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How do I? ...Can Tomatoes

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes

Standard Tomato Sauce

Quantity: For thin sauce – An average of 35 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 10 to 12 quarts of sauce-an average of 5 pounds per quart.
For thick sauce – An average of 46 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 28 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and yields 7 to 9 quarts of sauce-an average of 6½ 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: Prepare and press as for making tomato juice. Simmer in large-diameter saucepan until sauce reaches desired consistency Boil until volume is reduced by about one-third for thin sauce, or by one-half for thick sauce. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars (See acidification directions). Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Fill jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. Recommended process times are given in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3. (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 Standard Tomato Sauce 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 5055

Table 2. Recommended process time for Standard Tomato Sauce 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 Standard Tomato Sauce 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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