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First-Time Canning

August 23, 2010

There were eight pounds of cherry tomatoes hanging around my counter, meaning it was time to start preserving the bounty.


Last year I froze the tomatoes, but this year I wanted to try canning.

Here’s What I Learned

  • Canning is basic, easy, and versatile.
  • Canning is a precise science. Deviating from a tested recipe and procedure can lead to an unsafe product. Botulism is not cool.
  • If you can follow directions, you can can.
  • Canning takes time. Be prepared to dedicate your day.
  • Buy a real canning rack!
  • Canning makes me feel accomplished, and little like a down-home country girl.

I decided to can whole tomatoes. Since I’m overrun with cherry tomatoes, I had no choice but to do the tedious work of blanching and skinning each one. I imagine it’s more repetitive and time-consuming than with large tomatoes.

Since this was an experiment and a small batch, I wanted to keep my investment low. Rather than buy a full canning kit, I used my own stock pot, plus an improvised rack for the bottom of the pot (a metal steamer basket). The only items I bought were  the wide-mouth jars and a jar lifter. This time of year, canning products are everywhere; I buy mine at Agway.

Things would probably have been faster and smoother if I had a rack to lower and lift the jars from the water bath, rather than balancing everything on a metal steamer in the bottom of the pot and picking the jars out one-by-one.

Finally, at 1 a.m. I pulled out six lovely pints, each with well-sealed lids. Yay!

canned tomatoes

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2010 12:10 am

    Thanks for the little tutorial! I am going to can my tomatoes soon too! I never have canned tomatoes before!

  2. Lauren permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:28 pm

    Eating your own canned tomatoes is the best experience ever. Especially during this never ending CT winter. Great blog!

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