Canning Stewed Tomatoes

So you got hundreds of jars of various salsas in your pantry and yet you still have gobs of tomatoes sitting on your counter and you find yourself wondering, what on Earth am I going to do with these?  Well how about some stewed tomatoes?!  We like to stock up on stewed tomatoes to make chili later on in the Fall/Winter.  Come on, I’ll show you how it’s done…

We use the recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving book so if you have one, you can follow along.  You first want to start with 4 quarts tomatoes; chopped, peeled, cored (about 24 large), 1 cup celery; chopped, ¼ cup green peppers; chopped, and ½ cup onion; chopped.  We don’t really measure when it comes to vegetables because we usually prefer more than what they call for.  2t Salt and 1T sugar can be added if desired, however we don’t add them in ours.

stewed tomatoes

stewed tomatoesNext, you want to boil your tomatoes to peel them.  Simply put them in boiling water until their skins split and start peeling away.  Then scoop them up and put them in ice cold water.  Once cool enough to handle, peel their skins off and set aside.  Now you have a bowl of naked tomatoes!


DSCF5142Now this is where it gets messy.  You want to make sure you have some space to work.  Here is my setup…

DSCF5147I’ll explain the food press in a little bit.  It’s my “added bonus” when I make stewed tomatoes 🙂  But what you do now is take a tomato and half or quarter it and extract all the seeds – place seeds in the trash,a bowl, or in my case a colander.  You want to discard the seeds, core and bad spots and just keep the meat of the tomatoes.  You then cut the meat into small chunks and put in large pot.  Do this for all your tomatoes.  When finished, empty your green peppers, onions and celery on top.

DSCF5149Alright, halfway done!  Messy part is over and look at your pretty creation!  Now cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

DSCF5154Now we’re ready to can it up!  You want to ladle warm vegetables into hot sterile jars, leaving 1 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles, Adjust 2 piece caps and process for 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts in a steam-pressure canner.  Now while this is cooking, let me tell you why I use a food press when making stewed tomatoes (I bet some of you already have an idea).  I use it to make tomato juice!  I put everything except the meaty and spoiled pieces in this food press…

DSCF5150This with the wooden rod thing pestle, I squish it down to get as much juice out as I can leaving all the seeds and large pieces behind…

DSCF5151And wholah!  You have some juice!

DSCF5153Now don’t expect to get a ton because you won’t.  The majority of your juice is in your stewed tomatoes.  I like doing this because I’m putting a use to what otherwise would be thrown out.  We like to use tomato juice in our sloppy joes, and Matt likes to drink it.  But here’s how you can it: Pour your juice in a pot and heat for 5 minutes at 190°F.  Do not boil.  Add 1T lemon juice per pint, 2T for quarts.  Ladle hot juice into hot sterile jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Adjust 2 piece caps and process pints for 35 minutes, quarts for 40 minutes, in boiling water canner.

DSCF5156How do you like to can your tomatoes?

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  1. This sounds great! If I ever have enough tomatoes this year to can I’ll try it. They are very slow to ripen this year. In years past I’ve only just canned tomatoes with nothing else or have made pasta sauce and salsa.

    • Ours seem slow to ripen as well. We made spaghetti sauce last year and salsa the year before. The next big batch I get I think we’re going to try pizza sauce and see how that goes!

  2. I love stewed tomatoes, and can some every year to use in winter cooking, or sometimes I just eat them straight out of the jar. There’s a great canning book, “Puttin’ it up with Honey,” that has a wonderful and easy stewed tomatoes recipe. I’ve used this without fail for years and highly recommend it.

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