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How to Can Tomatoes in a Water Bath

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Do you have a garden full of tomatoes and not sure what to do with them all? Learn how to can tomatoes in a water bath so you can enjoy your harvest all year long!

There are quite a few different recipes you can choose from when you’re looking to can tomatoes from a summer harvest.

You can have canned salsa, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, quartered tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, etc…

The possibilities are endless.

Typically, we’ll can whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes,  and salsa from our tomato harvest. I don’t use tomato sauce or even paste very often in my cooking, but that’s a preference.

Canning Tomatoes in a Water Bath Canner

Generally speaking, there are two methods for canning tomatoes:

  • water bath canning
  • and, pressure canning

Neither is really better than the other. But, one does take less time than the other.

With pressure canning, you’re cutting the processing time in about half due to the pressure part of it. But, not everyone has or wants a pressure canner (though we highly recommend every household has one).

man with tomatoes in his hand

How to Choose What Type of Canned Tomatoes to Make

This should be easy.

What do you buy most at the store to use at home?

  • diced tomatoes
  • crushed tomatoes
  • whole tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • tomato paste

Once you have an idea of what you use the most of I’d say go from there.

If you use a lot of diced tomatoes but a few of the other types of canned tomatoes, then I would say make a few types of the others you eat.

Our number one goal moving forward is to slowly replace what we buy at the store with things we can and process at home.

It is a lot of work over the summertime, but you reap the rewards come wintertime. It makes all the hard work worth it in the end.

Related Post: How to Grow Tomatoes for Beginners

Why Water Bath Can Your Tomato Harvest?

First, not everyone has or wants a pressure canner. A lot of folks are scared of pressure canners honestly. The thought of the lid blowing a hole in your roof is enough to scare even the best of us.

Second, you just need your equipment, water, lemon juice, and heat. It’s not hard, but it can be time-consuming considering one round of processing can take 45+ minutes.

Third, it’s not as expensive to get started. Some pressure canners are upwards of $100+ for the device. If you’re wanting a heavy-duty, pass down to your kids’ type pressure canner then they can get super expensive… like $400 expensive.

Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings on this one. It’s totally a personal choice though.

If you’d like to learn about canning I would suggest checking out Melissa K. Norris’s Canning With Confidence.

Canning Equipment You Will Need

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