Canning Tomatoes – “Hot Pack” Method

This is one of the very first things that I learned how to can and it’s a staple at our house.  If you ever researched the cancer causing ingredients in canned tomatoes that you buy at the grocery store you will never buy another store bought tin can of them.   We use these tomatoes in chili, soups, salsa, spaghetti sauce…you name it.  I try my best to can an average of 50 quarts of these a yr, that’s about 1 per week.  Red, Yellow, Pink – it doesn’t matter the color, for canning purposes a tomato is a tomato.

Blanch the tomatoes.  Peel the skins off and cut the cores out.

If you’re cold packing the tomatoes at this point you would put them in the jars with salt and process.  The difference between Cold Packing and Hot Packing is cooking the tomatoes down so that there’s no oxygen left in them to cause them to float in the jar.  When you see tomatoes and or other fruits floating in jars, chances are they were cold packed.  Refer to my canning peaches post for a good example and comparison.


Cook the tomatoes.


Skim all the foam off the top.


Ladle the hot tomatoes into hot, sterile jars.  Add 1 tsp of canning salt per jar.  My Grandma and Mom added 1 tsp of sugar to the jars too.


We water bath ours for 20 minutes.  I have seen people just put a hot lid and ring on them, cover and sit them aside.  And I’ve seen people water bath them for 40 minutes.



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