How to can tomatoes correctly

 How to can tomatoes correctly

Sweet, juicy tomatoes are summer, and if you grow these fruits at home (or like to stock up on farmers markets), you may know what it's like to have tomatoes in your kitchen. Canning tomatoes is a great way to preserve your harvest because the finished product can be used in delicious dishes year-round.
The canning process requires specific steps to ensure the tomatoes are safe for long-term storage.
The best types of tomatoes for canning  

The best types of tomatoes for canning are roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes and tomato paste. These types of tomatoes have a low water content, which will help them withstand high temperature of hot water canning.
Regardless of variety, it's important to use whole, disease-free, vine-ripened and established tomatoes. Do not use tomatoes from dead vines or frost, which may contain harmful or spoilage microorganisms, according to experts at the University of Minnesota.


How to prepare tomatoes for canning
Tomatoes must be peeled and blanch before canning.. In this note, it is important to remove peels when the recipe calls for it. The peel can be bitter and difficult. In addition, A lot of bacteria live on the skin of tomatoes, so they are often removed for preservation purposes. The skin can also block the heating and cooling process necessary to destroy microorganisms

 If the recipe tells you to cut the tomatoes before canning, be sure to do it. The processing time, which will allow the tomatoes to be stored and eaten, determines the amount and size (among many other things), so it is important to follow the prescribed procedures. Similarly, if the recipe calls for how to cook tomatoes, pay attention to the indicated time. "If you cook them too long, it will affect the quality of your final product. 

How to prepare tomatoes for canning

 According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, tomatoes can be stored raw or boiled. The standard time for boiling tomatoes for canning is five minutes, but again, be sure to follow the time listed in your specific recipe. From whole and crushed tomatoes to diced and paste, consider these the best recipes for canned tomatoes

Recipe for canning Tomatoes

When canning tomatoes, the process varies by arrangement. Follow the regular process that has been tested by experts to ensure that the product is safe. 

The canned tomato recipe used here involves water bath canning:

  •  Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the ice bath.
  •  Wash and drain the tomatoes, then cut an X at the bottom.
  • Blanch the tomatoes for 15 seconds, then place them in an ice bath. Remove the tomatoes and remove the skin.
  •  Put the tomatoes in a bowl, cover it with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Fill each pot in half with tomatoes. For a pint jar, add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon citric acid. For a quart jar, add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon citric acid. 
  • Add the tomatoes until the pot is full, press down to flatten them.
  • Pour the hot cooking water over the tomatoes, leaving about ½ inch of space. This will help seal the rubber gasket during the canning process,
  •  Use a stainless spatula between the tomatoes and the pot, and press the tomatoes to release any air bubbles. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
  •  Wipe the rim and threads of each pot with a clean, damp cloth. 
  • Put the lid on the pot until you feel the tightness.
  •  After filling each jar, place it on the raised side of your boiling water. The water should be simmering.
  •  When all the jars are full and placed on the bed, lower the bed into the pot. Add boiling water, if necessary, to ensure that the water level covers the lid by 1 to 2 inches.
  •  Put the lid on the canner. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a gentle boil for 40 minutes (or 45 minutes for quarts) to process.
  •  When the required time, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the pot. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the jars.
  •  Lay them upright on a cool towel or cooling rack, about 1 to 2 inches apart. Don't tie the strings. Leave to cool for 12 to 24 hours.
  •  Once the jars have cooled, test the seal by pressing between each lid. The sign is fixed if the lid has a concave and you can't lift it off. If the lid pop back up, you will need to repeat the process.


Acidification in canned tomatoes
Because there are so many types of tomatoes, the fruit can vary between high and low acidity. Therefore, it is necessary to acidify tomatoes to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), bacteria that release toxins that cause botulism. 

To do this, add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon of citric acid per pint of tomatoes (or 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid per liter), as indicated by experts from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. . These ingredients will lower the pH level (i.e. make it more acidic) to make the tomatoes safe for canning in a water bath or pressure canner.

If you don't have lemon juice or citric acid, 4 tablespoons of 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart can also be used. The only catch: Vinegar can negatively alter the flavor of your tomatoes. In addition, some wines on the market only have an acidity of 4 percent, so it is very important to check the label to make sure that it is at least 5 percent acidity.

 How long do canned tomatoes last?
When canned properly and stored in a cool, dark place, canned tomatoes will last for a while. Use them within a year for best results.
After opening the can, canned tomatoes should be refrigerated and used within three to four days.

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