Tomato Sauce - Canning and Preserving

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Tomato Sauce Canning

The smell and taste of home canned tomato sauce cannot be beat.If you are able and have access to great homegrown tomatoes, you should.The amounts of tomatoes that the fda approved canning sources quote are completely ridiculous!If you are canning sauce, please plan to have at least a peck - which is 10 lbs.Or 2 pecks.It's a lot of effort, so make it count.When I do sauce, I usually buy a bushel and work that up to however many jars I can get, using pints.


Prep time:

Cook time:

Fresh Ingredients


Tomatoes, peeled and cored



Pantry Items


Canning Salt

Bottled Lemon Juice, 5% (or citric acid)



Special Items:


Large Dough Proofer (or other large pot that will hold 5 gallons or more of water with ice)

8 pint canning jars, and lids

Steam Canner (or traditional large canning pot)


Heatproof Gloves





 Prepare canner, jars and lids.  It's no longer necessary to sterilize or put your lids into hot water, as long as you are processing for 10 minutes or longer.


Wash the tomatoes to remove any debris, and trim off any bruised spots.


Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add directly to a large saucepot - over high heat, as you want to reach boiling, at the same time crushing.  Use a mashed potato masher for this.  Continue to add and crush until the mixture has boiled vigourously and you have crushed all of the tomatoes.


Using a ladle, over a large bowl, ladle the crushed tomatoes through a food mill to strain and remove seeds at the same time.  When you have all this done, return the now strained sauce to the saucepan, and heat to a medium simmer.  You can simmer lid-off to let some of the water reduce, up to about 1/3.  More than 1/3 might produce a sauce too thick for the processing times.


Have your clean jars out, your canner ready to load (ie, almost boiling) and begin by always adding your lemon juice first, followed by the salt.  Then add the tomato mixture.  The reasoning behind this is two-fold.  One - you will never forget once you form the habit to add the lemon juice first.  Two - the lemon juice and salt will get mixed evenly as your pour the tomatoes in.


Tomato sauce headspace is 1/2 inch.  Wipe the rims with a vinegar soaked paper towel, run the chopstick through to release any bubbles, place your lids, tighten your rings and place in the canner.  Process for the time that is appropriate.



Remove from the canner, and place on a toweled surface and allow to sit for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, test your seals by picking up the jar by the top - it should be securely attached and the button should be depressed.  Clean the jars by removing the rings, and using a soapy cloth, wash it all down, rinse and allow to dry.  Label your jars with a use by date - 18 months.


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