- Food and Cooking»
- Food Safety
How to preserve tomatoes cold pack
Why put up your own Tomatoes?
Putting up tomatoes in the late summer-early fall makes for a Yummy winter! Well at least a full belly in the winter. There is nothing quite like going to the pantry picking up a jar off your shelf and hearing that lid pop open as you open the jar. With home canned tomatoes you can use them for anything you would use store bought tomatoes for, and then some! No matter how hard the food companies try, they just can't compare with home cooking!
I use my home canned tomatoes for soups, sauces, goulash, in cottage cheese (looks gross, tastes good) or just opening up a jar and heating up a bowl. There are two different methods for canning tomatoes ‘open kettle’ or cold pack. I will be discussing cold pack.
Select good canning tomatoes, these should be free from blemishes or bruising and ripe but not squishy ripe. If you find any that have split and are growing a whitish mold on it, throw it away. There is nothing worse than spending time canning to have to throw away a jar.
What you will need
The general rule of thumb for canning is 1 bushel should yield 20 to 21 quarts of tomatoes.
What you will need to assemble:
Jars at least 21 quarts (sometimes if you have really good tomatoes you will get more than 21 quarts per bushel, it’s good to be prepared) It doesn’t matter if you are using wide mouth or small mouth.
If using pints you will need to double this amount.
New lids (wide or small depending on your jars) with good rings. Rings can be re-used from year to year provided they aren’t rusty. You will need as many lids as you have jars. Lids come in boxes of 12.
If you are purchasing new jars, lids and rings come with these.
Kettle for boiling water
Large metal bowl or pot or a good seal for your sink
Empty garbage can with new bag
Good, sharp knife (larger than paring knife)
Teaspoon measuring spoon
Damp clean cloth or paper towels
Canning kettle with separator rack (holds 7 jars)
Empty counter space
Keep it clean!!
Start with a clean kitchen - germs are a no-no when dealing with tomatoes.
Wash all jars, in hot soapy water, rinsing in very hot water (even if they are new). You may use a dishwasher if you have one. Turn upside down to dry, set aside. Put your tea kettle or pot of water on to boil. Turn over 7 jars and set next to the area you will be working in, placing 1 tsp of salt in each jar.
While waiting for your water to boil you’ll need to get a few things ready.
Place canning kettle on stove filling at least 1/3 with water.
Get your tomatoes ready. Place them in a plugged sink or large bowl or pan, stem side down. You may stack these and fill to sink, bowl or pot, making sure they are upside down. Only when the water is boiling, do you pour the water over the tomatoes. This is crucial to getting them peeled. Let them rest in the water for a few minutes, then using a fork, gently turn one over and quickly pierce the core with the fork spearing it. If you wish you may run a bit of cold water over the tomato for easier handling. With the ip of your knife gently peel the skin off the tomato. Because it is hot this will be easy. The boiling water causes the skin to separate from the tomato. Once the tomato is peeled then you will need to core it. By placing the tomato in the palm of your hand (the one not holding the knife) gently insert the knife at the edge of the core, working in a circle then pop the core out. Cut the tomato in ¼’s and drop into the jar. Repeat until jar is full. Empty sink of water and put peelings and cores into garbage can between each load.
When jar is full gently press down on tomatoes, gently insert butter knife down the side of the jar to release bubbles, working around the jar. With damp cloth or paper towel wipe top edge of jar making sure there is no seed or juice on top.
Wet lid with water, place on top of jar then screw on ring. DO NOT PUSH DOWN CENTER of lid.
Turn on stove under canning kettle. You can place jars in the rack while waiting for it to heat. To do this, place one on side and one on the opposite side, go around until all outside rack is filled then put 1 jar in center. Release rack from sides of kettle by gently lowering into the water. At this time you may need to add more water, all jars should be covered with water. This is called ‘Hot Water’ bath. Place on lid and bring to a boil, boil for 20 minutes.
Remove lid from canner, set aside. With pot holder, carefully lift rack out of water, setting on edge of canner. Using jar tongs lift each jar off of the rack and set on empty counter space. Again - DO NOT PUSH CENTER OF LID. This is a big mistake that first time canners sometimes do. The heat from the tomatoes will create a vacuum causing them to seal on their own. Do not move them until they are completely cool, then you may place them in your pantry to enjoy at a later date.
The shelf life for these is undetermined in my home. I’m lucky if I can make 70 quarts last the winter. A good rule to use is no more than 2 years on the shelf. If for some reason one has become 'un-sealed' on your shelf, discard immediately.
The beauty of canning is most items will be re-used from year to year only having to obtain tomatoes and lids each year. Once rings are removed and jars are empty storage in a cool dry place will keep them working great for years! Check for chips or cracks in jars before each use.
If this recipe looks interesting, you might enjoy these other ‘easy to follow’ recipes by this writer.
- Stuffed cabbage rolls - Unstuffed
For some of us cooking is a wonderful experience that we enjoy, no matter if it takes hours to prepare. For a bigger share of the population, time does not permit hours of preparing foods, so the end result...
- Planning and hosting a Mystery Dinner
How to host a Mystery Dinner Mystery Dinners are probably the most rewarding type of meal that any person can plan. My motto is The more the merrier, this works well if you are having a lot of people...
- Best ever ice cream and cake recipe
Who doesnt love chocolate? Ok, so I happen to have 1 friend that really doesnt like chocolate, she picks out the chips from chocolate chip cookies!!! Can you imagine that? Just for fun once a year...
- Dessert recipes - Old Fashioned
Bread pudding was back in the day supposed to be a dessert made from leftover hard bread. When mixed with a few fresh items could create a yummy dessert that warmed the tummy and topped off any good...
- Chicken surprise
This particular chicken dish was named by my husband many years ago, I have had to alter the name to put it on a recipe that possible minors would be reading. It is fairly easy with the instructions, and has...
- Jello - in a cake recipe
Summer is for fun, picnics and sharing good times with family and friends. Well heck, any time of the year is good for that. But right now it is summer time and I have a wonderful cake recipe that is not...
- Honey allergies? Possible solution if you love honey
For those of your who are allergy sufferers this is for you. Well actually it is an allergy to one sort of food that I am going to discuss. My husband has been allergic to Honey since well before I ever...
- How to make a flaky pie crust
The key ingredient to making a good pie is the crust, if your crust is no good, your pie will be lacking. Butter is a great flavor but I have found through trial and error that using butter in a pie crust...
- Low calorie soup recipe - grandma style
By some of the comments I have received, I am getting the impression that a few of you are looking for ways to cut calories rather than add them. This recipe was one that my mother altered to suit her needs...
- Chocolate pie - Limon Pie
Over the years I have learned to make some pretty darned good desserts. Pies have become a tradition in our family as Im sure they are in most. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter seem to...