The best part of preserving tomatoes is that they are so easy to can. Canning whole tomatoes is one of the most simple canning methods.
If your going to bottle whole tomatoes, select small ones that will fit easily in the jars. However, don’t shy away from larger tomatoes… just cut them in half. (I use the widemouth jars for this process.)
Canning whole tomatoes is the best canning method if you have a garden that produces a few tomatoes at a time. After you harvest a few of your tomatoes, you can preserve a small number of bottles at a time without much fuss.
Canning Whole Tomatoes
1. Prepare your tomatoes using the basic instructions for canning tomatoes.
2. After the skins have been removed, place whole tomatoes into each jar.
If your tomatoes are too large, cut them in half.
Push them down into the jar so they break apart a bit and form their own juice. If you need more liquid, take a few tomatoes and blend them with a hand blender to form a liquid. Pour this juice into each jar if you need more liquid.
I never add straight water as additional liquid.
3. Take a butter knife and run it around the inside of the canning jar. You want to remove as many air bubbles as you can. I like to do this several times while I’m filling the canning jar.
4. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to each jar. The vinegar replaces the acid that the new tomato hybrids are now lacking.
5. Fill the jar until the liquid reaches 1/4” above the neck of the jar. This will allow for settling.
6. Wipe the top edge of the canning jar with a damp cloth so the rim is clean. (It will seal better if you do this step.) Place your canning lids and rims onto your jar. Don’t screw on the canning rim too tight….just firm. This will allow for the air to escape ……..
7. If I use my water bath canner, I time them for 45 minutes after the water boils around the canning jars. If I use my steam canner, I time them for 30 minutes after the steam escapes from the canner. Note: If you have a ceramic top stove, it’s best to use a water bath canner. A ceramic top does not allow the temp. to stay as consistent as it needs to be for steam canner use.
My momma use to serve whole tomatoes cold. They were often served as a late supper with bread and butter and a slice of cheese.
Happy Canning and Preserving!
Kathy Griffiths – Insightful Nana
P.S. Preserving tomatoes is a good way to start learning how to bottle produce. It’s the fastest and easiest veggie to bottle because you don’t have to use a canning pressure cooker. It’s because tomatoes are really considered a fruit. Preserving whole tomatoes is the easiest tomato canning method to get started with.