better when it is fresh out of the garden!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Leah,

Yes, you'll really enjoy having your own fresh tomatoes during those cold winter months.

I'm not familiar with Purple Prudence -- I assume it's an heirloom variety?

Good luck with your canning.

Best regards,

Buster


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

I am in the middle of canning tomatoes right now (I have the water on to boil the tomatoes to remove the skins). I am so excited to have fresh tomatoes ready to use in the winter! We grew Purple Prudence tomatoes in our garden this year, and it is really exciting to be able to save them and eat them in our spaghetti sauce, etc. And so much cheaper than buying things at the store!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Roxie: Lemon juice isn't called for in the recipe for canning tomatoes... so you're good to go.

Jasmine: Salt is optional, as I mention in the recipe.

Sue: My mother (and her mother, and all my aunts) upturn their jars "to help the jars seal." Does it really improve the chance of a seal? I really don't know. It's just how I do it, and I've had success for many, many years.

Kara: I canned yellow tomatoes about 4 years ago, and they turned out great! I bet you'll love how they taste from the jars.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to write and respond.

Best regards,

Buster


Kara 5 years ago

Thanks for the recipe. So clear and easy to follow. I don't have all the canning supplies, so this made the canning process a lot easier. I used my yellow and orange tomatoes, so I am excited to see how they taste!


Sue 5 years ago

Why do you put your jars upside down for 12 minutes?


Jasmine 5 years ago

Hi, is it okay not to add salt? Is it necessary?


Roxy 5 years ago

Did everything correct but forgot to add the lemon juice. How will this effect the shelf life and or safe eating?

Thank you


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Joanne,

Yes, if one of my jars doesn't seal, I put it in the fridge and make sauce in a day or two. Like you, this very rarely happens.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Ceci,

Tomato juice is -- you'll be surprised to know -- actually clear. The pulp is red, of course. There are Italian recipes that require hand juicing, then letting the juice/pulp sit in the refrigerator until the pulp separates from the (clear) juice, then the clear juice is served. It's delicious, and has a very intense tomato flavor.

As to why the red is so thick... I'm not quite sure. I would have to look at the jars.

Thanks,

Buster


joanne 5 years ago

i was taught how to can exactly like this and have been canning for years but the last few years i have not canned anything and was looking for a refresher. the only thing i do differently is i place all my clean jars in the over at a temp to just keep them hot and when filling the jars i place all the jars upside down and leave them til morning and its always worked for me, anything that didn't seal i would put in the fridge and cook up a spaghetti sauce the next day or so but never really had that problem them. thanks for sharing.


ceci 5 years ago

does anyone know why my last batch of tomato juice has the red on top and clear on bottom? Also, the red is EXTREMELY thick. Almost like tomato paste!


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Cranberry Morning,

100 quarts! Wow, that's a lot of tomatoes.

I don't think that lemon juice has to be added for them to be safe.

What you're pointing out is sort of a classic clash between different approaches to canning tomatoes. Some people will *only* pressure can, while others use the method I describe above.

My experience: I've canned hybrid tomatoes using my method (no lemon juice, no pressure canning) and have had no problems at all.

Is this the "right" thing to do? I can't tell you that. As I've mentioned many times, I'm just sharing with people the way I can my tomatoes.

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Buster


Cranberry Morning 5 years ago

I used to can tomatoes this way (for years). I think I've always used hybrid tomatoes and they're telling me that I MUST add 2 T.lemon juice per quart of tomatoes. They tell me that hybrids are not as acidic as the old heirloom varieties. I actually pressure canned my tomatoes at 11 pounds pressure for 25 minutes and they're (county extension office) telling me that they're not safe because they don't have the added lemon juice. I don't get that, for I can't imagine that even hybrid tomatoes are less acidic as green beans, and they don't tell you to add lemon juice to green beans when canning! Do you know anyone who cans without adding lemon juice to hybrid tomatoes and has survived? I have about 100 quarts of canned tomatoes from last summer and haven't dared use any of them. Common sense tells me that they're fine. I'd just like to know that other people have done the same thing and survived. :-)


tcstenor 5 years ago

Oh my goodness! I am SO glad I decided to follow your page and read all the questions and your comments. I buy raw, organic milk from an organic dairy in East Texas and I didn't know that using raw milk in making cream of tomato soup might curdle because of the cream. So glad to know this info. Thanks, Buster!

Robin


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sharon,

The technique you described was used when people drank fresh milk, directly from the cow. That milk -- full of rich cream -- would curdle sometimes from the acid in tomatoes.

The milk most people use today (1% or 2% or skim) won't curdle in tomatoes, so baking soda isn't necessary.

(HOWEVER -- when adding milk to hot tomatoes -- don't bring it to a boil; heat till it is hot, and remove from heat *just before* the boiling point is reached.)

Thanks so much for writing Sharon.

Buster


Sharon 5 years ago

Will try this method of canning maters. My Mom used to add baking soda to canned tomatoes when adding milk for soup to keep from curdling. Any thoughts on this?


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jeena,

I really appreciate that you took the time to write to me! Thanks for letting me know about your wonderful successes.

Like you, I enjoy having my own tomatoes all year long.

Best regards,

Buster


Jeena 5 years ago

HI Buster! This is my second year using this technique and I just wanted everyone to know that it works perfectly!!! I found your post last year. It was my first year canning and I was soooooo happy not to have to use the water bath/pressure canning techniques. It can get so hot! My tomatoes were fabulous all winter long!

P.s. I just made a "quick" batch this morning (4 pints) because my tomatoes were ready to go! They look so pretty in their jars! Thank you for sharing~ Jeena


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Paul,

I think you'll like this method. I'm glad your Mawmaw is willing to give this a try!

Best regards,

Buster


paul 5 years ago

your the best buster my mawmaw said lets try this as she has been canning for yrsssssssssssssss and never heard of this but said lets try so off we go


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jo,

I'm glad to hear you tomatoes turned out great!

As to green beans -- no, I dont' have a method that is different from the standard approach, which involves using a pressure canner.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


Jo 5 years ago

Thank you for your instructions on the tomatoes. It was my first time of doing them this way. It was so easy. They turned out great. Do you have an easy way for green beans? Thanks


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Shaz, Debby and Barbara,

Shaz: I think that using an apple corer before blanching is a great idea! It's okay if you omit the salt.

Debby: Yes, you can add a touch of salt to the jars before putting the lids on and sealing them.

Barbara: Glad you had success with this method for canning your tomatoes.

Best regards to all of you,

Buster


Barbara S. 5 years ago

looking online, I came across your recipe of canning tomatoes. I tried it out and it works wonderful!! thanks for your info :)


Debby 5 years ago

Since I am not good at guessing at how many quarts, would it be ok to add the salt to each filled jar right before putting on lid?


Shaz 5 years ago

I tried this today and all sealed within 30 mins of filling in jars. I goofed first batch and had jars in opposite order of being upside, but it must not matter much as they sealed very quickly.

Someone asked about cores, I use an apple corer and remove cores before blanching...much easier to do on a more solid tomato then a mushy one! I didn't add salt either as I dont put salt in anything.


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Thanks Gretchen and AP!

Buster


AP 5 years ago

Thanks!!


Gretchen 5 years ago

Thanks Buster for my "new" way of canning tomatoes!!! They turned-out great, and so much easier that the "old" way...(and cooler)....thanks again!!


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hello AP,

Your tomatoes are going to be just fine, as is. Yes, one year I forgot the salt... I added it later -- in the winter -- after I had emptied a jar into a bowl to eat like a soup.

:-)

Congratulations on canning 20 lbs of tomatoes.

Best regards,

Buster


AP 5 years ago

Hello, thanks so much for your instructions! This is also the method my grandma in-law uses. I canned 20lb of tomatoes on the weekend - only thing is, i forgot the salt! have you ever forgotten? would you recommend i empty the jars and re-do the sealing process? (with salt!) or do you think they will be ok?


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pamela,

Yes, I core my tomatoes.

My grandmother, mother, and aunts always turned their jars upside down "to improve the seal."

Does it really improve the seal? I have no idea. I only know that I've had success with this method for years and years.

Good luck!

Best regards,

Buster


Pamela Shirley 5 years ago

Do you core your tomatoes? And why turn them upside down?


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jim,

About 5 years ago, I tried putting a little salt (probably 1/2 tsp. like you) into the tops of the jars, but I thought they were too salty.

Yes, some people always put their tomatoes into a hot water bath.

Glad to hear you were happy with your tomatoes!

Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


jim 5 years ago

I canned some last year and after the skin was off put them in the jars added 1/2 tsp salt and water bathed them for 15 minutes - sounds similar, and worked also


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Susie,

Wow, that is a lot of juice! (However, I love the taste of tomato juice, so...)

:-)

So glad that you're going to try this method. Good luck!

Best regards,

Buster


Susie 5 years ago

WOW!! I am excited about trying this method. My Mother-in-law always makes just juice. I want canned tomatoes like I used to make when I was a little girl with my Momma. This method is easy enough I think I can get her to buy in to it. We have 50 = 60 quarts of juice... ??? What a waste of a great tomato... We have 65 plants bursting with green tomatoes...gotta get ready...Thanks for the info.....can't wait....


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Barbara,

Your solution -- cutting the tomatoes in half -- is what I do for the tomatoes with a core that's difficult to cut out.

As I'm sure you noticed, sometimes the core is soft (and so easy to deal with) and sometimes (it often depends on the variety) the core can be a challenge.

I'm so glad you were able to can so many tomatoes! Thanks for taking the time to write. It really does mean a lot to me when readers take the time to let me know about their successes!

Best regards,

Buster


Barbara Cornwell 5 years ago

Hi Buster,

This was a first time experience for me, I followed your directions and having the pictures were great also. I did the first batch and I canned 6 quarts, I was so excited of how well everything went I then did a second batch and I was able to get 6 1/2 quarts the second go around. I always felt uncomfortable about trying to can tomatoes, because it seemed to be such a complicated task, with your directions it was so easy and fun to do.

I do have a silly question.. Is there a easy way to get the core out of the tomatoes? It is very hard to hold them once they come out of the hot water, the skins seems to come off fairly easy, but trying to get the core out was hard. Should I have left the core in or was it ok to split the tomatoes in half to ge the core out??

That was what I did, so some of my tomates are in bits and pieces. It was a great experience, I thought your directions were easy to follow and I will use them again!


Melanie 5 years ago

Looking forward to trying this, thanks for the instructions!


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi tcstenor and Diana,

So glad your canning is going well. Thanks for taking the time to write!

Best regards,

Buster


Diana 5 years ago

Just made a small batch and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much. I will use mine for a marinara sauce. Add garlic and onion when cooking, yum!


tcstenor 5 years ago

Thanks, Buster! I, too, canned 12 quarts of tomatoes, 8 pints of salsa and 12 pints of sweet green tomato relish ALL with this method. And it works like a charm! No more pressure canning for these 3 tomato products from my garden. Awesome!!


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Ruth and Pittypat,

Ruth: thanks for taking the time to write to me. It means more to me than you can know.

Pittypat: There's a genuine pleasure in listening to those lids pop in the hours after you've canned tomatoes. It's the confirmation you've done it right.

;-)

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Warmest regards to you both,

Buster


Pittypat 5 years ago

Very easy instructions and completed just as easily :) I was a little intimidated with canning when i started and now i love to do it. My lids are popping as we speak..lol...thanks for the easy recipe


Ruth Back 5 years ago

Thank you. This was very helpful and just what I was looking for. May the Lord bless you for being so generous with this information. I knew this was how my Mother used to do it, but had folks say you had to use the bath or pressure cooker to keep them. Many thanks.


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Karen,

Yay! It really isn't a difficult process once you read how to do it -- and I think the photos probably help, too.

Congrats on canning the two quarts... and now you're on your way.

:-)

Best regards,

Buster


karen allen 5 years ago

I was like "sweet addiction" with her comment about getting ready to give up on the whole canning idea...until YOU! Our garden has had a plentiful harvest and I grew tired of making and freezing spg. sauce. My search ended with your recipe to can...I only canned two quarts just to be sure I did it correctly and not ruin my tomatoes...so, once I see it's all good, the canning is ON! Thanks again!


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Shannon and Cyndi,

Shannon: The small cherry tomatoes can be dried, like "sundried tomatoes" -- you make them in your oven.

I'm working on this article, and hope to have it published soon.

Cyndi -- you can use any type of tomato for canning, but the small ones are too labor-intensive for removing the skins. One option is to make tomato sauce: bring the small tomatoes to a rolling boil -- soon you'll see their skins floating on the surface. Skim these off, and continue to boil the tomato until it becomes a sauce.

You can this sauce like you would tomatoes as described in this article.

Hope this helps. Keep checking back for additional articles, okay?

Best regards,

Buster


Cyndi 5 years ago

Would any variety be suitable for canning? My grandfather-in-law just gave us a huge bag of strawberry tomatoes. They look wonderful, and I'd love to can them for chili this winter! Thanks for such great instructions!


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Shannon Shelton 5 years ago

My cherry, grape, and jelly bean tomato plants produced much more fruit than any of my roma, and other full size tomato plants this year. Any advice on canning and/or/versus freezing the bite sized ones?


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pam,

Garlic can be added to the tomatoes, so you're good to go. I encourage you to eat them in a month or so, because the garlic will continue to become stronger and stronger (as a flavor) till it will (nearly) overwhelm the tomato taste if you wait for much longer.

Yes, when the lids pop, they will be indented -- and you know your canned tomatoes have formed a solid seal. Congratulations!

Best regards,

Buster


pam819 5 years ago

Hi Buster, I was anxious to can tomatoes and just couldn't wait any longer. I don't have a huge amount of tomatoes but I had enough to can 2 pints, I'm so proud of them. I did something and not sure if I ruined them or not. But while they were cooking I put like 5 slivers of garlic paper thin in the tomatoes. Do you think that's ok, or did I mess up? Oh and one more question, when the lids pop it will be indented right?

Pam


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Kay,

My grandmother, and my mom (and all of my aunts) turn their jars upside down as soon as they are filled. After about 10 minutes or so, the jars are turned rightside up. They tell me it "improves the seal." Therefore, it's what I do.

Does it really improve the seal? I have no idea.

:-)

As to some jars turning brown, I don't know. Had they been canned for longer than a year? Were they (the jars) exposed to a lot of light (for example, near a bright window?) Exposure to bright light can cause canned vegetables to darken in color.

I wish I could be more helpful with your questions, Kay. Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


Kay 5 years ago

This is the recipe that my mom, sister, and I have used for years. I am a little curious though, why do you turn the jars upside down? This is something that we do not do. All the other steps is exactly what we do and have for many years. Last year though we did have a few jars of tomato juice that turned brown. Any ideas has to why that would have happened?

Thank you,

Kay


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pam,

I wish I could help, but I'm not familiar with the product ("BnB Refrigerator Pickles") you're writing about.

I hope you're able to find the answer elsewhere.

Good luck!

Best regards,

Buster


pam819 5 years ago

Thank you so much Buster for your reply. If you don't mind I got one more question about the pickles. I picked up Mrs Wages: Bread n Butter Refrigerator Pickles, by mistake. So can I use this packet to make regular Bread n Butter Pickles and can them without storing them in the fridge or should I get the other packet out there that doesn't say Refrigerator?

Thank you,

Pam


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pam,

When I make bread-and-butter pickles, I don't process them in the canner.

To be clear, though: my pickles are boiling hot when I put them into my hot, sterilized jars.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Buster


pam819 5 years ago

Hello, A friend of mine used this recipe to can tomatoes years ago and I tried and it worked well with me. Now my question is about Bread and Butter Pickles. Every recipe I found online they want you to process them in the canner for like 10 minutes. Do I really have to do that, can't I do them the same way the tomatoes are done without processing in the canner?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pam


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi V,

Southeast Kansas! Like much of the US, you have a wide range of temperatures during the year. I suggest figuring out a way to store your canned goods in your kitchen or pantry.

Though it may seem odd, I think of my jars of canned vegetables and fruit like part of What Makes My Kitchen Interesting. I like being able to see all of the pretty jars, and it keeps me focused so that I use it all up during the year.

Don't know if you'll return here, but if you do: why not click "Follow Buster Bucks" at the top of this page? I'm working on articles about handling squash, and cucumbers, and some other ideas for preserving the harvest. If you "follow" me, you'll get an email each time I publish another article. If the title sounds interesting, you can click to it for the information.

Best regards,

Buster


VDarling 5 years ago

Thank you for responding to my question. I live in southeast Kansas. It gets pretty cold (the low teens) here during the winter and so far we have had unusually hot(101 with high heat indices)temps this summer. Although, the cooler has not been above 90 degrees even with the heat outdoors. I canned some tomatoes yesterday afternoon using your method and I love it, it was so easy and quick which is perfect for me with most all of my produce being ready to be packed and stored. Again, Thank you for your help and suggestions.


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi VDarling,

You didn't mention which part of the world you live in, and that dictates location of your canned items. I live in California, along the coast, so our temperatures stay in a range between 40 degrees in winter, and (usually) 85 degrees (max) in summer.

As to your question -- in a "dry" place means they shouldn't be stored where they could get rain on them, or where there is excessive moisture. Avoid freezing temperatures, of course, and prolonged heat.

I have freestanding shelves in my kitchen that were originally intended for storing videos (back in the day of videos) and that's where I keep my canned goods. Usually the temperature we keep in our homes is perfectly fine for storing canned goods.

Many people store theirs in basements and root cellars.

I suggest freezing apples and pears -- it's really easy, and lets you enjoy your fruit year-round. Click on "Read more hubs by Buster Bucks" at the top of this page, in blue, in the upper right for my articles that explain how to do this.

Good luck!

Buster


VDarling 5 years ago

You say to store the jars in a cool dry place. Is there a temperature that is to warm or to cold to store jars. And also do you have to leave the rings on the jars? I ask this because the previous owners of my home made what they called a walk-in cooler in the garage and it doesn't stay at one temperature year around unless I run the air conditioner or heater. I am new to this canning thing and I don't have anyone to teach me so I am trying to learn as I go, but I worry about making a mistake and not doing it correctly and making someone sick. If you have any tips on canning apples, pears, or any thing else I would really be thankful for help, as I have 130 fruit trees and a one acre garden and new to the farming life. Thanks for sharing this process and I am so glad I ran across it.


Karen 5 years ago

This is the exact same way my mom and I use to can tomatoes. I'm glad I ran across your instructions just for a refresher as it's been several years since I've canned any.

Thanks


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sherry,

As to the temperature of the jars -- what you want to avoid is putting boiling tomatoes into cold jars. If your jars aren't still hot from the dishwasher (this has happened to me) then I run a pot full of VERY HOT water from the tap, and put the jars into it. Once the jars are hot again, I move on to the next step as described in the recipe.

As to the lids -- I usually boil them about 5 minutes.

I know that some people are intimidated by canning, but it's not difficult once you do it once and see the process with your own eyes.

Good luck! And feel free to write again if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Buster


sherry 5 years ago

Do the jars have to be piping hot? I am worried that my timing may be off and by the time i need the jars they may not be as hot as they should be? How long do you boil the lids approximately. This will be my first experience!- NEWBIE


canning tomatoes 5 years ago

Thanks for a very informative article about canning tomatoes. I love how you wrote your article because you also included pictures for other steps. This can really be helpful for people who are interested canning their tomatoes at home.


Jw 5 years ago

Just right berry good


Mbarnes 5 years ago

My mom and grandfather canned this way. I continue too can this way without a problem. I know they tell you not to. I do make sure the acid level is right. I canned cabbage soup this way without a problem. I made some chili two weeks ago, using my tomatoes from 2 years ago. I also can my peppers the sameway. I would never can meats this way, but my mom eats her canned tomatoes after 4 years, without a problem.


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Victress,

Yes, it's the old-fashioned way. I hope to write more articles for canning, so come back again soon.

All the best,

Buster


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Victress In All 5 years ago

That is exactly what my mother does, she never had to use the water bath or canner! She basically does most of her canning using this method - pouring hot ingredient in clean cans, covers with lids, and flips over to cool. Great and clear instructions, I am becoming a fan, so next canning season I have a reference on how to's since I am new at this:)


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Rorrye,

Yes, I've made pickles with garlic and hot peppers. I like the idea of using a bread and butter pickle mix with okra. Unfortunately, okra is difficult to come by here in Sonoma County.

I had an aunt who made a fantastic kraut.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,

Buster


Rorrye 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My Grandmother canned the same way, as I have done this type of canning for years also.

As for Pickling Okra, have you ever tried of using the Bread and Butter Pickle mix? It makes Great Pickled Okra, as does the old fashion pickling with garlic, hot pepper, and what ever spices you would like to use.

I'm making kraut right now..LOL

Again thinks for sharing your knowledge of canning to help others.


Suzanne 5 years ago

Using this recipe, I could then use the tomatoes for sauce, right? What about a recipe for making a stewed tomatoes?


jed 5 years ago

Thanks so much for this posting. Had I known about this a month ago, I would have done many more tomatoes. I'll be the wiser next year. Again, thanks, Jed


new cook 5 years ago

Thank you for making my life allot more simpler with this new way to can my tomatoes...I will be making a lot more canning now.. :)


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Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Ginger,

I wash my funnel in very hot (steaming hot) soapy water, then rinse thoroughly just before I use it to put tomatoes in the jars.

Good luck with your canning!

Buster


Ginger 5 years ago

Hi Buster, I am excited about your method! Do you sterilize your funnel? Thanks so much! Ginger


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Patricia,

I've made green tomato relish and canned it. I have a great recipe for it, that I'm planning to write and post here when I get a little time. I maybe able to can some soon, and take photos for the article.

My grandmother made chow-chow, and canned hers. I wasn't sure why someone would can green tomatoes, though... if you plan to use them for chow-chow or relish, why not go ahead and make it and then can the result?

Anyhow, I bet there's a reason I don't know about. Thanks so much for writing, Patricia.

All the best,

Buster


Patricia 6 years ago

Hi Buster. Have u ever heard of canning green tomatoes this way. Slice green tomatoes 1/4 inch thick, place in jars and pour boiling water to 1/2 inch from top and seal the jars. Then process in hot water bath. I myself have not so thought i would ask the expert. She didn't say if there was salt or anything else added.I make green tomato chow chow with mine. Thank-you so much Patricia


Jana 6 years ago

Thanks so much for the directions very easy to follow and is just like how my Grandma canned.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Joe,

Yes, you can. Once the tomatoes are peeled you put them into freezer bags, label the bags, and put them in the freezer.

Because I have limited freezer space, I always can mine. Maybe I should write an article about freezing tomatoes...

Thanks for the idea!

:-)

Buster


joe 6 years ago

can you just blend tomatoes fresh without boiling them and freeze them for sauce


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Emily,

It sounds to me as though you didn't boil your tomatoes long enough. The seeds should NOT sprout -- the heat should have killed that ability.

I'm a firm believer in: "if in doubt, throw it out." I know this isn't what you want to hear...

:-(

Buster


Emily 6 years ago

I am kind of worried. A week ago I canned 100 lbs of plum tomatoes using this method. Now exactly a week later I noticed that some of the tomato seeds in the jars are sproating which I have read is a bad sign. No seals have broken, there is no leakage, scent or moulds. Should I be concerned?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sweet Addiction,

Your canned tomatoes will keep for a year. Keep the jars away from direct sunlight.

As to what else can be canned easily, I'm working on some articles now.

If you'll click "Follow Buster Bucks" beneath the pic of the dog above, you'll get an email when I post a new article. I don't write many, so you won't be bombarded with emails.

;-)

Thanks so much for your praise -- you've made my day!

All the best,

Buster


sweet_adiction200 6 years ago

Oh my god I LOVE YOU!!!!I have not ever done canning before..I tryed to study the art (via the internet)And almost gave up.Until i came across your posts,I really do not know how many times i can say thank~you enough!SERIOUSLY!Only question now is what else can i make this way???Suggestions???It might be nice to know how long they keep , but i have a feeling they will not be around long enough to worry about it..I added onions and celery..on toast To melt in your mouth!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Barbara,

I'm unsure if there is a "best" method.

As you see from my instructions in the article, I don't use a hot water bath. I handle tomatoes like your husband. I think the texture of the tomatoes is better *without* the hot water bath.

If you bring them to a solid boil, then pour into your sterilized jars, then screw on your lids and upturn them... you'll get a seal. I've been doing them this way for many, many years.

Thanks for taking the time to write --

Buster


Barbara 6 years ago

My husband and I have a disagreement about canning tomatoes. He was given a recipe that does not require a hot water bath. His tomatoes turn out fine and the lid does pop flat. I have always been taught to use the hot water bath. Which method is best?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Carrie,

I really do wish I could help you. However, I would need to see what you've done and have a better understanding of how you're trying to correct the problems.

Since seeing them isn't possible, I don't feel like I can offer advice.

Canning is easy, all in all, but it's always important to put food safety first.

Good luck, okay?

All the best,

Buster


Carrie 6 years ago

If I take the salsa out and add the vinegar the put them in the jars again will that be ok?

I just read that you need to add the acid to salsa with either vinegar or lemon juice

thanks


Carrie  6 years ago

I did process the salsa in a hot water bath for 15 minutes does that matter?

thanks


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Carrie,

Vinegar helps to preserve salsa. I would plan to eat the salsa within the next month or so.

I've never added tomato juice to my tomatoes. Should you do it? Well... I'll never contradict someone's grandmother!

;-)

Thanks so much for writing -- good luck, okay?

Buster


Carrie 6 years ago

I made some salsa and didn't put vinegar is that a problem?

My tomatoes are still green put in a few days I will be doing this. My mom did say her mom added a bit of tomato juice to her tomatoes so they were not watery. Do you suggest this?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi C Jones,

I really don't know how to advise you...

It's a concern that those jars were leaking, and I couldn't understand what your daughter did (or didn't) do.

I wish I could help you, but I'd need to see the jars. I'm a firm believer in "if in doubt, throw it out" but don't want to suggest that to you.

Good luck, though.

All the best,

Buster


C Jones 6 years ago

I was so tired last night but needed to can plum tomatoes. I did the boiling water and an ice bath to peel. Then cold packed into 2 qt. jars from hot dishwasher. I capped them and put them in water bath. There wasn't enough room to cover them with water. I covered pan and boiled for 25 minutes. Removed and inverted (since I couldn't cover them with an inch of water like directions say.) I only left them upside down 2-3 minutes because I noticed they had leaked when I flipped them. I put them right side up and left them. They have sealed, but I'm wondering what their integrity is. Will they be safe down the road a few months? I realized I forgot to salt them and didn't add lemon juice like many recipes say to. I also noticed that the daughter helping didn't core hers after peeling them (although I don't think that affects anything except the eating of them later.) Should I re-can these, or do you think since they sealed they are fine? Thanks for your easy directions and advise.


Jennifer Poupard 6 years ago

This was great! Me and my son who is 11 had a fun time canning tomato's we (I) have never did it before. Thank You for the easy recipe..


Janet Andrews 6 years ago

I just used your recipe yesterday for 27 BEAUTIFUL pints of tomatoes. I can't wait to use them, and find out how they taste in recipes. It was the first time I didn't use the water bath. Because I was doing it by myself, I couldn't get all the cans prepared for turn over at the same time. But, they all got at least 12 minutes. And ALL the cans sealed. :)

Thanks for posting the process you use.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Leann,

Thanks so much for your newsy comment. Because tomatoes have such a high (natural) acid content, the method I describe works great.

Turning them upside down improves the chances for a good seal. This is what my mom told me, anyhow.

;-)

Glad your tomatoes turned out for you.

All the best,

Buster


Leann 6 years ago

I decided to can the tomatoes out of my husband's garden this morning. I've done salsa before so I kinda knew what I had to do. I've always used the water bath method. I called my mom for a few pointers and during the conversation she told me I didn't have to cook them again after I already cooked the tomatoes in the pot. I looked in my cookbook again, checked on-line and everything said to put them in the water bath so that's what I was going to do. I was peeling my tomatoes and my mom popped over and said she'd give me a hand. She couldn't understand why I would cook them again because she's never done it that way and grandma never did it that way. Finally, I decided to go on the internet and look to see if there was a way to do it without the water bath and I came across your receipe. Thank you so much! I felt bad that I didn't trust what my mother was telling me, but I had to make sure!! Needless to say I got the "told you so" from her and now she's tickled pink that I did it her way:) It was easier and faster and thanks so much. Now I need to tell her why I turned my jars upside down!!!!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Teresa,

I'm a believer in "if in doubt, throw it out" -- so...

I don't understand how tomatoes would have a bad smell so soon. They're a very high acid food that will not spoil in such a short period of time.

Are you sure you sterilized your jars beforehand? That's the only thing that comes to mind.

Should you open and cook them again? My answer is... no.

I wish I had better news.

All the best,

Buster


Teresa606 6 years ago

I canned tomatoes for the first time this year and used this method. I did a batch last week and I don't think I cooked them long enough before canning. They sealed, but today I found one jar had lost it's seal and was spewing out. It smelled really bad. Do you think I will lose all of them? I canned some more a couple of hours ago and am sure I undercooked them also. Should I open them and cook them again?


Patricia 6 years ago

I came across a recipe from a 1899 cookbook.It used salt back then,I use lemon juice.I have been doing them this way for three years now and No problem with taste or colour.It's like u say the flavour is so much better.This is the way they used to can them before all the fancy canners.I truly enjoyed reading your post.Thank-you Patricia


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Guy,

Yes, the skins must be removed -- they become tough in the jars.

Leave some headspace -- filling to the brim increases the chances that you won't create a solid seal.

Yes, you can add peppers to the tomatoes! (However, the reason I don't is so I can add peppers later when I'm cooking with the canned tomatoes... or add onions, or both, or neither, depending on how I want to cook with them.

:-)

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Buster


Guy Taylor 6 years ago

Buster, thanks so much for your instructions. Do the tomato skins have to be removed and could I fill to the jar brim? Could I put some capsicum peppers into to the pan with the toms up to the boil? Thanks Guy.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jeena,

I think you'll enjoy canning tomatoes with this recipe.

Thanks for the comment on the picture -- woof-woofs to Spike!

Buster


Jeena 6 years ago

I have just picked a ton of tomatoes and was very excited to find this easy way to can them! Thank you for sharing this idea! I spent the better part of a day last week making and canning salsa using the water bath method and this sounds so much easier (and cooler too!)

I also wanted to comment on your dog picture...looks just like our Yorkie Bichon named Spike! Very cute!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Chabias,

Glad to hear your first batch turned out so well!

I really appreciate that you took the time to write to me.

All the best,

Buster


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chabias 6 years ago

Thanks for this, Buster Bucks! I just joined hubpages after finding your "How-to". I'm working on my 2nd batch of tomatoes right now. The first batch turned out excellent!! Thanks again!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Steve,

Yes. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, okay? For example, if you include fresh oregano... its strength will increase in the jar, which might mean that the taste overwhelms the tomatoes when you open them.

Personally, I prefer to can tomatoes as described above, then add herbs once I open the jars and am making a dish.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Steve 6 years ago

Is it OK to add fresh Basil and Fresh Oregano using this method?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jason,

I use regular table salt.

Pickling salt is used for making, well, pickles.

:-)

You can use pickling salt as well, by the way.

Good luck -- I think you'll enjoy canning. It's fun.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Jason 6 years ago

Thanks for the recipe, it seems pretty simple. This is my first time canning and I was wondering do I use pickling salt or just regular table salt?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Nancy,

Pam is right -- seeds don't make tomatoes bitter.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Pam 6 years ago

I have been canning this way for years and my mother and grandmother before me. My mom also told me to not jiggle the jars when moving them. That way when you break the seal to use them, you can see if anything looks funny. About 20 years ago I had a whole batch of 12 quarts that was bad. They did not smell funny, but had little white dots on the top of the jar and around the top of the tomatoes. I took no chances and threw them out. This also taught me to label each batch I canned. Also, Nancy, I have never removed the seeds. I make spaghetti sauce and chili with these tomatoes and use whenever I need tomatoes for anything. I have never had a bitter taste. Happy Canning


Nancy 6 years ago

I heard that the seeds can make your tomatoes taste bitter. I didn't read a part of your recipe that removes the seeds. My friend taught me how to can and everything is almost exactly the same as your recipe except for removing the seeds. What is your opinion?


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Tina,

Yes, this is an easy method for canning tomatoes!

No, don't use it for applesauce. The reason you can can this way (without pressure canning) is because of the high acid content of tomatoes.

HOWEVER, you can freeze applesauce, and it works great.

Thanks for writing -

Buster


Charmaine 6 years ago

My grandmother's cousin has impressed me enough to try canning, for the first time, this year. She uses the same method as your recipe, which is about the only one I have found on the internet (everyone calls for water-boil or pressure canning), so I was a little unsure. She uses a similar "upside-down" method for her peaches. I keep telling myself she has been doing it this way since 1914, so it has to be safe. Is the key bringing it to a boil? Thank you for posting this recipe.


Tina 6 years ago

I had a friend show me how to can this way today and it is sooo easy!

I have also used this method for freezing (remember to let cool a bit) then just put in freezer bags and freeze. They are good for at least a year.

Can you tell me; is it safe to process applesauce with this method? Thank you :)


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Shawn,

So long as she brought them back to a full boil before canning them you'll be fine. Those bubbles (AKA foam) are normal. Some people add in a pat of butter to help them remove the foam so they'll look better in the jars. Removing the foam, though, isn't really necessary.

Tomatoes have a lot of natural acid, and this is why they're so easy to preserve.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


shawn 6 years ago

My wife was canning tomatoes and after she cooked them she ran out of time before she got to can them so she stored them in the refridgerator for about 14 hours and the heated them up again and canned them they seemed to have alot of bubbles at the top so we were concerned if they are still good. Can you help us


Sally 6 years ago

I made stewed tomatoes yesterday and they turned out great! I also used the tip you gave to Denice about using the halved tomatoes. I will use this recipe again and give to friends and family. Thanks so much!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Sally,

Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that to a large pot of tomatoes, you probably will add NO MORE than about 3 cups (total) of peppers, onions, etc. Keep garlic to a minimum (say, 3 cloves chopped) because it increases in strength in the jars, and can create a bad flavor.

The reason I suggest 3 cups is so that your balance of acid is maintained. Tomatoes are high in acid, and help to preserve the food. Tomatoes are one of the (few) vegetables with such a high acid content.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Sally 6 years ago

I love your recipe. Can I make stewed tomatoes by adding peppers, onion, garlic, etc.? When should they go into the mixture?


Denice 6 years ago

Thanks, I am so excited to do this!!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Denice,

When you bring peeled tomatoes to a full boil, they produce a lot of juice, which is why you see chunks of tomatoes in juice in the jars of the photo. There are more chunks than you can see in the photo.

However, there is a way to increase the chunks:

after you peel *all* of your tomatoes, put HALF of them in a large pot and put your heat to high. Slice the other half of your tomatoes into two pieces, and leave on the counter.

Once the tomatoes are at a full rolling boil, put the tomato halves in, and bring it back to the boil.

Have your jars ready... because the MOMENT the tomatoes have returned to a boil, then immediately ladle the tomato halves into jars. Pour the liquid on top (there will be space at the top) then put your lids on, screw on the tops, and turn the jars upside down.

You'll probably still have some liquid left after you've put all of your tomato halves into jars, and so continue with the recipe as I've described it.

This approach will give you jars with "big chunk" tomatoes.

;-)

I hope this helps!

All the best,

Buster


denice 6 years ago

Hi Buster, your recipe is so simple and concise. But I want to can the tomatoes in big chunks, not real runny;how do I do that? Thanks alot!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Tom,

Turning them upside down helps improve the chances that you'll get a good seal.

3.5 quarts! Excellent! Hope you enjoy the tomatoes --

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Tom Repko 6 years ago

Hi Buster, I just canned 3.5 quarts of tomatoes using your recipe, it was very easy. What is the reason you turn the filled jars upsidedown? thanks tom, repkotr@yahoo.com


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Noel,

So glad you found the information helpful! It really is easy, and you're going to love the taste.

As to zucchini, I'm in the process of writing up a way to freeze squash that I think works great. It's easy. I hope to have it on this site in a few weeks. Click above to become a follower, and you'll get a note when I publish my hubs.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write!

Buster


Noel 6 years ago

Thankyou soooo much for sharing your recipe! I have never canned before and I have been all over the internet looking for a way to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker or water bath. I just finished making my first batch and it was so easy! You wouldn't by any chance have a recipe this simple for zuchini that you would be willing to share would you? Thanks again!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hey there,

To check the seal: press your finger to the tops of the jars. There should be NO "up and down" -- the tops should be sealed. If you're able to press your finger to them, and they move up and down, then you didn't get a seal.

If you followed these directions, then I'm sure you achieved a seal.

Feel free to write again if you're still unsure, okay?

All the best,

Buster


asnipofgoodness 6 years ago

I think I followed your instructions to the letter, (thank you by the way :)), then I went to bed. I didn't hear any popping, because I was sleeping haha, but the jar tops don't look any different???? Should they look different? I tried to open one just to see if they were sealed. I was able to take it off with my hand, but it was kinda hard. Is that sealed, or should it need a can opener thingy to break the seal??? I was so excited that I planted all these tomatoes, and they grew, and then I canned them!!! but now, I'm thinking something maybe went wrong. Any wisdom for me?? Thanks so much for helping us newbies out!


Rich 6 years ago

My Mom used to jar tomatoes all the time I never took the time to learn. I always passed or saw something, but never saw everything. The way you say is what I had seen. So maybe I did see everything. The only thing I didn't know was the minor things that mean the world that makes the difference. I just wasn't sure.

Thank you. I will try later in season.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Lisa,

Unless your kitchen is incredibly hot, then I would think those jars that were sitting on the counter would be okay. Obviously, if you're unsure, it's best to throw them away.

By the way, everyone makes mistakes as they're learning how to can, so don't feel like you're in this boat alone.

:-)

Good luck!

Buster


Elaine 6 years ago

I just finished my first batch EVER... using your receipe. It was very easy but I am afraid I made a few mistakes, some of my tomatoes that I used had just a little green around the stem and they did not cook down well. Oh well, on to the next batch and I have learned a lot. Thank you..oh yes, I forgot to add salt also.


Buster 6 years ago

Buster, this was a huge pot of sauce. I have the small 6 jars, also one to my sister and 2 to my brother. I also jarred 6 large jars but did them in the boiling bath for 50 mins, those i believe be ok. All the small jars, you say put in refrig, so they are ok from sitting on the counter ? OR would it be ok to open them all and just freeze them, that is what i have always done, this was my first time canning. ps thank you for taking the time to answer me. I want to try your recipe above, lol once i get this one taken care of.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Joe,

Salt acts as an additional preservative (in addition to the natural high-acid content of tomatoes.)

Personally, I would always include salt when canning tomatoes. This, though, is just my opinion.

Thanks so much for writing -

Buster


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Lisa,

Because of the presence of meat, I would plan to eat them within the next 10 days or so... put them in the fridge.

Another option: make a HUGE pot of spaghetti sauce, using your canned tomatoes with meat, and include onions and garlic and whatever else you use when you make spaghetti sauce. Then put the pot in the fridge, and tomorrow put the sauce into freezer bags (3 cups per quart bag) and put them into the freezer. They'll keep for up to 6 months, and you won't have to gobble up sauce for the next week.

;-)

Good luck!

Buster


Joe  6 years ago

Is salt necessary in the canning of tomatoes?

Thanks,Joe


Lisa 6 years ago

I made tomato sauce to jar, my sister has done this for yrs, my first time. She boiled the pint jars in hot water with sauce in them for approx 5 mins, they have meat in them. I now read it should have been done for 30 mins are all of these jars of sauce no good now and can anyone get sick eating them, they have been on the counter almost 24 hrs. please let me know thank you. email address: muddinyori1998@att.net


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jenny,

Make sure that the recipe you use has plenty of vinegar in it. When I've canned salsa, I've noticed that it usually lasts about 6 months before it begins to discolor... so if you can salsa, plan to use it within 6 months.

Thanks so much for writing!

Buster


Jenny 6 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing! This will be my first time canning and I can't wait to get started. Can I use this same method for canning salsa? Thanks again!!


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Katie,

Yes, this is the old-fashioned way of doing it, just like my grandmother (and my mom) always canned tomatoes. Good luck!

Thanks so much for writing --

Buster


Katie 6 years ago

Thanks, this is the way my grandmother canned them and I have been searching for this method for weeks....thanks for sharing.....


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Mary W,

There's no water that's added to the peeled tomatoes. You'll be surprised how much liquid is created from the tomatoes as they cook. I always ladle tomatoes and liquid into the jars when I'm canning.

By the way, when I open the jars of tomatoes (after they've been canned) I just pour the contents -- tomatoes and liquid -- into a bowl and eat! Or, if I want only tomatoes for a recipe I'll strain the liquid out. It's clearer than tomato juice you buy at the store -- and (this won't surprise you) it has a much better flavor. I chill it and drink it at breakfast with a little celery salt... or sometimes drink it plain. It's delicious.

:-)

Thanks so much for writing!

Buster


Mary W 6 years ago

I think Heather was asking you how much water you need to add to the peeled tomatoes. Or do you just use the juice created by the tomatoes and not add water.


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Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Karla,

Good luck with your tomatoes!

Please click above to become a Follower -- and you'll get an email when I post new recipes. I'm working on one for pickling okra!

All the best,

Buster


Karla 6 years ago

I have never can tomatoes but this year I am going to do so. Your recipe looks very easy to follow and I can't wait to start it with all my ripe tomatoes from my garden. Thank you for this recipe!

I now need to know how do I pickle Okra?

Thanks,

Karla


donna 6 years ago

yep thats how i do it


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Buster Bucks 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Heather,

The (boiling) water is about 5 inches deep -- deep enough to cover your tomatoes when you add them to the water. Don't forget to add only 4 or 5 at a time, and that they'll be ready to remove in about 30 seconds to 45 seconds.

Once you see the process (how they'll start peeling) you'll see how easy it is.

Thanks for writing, Heather. Good luck!

Buster


heather 7 years ago

When I finish pelling tomatoes how much water is in the pot I am adding them to? I am just a beginner and very much so a rookie at canning! I think your canning process sounds the easiest I have come across!

Thx


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Cheryl,

Bring the tomatoes to a full rolling boil -- the length of time will depend on the amount of tomatoes.

Once they're boiling really good, then you're ready to begin funneling them into the jars.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Cheryl 7 years ago

how long do u boil the tomatoes for before you put them in the jars?


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Buster Bucks 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for taking the time to write. I bet your tomatoes will turn out great!

Buster


patricia 7 years ago

Your instructions are very clear and easy to understand. The process is simple everyone should give it a try!


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Buster Bucks 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Barbie,

Good luck canning your tomatoes, and thanks for taking the time to comment. It means a lot.


Barbie 7 years ago

Your instructions were the cleared i have received on here. They told me everything that i need to know Thanks so much.


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Buster Bucks 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Mary,

Store the jars in a cool, dry place -- away from sunlight -- for up to one year. I keep all my jars of canned goods in wooden shelving in my kitchen.

Thanks for taking the time to comment -- I hope your tomatoes turn out beautifully!


Mary 7 years ago

How then do you store and what is shelf life? Thanks. Very clear instructions. My father used to do this every year, but no one remembers how he did it!

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