Best Canning Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are the best for canning due to their meaty texture and low water content.

Ready to take your canning skills to new heights? Discover the key to achieving perfectly preserved tomatoes that will elevate your homemade sauces and salsas. With a plethora of tomato varieties available, finding the right ones for canning can be overwhelming.

But fear not! In this article, we’ll guide you through the factors to consider when selecting canning tomatoes and unveil the top varieties that will make your taste buds dance. Get ready to unlock the secrets of the best tomatoes for canning and indulge in mouthwatering culinary creations.

Best Canning Tomatoes

Best Tomatoes for Canning: How to Choose the Perfect Varieties

Characteristics to Look for in Canning Tomatoes

To ensure the best results when canning tomatoes, it’s important to consider the following characteristics:

1. Firmness and Texture: Opt for tomatoes that are firm and have a dense texture. This will help them hold up during the canning process and maintain their shape.

2. Meatiness and Low Water Content: Look for tomatoes with a high flesh-to-seed ratio and low water content. These qualities will give your canned tomatoes a thicker consistency and prevent them from becoming too watery.

3. Flavor Profile: Choose tomatoes with a robust and balanced flavor. This will enhance the taste of your canned products.

Recommended Tomato Varieties for Canning

1. Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are widely considered one of the best choices for canning due to their specific characteristics and versatility.

a. Why Roma Tomatoes are Popular for Canning:
Roma tomatoes are known for their meaty texture, low water content, and rich flavor. These qualities make them ideal for canning, as they produce thick and flavorful sauces, salsas, and pastes.

b. Best Roma Tomato Varieties for Canning:
The following Roma tomato varieties are highly recommended for canning:
– San Marzano: Known for its sweet flavor and dense flesh.
– Amish Paste: Offers a balanced flavor and excellent canning properties.

2. San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes have long been favored by canning enthusiasts for their exceptional taste and texture.

a. Why San Marzano Tomatoes are Preferred for Canning:
San Marzano tomatoes are known for their low acidity, dense flesh, and rich flavor. These characteristics make them perfect for canning sauces, purees, and whole tomatoes.

b. Best San Marzano Tomato Varieties for Canning:
Consider the following San Marzano tomato varieties for your canning needs:
– San Marzano Redorta: A traditional Italian variety with a sweet and tangy flavor.
– San Marzano Gigante III: Known for its large size and intense flavor.

3. Other Suitable Tomato Varieties for Canning

a. Beefsteak Tomatoes:
Beefsteak tomatoes, with their juicy and meaty flesh, can be a great choice for canning chunky tomato sauces or salsa.

b. Plum Tomatoes:
Plum tomatoes, like the Italian Principe Borghese variety, are excellent for sun-drying and canning whole or halved for later use in pasta sauces or salads.

When it comes to canning tomatoes, selecting the right varieties is key to achieving delicious and long-lasting canned products. Consider the characteristics mentioned above and explore different tomato varieties to find the perfect fit for your canning endeavors.

 Expert Tip: Choose firm, meaty tomatoes with low water content for canning. Roma and San Marzano varieties are highly recommended. 

Tips for Selecting the Best Canning Tomatoes

Choosing Ripe Tomatoes for Canning

When canning tomatoes, it’s crucial to select ripe ones for the best flavor and texture. Look for tomatoes that are fully ripe, firm yet slightly yielding when gently squeezed, and have a vibrant color and sweet aroma.

Inspecting Tomatoes for Blemishes and Defects

Before purchasing tomatoes for canning, carefully inspect them for bruises, cracks, mold, insect damage, or signs of disease. Avoid tomatoes with any blemishes or defects as they can affect the quality of your canned tomatoes.

Considering the Size and Shape of Tomatoes

When selecting tomatoes for canning, consider the size and shape. Smaller tomatoes like cherry or plum varieties are often preferred as they can be packed whole into jars. However, larger tomatoes can also be used if they are cut into smaller pieces or crushed before canning.

Where to Find High-Quality Canning Tomatoes

Finding high-quality canning tomatoes can be a challenge, but there are options available. Visit local farmers’ markets for freshly harvested tomatoes ideal for canning. You can also grow your own tomatoes, ensuring they are picked at the peak of ripeness. Alternatively, reach out to local farmers or suppliers specializing in canning tomatoes.

Benefits of Selecting the Best Canning Tomatoes
1. Enhanced Flavor: Ripe tomatoes result in a more flavorful canned product.
2. Improved Texture: Choosing the right tomatoes ensures a desirable texture in your canned goods.
3. Longer Shelf Life: High-quality canning tomatoes can help preserve your homemade goods for an extended period.
4. Health Benefits: Tomatoes are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants, providing numerous health benefits.

By following these tips and selecting the best canning tomatoes, you can create delicious and long-lasting canned goods that will be enjoyed for months to come.

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Preparing Tomatoes for Canning

Washing and Sanitizing Tomatoes

Before canning tomatoes, it is crucial to ensure they are clean and free from any dirt or contaminants. Follow these steps to wash and sanitize your tomatoes:

  1. Choose ripe and firm tomatoes: Select tomatoes that are fully ripe but still firm to the touch. Avoid overripe or bruised tomatoes as they may affect the quality of the canned product.
  2. Rinse with water: Rinse the tomatoes under cool running water to remove any visible dirt or debris.
  3. Sanitize: Prepare a sanitizing solution by mixing one part of household bleach with nine parts of water. Dip the tomatoes into this solution for about one minute, then rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Removing Skins and Seeds

Removing the skins and seeds from tomatoes can improve the texture and overall quality of your canned tomatoes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Score the tomatoes: Use a sharp knife to make a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato. This will help loosen the skins during the blanching process.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes: Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you see the skins starting to peel away.
  3. Transfer to an ice bath: Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water. Allow them to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Peel and deseed: Once the tomatoes are cool, gently peel off the skins starting from the scored “X.” Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds using a spoon.

Blanching Tomatoes for Easy Peeling

Blanching tomatoes is a simple yet effective method to make peeling them easier. Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a pot of boiling water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. Score the tomatoes: Use a sharp knife to make a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Blanch the tomatoes: Carefully place the tomatoes into the boiling water and let them cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Transfer to an ice bath: Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and cool down the tomatoes.
  5. Peel the tomatoes: Once the tomatoes are cool, you can easily peel off the skins starting from the scored “X.” The blanching process makes the skins loosen and come off effortlessly.

By following these steps, you can ensure your tomatoes are properly prepared for canning. Clean and sanitized tomatoes, along with removed skins and seeds, will result in high-quality canned tomatoes that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Preparing Tomatoes for Canning: Washing, Sanitizing, and Blanching

Best Canning Tomatoes: Canning Methods for Tomatoes

A. Hot Water Bath Canning

Hot water bath canning is a popular method for preserving tomatoes. It involves immersing jars filled with tomatoes in boiling water for a specific period. This process helps to kill any bacteria or microorganisms present in the tomatoes, ensuring their long-term preservation.

To hot water bath can tomatoes, start by selecting ripe and firm tomatoes. Wash them thoroughly and remove the stems. Blanch the tomatoes by dipping them in boiling water for about a minute, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool. This will make it easier to remove the skins.

Next, pack the peeled tomatoes into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace. Add lemon juice or citric acid to each jar to maintain the acidity level, which is crucial for safe canning. Finally, place the jars in a large pot of boiling water, ensuring they are fully submerged. Process the jars for the recommended time, usually around 40-45 minutes, depending on your altitude.

B. Pressure Canning

Pressure canning is another effective method for canning tomatoes, especially if you want to preserve them in their natural juices. This method involves using a pressure canner to reach higher temperatures and eliminate the risk of botulism.

To pressure can tomatoes, start by washing and removing the stems from the tomatoes. Blanch them in boiling water for about a minute, then transfer them to an ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and remove any excess liquid or seeds.

Pack the peeled tomatoes into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace. Add salt or citric acid to each jar as a preservative. Place the jars in a pressure canner filled with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Process the jars at the recommended pressure and time, usually around 10-15 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

C. Choosing the Right Canning Method for Tomatoes

When choosing the right canning method for tomatoes, consider factors such as the desired texture, acidity, and convenience. Hot water bath canning is suitable for high-acid foods, like tomatoes with added lemon juice, and results in a softer texture. On the other hand, pressure canning is ideal for low-acid foods, preserving the natural flavors and textures of the tomatoes.

It is important to note that pressure canning requires specific equipment, such as a pressure canner, and careful monitoring of pressure and processing times. Hot water bath canning is a more accessible method for beginners, as it only requires a large pot and basic canning tools.

In conclusion, both hot water bath canning and pressure canning are effective methods for preserving tomatoes. Choose the method that best suits your preferences and resources, ensuring the safety and quality of your canned tomatoes.

– Hot water bath canning: Immersing jars filled with tomatoes in boiling water for preservation.
– Pressure canning: Using a pressure canner to can tomatoes at higher temperatures.
– Choosing the right canning method: Consider factors such as texture, acidity, and convenience.
Extra Tips: Discover the best canning methods for tomatoes – hot water bath, pressure canning, and choosing the right method.

Best Practices for Storing and Preserving Canned Tomatoes

Proper Storage Techniques for Canned Tomatoes

  • Choose glass jars with airtight lids for storing canned tomatoes.
  • Check that the jars are properly sealed to prevent spoilage.
  • Store canned tomatoes in a cool and dark pantry or cupboard.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations to preserve taste and texture.
  • Store the jars upright to prevent leakage and maintain freshness.

Shelf Life and Expiration Dates

Canned tomatoes have a long shelf life if stored properly. Consider these key points:

  • Always check the expiration date on the jars before using them.
  • Discard canned tomatoes if you notice bulging lids, foul odors, or unusual colors.
  • Organize your pantry to easily see and use cans with the oldest expiration dates first.
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Creative Ways to Use Canned Tomatoes

In addition to being a staple in many recipes, canned tomatoes offer versatility. Try these ideas:

  • Simmer canned tomatoes with herbs, garlic, and onions to create a flavorful tomato sauce for pasta, soups, and stews.
  • Enhance the flavor of chili, curry, or casserole by adding canned tomatoes.
  • Blend canned tomatoes with onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice to make homemade salsa.
  • Experiment with tomato juice or Bloody Mary recipes using canned tomatoes for a refreshing twist.

By following proper storage techniques, checking expiration dates, and exploring creative ways to use canned tomatoes, you can enjoy their delicious flavor and nutritional benefits for a long time.


Selecting the right tomatoes for canning is essential for achieving the best results. Consider characteristics like firmness, meatiness, and flavor profile when choosing canning tomatoes. Popular varieties, such as Roma and San Marzano tomatoes, are highly recommended. Remember to choose ripe tomatoes without blemishes or defects. Follow proper preparation techniques, including washing, removing skins and seeds, and blanching.

You can use different canning methods, such as hot water bath canning or pressure canning, based on your preference. Store canned tomatoes correctly for a shelf life of up to one year. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy delicious and preserved tomatoes all year round.

Faq about Canning Tomatoes

FAQ 1: What is the best tomato variety for canning salsa?

The best tomato variety for canning salsa is the Roma tomato. Roma tomatoes are meaty, have fewer seeds, and contain less water, making them perfect for salsa. Their firm texture and rich flavor enhance the taste and consistency of the salsa.

FAQ 2: Can I mix different tomato varieties for canning?

Yes, you can mix different tomato varieties for canning. Mixing different tomato varieties can add complexity to the flavor and enhance the overall taste of your canned tomatoes. However, ensure that the tomatoes you choose are suitable for canning and have similar ripeness levels for consistent results.

FAQ 3: Should I remove the seeds when canning tomatoes?

It is not necessary to remove the seeds when canning tomatoes. The seeds do not affect the safety or quality of the canned tomatoes. However, if you prefer a smoother texture, you can remove the seeds by cutting the tomatoes in half and gently squeezing them.

FAQ 4: How long can canned tomatoes be stored?

Canned tomatoes can be stored for up to 1 year if properly sealed and stored in a cool, dark place. It is important to check the jars for any signs of spoilage before consuming. If you notice any bulging lids, leaks, or unusual odors, discard the tomatoes immediately.

FAQ 5: Can I reuse old canning jars for tomato canning?

Yes, you can reuse old canning jars for tomato canning as long as they are in good condition. Before reusing the jars, inspect them for cracks, chips, or any damage that may compromise their integrity. Additionally, ensure that the jar lids are free from rust or dents. Use new lids and rings for each canning session to ensure a proper seal.

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