How to can tomatoes

Today was a learning day. I was kind of pissed after I started reading further passed the recipe on this canning site. Which is a really good canning site by the way. If using olive oil in your sauce that would become a greater risk for botulism. I’m sure all those major sauce companies like hunts have their own sanitation method for doing this, because I looked at the back of the can and they had used some sort of oil. I didn’t want to risk, Ben and  I dying from botulism, so I ended up freezing the sauce in bags. That works right? Anyways this is how you do it.

1. Wash the tomatoes and get rid of the dirt. Now’s the time when you want to start the boiling water for the jars. Hot food goes into hot jars. That’s a good lesson I learned when canning.

2. Make a tiny x on the bottom of the tomato with a knife. You place these in boiling water for about 1 minute and the skin comes off super easy!

4. Move the tomatoes to an ice bath so that the skin is easier to peel.

5. Since the tomatoes are cold, we want to heat them up again. I cooked mine for about 10 minutes at a roiling boil.

6. Once the tomatoes are done cooking, Use a funnel so that nothing spills, and add the tomatoes to the jar. Add salt or some lemon juice to help preserve the tomatoes. While the tomatoes are cooking, you can also start a small pan of water to boil the lids. Use one of those magnetic grips that came with your canning kit, to get it out when it’s time to close the jars.

If you decide to do something else with the tomatoes, go back to step five and make the recipe you want.  Just make it and place that in the jars instead of the tomatoes.

6. Put the jars of tomatoes/salsa with lids on in a big pot. Remember, hot food goes in hot jars.  Boil for about 35 minutes depending on the jar. If the jar is larger boil for 45 minutes. I purchased a canning pot at Menard’s for only $40.00.

7. Let the jars cool over night. If you hear popping sounds, that means it’s worked, and the lids are being sealed.

Here is the marinara sauce recipe I used from It’s a good canning site and has some great tips.


20 pounds of tomatoes
2 cups chopped fresh onions (then sauté or microwave them until they are soft)
3 Tablespoons of oregano
3  clove of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons diced, fresh OR dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped celery (optional, may be too strong for some folk’s tastes)     2 Tablespoons chopped red sweet peppers
2 teaspoon salt (optional – I don’t put any in!)
1/4 cup lemon juice (helps to acidify it, not necessary if you have a pressure canner)
1/4 cup red wine (optional)

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