How to Can Tomatoes

easy recipe canning tomatoes

Every spring I help my daughter Jamie plant a small garden. This year Jamie planted about a dozen tomato and pepper plants, some onions, and fresh basil.

This gave us plenty of fresh tomatoes and peppers into the late summer months. Last season Jamie decided that she wanted to do some canning. I was so excited and offered my help right away, as I hadn’t canned anything in years.

Although we had some tomatoes and hot peppers left from her garden, we wanted more, so we proceeded to go out and buy more. We decided that two more boxes of tomatoes would do the trick, and the following is how we did it.

With the tomatoes from her garden and the two boxes we purchased we figured that we had a bushel or more.

Instructions for Canning Tomatoes

We didn't have our old family recipe, so we used the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving as a reference. This book was a great help. We didn’t have a pressure cooker and this book walked us through the process.
  Step 1 

Tomatoes in ice water

We put the tomatoes in boiling water for 60 seconds, and then put them in ice water; this process makes it easy to remove the skin and the core of the tomato. Then we cut the tomatoes into quarters and put them in bowls. We did this all by hand.

Step 2

Preparing the canning jars

After washing the jars in soapy water and thoroughly rinsing them we added: 2-Tablespoons of Lemon Juice and 1-Teaspoon of pickling salt to each jar. Then we filled the jars with the cut tomatoes and packed them down tightly.

Step 3

Remove the air bubbles from the jars

After the tomatoes were packed in the jars we ladled in boiling water until it was just over the top of the tomatoes.

Then Jamie worked out the air bubbles with that handy little tool that you see in the picture by pushing all around the jar. Wipe the mouth of the jars clean. Place the lid, rubber side down and screw on the ring to secure the lid

 Step 4

home canning tomatoes hot pack

We then put the jars in boiling water making sure there are at least two inches of water over the tops of the jars, cover the pot with a lid and boil for 55 minutes.
Lift the jars out of the pot using a jar lifter, let them sit for 48 hours, look at the center lid of the jar, it should be concave after this process.

The Finished Product

Finished jars of canned tomatoes

We yielded 26 quarts of tomatoes for the day. Now we'll have fresh tomatoes for pasta, salsa, and chili.
This was our big weekend of canning, we had so much fun.

I hope you enjoyed our method of canning tomatoes. Please feel free to leave any of your tips for canning in the comments.

As always thanks for stopping by.


  1. How long can u keep it in there?

    1. Hi Monica, All I know is that as long as the lids don't pop up in the center the tomatoes are still good. That's always what my grandmother went by. I hope that answers your question. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wow! This looks amazing. I have not tried canning tomatoes. I might tried that when I have lots of them bought from the market. That is if a kilo only cost a €. Thanks Sam.

    1. Hi Thelma, If you give this a try let me know how they turn out. Ours always come out very tasty, and we use them for pasta sauce, pizza, and salsa. Thanks and have a wonderful week :)

  3. Pretty neat Sam! I was not aware of canning tomatoes, but anyone looking to do the same will find this step-by-step process very handy. Nice that you were able to do this with your daughter!

    1. It never seems like work when you are spending time with family. We get to enjoy the fresh tomatoes all year long. Thanks Anthony for stopping by and have a great week :)

  4. I never have any luck growing tomatoes, but this encourages me to buy some in season and do this. Canned tomatoes can be used for so many things. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca, We never have enough out of the garden so we always end up buying enough to preserve. I sure hope you try it. Thanks for stopping by!!

  5. Love this! I can't wait to get back to canning. And tomatoes (for salsa) will be one of the first things I do. Very informative post for newbies and an excellent reminder for us who have done it before.

    1. Great idea on the salsa Dawn. The book on canning is also a big help. Good luck getting back to it. Thanks!!

  6. Thank you Sam for a lovely tutorial...I pickle and make chutneys but have NEVER done canning but want to so thank you again for this wonderful tutorial. Tweeeted and pinned :)

  7. It's been years since I've canned anything but am keeping this post in mind for when I do it the next time. All I have a cherry tomatoes this year and not enough to can.


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