Several people have told me they are afraid to can tomatoes. Whether it’s woes about water bath versus pressure canning or the lengthy process of boiling, blanching, peeling and dicing them, it’s not OK to let yourself be intimidated by a round, red object! Stand up to the tomato and say I WILL CAN YOU!
Okay, maybe you don’t need to do that. But if it makes you feel better, go with it.
I picked up yet another box of canning tomatoes at the farmer’s market, this one being 5lbs for 5 bucks. You just can’t beat that deal. My garden has produced a steady one tomato per day, so I added four small ones out of my garden to this collection.
What? I thought you hated tomatoes and only ate them in forms of ketchup??
It’s true – I’m not a big fan of these juicy, mushy things. Over the past 5 years, the taste has started to grow on me, but I’m still not one to pick up a tomato and eat it as is. I’d rather add tomatoes and their juices to a pot of chili or pulverized and creamed in a soup. Therefore it seemed purposeful to dice them up and can with their juices.
The recipe I used was modeled from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round (affiliate link) but has changed to the process based on my experience. Based on the available tools in my kitchen, some things had to be altered.
Here is a condensed breakdown for seasoned canners:
- Core tomatoes and slice an X in one end for easy peeling
- Blanch them for 2 minutes, then peel the skin off.
- Dice tomatoes.
- Boil tomatoes and simmer 35 minutes.
- Sterilize pint jars.
- Place 2 tablespoons lemon juice in each sterilized jar.
- Ladle diced tomatoes into each jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Process in a water bath for 35 minutes.
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Makes 4-5 pints
- 6 lbs tomatoes, any kind, and any size
- Bottled lemon juice
STEP 3: Grab a large baking sheet and set a smaller cutting board inside it. Grab a tomato and pull the peel off. Dice the tomato carefully and then scrape the tomato and its juices back into the large pot that you blanched them in. The baking sheet will keep the juices from running all over the place and they can be easily thrown back into the pot.