Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Canning Tomato Sauce




Tomatoes have to be one of the most versatile fruit that I grow. For my family it is also one of the most heavily used. Not only do we eat lots of salads and sandwiches that let us enjoy them fresh but we cook with them frequently. Anything from chili to spaghetti sauce, salsa and soups, gumbo and stewed tomatoes and okra. The list is endless. The only thing I use more than tomatoes would be onions.  For us tomato season has begun and the first order of business is canning tomato sauce.  The tomatoes were picked early this morning and washed thoroughly to remove dust and dirt. Then cored or sliced to go into the pots.  You can follow along with canning tomato sauce on page 23 of the Ball Blue Book(100th Anniversary Edition). 


Like last year I cook these down in my roaster to help with congestion on the stove top. This is a wonderful and versatile appliance for canning



And a large pot on the stove also.



And more tomatoes waiting in the wings.


I turn the pots on low heat and start cooking them adding a little water in the bottom of the pot to get them started without scorching. Then basically you want to maintain a hard simmer stirring your tomatoes frequently so as not to burn them. Now the Ball Blue Book says to simmer them for 20 minutes and then puree in food processor or food mill. I simmer mine for atleast 2 hours until the tomatoes start to break down and then I lower the heat.




Then I take my wand mixer. I bought two of these for soap making on sale. It has two attachments, one is a traditional mixer attachment and the other has a blade. This works great once the tomatoes break down to puree any seeds or peeling. I find this so much easier than the food mill or food processor.   I simply pulse it through my warm tomato sauce and puree good.  



Then I turn my heat back up to about 350 and simmer hard without a lid until it reduces by half. What you are doing is cooking the water from your sauce and reducing the volume and making it thicker. Notice in the cooker above how it is only now about half full. Don't forget to stir frequently to prevent scorching.



Notice on this pot how it is now about half full. 




Now put your jars on to heat up. 



And heat your lids and rings




Now I take my large slotted spoon and run it through my sauce catching any odd peelings or seeds I may have left behind. I find a seed from time to time in my sauce and really don't worry about it but I do try to catch any large peeling I may have missed.  


Now add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to each pint or 2 Tablespoons to a quart jar. ( Not cold or it will crack your hot jar!!) 


Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving  1/2 inch headspace.




Wipe rims to remove any residue





Put hot lids on hot jars and finger tighten only



Put jars in boiling water bath canner and process pints 35 minutes and quarts 40 minutes. 


Remove and cool completely until lids recess and seal. Allow to cool overnight then remove rings and wash jars with soapy dishcloth and dry. Label with contents and date and you have fresh canned homegrown tomato sauce ready for your pantry. 


Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter



30 comments:

  1. CQ,

    I enjoyed your tutorial on making tomatoe sauce. The hand wand is a better idea than using the food processor. Thank you for the tips, especially the one about simmering for 2 hours instead of 20 minutes.

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  2. Can you explain why you add the lemon juice? I've canned jelly before, and your tomato sauce looks great ... I want to give it a try!

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  3. Lemon juice adds acidity (citric acid)which actually is what helps to preserve your tomatoes.

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  4. found your site on pinterest and i've always wanted to learn to can so i hope i can learn bunches. Do you know if i can do water bath on a glass top stove?

    Thanks Michelle

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    1. I haven't owned a glass top stove in 20 years but I think they recommend not canning with them. The weight of the big pots with water and jars can break them. If unsure check with the manufacturer.

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    2. They say you aren't supposed to BUT a glass top stove is all I have and so I gave it a go! I can only speak for myself and I will say that I canned green beans the other day on my stove. However I never scooted the canner around while it was on my stove. I read a lot of different peoples advice on using them with a glass top and even though you are not supposed to people do. I guess I took a rather costly risk but maybe someday I will have that gas stove I want....lol! :)

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    3. I use a water bath on my glass top to can all the time without problems. It's really no different than if you are making a giant pot of soup as far as weight goes. I hope that helps!

      KK

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  5. So, you basically do the same process as with tomato juice, only you cook it longer to make it thicker?

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  7. You have such great tutorials and they are so easy to find. I actually searched around on your site yesterday looking for a tomato sauce canning post and failed to find it. I started canning my tomato sauce this morning and then got online to find this. I used my strainer and actually took all the seeds and skins off my tomatoes and am now in the process of letting it thicken. I don't have a water bath canner. Do you know if you can use the canner to do the boiling water bath and if so do you know how? Thanks for all your help. I am a first year canner and so your post are so helpful!

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    1. Sure you can use your pressure canner just don't use the lid. Fill your jars and place them in your pressure canner full of hot water.... enough to cover the jars completely. Then just put the lid off of another large pot you may have on it or no lid at all. As long as the water completely covers your jars while they are boiling you are fine. After all without the lid being sealed the pressure canner is just another big pot : )

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    2. Thank you so much! I will do that then.

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  8. What a great idea to use your roaster! It would have never occurred to me.

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  9. Great post! Love all the pictures!

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  10. Thanks for the great step-by-step tutorial. What an inspiration!

    I would love it if you would share this at my new Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    http://theprudentpantryblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/prudent-projects-smart-solutions-linky_13.html

    Have a great day!

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  11. This is great CQ! You've inspired me to use my roaster like yours to do this. Bought it at a thrift store a few weeks back and it works great. I've been use our Vitamix to make the tomato sauce to can but I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for linking this uk at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

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  12. Bueno y gracias.
    I never have removed my canning rings. I will give your method a shot.

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    Replies
    1. Tried this yesterday. Perfection! So much easier and less mess than having to skin the tomaotes. Thanks.

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  13. Great website! Priceless advice & tutorials! I have a question on this sauce. You say simmer for 2 hours, purée, then reduce. Won't simmering it for 2 hours reduce it? Is the lid on for simmering & off for reducing? Are the temps different for the two?

    Thanks!

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    1. It all depends on the tomato..If you are using paste tomatoes you may have to reduce very little after you puree...I do mine in my roaster and I set it on about 300 when I first start out and like to bring them to a good simmer(with lid)...Cook for about 2 hours then...puree. Then if you still have lots of water remove lid and then reduce and slowly as to not scorch it... reduce until the desired consistency. How much you have to reduce will depend on rainfall and variety of tomato grown.

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  15. I did nnot add the lemoon juice and I only processed my jars for 15 minutes. Do you think they will be ok, or do we need to refrigerate/freeze them? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Gosh! Adding the lemon juice adds citric acid which helps to preserve your tomato product because so many of the newer varieties of tomatoes have less natural acid. Add to that the shorter processing time I think i would freeze it just to be safe : )

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  16. Hi, I am on a low-sodium diet and I am getting really tired of going store to store to find certain groceries, so I have decided to make my own sauce, salsa, etc. I just came across your site on Pinterest (I'm addicted to that site)and now I have a couple of questions before I get cooking. Can I put green peppers into the sauce when it is cooking before I can them? Did I miss it, or do you have a recipe for canning salsa? I have been looking for days for canning recipes and yours was the only one to "pop" out at me. The directions and pictures are so crystal clear. We "newbies at canning" really appreciate that. Thank you Judy Conway

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    Replies
    1. Yes you can put peppers in your sauce. Look under tomatoes on my canning recipe page and you will find a salsa recipe : ) CQ

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  17. Would I be able substitute vinegar for lemon juice?

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  18. what about adding italian seasoning for a spaghetti type sauce

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  19. I am new to canning - and I have one of those annoying glass cooktops (wish I could have envisioned me canning one day when I bought the darn thing!) - and I don't have anyone to ask for help/advice. Your tomato sauce instructions were clear & easy! I used my crock pot to reduce my tomatoes, leaving it on low overnight. It worked beautifully and left my stove free for other things. Thank you so much!

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  20. love the lemon juice tip. I am trying to cut back on salt. I always run my jars through the dishwasher just before I am ready to fill my jars. I would be so lost with out my hand blender.

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