Tomatoes are probably the most popular food item grown in gardens. Usually there is an abundance of this crop once they begin to ripen. Home Canning Tomatoes is one way to ensure that the overstock of produce will not go to waste. By canning your own tomatoes you will also be able to enjoy the flavorful taste of you home grown tomatoes long after the season ends.
Ways to Preserve Tomatoes
There is an assortment of ways to preserve tomatoes. They may be canned, frozen or in some cases even dried. The most popular way of preserving tomatoes is to canning. This versatile method allows you to utilize the canned tomatoes in a variety of techniques that can be used later to make soups, chili or stews. Who wouldn’t want that same great fresh tasting flavor even in the cold winter months?
Preparing Tomatoes for Canning
Only a stainless steel pot or saucepan and stainless steel utensils should be used when preparing tomatoes for canning. Because the tomatoes have such a high acidic value, using any other type of pot may result in bitter tasting canned tomatoes that have a less than desirable color about them.
Canning Tomatoes Safely
It is important to remember that in order to ensure safety tomatoes must be canned correctly. Only choose disease free, fresh firm tomatoes for canning. Tomatoes tend to be a high acidic food item. Boiling Water Bath Canning or Pressure Canning methods are the recommended processing technique to be used when home canning tomatoes. According to some sources using a pressure canner may even yield higher quality flavor with more nutritious value. Either however, is an acceptable means of preserving tomatoes.
The USDA recommends that all home canned tomatoes be acidified prior to canning to ensure safety from botulism. This is achieved by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart. Using pints, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid.
Processing times for hot packed crushed tomatoes in water bath canning is 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. If using a pressure canner the processing time is 15 minutes for both pints and quarts. You must be sure to set the dial gauges on the pressure cooker to 11lbs. of pressure and the weighted gauge should be set at 10lbs. of pressure.
Following these instructions should assure the quality of taste when Home Canning Tomatoes. Just think about how happy you and your family will be this winter when you are enjoying the same great flavor you had this summer.
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Article Source: Ezinearticles.com
Article Posted: August 4, 2011