How to Can Stewed Tomatoes for Long-Term Preservation

How to Can Stewed Tomatoes for Long-Term Preservation

How to Can Stewed Tomatoes – A Great Recipe to Preserve Tomatoes


Tomatoes are one of the most versatile and widely used vegetables in the culinary world. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and their bright red color adds a burst of freshness to any dish. Growing your own tomatoes can be a rewarding experience, but what do you do with the surplus when they all ripen at once? One great way to preserve tomatoes for later use is to can them. In this article, we will learn how to can stewed tomatoes, a delicious and versatile product that can be used in sauces, soups, stews, and more.

The Benefits of Canning

Canning is an age-old method of preserving food that has been practiced for centuries. The process involves sealing food in airtight containers, such as glass jars, to prevent spoilage and bacterial growth. There are several benefits to canning, including:

– Extended Shelf Life: Canned foods can last for up to a year or more when stored properly, making them an excellent option for long-term food preservation.

– Nutritional Value: Canned foods retain much of their nutritional value, including vitamins and minerals. Stewed tomatoes, for example, are packed with vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

– Convenience: Having canned foods on hand allows you to whip up a quick and delicious meal without having to run to the grocery store.

Ingredients and Equipment

Before we dive into the canning process, let’s gather the necessary ingredients and equipment:


– Tomatoes (ripe and preferably organic)
– Lemon juice (for acidity, to ensure safe canning)
– Salt
– Optional: herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, or garlic, to add flavor


– Glass jars with lids (make sure they are in good condition and have been properly sterilized)
– Canning pot or large stockpot
– Jar lifter or tongs
– Canning funnel
– Bubble remover tool or a plastic knife

The Canning Process

Now that we have everything ready, let’s get started with the canning process:

1. Prepare the tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and remove any stems or blemishes. If desired, blanch the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath. This will make it easier to remove the skins.

2. Remove the skins: Once the tomatoes have cooled, gently peel off the skins. They should come off easily, but you can also use a knife to assist if needed.

3. Chop the tomatoes: Cut the peeled tomatoes into small pieces or crush them with your hands, depending on how chunky you prefer your stewed tomatoes.

4. Cook the tomatoes: Place the chopped tomatoes in a large pot and bring them to a simmer over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and any desired herbs or spices for flavor. Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Prepare the jars: While the tomatoes are simmering, sterilize the glass jars and lids. This can be done by placing them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes or running them through a dishwasher cycle. Make sure to handle the jars carefully to avoid any contamination.

6. Fill the jars: Using a canning funnel, carefully ladle the hot stewed tomatoes into the sterilized jars, leaving about ½ inch of headspace at the top. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar (or 2 tablespoons for quart jars) to ensure safe acidity levels.

7. Remove air bubbles: Insert the bubble remover tool or a plastic knife into the jars and gently run it along the sides to release any trapped air bubbles. This step is crucial for proper sealing.

8. Seal the jars: Wipe the rims of the jars clean to ensure a good seal. Place the lids on top and screw the bands on tightly but not too forcefully.

9. Process the jars: Using a jar lifter or tongs, carefully place the filled jars into a canning pot or large stockpot filled with water. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil and let the jars process for about 40 minutes for pints or 45 minutes for quarts.

10. Cool and store: Once the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the pot for a few minutes. Then, using the jar lifter or tongs, transfer the jars to a towel-lined countertop. Allow them to cool undisturbed for at least 12 hours. You should hear a “ping” sound as the lids seal.

My 2 Cents

Canning stewed tomatoes is a wonderful way to preserve the flavors of summer and ensure you have a supply of tomatoes all year round. The process may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it becomes second nature. Experiment with different herbs and spices to create customized flavors that suit your taste buds.

When using your canned stewed tomatoes, remember to check for any signs of spoilage before consuming. If a jar appears swollen, leaks, or has an off odor, discard it immediately. Properly stored canned tomatoes should maintain their quality for up to a year, but it’s always best to use them within six months for optimal flavor and texture.

So the next time you find yourself with an abundance of ripe tomatoes, don’t let them go to waste. Get out your canning supplies and savor the taste of summer all year long with homemade canned stewed tomatoes!