Fresh Tomatoes

Canning Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is an easy way to preserve your fresh garden tomatoes. You can use your canned tomatoes in soups, sauces, casseroles, etc. Learn how to can tomatoes with these easy step-by-step instructions.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Fresh Tomatoes - See Growing Tomatoes

  • Plain Salt (optional)

  • Canning Equipment Link

  • Wide mouth Canning jars work best when canning tomatoes - Click here to learn how to prepare your Jars, Lids, & Rings for canning

  • Blancher

  • Pressure Cooker or Boiling Water Canner

  • Jar Lifter

  • Blender (optional)

Picking Tomatoes

Pick your tomatoes red to pinkish green

When you pick your tomatoes, pick everything that is starting to turn pink. When the tomatoes start producing, they come on fast. If you wait and only pick the red tomatoes, you’ll be picking tomatoes every day.

When you bring your tomatoes in, separate them into red, pink, and partly green. Within a few days, they’ll all be red. Can the red tomatoes.

How can you tell if a tomato is rotten?

If your not sure if a tomato’s ok– Smell it. Once you’ve smelled a rotten tomato, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If it smells bad, throw away the whole tomato. One rotten tomato can sour the whole quart.

If it doesn’t smell bad, it’s ok unless you can see visible bad spots. Cut out the bad spots and use the rest of the tomato.


Peeling Your Tomatoes & Filling Jars

Preparing Tomatoes for Canning - Blanch, salt, headspace

  • After you blanch your tomatoes, the skins will slip right off. If you’re not sure how to do this
    - Click here and learn how to blanch your tomatoes.

  • Cut out the tomato stems.
  • Put 1 teaspoon of plain salt in each quart jar – ½ teaspoon in each pint jar.
  • Now put your peeled tomatoes in the jars. If your using wide mouth jars, use your fist to push the tomatoes down. Just keep pushing them down until the jar is completely full.

    You don’t even need to cut your tomatoes before you put them in the jar, unless of course they are too big to fit in the jar. If you want to cut your tomatoes, that’s just fine. But it isn’t necessary. When it comes time to use your tomatoes this winter, your processed whole tomatoes will easily break apart.

    Process versus not processed tomatoes

    You don’t need to add water. The tomatoes cook in their own juice. As you can see in the picture, the tomato pulp floats to the top after the tomatoes have been processed.

  • Leave a ½-inch headspace between the top of the tomatoes and the top of the jar.

Tomato Puree

Blending Small Tomatoes

If you don’t want to peel your tomatoes, you can make a tomato puree.

  • Cut the stems out of the large tomatoes (If you have a bunch of small tomatoes, don’t even worry about cutting out the stems).
  • Blend the tomatoes up in your food processor or blender.
  • Add the salt to your jars (1 tsp. for quarts - ½ tsp for pints).
  • Fill your jars leaving a ½-inch headspace.

So easy! I use this method when I have of bunch of cherry tomatoes that I don’t want to blanch and peel.

Boiling Water Canner

Pressure Cooking

Canning Tomatoes

When processing tomatoes you can use a boiling water canner or a pressure canner. - Click on the links for simple, picture book instructions if you’re not sure how to use a

boiling water canner or a pressure canner

when canning tomatoes.

Processing times for tomatoes are also listed on the boiling water canner page and pressure canner page.

Always remember to check the lid for a seal before you store your tomatoes. If you’re not sure how to do this – click here.

Make sure you Earthquake Proof your food storage room.


Learn how to preserve your tomatoes so that you can still eat fresh tomatoes from your garden until Christmas. Also learn how to freeze the green tomatoes that weren’t harvested before the first frost.

Return To:

Home canning from canning tomatoes
Canning Spaghetti Sauce
Growing Tomatoes

Also check out (links coming)

Dehydrating tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes

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Using Your Basic Canning Equipment

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Boiling Water Canner

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Blanching Vegetables Dehydrating Food

Simple Step by Step Canning Instructions

Making Apple Cider Homemade Apple Juice Canning Applesauce Canning Beets Canning Carrots Canning Grape Juice Canning Green Beans Canning Peaches Canning Spaghetti Sauce Canning Tomatoes

Dehydrating Food

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Other Canning Links

Freezing Vegetables and Fruit

Building and Using a Root Cellar

Storing Apples