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Information and discussion about canning and dehydrating tomatoes and other garden vegetables and fruits. DISCLAIMER: SOME RECIPES MAY NOT COMPLY WITH CURRENT FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES - FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK

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Old December 25, 2014   #16
Darren
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Like Drew I freeze my paste tomatoes, I halve them first. I freeze them in 1kg bags. When I'm ready to make pasta sauce I thaw 2 bags then roast them with onion & garlic for 3 hours then put them through the mill. No more reducing needed, it's ready to use.
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Old May 10, 2016   #17
BakedIn
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I don't like to cook them down for fear of losing vitamins. Your method was my old method and it could be discouraging. 14 hours once to make a batch of sauce !

What I've learned to do, quarter them and have a bowl standing by where they get a slight squeeze to get what you can of water and seed without spending much time, then throw rest of quarter into pillow case. Fill it up and let them drip out over night. If you do it over a bucket you won't believe the incredible amount of water released. The combination of paste tomatoes and the overnight drip puts them at nearly sauce. Plus I don't remove skins, just grind so that thickens also.
The only cooking I do is a quick bacteria killing boil and simmer. 10 minutes total, then waterbath for 45
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Old May 11, 2016   #18
Susan66
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I do an even simpler version. I process the tomatoes by cooking them until they juice up, use an immersion mixer to blend everything together, including seeds and skins. If the resulting sauce is really watery sometimes I will stop at this point until the water rises to the top. (Refrigerated) I usually just pour or ladle the water off the top and use for soup base or canning beans, if there are beans enough to can.
Then I reheat the tomato juice, fairly thick now, hot pack it in sterilized jars and water bath it for 15 minutes (per Stocking Up, Carol Hupping Stoner, ed. Rodale Press. My copy is 1977 edition. )
Most tomatoes are high acid enough that you don't have to worry about adding vinegar or lemon juice. I never worry about mixing varieties- when I start canning, I put all the kinds in together. Paste, slicers, cherry types all. Like Bakedin, I worry more about losing vitamins than reducing the sauce- that takes way too much time for me. I hate wasting the juice/water though. It's full of vitamins, too.
I also can tomatoes without saucing it- dip in boiling water for a few seconds, drop in cold water, slip the skins off, cut them up and toss in the pot with a little water. Cook them up, boiling about 10 minutes or so, put in the jars, and process in the hot water bath for 15 minutes. If the fruit is put raw into the jars is when you have to process for 45 minutes. If you dislike seeds (and many do, they are a little bitter) squeeze them out as you put the tomatoes in the pot and discard. Or ferment and save them!
I've been canning tomatoes this way for about 50 years.
I don't buy commercial sauce. I generally have so many tomatoes that I can them as the best way to preserve them. I never add salt. It is not necessary, and these days I am salt sensitive. It's the acid in the tomatoes that makes them work for hot water bath canning. I admire people that go to the effort of cooking up the sauce with all the other stuff in them, but find it to be not right for me. I've done it but no longer bother. I do occasionally use the pressure canner, for other produce. Beans, if I have a great crop. Mock mincemeat. Most other veg. I prefer frozen.

Last edited by Susan66; May 11, 2016 at 01:13 AM.
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Old May 11, 2016   #19
BakedIn
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Great info there. I'm going to try a batch this season using the separation method.
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Old May 11, 2016   #20
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I admire your patience, keeping the sauce near boiling point and stirring it for hours is not for me. I process the tomatoes in late evening (removing skins and seeds), let them rest the whole night in a narrow and tall container, then I siphon off the clear liquid at the bottom to keep thick pulp. I know I lose the ingredients of the juice I take away, but I don't overcook the sauce. You can't win on all plans.
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Old May 11, 2016   #21
BigVanVader
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I also squeeze out juice and seeds before processing, mainly because I want to save seeds but it also speeds things up. then I run through the food mill and double strain it. The juice gets canned as juice and the rest is already the thickness I like for sauce/salsa. I try not to cook my tomatoes at all if I can help it. Takes to dang long to reduce and I get distracted to easy.
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Old May 11, 2016   #22
coronabarb
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For those who want to use actual tested times for waterbath canning tomato products, here is the NCHFP link. Tomatoes are generally around 4.3 on the pH scale so it doesn't take much for them to be close to the danger level. That's especially true near the end of the season when the plants are removing acid from the fruits. These processing times are tested with the addition of bottled lemon juice or citric acid, so if you skip that step, the times are no longer true.

For the rest of you, you can certainly do whatever you like. Here in the West, there is a much higher incidence of botulism spores in our environment, so what works for you might not work out here. These times are tested and tested to be sure that the acid level throughout the processing and for months afterwards in the jar will be in the safe zone. They have ways of testing these things that weren't available years ago. I know that botulism is rare but it does happen and I don't want it happening to me or anyone I give/sell my canned tomatoes to.

http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can3_tomato.html
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Old May 11, 2016   #23
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coronabarb View Post
For those who want to use actual tested times for waterbath canning tomato products, here is the NCHFP link. Tomatoes are generally around 4.3 on the pH scale so it doesn't take much for them to be close to the danger level. That's especially true near the end of the season when the plants are removing acid from the fruits. These processing times are tested with the addition of bottled lemon juice or citric acid, so if you skip that step, the times are no longer true.

For the rest of you, you can certainly do whatever you like. Here in the West, there is a much higher incidence of botulism spores in our environment, so what works for you might not work out here. These times are tested and tested to be sure that the acid level throughout the processing and for months afterwards in the jar will be in the safe zone. They have ways of testing these things that weren't available years ago. I know that botulism is rare but it does happen and I don't want it happening to me or anyone I give/sell my canned tomatoes to.

http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can3_tomato.html
I dont leave home without citric acid.
It is great stuff and I use it liberally in a lot of the salsas I make.
That and fruit fresh go a long way in making all of your canned goods look nice and stay nice.
I learned it from my mother her stuff was always the talk of the country side.

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Old May 11, 2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loulac View Post
I admire your patience, keeping the sauce near boiling point and stirring it for hours is not for me. I process the tomatoes in late evening (removing skins and seeds), let them rest the whole night in a narrow and tall container, then I siphon off the clear liquid at the bottom to keep thick pulp. I know I lose the ingredients of the juice I take away, but I don't overcook the sauce. You can't win on all plans.


Exactly how I now do it. I don't have all day to boil them down and I prefer the taste of fresh tomatoes versus tomatoes that have been cooked for hours.
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