Farm Kitchen · Food Preservation

Tomatoes: Water Bath Canning

It is that time of year… CANNING TIME!! The joys and the struggles are very real for me at canning time. The buckets of fresh produce pile up and my evenings (after a full day at the day job) are spent washing, cutting, processing, sanitizing jars, finding lids, and everything else involved in canning.

The kitchen preparing to store Tomatoes!

The joyous part…. opening a can of tomato sauce that tastes and smells as fresh as the day it was put into that jar. Giving away as gifts to friends and family, it not only SAVES MONEY! but also lets them know how important they are that you would spend the time and effort to make them a gift. A Labor of love, it is!! So without further ado….. Let’s go!



Step 1: Prepare tomatoes and Jars

Cooling tomatoes after quick boil.
  • Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil (one is for sanitizing jars and the other for tomatoes). While heating up wash all tomatoes.
  • Once boiling place the Jars in boiling water. My pot holds about 6 Quart Jars.
  • Place tomatoes into water and leave until you begin to see the skins crack and pull away from the tomato flesh. ( a little longer for tomatoes with some green on them).
  • Using slotted spoon remove from hot water and place into cold water (I have found that Iced water is not necessary here although I have seen that in many instructions).
  • Once cool rub the skins off with your hands and then core and quarter the tomatoes.
Peeled Tomatoes


Step 2: Pack Jars and Process in water bath

  • Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt ( salt without Iodine or anti-caking products) to each jar.
  • Add 1 teaspoon citric acid to each jar.
  • Pack jars tightly with tomatoes leaving at least 1 inch head space (from tomatoes to the rim).
  • Place lids on jar tightly and place into a pot full of water so that the water covers the lid.
  • Bring to a boil and process for 35 minutes.

       Step 3: Remove and Cool

  • Using canning Jar lifter remove jars from water and place on towel.
  • Let cool and you should hear the lids pop as they seal.


  • I started with 1 1/2 5 gallon buckets worth of tomatoes and ended up with 11 quarts jars of canned tomatoes.
  • All sealed except for 1 jar and this was due to me overfilling. Leaving 2 little head space in the jar results in boil over, a seed got stuck under one of the lids which is why it didn’t seal. My Bad! I just put that one in the fridge to eat this week.



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