The Case for Canning Tomatoes — 6 Comments

  1. Pingback:The Sea of Red | Country Cosmo's Blog

  2. I have always wanted to can tomatoes and your article makes a good “case” for doing it. When is the best time to get the tomatoes for canning in Washington state? I know this year everything is early so I’d like to get prepared. I have done pickled beets and jam but never actual canning before. Would be interested in any resources you might offer as well

    • Hi Tracey,
      I’m pleased to know you’re ready to take the next step. Don’t bother canning salad tomatoes; can roma’s or plum for the best flavor next winter.
      As far as I know the tomatoes grown in eastern Wa. are on schedule. It’s always best to call ahead and find out directly from the farmer you work with as to their arrival. Find a grower whose methods you want to support.
      I have a private grower who told me his tomatoes should arrive at the normal time.
      I don’t buy tomatoes for canning grown in western Wa. since they’re too expensive and don’t usually hold the same flavor due to lack of sun and heat. This year may be a different story. Make sure that the tomatoes you buy have not been refrigerated…it drastically changes the texture and flavor…we call them styrofoam tomatoes.
      The tomatoes may not be perfectly ripe from the farmer so bring them home, lay them out on newspaper with a fan blowing over them. The fan will stop the naturally produced ethylene gas from building up and causing the tomatoes to finish ripening unevenly and/or rotting. Can the tomatoes when they’re at their peak of flavor.
      Best of luck,

  3. We keep the tomatoes as versatile as possible, i.e. no added flavors. The minimal amount of time it might save to add herbs and spices at canning is more than offset by maintaining maximum versatility. We gave a few quarts of tomatoes to a friend who most enjoys using them straight out of the jar on a BLT or salad in the middle of the winter. The flavor of these tomatoes is a delight when summer seems so far away.

    • Ok great – any other helpful hints I would appreciate – I use so many canned tomatoes in recipes throughout the year I’m sure I will have no problem getting through them

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