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Old 07-11-2005, 12:43 PM   #1
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Need ideas for canning my tomatoes!

I have a ton of roma tomatoes just so I can make spag sauces and tom sauces and salsas. BUT how do I cook them or get them ready to be used in these dishes.
I know I have to skin them but how exactly do I go about all this.
Do I just throw them whole into a pan and then let the skins fall off or what is your best tip on this?
Thanks!

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Old 07-12-2005, 11:51 AM   #2
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canning tomatoes

Here's a link to get you started http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...on/DJ1097.html

I'm assuming you're going to use a boiling water bath to can (not a pressure cooker designed for canning) so there are a couple of points...

You need a large pot with a tight fitting lid and a rack that fits in the bottom; allowing for the rack, the pot must be tall enough so that the water will cover your canning jars by *at least* one inch. You'll need tongs specifically made for canning to securely grip the jars to remove them from the water when the processing time is finished. Alternatively, if you have one of those "spaghetti" pots that have a large removeable basket that fits in the pot you can use it since it makes it easy to remove the jars.

You'll notice that the addition of some kind of acid is always recommended. I prefer citric acid. It is quite inexpensive and, since it is just an inert chemical, lasts over several years. Home-canned tomatoes have a slightly more acidic taste than the equivalent type of commerical canned tomato.

For boiling water processing, do *not* add meat or other vegetables to your sauce. You *cannot* safely preserve these kinds of sauces just with boiling water.

Over the years, I've found it simplest to put up whole (skinned) tomatoes packed either in water or tomato juice. I prefer the tomatoes skinned, but again, this is optional.

To skin tomatoes, put them in a *large* amount of rapidly boiling water until you see a crack develop in the skin (about 60 seconds max). Remove immediately and dump them in a large ice-water bath. You should be able to peel the skins off easily with your hands. Don't add too many tomatoes at a time, since you want to keep your water at a boil.

I often add one or two dried bay leaves or a tsp of whole coriander seeds to each quart jar. I usually add a small amount of salt. Seasonings or salt are entirely optional. Personally, I wouldn't add any fresh herbs (such as basil leaves) b/c I'm concerned these might not be appropriate for canning with boiling water.

You may want to can crushed tomatoes which is a little more efficient than canning whole tomatoes (since you'll drain out a lot of the tomato liquid and thus need fewer jars) but this takes more work. It's your choice whether you skin the tomatoes or not. Just put the whole tomatoes (skinned or not skinned) in a large pot with a *small* amount of water in the bottom. Put on medium heat and, as the tomatoes start to soften, use a large, sharp knife to cut through them.

When they're soft you can [1] dump them in food mill with the medium disk and grind them - in this case the disk will keep the skins and most of the seeds from passing through into the puree or [2] process them in a food processor. Put the resulting puree in a large colander or sieve over a large bowl and let the excess juice drain out. You can use the tomato juice as the liquid for canning whole tomatoes or you can simply can the juice seperately.

If you can tomato juice, you'll notice that, unlike commercially bottled or canned tomato juice, over time the juice tends to separate. Commerical tomato juice is processed at a very high heat that a home canner can't achieve. This separation is entirely natural and does *not* mean the juice is bad in any way.

Whether canning whole tomatoes, tomato juice or crushed tomatoes, always use the recommended amount of acid and processing time for the product and jar size (pints or quarts).
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:42 AM   #3
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Wow! Great information, subfuscpersona!
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:10 AM   #4
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I know this is slightly off the subject, but I prefer to freeze rather than can. But one method I use would probably work (once you follow all the above instructions for canning) for making sauce. I cut the tomatoes in half -- going around the equator rather than through the stem -- and seed. I don't do this religiously, I don't mind a few seeds in there, just that it gets a little watery if you don't seed at least a bit. Then I place the tomato halves on a baking sheet, allong with slices of onion, slightly mashed garlic cloves, any peppers that are ready to go. S&P. I roast at about 325 for 45-60 min (depends on how big your tomatoes are), then put through a food mill (china cap, strainer) to get rid of the skin. Actually, if you just let them cool, you can skin easily and just chop (skin has to go because it becomes very tough in the preserving process). This is a sauce to die for, and smells so good when baking.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:59 AM   #5
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Canning tomatoes at our house:

First process, wash and drip dry the tomatoes, then core and cut in half. Drop into a food processor and puree, skin and all.

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Second process, wash, dip in simmering water, pull out and plunk into ice water and peel, then core.

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Now for the cooking process, you can now take the raw tomatoes and place them into a nice big pan(I use my canning pan)and place in the fridge overnight. The "meat" will settle to the bottom of the pan and the liquid will rise. Siphon off the liquid and begin the process of cooking. Nice and slow so they don't scortch.

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You can just set the pan on the stove and simmer slowly till of the consistency you desire.

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A better way of cooking down the "meat". Use your WOK! What you are attempting is to cook down or evaporate the liquid to a thick consisitency. By using your wok, you are allowing more moisture to evaporate much more quickly and consistently.. by the shape of the pan itself. This will give you a much better end product much more quickly.

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You can also use your crockpot or slow cooker, just leave the top off and set it to low for the night, in the morning you will have a very nice paste of tomatoes. This works very well with peaches also.

This brings us to the stage of adding herbs and spices, and or diced pieces of extra veggies(raw please!), minced garlic, thinnly sliced leeks, minced cauliflower, etc. Your preference is desired at this stage, just remember not to cook any longer. It is not necessary because you are going to be processing the jars in a hot water bath for 20-30 minutes and then the residual heat will continue to cook the added extras, to a nice tender crunch(just like fresh!).

Now we process as required for the size and type of jars.

We love home canned tomatoes in every shape size and color, especially sweet pickled cherry tomatoes! YUM
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:18 PM   #6
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Begging for recipe....

Hi Brianschef...could I please have your recipe or method for the sweet pickled cherry tomatoes? Sounds wonderful and I have a bunch coming on and would love to try it.

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:53 PM   #7
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canning tomatoes

i would suggest; first of all grind tomotoes an d then strain them and then cook on heat for little while till all water is absorbed and then can it in ice tray instead of any can that is hygenic and convineint to use. you can then freeze them and store for longer time and can use u can use one cube only.
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Old 09-10-2005, 06:26 PM   #8
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I used to like to can my Romas whole...just peel, put in sterile jars, add pinch of salt to top, add boiling water to within 1/4" of the top and process. I don't remember how long, but your canning book will tell you.

I don't can anymore, but one thing I like to do now is put the raw Romas through the food mill on my Kitchenaid. I run the pulp through a couple of times...you'd be surprised by all the good thick paste you get out of that.

If you oven-roast your tomatoes with olive oil, onions, garlic, S&P and oregano, then put through the food mill, you'll have a wonderful start on a sauce. But that's a lot of trouble when you have a bushel of tomatoes waiting impatiently for your attention.

I cook my tomato sauce in a big round pasta bowl in the microwave. I cover it with a piece of waxed paper to keep it from popping all over the top, give it 15 minutes at a whack, stir and restart when I think of it, season as I go along, and it turns out great. Never scorches or boils over.
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Old 11-13-2005, 11:23 PM   #9
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Wow! Great information, subfuscpersona!
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