Did You Know? Canning Tomatoes Made Easy Part 1

It’s tomato time here in the Mid-Atlantic gardening region and that means that it’s canning time too. Last year, I purchased a KitchenAid mixer and some of the many attachments that are made to make your life in the kitchen easier. By far, my favorite attachment is the Fruit and Vegetable Strainer. I use it to make canning tomatoes a pleasurable experience. Now I need to let you know that what comes out of the other end of the strainer is akin to tomato puree. I use this method to make my salsa, pizza sauce and chili mix. I prefer all of the above smoother rather than chunky. If you like your salsa with chunks of tomato, this may not be the way for you to go.

Before we start the pictorial, I thought that I would let you know how I prepped my tomatoes before I purchased the mixer and attachments. I would bring water to a boil, put the tomatoes in to blanch them for a minute or two, remove them from the water, put them in ice water to cool and then pop them out of their skins. Then I’d chop up the tomatoes to the desired consistency and strain them to try to get the seeds out. I think that the seeds can lend a bitter taste if they’re not removed. Once going through all of that, then I was ready to add the other ingredients and proceed with canning. Ugh. God bless all of the sous chefs in the world…all of that chopping drives me crazy.

But now, it’s easy breezy lemon squeezy. Here’s how I now prep the tomatoes for cannning.

 

canning tomatoes

The parts before being assembled on the mixer…it looks more intimidating than it really is

 

canning tomatoes

This is where the attachments go into the mixer

 

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Here is everything ready to go. There are 5 pounds of tomatoes in the bowl

 

canning tomatoes

Aren’t those tomatoes beautiful?

 

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The first drips of tomato puree. At the far right side you can see the skins and seeds being ejected

 

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Here’s an overhead view of the process. The silver cone is what separates out the juice from the skins, stems and seeds

 

canning tomatoes

This is the bowl of “leftovers” after 5 pounds of tomatoes. There’s still a lot of juice and yummies left in the bowl so I send them through the strainer again

 

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Here they are after a second run through the strainer

 

canning tomatoes

There was still quite a bit of juice left after the second run so I sent them through the strainer again. This is all the waste that remains from 5 pounds of tomatoes.

 

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The frothy beautifullness of tomatoes…yes, I made that word up

 

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I forgot to show the “pusher” in action…this is what pushes the tomatoes into the strainer

 

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This is what is left after you remove the part that catches the puree. I put all of this in with the puree

 

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Here’s the end result…9 cups of beautiful tomato puree

 

This whole process took 40 minutes from start to finish including cleanup and giving the kids a kiss goodnight. I wouldn’t normally pull out this equipment unless I was doing many, many pounds of tomatoes. The cleanup takes longer than the actual processing but I had a couple tomatoes go bad and I didn’t want to see the others meet the same fate.

How do you prep your tomatoes for canning? Do you use something similar or do you blanch them and chop them up? Tomorrow, we’ll look at the actual canning process since lots of people seem to have questions. Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment below or sending me an e-mail. If you enjoy being part of the Mid-Atlantic Gardening community, join our e-mail list (upper right hand corner of this page), become a fan on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Happy gardening…and canning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 30, 2012Permalink 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Did You Know? Canning Tomatoes Made Easy Part 1

  1. Pingback: Canning Tomatoes Made Easy Part 2Mid-Atlantic Gardening

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