Every year I tell myself–don’t grow so many darn tomatoes. And every year I never listen to myself. I don’t have the heart to thin out my tomato seedlings. So consequently, I am harvesting a boat load of cherry and slicing tomatoes. In the past, I would remove the skin and seeds, cook them down in the crock pot, and then can the sauce. But here is the problem–when I use the sauce, it was always bitter. Now, I roast the tomatoes instead and the sauce is no longer bitter. If you want a better canning tomatoes recipe, then keep reading.
Just a side note, I am only making a tomato base for future tomato sauce. I don’t add herbs, onions or garlic to the sauce. I also don’t add oil to the tomatoes since you can’t can products that contain oil.
So, when a recipe calls for crushed or whole tomatoes, I use this sauce. You can dress up your sauce any way you like. However, if you are canning the sauce, then be sure to follow a tested recipe such as from Ball or the National Center for Home Preservation. (I use the recipes in Ball’s canning book.)
- Turn your oven to 425 degrees.
- Slice your cherry tomatoes in half or thirds depending on the thickness of the cherry tomatoes. I slice my slicing tomatoes as if I was using them for a sandwich.
- Lay them on a tray side by side. Don’t over lap them. (I use a baking sheet with an inch lip along with parchment paper underneath the tomatoes. The parchment paper just makes it easier to pick up the tomatoes.) You can use glass dishes but my largest glass dish doesn’t have the surface area of the baking tray.
- Put the trays in the oven. I usually fit about 3 trays of tomatoes in the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
When they are done, some of the tomatoes will have black marks. This is okay.
Let them cool. At this point, you can combine them into one dish and put them in the refrigerator or alternatively put them in glass containers for the freezer or use or can them.
I generally put them in the refrigerator and can them later.
Canning Roasted Tomatoes
I still remove the skins and seeds from the roasted tomatoes. See HERE on the manual tomato press that I use. (There is a video as well.) A tomato press removes the skins and seeds and creates a smooth puree.
Once I am done removing all the seeds and skins, I put the sauce in a large pot and heat it up again to get it ready to can.
- Heat up your canning jars either in boiling water or in the oven. I use my oven and set the temperature to 200 degrees. I wait until the glass jars are really hot before I use them. (Hot enough that you don’t want to pick them up without a glove.)
- In addition, heat up your tomato sauce. I bring mine to a boil and then let it simmer as I add the sauce to the jars. Be sure to stir often since the sauce can burn really easily.
- I use this Presto pressure canner and follow the company’s canning instruction. (See HERE.) Be sure to add the appropriate amount of lemon juice or citric acid to each pint or quart. I add the lemon juice to the glass container before I put in the tomato sauce; otherwise,I would forget.
- You can also use a water bath canner as well. (Follow these instructions.)
I use my pressure canner as a water bath canner as well when I am making jam or salsa. But I prefer to use my pressure canner for canning tomatoes. (I avoid water bath canning as much as possible since I inevitably burn my hands putting in or taking out the jars from the boiling water.)
So, who is with me for a better canned tomato sauce? So, put away the crock pot and here’s to a better canning tomatoes recipe.
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