Canned Tomatoes

Last Saturday the family plus a few tango friends descended upon Cupertino for some tomato canning. Our second year of it.

  • 88 pounds tomatoes
  • 10 or so lemons (2t of juice per quart)


  • large pot with colander to help peel tomatoes + another pot to push them down
  • 36 quart jars (or 30 quart + 13 pint jars in this case)
  • bowl for cooling down tomatoes
  • large bag of ice
  • bowl for the cool tomatoes before they are peeled
  • bowl for tomato peels
  • salt (optional, HGK does this though)
  1. Fill up 3-4 water bath canners (with cages) with water. Can bring to a boil, but just need active steam.
  2. Core tomatoes.
  3. Plop into hot water for 20 seconds or so.
  4. Pull out tomatoes with colander and put them in ice bath to cool for 10-20 seconds, moving them around to cool off quickly. (Want to heat the skin to make it easy to peel, not cook the tomatoes.)
  5. Set up jars with a pinch of salt in each one, plus 1T lemon juice.
  6. Peel skins off, and put tomatoes into jar. Push down tomatoes to wedge them all in.
  7. Add 2t per quart (1t per pint) of lemon juice. Repeat as you go through the whole operation.
  8. Process 7 pint jars at a time in a 200°F water bath for 25 minutes at a time. (Boiling water means the tomatoes will separate.)

Yielded 36 quarts


September 2, 2012:

-did 80 pounds + 20 pounds of conserva (frozen) as well as jarring. Started at 2pm and went until 1am with 1.5 hour break with cleanup and dinner and kid stuffs.
– went through 35 pounds of ice, but could have gone through less
-Yielded 67 pints + one of pure juice (that separated).

-They went in for 25 minutes at a time, but some were done at 24 minutes and did not seal. This may be due to them being colder.
-Tomatoes needed 2T of lemon juice per ping to be on the super-safe side, but could have gone with 1T of juice. Went with super-safe since Juju is pregnant with the twins.
-really need 4 hands for this level of work. There were 3, but one usually was on kid-watching duty.
-tomatoes went in for 30-60 seconds. When ice water was too cold, was difficult to peel them.

Aug 2013

Even after the crazy amount of canning last year, we found ourselves with too few tomatoes in the end. So we are opting to can tomatoes each week to build up a decent supply. A box of seconds from Dirty Girl are perfect: good for canning Dry Farmed Early Girls. Results in 15 pints of goodness.

  • 25 pounds of Dry Farmed Early Girl tomatoes (yields 20.5 pounds after cooking, de-stemming and peeling)
  • 6 lemons (too much juice created)
  • no salt
  • 25 min cook time for pints, 35 for quart
  • 14 pint jars 1 quart
Sept 2016
Dirty Girl Farms has excellent seconds (aka “B grade”) dry farmed tomatoes. We bought 4 boxes at $100 total, as one box went to conserva, and the rest to canning. While writing this note I realized that we had processed them longer than needed.
3 boxes = 60+ pounds tomatoes
Yield: 52 pints (40 pints + 6 quarts)
Pints were in active steam bath for 36 min

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