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How do I? ...Can Tomatoes

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes

Tomato Juice

Quantity: An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 15 to 18 quarts of juice – an average of 3¼ pounds per quart.

Please read Using Pressure Canners and Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions. To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of fruit into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing. Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture. Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes after you add all pieces. If you are not concerned about juice separation, simply slice or quarter tomatoes into a large saucepan. Crush, heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before juicing.

Press both types of heated juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars (See acidification instructions). Heat juice again to boiling. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Fill jars with hot tomato juice, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process following to the instructions in Table 1, Table 2, or Table 3 according to the method of canning used. (Acidification is still required for the pressure canning options; follow all steps in the Procedures above for any of the processing options.)

Table 1. Recommended process time for Tomato Juice in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 35 min 40 45 50
Quarts 40 45 50 55

Table 2. Recommended process time for Tomato Juice in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints or
Quarts
20 min 6 lb 7 lb 8 lb 9 lb
15 11 12 13 14

Table 3. Recommended process time for Tomato Juice in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints
or
Quarts
20 min 5 lb 10 lb
15 10 15
10 15 Not Recommended


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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