Canning Tomato Sauce
Home canned tomato sauce is so good, and it is a LOT of work. Still, I was out (I thought) and wanted to can some more this year.
My normal source wasn’t sure they could come through, so I ended up buying 50 lbs of tomato seconds from Hilltop Farms in Dover MO at $1/pound.
With seconds, of course, there was a lot more trimming and I did that along with coring on a Friday evening.
I prefer to peel my tomatoes before running them through the food mill/strainer. It is probably pretty much equal in terms of time, but I find dealing with the tomato skins to be a real pain later.
So while I was coring and trimming I got a big pot of water boiling, and a big boil that I would occasionally add ice to set up so I could blanch and peel the tomatoes.
Two years ago I invested in an electric tomato strainer from Weston Brands. It cuts the time to extract all the juice from those tomatoes in half. I have to do a setup so that it strains into a bowl that I place in the sink, with another bowl positioned to receive the skin and seeds. Because I am short, I have to stand on a stool to feed the chunked up tomatoes into the shoot.
Coring, trimming, peeling, and straining the tomatoes took about 6 hours on a Friday evening! I poured everything into gigantic bowls and put them in the fridge until the next day.
And on Saturday, it was all about reducing that sauce by half. These two pots simmered for a good 4 hours while I did other things in the kitchen.
But it was worth it because it looked like this in the end:
Back in the fridge, because I had company the next day.
So I ended up canning on a Monday night. The investment I made last year was for a Ball Electric FreshTech canner. I have a glass top stove, and you really aren’t supposed to can on it. This allows me to leave my burners free, provides steady heat, and keeps it at the right temp for water bath canning. It has a spigot so you can drain it in the sink when you are done, versus carrying a big old pot of water over to the sink.
Ready to go into the canner:
And the final product!