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How do I? ...Can Tomatoes

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes

Whole or Halved Tomatoes (packed in tomato juice)

Quantity: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 15 to 21 quarts-an average of 3 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 tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to the jars (See acidification instructions). Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.

Raw pack – Heat tomato juice in a saucepan. Fill jars with raw tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cover tomatoes in the jars with hot tomato juice, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Hot pack – Put tomatoes in a large saucepan and add enough tomato juice to completely cover them. Boil tomatoes and juice gently for 5 minutes. Fill jars with hot tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Add hot tomato juice to the jars to cover the tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1, Table 2, or Table 3 depending on the method 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 Whole or Halved Tomatoes (packed in 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 &
Raw
Pints or Quarts 85 min 90 95 100

Table 2. Recommended process time for Whole or Halved Tomatoes (packed in 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 &
Raw
Pints
or
Quarts
40 min 5 lb 10 lb
25 10 15
15 15 Not Recommended

Table 3. Recommended process time for Whole or Halved Tomatoes (packed in 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 and Raw Pints or Quarts 40 min 6 lb 7 lb 8 lb 9 lb
25 11 12 13 14



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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