• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown tomatoes for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh tomatoes are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

1. Selection

  • 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds of tomatoes yields approximately 1 quart of canned tomatoes.
  • Select fresh, mature, firm tomatoes, preferably vine-ripened. Do not use soft, overripe, moldy or decayed tomatoes, or tomatoes harvested from dead or frost-killed vines.
  • To ensure safe acidity during tomato preservation, bottled lemon juice or citric acid is added to the tomato mixture prior to canning. (Fresh lemon juice should not be used, because the acidity can vary.)
  • Refer to the recipes below for instructions and proper processing techniques to safeguard against spoilage, mold, and bacterial contamination.

 

Recipes

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners and General Canning Information  before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

(Makes about 6 to 8 pints)

  • 5 pounds tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 pounds chili peppers, peeled, chopped
  • 1 pound onions, chopped
  • 1 cup vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3 teaspoons canning or pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

3. Equipment

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Colander
  • Bowl (for removing skins)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods. Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

  • Wash and dry chilies.
  • Slit each pepper on its side to allow steam to escape.
  • Peel peppers using one of the following methods:
    • Oven or broiler method:
      • Place chilies in oven (400ºF) or broiler for 6-8 minutes until skins blister.
    • Range-top method:
      • Cover hot burner, either gas or electric, with heavy wire mesh.
      • Place chilies on burner for several minutes until skins blister.
      • Allow peppers to cool. Place in a pan and cover with a damp cloth.
      • This will make peeling the peppers easier.
      • After several minutes, peel each pepper.
      • Cool and slip off skins.
      • Discard seeds and chop peppers. 
  • Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Dip in cold water, slip off skins, and remove cores.
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and combine chopped peppers, onions, and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan.
  • Heat to boil, and simmer 10 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more salsa, if needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lids on jars and add screw bands. Screw the bands down fingertip tight- not too loose nor too tight. Follow lid manufacturer's directions for tightening the jar lids properly.

7. Process Jars

Boiling Water Bath- 

  • With jar lifter, place jars on rack in large pot that is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned foods should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-PINTS
0-1,000 ft 1,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
15 minutes 20 minutes 25 minutes

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl (for cooling tomatoes)
  • Colander 
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large covered pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions for preparing the jar lids.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Then dip in cold water slip off skins, and remove cores.
  • Trim off any bruised or discolored portions and quarter.
  • Bring one-sixth of the quarters quickly to a boil in a large pot, crushing and stirring them with a wooden mallet or spoon to exude the juice.
  • Gradually add the remaining tomatoes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Boil gently for 5 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

  • Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar: 
    • 1 tablespoon bottle lemon juice to each pint jar or 2 tablespoons to each quart jar -or-
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint jar or 1/2 teaspoon to each quart jar
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt/pint jar or 1 teaspoon salt per quart jar, if desired.
  • Fill jars immediately with hot tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more tomatoes, if needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Place lids on jars and add screw bands. Screw the bands down fingertip tight- not too loose nor too tight. Follow lid manufacturer's directions for tightening the jar lids properly.

7. Process Jars

 Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
35 minutes 40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes 65 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,000-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Pressure Canners and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

(Makes about 7 quarts)

  • 2½ to 3 pounds chili peppers
  • 18 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ cup vinegar (5% acidity)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Gloves
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl 
  • Colander 
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

Prepare Peppers-

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

  • Wash and dry chilies.
  • Make a small slit in each pepper on its side to allow steam to escape. 
  • Place chilies in oven (400ºF) or broiler for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently, until skins blister and crack.
  • Place in a pan and cover with a damp cloth for several minutes to cool.
  • Peel off skin starting at stem end and peeling downward.
  • Discard seeds and chop peppers.

Prepare Tomatoes-

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip in boiling water to 30-60 seconds or until skins split. 
  • Dip into cold water.
  • Cut out the stem and core, and peel off skin. Trim off any bruised or discolored portions. 
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes.

Combine- 

  • Combine tomatoes, peppers, chopped onions, salt, oregano and vinegar in a large cooking pot.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. 

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more sauce, if needed, for 1-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

 

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 20 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 25 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 20 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 25 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Boiling water bath processing--PINTS and QUARTS
0-10,000 ft
Not Recommended

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Pressure Canners anGeneral Canning Information  before beginning.

2. Ingredients

Yield: About 10 pints

  • 30 pounds tomatoes
  • 2-1/2 pounds ground beef or sausage
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery or green peppers, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons canning and pickling salt
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 4 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl 
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Dip in cold water and slip off skins.
  • Remove cores and quarter tomatoes.
  • Boil 20 minutes, uncovered, in large saucepan.
  • Put cooked tomatoes through a food mill or sieve.
  • Saute meat until brown.
  • Add garlic, onion, celery or green pepper and mushrooms, if desired.
  • Cook until vegetables are tender.
  • Combine with tomato pulp in large saucepan.
  • Add salt, oregano, parsley, pepper and sugar.
  • Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until thick enough for serving.
    • At this time initial volume will have been reduced by nearly one-half.
  • Stir frequently to avoid burning. 

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill jars with hot sauce, leaving 1-inch headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more sauce, if needed, for 1-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned foods should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 60 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 70 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 60 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 70 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Boiling water bath processing time-PINTS and QUARTS
0-0 ft
Not Recommended

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Pressure Canners and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

Yield: About 9 pints

  • 30 pounds tomatoes
  • 1 cup onions, chopped 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery or green pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons canning and pickling salt
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 4 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Bowl
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Remove cores and quarter tomatoes.
  • Boil tomatoes 20 minutes, uncovered, in large saucepan.
  • Put through food mill or sieve.
  • Saute onions, garlic, celery or peppers, and mushrooms (if desired) in vegetable oil until tender. (Caution! For food safety, do not increase the portions of onions, peppers, or mushrooms.)
  • Combine sauteed vegetables and tomatoes.
  • Add salt, oregano, parsley, pepper and brown sugar. 
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer uncovered, until thick enough for serving.
    • At this time the initial volume will have been reduced by nearly one-half.
  • Stir frequently to avoid burning. 

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill jars with hot spaghetti sauce, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more sauce, if needed, for 1-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned foods should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 20 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 25 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 20 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 25 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Boiling water bath processing time-QUARTS or PINTS
0-0 ft
Not Recommended

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning.

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
    • For thin sauce: An average of 35 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 21 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.
    • For thick sauce: An average of 46 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 28 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl (for anti-darkening solution)
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large covered pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions.
  • To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of tomatoes into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing.
  • Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture.
    • Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes.
    • Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Press the heated juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. 
  • Simmer juice in a large-diameter pot until it reaches the desired consistency.
    • Volume will be reduced by about one-third for thin sauce; by one-half for thick sauce.

6. Pack Jars

  •  Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar: 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt per pint or 1 teaspoon of salt per quart, if desired.
  • Fill jars with cooked sauce, leaving ¼-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more sauce, if needed, for 1/4-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean, wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids according to manufacturer's instructions.  

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
35 minutes 40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minute
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (Approximately 22 pounds per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • 3 cups of any combination of finely chopped celery, onions, carrots and peppers (for each 22 pounds of tomatoes) 
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Bowl
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter
  • Lid wand (if lid manufacturer's directions require preheating of lids)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil
  • Ruler for measuring headspace. (Some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions.
  • To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of tomatoes into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing.
  • Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture.
    • Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes.
  • Add no more than 3 cups of any combination of finely chopped celery, onions, carrots, and peppers for each 22 pounds of tomatoes.
  • Simmer mixture 20 minutes.
  • Press hot cooked tomatoes and vegetables through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. 
  • Press heated mixture through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds.
  • Heat juice again to boiling while preparing to pack jars.

6. Pack Jars

  • Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar:
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart -or-
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar or 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart jar, if desired.
  • Add boiling tomato-vegetable juice to jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more liquid, if needed, to maintain 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean, wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids according to manufacturer's instucitons.  

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
35 minutes 40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,000-10,000 ft
10 pounds 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt (up to 1/2 teaspooon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)-optional

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Bowl
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter
  • Lid wand (if lid manufacturer's directions require preheating of lids)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil
  • Ruler for measuring headspace. (Some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions.
  • To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of tomatoes into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing.
    • If you are not concerned about juice separation, simply slice or quarter tomatoes into a large saucepan. Crush, heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before juicing.
  • Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture.
    • Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes.
  • Simmer 5 minutes after all pieces are added. 
  • Press heated juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds.
  • Heat juice again to boiling while preparing to pack the jars.

6. Pack Jars

  • Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar:
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart -or-
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Add up to 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.
  • Fill jars with hot tomato juice, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more juice, if needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe jar rims with a clean, wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids according to manufacturer's instructions.

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
35 minutes 40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 15 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

(Makes about 6 to 7 pints)

  • 24 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cups onions, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 4 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 3 sticks cinnamon, crushed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 3 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup canning and pickling salt

3. Equipment

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Spice bag or cheesecloth
  • Bowl 
  • Colander 
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large coooking pot 
  • Medium pot 
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Dip in cold water.
  • Slip off skins and remove cores.
  • Quarter tomatoes into large pot and add chopped onions and red pepper.
  • Bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered.
  • Combine spices (cloves, crushed cinnamon sticks, allspice, celery seed) in a spice bag. 
  • Put vinegar and spice bag into a 2-quart saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, and turn off heat. Let stand for 20 minutes.   
  • Remove spice bag and combine vinegar and tomato mixture.
  • Boil about 30 minutes.
  • Press boiled mixture through a food mill or sieve.
  • Return to pot.
  • Add sugar and salt, boiling gently and stir frequently until volume is reduced by one-half or until mixture rounds up on a spoon without separation.

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill hot jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and add more hot ketchup, if needed, for 1/8" headspace.
  • Wipe rims of jars with a clean, wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned foods should retain their quality for about 1 year.

 

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-PINTS and HALF PINTS
0-1,000 ft 1,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
15 minutes 20 minutes 25 minutes

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Pressure Canners and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • Zucchini or Okra  (Use an average 1 pound of zucchini or okra for every 3 pounds of tomatoes.)
  • Pearl onions (4-5) or Onion slices (2) per jar--optional
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip tomatoes in boiling water 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
  • Dip in cold water, slip off skins and remove cores, and quarter.
  • Wash okra and/or zucchini, trim away stem end, and slice into 1-inch slices or cubes. 
  • In a large pot, bring tomatoes to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add okra or zucchini and boil gently 5 minutes. 

6. Pack Jars

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt/pint or 1 teaspoon salt/quart to each jar, if desired.
  • You may also add 4-5 washed and peeled pearl onions or two onion slices to each jar.
  • Fill jars with hot vegetable mixture, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more tomatoes, vegetables or juices if needed, for 1-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Note: Using a boiling water bath canner is NOT recommended for this recipe.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes and vegetables should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 30 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 35 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process PINTS for 30 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process QUARTS for 35 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs
Boiling water bath processing time-PINTS and QUARTS
0-0 ft
Not Recommended

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • Tomato juice--optional (for raw or hot pack)
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl 
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 140 degrees F for raw- packed or 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

Raw Pack-

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water.
  • Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. 

Hot Pack-

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water.
  • Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. 
  • Place tomatoes in large pan; add enough tomato juice to cover. 
  • Boil gently for 5 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

Raw pack-

  • Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar:
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint or 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart jar, if desired.
  • Fill jars with raw tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • Press tomatoes in jars until space is filled with juice from the tomatoes. Leave ½-inch headspace. 
    • Hot tomato juice can be added if tomatoes do not produce enough juice to cover the tomatoes in the jars.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more tomatoes or juice, if needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

Hot pack- 

  • Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to each jar:
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.
  • Fill jars with hot tomatoes and juice, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add more tomatoes and/or juice, if needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with clean wet paper towel.
  • Adjust lids following manufacturer's directions.

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints or Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
85 minutes 90 minutes 95 minutes 100 minutes 105 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process Pints or Quarts for 25 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner--Process Pints or Quarts for 25 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs

If this is your first time canning or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water Canners or Using Pressure Canners, and General Canning Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints.)
  • Bottled lemon juice or citric acid 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Canning and pickling salt, if desired (up to 1/2 teaspoon/pint or 1 teaspoon/quart)

3. Equipment

  • Pressure canner: A specially-made heavy pot with a rack and a lid that can be closed tightly to prevent steam from escaping. The lid is fitted with a vent (or petcock), a dial or weighted pressure gauge and built-in safety features. It must be large enough to hold at least four quart-size jars.

-or-

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands: Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Bowl 
  • Colander (for draining fruit)
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Bubble freer, or a plastic or rubber knife-like utensil (for removing air from food)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot 
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Water Bath Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
  • Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 140 degrees F for raw-packed foods and to 180 degrees F for hot-packed foods.
  • In medium pot, boil some extra water to use later, as needed, to cover the jars.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

Pressure Canner-

  • Assemble and wash equipment and containers.
    • Wash canning jars in soapy water, rinse, and keep hot. (This can be done in a dishwasher or by placing jars in the water that is heating in your canner.)
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids.
  • Put the rack and hot water into the canner. If the amount of water is not specified for a given food, use enough water so it is 2 to 3 inches high in the canner. (Always follow the directions with USDA processes for specific foods if they require more water be added to the canner.)
    • For hot packed foods, you can bring the water to 180 degrees F. ahead of time, but be careful not to boil the water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  • Begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split; then dip in cold water.
  • Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. 
  • Raw Pack:
    • Heat water for packing tomatoes to boiling.
  • Hot Pack: 
    • Put prepared tomatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to completely cover.
    • Boil tomatoes gently for 5 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

Raw pack- 

  • Add lemon juice or citric acid to each jar: 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Fill hot jars with prepared raw tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • Cover tomatoes in the jars with boiling water, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add or remove liquid or tomatoes,  leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims.
  • Adjust lids according to manufacturer's instuctions. 

Hot pack- 

  • Add lemon juice or citric acid to each jar: 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/pint or 2 tablespoons lemon juice/quart
    • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid/pint or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid/quart
  • Fill hot jars with hot tomatoes and cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Add or remove liquid or tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims.
  • Adjust lids according to manufacturer's instuctions.

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is half filled with hot water. Jars should not touch each other.
  • Add or remove boiling water as needed until jars are covered by 1" - 2".
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Set timer for correct processing time. Refer to the tables below for processing time for your elevation and jar size.
  • Cover canner with lid and lower heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
  • When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
  • Using jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel or newspaper.
  • Allow the jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing lid seals.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal.
  • If any jars did not seal, treat as if 'fresh' and do any of the following:
    • Eat the food immediately.
    • Refrigerate food and use within a week.
    • Freeze.
    • Reprocess. If reprocessing, must repeat the entire canning process.

Pressure Canner-

  • Place filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, on the jar rack in the canner, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times since tilting the jar can cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Fasten the canner lid securely. Leave the weight off the vent pipe or open the petcock.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position. Heat until the water boils and steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from the open vent pipe or petcock. While maintaining the high heat setting, let the steam flow (exhaust) continuously for 10 minutes.
  • After this venting, or exhausting, of the canner, place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe, or close the petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Refer to the tables below for the correct pressure and processing times for your elevation, gauge type and jar size
  • Start timing the canning process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure for your elevation has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle or rock.
    • One type of weighted gauge should jiggle a certain number of times per minute, while another type should rock slowly throughout the process – check the manufacturer’s directions!
  • Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure.

IMPORTANT: If at any time pressure goes below the recommended amount, bring the canner back to pressure and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time). This is important for the safety of the food because loss of pressure at any time can result in underprocessing, or unsafe food and quick and large pressure variations during processing may cause unnecessary liquid losses from jars.

  • When the timed process is completed, turn off the heat, remove the canner from the heat (electric burner) if possible, and let the canner cool down naturally. (Lift the canner to move it; do not slide the canner. It is also okay to leave the canner in place after you have turned off the burner. It is better to do so than to let jars inside the canner tilt or tip over if the canner is too heavy to move easily.)
  • While the canner is cooling, it is also de-pressurizing. Do not force cool the canner. Forced cooling may result in food spoilage.Cooling the canner with cold running water or opening the vent pipe before the canner is fully depressurized are types of forced cooling. They will also cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failures. Forced cooling may also warp the canner lid.
  • Even after a dial gauge canner has cooled until the dial reads zero pounds pressure, be cautious in removing the weight from the vent pipe. Tilt the weight slightly to make sure no steam escapes before pulling it all the way off. Newer canners will also have a cover lock in the lid or handle that must release after cooling before the lids are twisted off. Do not force the lid open if the cover locks are not released. Manufacturers will provide more detailed instructions for particular models.
  • Depressurization of older canner models without dial gauges should be timed. Standard size heavy-walled canners require about 30 minutes when loaded with pints and 45 minutes when loaded with quarts. Newer thin-walled canners cool more rapidly and are equipped with vent locks that are designed to open when the pressure is gone. These canners are depressurized when the piston in the vent lock drops to a normal position. Some of these locks are hidden in handles and cannot be seen; however, the lid will not turn open until the lock is released.
  • After the canner is completely depressurized, remove the weight from the vent pipe or open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes; then unfasten the lid and remove it carefully. Lift the lid with the underside away from you so that the steam coming out of the canner does not burn your face.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.
  • Once cool, remove the screw bands and check the seal. If any jars did not seal, treat the food as 'fresh' by:
    • Eating the food immediately
    • Refrigerating for use within a week
    • Freezing
    • Recanning (If recanned, you must repeat the entire process.)

8. Store

  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • Stored properly, canned tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

 

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing time-Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
40 minutes 45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-Quarts
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
45 minutes 50 minutes 55 minutes 60 minutes 65 minutes
Weighted gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes
0-1,000 ft 1,001-10,000 ft
10 lbs 15 lbs
Dial gauge pressure canner-Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes
0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,001 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
11 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 15 lbs