Mariquita Farm

Easy Canning Tomato Sauce Photo Essay

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This is my standard canning tomato method. I find it's easiest. It's also possible to can whole tomatoes, but I find this method easy: in the winter I'm happy to open a jar of sauce and use whole tomatoes when they're in season in their fresh state. My method: wash tomatoes, cut in half with sharpest knife available. Cook down the tomato halves, cool somewhat, then put through a food mill. (removes many seeds, all skins, and the green tops). Then return the milled sauce to the pot, and cook down. At this point I sometimes add basil, garlic and salt, or just salt. For this batch I added garlic and basil. I sterlize the jars and lids in the dishwasher, then fill with the hot sauce, (I make sure my hot water bath is available and ready when I'm filling the jars), seal the jars, and then do the water bath! For how long for each jar, it depends on if you're doing pints or quarts, I refer to the Ball Canning book or other trusted source. voila! done and shelf ready!

tomatoes washed


washed mixed heirloom tomatoes. I can up whatever tomatoes are ripe and sitting in our packing shed.

tomatoes cut


tomatoes cut in half in cooking pot. (I had two pots going this day, they don't need to be quite so full)



tomatoes cooking



tomato halves cooked down and cooling a bit

food mill for tomatoes


food mill!



tomatoes in food mill




tomatoes getting milled

tomatoes swirled in food mill


tomatoed milled down

food mill to be cleaned


food mill ready for a hot water rinse, super easy to clean

tomatoes cooking for sauce after milled



sauce boiling down. at this point I would add chopped garlic and chopped basil and salt if I were adding any of these items

jarred sauce in water bath



jarred sauce getting a water bath

tomato sauce in jars ready for shelf

happy times! jars ready for the shelf! the big quart jar in the back didn't fit in today's water bath, so that went into the fridge for a dinner this week.

IF you want to freeze tomato sauce in jars (better than plastic in my opinion) use the freezer jars: the one on the left is straight sided all the way, it's a FREEZER jar. leave a bit more room in the jar and just put in the freezer. The jar on the right is NOT a freezer jar as the 'shoulder' could crack in freezing.