• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown tomatoes for the best quality and nutritional value. Determine when fresh tomatoes are available where you live with this seasonal food guide.

1. Selection

  • Approximately 2 1/2 -3 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes yield approximately 1 quart canned. 
  • Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, are recommended for salsas because they have firmer flesh and produce thicker products. Slicing tomatoes will require a much longer cooking time to achieve a desirable consistency.
  • Select disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm tomatoes for canning. Avoid overripe tomatoes.
  • Quantity needed will be specified in each recipe.

 

Recipes

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

2. Ingredients  

(Makes about 9 pints or 4 1/2 quarts)

  • 10 to 11 pounds of green tomatoes (16 cups sliced 1/4-inch thick)
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup canning and pickling salt
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 tablespoon each mustard seed, allspice, celery seed and whole cloves

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
  • Spice bag or cheesecloth
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Large cooking pot
  • Medium pot for extra boiling water
  • Bowls
  • Colander
  • Jar lifter (for moving jars into/out of 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)
  • 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 and slice tomatoes and onions.
  • Place in bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt, and let stand 4 to 6 hours. Drain.
  • In a large pot, heat vinegar and stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Tie mustard seed, allspice, celery seed and cloves in a spice bag.
  • Add spice bag, tomatoes, and onions to vinegar. If needed, add minimum water to cover pieces.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
    • Tomatoes should be tender and translucent when properly cooked.
  • Remove spice bag. 

6. Pack Jars

  • Fill jars with hot tomato mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. 
  • Remove air bubbles and add more of the mixture and liquid, as needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe jar rims with a clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lid on jar and add screw band. Screw the band 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 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 or dry towel.
  • 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 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 1,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
10 minutes 15 minutes 20 minutes
Boiling water bath processing time-QUARTS
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 pickling, or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water CannersGeneral Canning Information, and General Pickling Information before beginning.  

2. Ingredients

(Makes 13 pints)

  • 7 quarts peeled, cored, chopped paste tomatoes (such as Roma) 
  • 5 cups long green chiles, seeded and chopped 
  • 4 cups onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6-12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups bottled lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons canning and pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons oregano leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)

 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
  • Bowls
  • Colander
  • Gloves
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter (for moving jars into/out of 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.

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.

  • Seed 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 onion, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a large pot.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add cumin, oregano or cilantro, if desired, and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

6. Pack Jars

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

7. Process Jars

Water Bath Canner-

  • With jar lifter, place jars on canning rack in large pot, which is 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 or dry towel.
  • 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 tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Water bath processing time-HALF PINTS or 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 pickling, or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water CannersGeneral Canning Information, and General Pickling Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

(Makes 6-8 pints)

  • 12 cups peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes (choose a meaty variety or squeeze out extra juice)
  • 6 cups seeded and chopped chili peppers (use mixture of hot and mild peppers to suit taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 tablespoon canning and pickling salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 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
  • Bowls
  • Colander
  • Food mill or sieve
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter (for moving jars into/out of 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 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

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.
  • 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, garlic, salt and pepper in a large pot.
  • Heat to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

6. Pack Jars

  • Ladle hot salsa into clean pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and add more salsa, as needed, for 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe jar rims with a clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lid on jar and add screw band. Screw the band 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 canning rack in large pot, which is 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 or dry towel. 
  • 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 tomatoes should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

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