There are so many different types of tomatoes it may be difficult to figure out which variety is best for your needs! If you are interested in canning and preserving your own food, their are certain things to look for for the perfect canning tomato! They type of tomato can make quite the difference in yields when preserving.
Learn how to grow your own tomatoes so you can preserve and enjoy your own tomato harvest for pennies!
A great canning tomato is one that possesses certain qualities that make it well-suited for the process of canning and preserving. Here are some important characteristics that make a tomato variety ideal for canning:
Meatiness: Canning tomatoes should have a high flesh-to-juice ratio. This means they should be meaty with relatively less water content. This characteristic helps produce thicker sauces and preserves without excessive liquid.
Low Seed Content: Tomatoes with small seed cavities are preferable for canning, as seeds can add unwanted texture and increase the liquid content of canned products.
Sweetness and Flavor: While flavor preferences can vary, a balance of sweetness and acidity is generally a great flavor for canned tomato products. Tomatoes with good flavor contribute to better-tasting sauces, salsas, and other preserved items.
Consistent Size: Choose tomato varieties that have relatively uniform size and shape. This ensures that the tomatoes cook evenly and provide consistent results in your canned products.
Tough Skin: Tomatoes with thicker skins can hold up better during the canning process and resist breaking down into mush.
Disease Resistance: Selecting tomato varieties that are resistant to common diseases like blight and wilt can be advantageous, as it reduces the risk of your crop being affected by diseases that could impact the quality of your canned products.
Productivity: Look for tomato varieties that have a good yield, as you’ll want to have enough tomatoes to make the canning process worthwhile.
Easy to Peel: Some tomato varieties have skin that’s easier to peel after blanching. This can be important for certain types of canned products where peeled tomatoes are required.
Paste Tomatoes: Paste tomatoes, which are often oblong or pear-shaped, tend to be preferred for canning because of their thick flesh, low moisture content, and rich flavor. Varieties like Roma and San Marzano are popular choices for making tomato paste, sauces, and canned tomatoes.
Open-Pollinated or Heirloom Varieties: Open-pollinated and heirloom variety tomato types are often favored by canners because they can have unique and flavorful characteristics that may be different from mainstream commercial hybrids.
Most of the time the best tomatoes for canning are determinate tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes generally grow 2-4 feet tall in more a bush form opposed to indeterminate tomatoes that grow in more of vine structure. Determinate tomatoes tend to produce high yields all at once and offer a more meaty fruit with little juice, while indeterminate tomatoes produce large fruit with a higher water content. Indeterminate varieties are generally grown for fresh eating and the perfect slicing tomato.
Some of my favorite determinate tomato varieties to grow for home canning are:
Amish Paste: Amish Paste tomatoes is a heritage variety that excels in both flavor and versatility. Their taste and meaty flesh makes them a great variety for canning whole, dicing, or tomato paste.
San Marzano: Originating from Italy, San Marzano tomatoes are known for their meaty texture and fewer seeds. Their sweet flavor and mild acidity, makes them the perfect low-acid tomatoes.
Roma: Also known as plum tomatoes, Roma tomatoes are a staple in home canning kitchens for their thick skins and low water content. These tomatoes concentrate beautifully when cooked down, making them a great choice for homemade tomato sauce.
Of course! You can honestly use any type of tomato variety to make your own homemade tomato sauce. The above varieties will most likely provide you with the best results in the least amount of time. A tomato that hold more water will need more time to reduce when cooking your tomato sauce.
Prepare the Tomatoes
Prepare Your Canning Jars & Water Bath Canner
Cook Your Tomatoes
Prepare to Process in a Hot Water Bath
Cooling & Storage
100x yes! This is my very first year using a tomato mill and I don’t know why I didn’t pick one up sooner! I used to dread making tomato sauce (but I still loved it at the same time)! This was because I hated removing the skins! It was never as easy as it is made out to be, and it would take up so much time! My sauce would be full of seeds, no matter how much I blended.
Get. This. Tomato. Mill. Like run now… It is such an inexpensive investment. You don’t need a fancy one right away. I plan on using this one until it breaks before I upgrade. I promise you will not be disappointed!
This handy tool will separate your skins and seeds from what you actually WANT in your tomato sauce!
You probably noticed that this recipe is very simple, no herbs or spices. That is because I like to use our tomato sauce for a variety of recipes that need a tomato sauce base. If I need the sauce reduced a little more or flavor, I add it when I am cooking to recipe. The great thing is this is a very easy recipe to replicate the simple canned tomato sauce that you would find on your grocery store shelves!
I think this recipe is a great way to save money and trips to the grocery store! You can easily use this canned tomato sauce to use in recipes such as chilli, spaghetti sauce, casseroles, cabbage rolls, etc. There are so many different ways to use this tomato sauce, which is why I love it so much!
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