Canned Diced Tomatoes

Canned Diced Tomateos


Making your own canned tomatoes is easy and a great way to preserve your produce. Home-made canned tomatoes will keep for up to a year and can be used in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes.

Canned Diced Tomatoes

Ingredients                                                                          Makes: 4 pint jars
6 lbs. (about 20 medium-sized) fresh tomatoes
4 to 8 fresh basil sprigs (optional)
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pickling salt
4 clean or sterile pint jars, rims and lids
stockpot or canner
canning wrack (to hold jars in canner)
jar lifter

Sterilize jars and prepare canning equipment. Sterilize jars by boiling them with the lids removed in a large stockpot for a couple minutes; only necessary if jars have been used for other canning purposes. If the jars are relatively clean, a soap and water bath is good enough. Ensure that the seal on the lids are not damaged in any way, otherwise replace.

Take out the stockpot or canner, the canning wrack, jar lifter and any other tools you will require when getting ready to can.

Prepare the tomatoes for blanching. Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food,in this case the tomato, is scalded in boiling water then plunged into an ice-water bath to halt the cooking process. Begin by preparing an ice-water bath for the tomatoes by filling a large bowl 3/4 full with ice-cold water and ice-cubes if needed.

Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems. Cut out the top of the tomatoes and any wounds, then cut a small ‘x’ on the bottom of each one. Gently squeeze out any seeds if you can, then transfer tomatoes to a large bowl.

Blanche the tomatoes. In a large sauce pot, fill half-way with clean or purified water and then bring to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water in batches, full but not enough to over crowd. Cook for about 1 min. or until the skin just starts to wrinkle and peel off. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to cool.

When the tomatoes have cooled for a couple minutes in the ice-bath, the skins should slide right off. Remove the skins and the gently squeeze each tomato to discard the seeds and extra water; then transfer the tomatoes skinned and gently squeezed tomatoes to a large clean bowl. When finished, drain the extra water out of the bowl with the tomatoes.

Cook the tomatoes. Transfer the peeled and drained tomatoes to a large sauce-pot over medium heat and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Chop up large tomatoes into smaller pieces with a firm spatula/turner and then cook. After cooking the tomatoes over a gentle boil for five minutes, set aside.

Fill the jars. In each jar add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of pickling salt or kosher salt and one or two basil sprigs. Fill the jars with the cooked and chopped up tomatoes to about 1/2-inch of the top for “headspace”; then give the contents a gentle stir to mix. Remove any bubbles or air-pockets in the jars and refill if necessary. Wipe the rims and place the lids on and rims to finger tight; not loose but not too tight.

Process the jars in the water bath. Fill the canner or stockpot to about 2/3 full of warm water, but not too hot. Transfer the filled jars to the canner into the wrack using the jar lifter. Ensure the jars are covered by 1 to 2-inches of water, then bring water to a boil. When water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium-high to a gentle boil.

Process the jars in the water bath for 40 minutes for elevations up to 3000 ft, for elevations 3,001 to 6,000 feet, process for an additional 5 minutes; and add 5 minutes to that for higher elevations. After the jars have finished processing, turn off the heat and allow the jars to rest in the hot water bath for at least five minutes before removing.

Line some clean dish towels on a counter to transfer the jars to when they are done processing in the water-bath. Carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter without tilting or shaking to the towel to be left undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not re-tighten the lids if they have become loose. As the jars cool you should hear a “popping sound” telling you that your jars are sealing.

Cool jars undisturbed. Allow the jars to cool upright completely undisturbed for 24 hours to guarantee success. Check the jars have sealed properly by pressing down on the middle of the lid, if it pops back, it is not sealed. The disc on top should be curved downward and not move when pressed if properly sealed. Label the jars including the date they were made. Store the sealed jars in a cool dark place like a pantry, cellar or cold-storage room. Canned tomatoes should be used within the year. If the jars did not seal properly, just put the jars in the fridge and use within two weeks.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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