Saturday, September 29, 2012

Canning is easy

Basically all you need to can tomatoes is:

+  A BIG pot with a lid
+  A "drying rack" of some sort that will fit in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars elevated an inch or so from the bottom of the pot
+  A jar grabber.  This will be located in the canning section of Ace Hardware, or wherever you go and get your supplies

The steps are simple:

Pick the stems from the tomatoes and place a handful or so in the boiling water for no more than 1 minute, take them out with a slotted spoon and dump them into a bowl full of ice water.  This will make it easy to get the skins off.

Then when all your tomatoes are boiled and sitting in the ice water take the tomato and with your fingernail or whatever you have of a fingernail, puncture the spot where the stem would be and the tomato should pop right out.  Some are tougher than others, but you will get the hang of it.

Before you start putting the peeled tomatoes in the jars start boiling water in the BIG pot.  You want to have an inch or more of water cover the jars when you put them in, so make sure your pot is big enough!

After all your tomatoes are peeled, stuff them into jars leaving a 1/4 inch space between the goods and the top of the jar.  stick a spoon or knife in the jar to get all the air bubbles out. you do not need to put any water in to fill the jar.  The tomatoes have plenty and you will find that if you did put water in you will have like half a jar of water and half a jar of tomatoes after you "process" the jars. I did that the first time, and it was stupid.

When the jars are filled with tomatoes take the top and place on top. BOIL the tops beforehand so they are clean and sterile.  You should do this with the jars as well.  Personally, I am lazy and don't do this every time so you can get away with it, but i suppose it's good practice to do so.

ANYWAY,  after the lids are boiled and dried, put the lid on and screw the ring on.  DO NOT tighten very much, if it's too tight and you boil the jar it can crack and then all your work will go down the drain.

After your jars are filled and the lids are on you are ready to go.  Your big pot should be boiling, or close to it.

Using the jar grabber thing place the jars into the pot and sitting on the "drying rack" inside the pot.  I can only fit three at a time, so I CLEARLY need a bigger pot.  Cover the lid to get the pot back to a rolling boil, then you can take it off.  I HAVE to because my pot isn't big enough and I would lose a lot of water, but if you have a big enough pot you can leave the top on.

Boil the jars for about 15/20 minutes.

Then, carefully take the jars out and place them somewhere where you do not have to touch or move them. They will also bubble over a bit and leave a sticky mess so take that into account.

After 24 hours you should be good!!

EASY enough?

I use Romas, but any tomatoes for sauce will do!  Here are the tomatoes I am canning today.

No comments: