Preserving tomatoes is a common task in late summer, and some of us do it on a regular basis. Tomatoes are one of the many delicious summer tastes, and happily, you can keep and enjoy them throughout the year. While freezing and drying are equally viable options, canning produces the finest flavor and texture for your home-grown tomatoes.
Canned tomatoes, also known as tinned tomatoes, are peeled tomatoes that have been heat-processed and sealed into a can.
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How to Choose The Right Canning Tomatoes to Grow
Depending on whether you’re canning whole tomatoes, sauce, juice, or salsa, the features of a good canning tomato may vary. The tomato should have a long shelf life, few seeds, a lot of flesh, and little liquid.
The moisture level of whole tomatoes and juice is less important than the flavor. Other factors to consider when canning tomatoes from your garden include production consistency, ripening schedule, and disease resistance.
Ways to Can Tomatoes
Since tomatoes have a strong acidity, they are canned in a boiling-water canner like other fruits, with only a splash of citrus or vinegar added. They can be stewed whole, crushed, half, or smashed.
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- You’ll need 114 to 112 pounds ripe tomatoes for each pint of canned tomatoes, and 212 to 312 pounds ripe tomatoes for each quart. For canning, choose tomatoes that are free of blemishes and wash them well in cold water.
- Pressure canning necessitates the use of a pressure canner. Note that a pressure canner is different from a pressure cooker. However, it takes a little longer than a hot water bath, but it uses a lot less water.
- Another method for canning tomatoes is atmospheric steam canning. You may think of it as a cross between the two. A steam canner, as the name implies, uses steam to process the jars, but unlike a pressure canner, it does not employ pressure.
The processing time for the following procedures varies depending on the product being canned, and your jars must be left undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours after being taken from the canner to achieve a good seal.
Choosing the Right Tomatoes for Canning
Consider the days to maturity of the paste tomatoes you want to plant in your garden before selecting them for canning. You want your tomatoes to mature before the fall frosts arrive! Disease resistance, color, yields, and flavors are all factors to consider.
The point to note here is that if you are willing to grow tomatoes for canning, remember to grow them from seeds.
Types of Tomatoes That Are The Best for Canning
Why are some kinds ideal for canning? That solution comes from both our forefathers in sustainable gardening and today’s hybrid scientists.
Tomatoes that can well have a lot of flesh, little liquid, and, of course, a long-lasting taste. Dense paste-type tomatoes are the best tomatoes for canning because they contain thick flesh with few seeds and little fluid, making them ideal for salsa, pasta sauce, and all-purpose tomato sauce.
They’re also ideal for chopped canned tomatoes, which can be prepared fast and without the hassle of a sieve.
Traditional heritage canning tomatoes are known for having fewer seeds, meaty flesh, and thick skins, all of which are desirable qualities for tomatoes that are peeled in a hot water bath before canning.
Tomatoes of various types, including heirlooms and hybrids, can be used for canning. Therefore the varieties given in this article are just a tiny selection of ideal canning tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomatoes for Canning
Some of these heirloom types stretch back centuries, and they all have a long history. With their sweet flavor, meaty flesh, and thick skins, they’re also exactly what the home canning enthusiast needs. Enjoy the growing process as well as the tales behind these dependable and delicious heritage canning varieties.
These tomatoes are acorn-shaped paste-type fruits with a rich crimson color. The vines yield fruit that is medium in size, weighing 8 to 12 ounces. The flesh of this Amish heirloom is thick and there are few seeds. When staked, it performs better.
Tomatoes of this size need a bit less effort to peel and prepare the meaty flesh for sauces and salsas than bigger kinds.
Amish paste tomatoes have a 150-year heritage that you can trackback to Amish settlements in Wisconsin and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
When growth circumstances are ideal, Amish Paste tomato plants may reach heights of over 6 feet. The somewhat uneven fruit only adds to the attractiveness of this unique variety.
If you wish to conserve the seed and perpetuate the tradition of this remarkable cultivar, keep your ‘Amish Paste’ plants at least 10 feet (ideally 50) apart from other tomatoes in the garden.
- Bonny Best
Beautiful brilliant red tomatoes are produced by Bonny Best. This heirloom favorite isn’t going away anytime soon, thanks to its early yields and excellent flavor. The globe-shaped fruits weigh around 140 g (5 oz.) apiece.
On a single plant, you may grow excellent summer slicers as well as canning-ready favorites that are ready to harvest at the end of the season.
Staking and trimming help these plants reach a height of 4-6 feet. In 78-85 days, they produce clusters of fruit. It’s a classic tomato flavor that’s great for slicing or canning. It’s known for its outstanding flavor and great yields throughout its growing season.
- Red Pear Tomatoes
These are indeterminate, or climbing species, as they are enormous, prolific vining plants that produce clusters of one-inch fruit all season. These tomatoes demonstrate that canning tomatoes may also be packaged in tiny packets.
They are little, red tomatoes with a pear or teardrop form. They’re frequently eaten as a snack or added to salads. The flavor of red pear tomatoes is sweet and tart.
While the fruits aren’t particularly substantial, the indeterminate vines may really take off skyward, so stake this variety. These plants yield pear-shaped tomatoes that are ready to pick after 78 days, and they are wonderful straight from the vine or in salads.
- San Marzano
These tomatoes are smaller and more pointed than regular tomatoes. The flesh is thicker and has fewer seeds, with a greater flavor. They have a teardrop form, pointy points, strong walls, and few seeds, making them ideal for blending into the sauce.
San Marzano tomatoes are famous for their well-balanced taste and characteristic tomato flavor. They’re believed to be excellent for preparing sauces since they’re low in acidity, pulpy, sweet, and have few seeds.
Prepare to supply robust poles or cages to support up these aggressive vines and their hefty fruit loads if you plan to produce ‘San Marzano.’
These vines start producing fruit in 85-90 days, are indeterminate, and will provide a steady flow of paste tomatoes for the remainder of the season.
This tomato cultivar produces gorgeous, silky pink fruit with a delicious mild flavor and is a dependable, productive plant with superb cover. It’s a fantastic variety for canning since the fruits on the plant ripen at the same time.
Dr. Joe McFerran of the University of Arkansas developed a disease-resistant cultivar called Bradley in 1961. After 75-80 days, they are ready to harvest. It’s a hardy plant that can withstand fungus-like Fusarium wilt, Stemphylium Solani’s grey leaf mark, and Alternaria stems canker.
This tomato type is popular as a fresh market fruit as well as a primary element in home-canned sauces and other delicious tomato-based dishes.
Make sure your Bradley plants are properly supported with solid poles or cages that can handle their 4- or 5-foot height and 3-foot spread.
The resistance of Atkinson to root-knot nematodes and Fusarium wilt race 1 is well-known. These huge, soft, and sweet fruits are great for preserving or eating fresh. From late spring through fall, it produces.
This cultivar can survive the humidity and heat of a Southern region while producing a bumper crop of 8-ounce crimson orbs. Occasionally, the fruit is half that size or even larger, reaching 12 ounces. These trees bear fruit in 70 days, which is five days faster than other heritage kinds.
Because they’re indeterminate, they’re ideal for heritage enthusiasts who want to do small-batch canning throughout the growing season.
- Howard German
The fruit forms on these plants range from fried pepper-like shapes to plum-like shapes. The fruits have a meaty, dry flesh that is delicious and works well in sauces.
They have an uncertain growth pattern and require assistance, as well as proper site preparation, water, and nutrients to thrive.
The plant may reach a height of 3.9 to 5.9 feet (120-180cm), and these fruits can weigh up to 18 ounces.
Sweetie Tomatoes are a prolific cultivar that produces a large number of exceptionally delicious, little cherry-sized tomatoes, ideal for patio planters.
Sweetie Tomato plants have tall, indeterminate vines that provide a plentiful yield throughout the season. It’s not difficult to grow Sweetie Tomatoes. Start your seedlings indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in your location.
They bear fruit for 70 days after transplanting and until the first frost. In the home garden, this tomato grows remarkably well and will continue to produce until the first frost in the fall. Sweetie yields fruits that are 5-1″ in diameter and come in bunches of 15-20.
- Costoluto Genovese
It’s an heirloom tomato from Italy. Its strongly lobed and frequently twisted form is typical of early nineteenth-century tomato types, yet it stands out in today’s vegetable garden as an anomaly. The strong and acidic flavor of the Costoluto Genovese is outstanding.
These delectable fruits feature lovely pleated shoulders, a lovely hue, and a delectable flavor. The vigorous indeterminate vines of Costoluto produce large quantities of delicate, juicy, deep red tomatoes.
- Principle Borghese
The Italian tomato variety Principe Borghese is commonly used for heat-dried tomatoes. These plants can withstand high temperatures and produce an abundance of tomatoes for canning, drying, sauce making, and fresh eating.
Principe Borghese offers 1 oz plum tomato clusters that are usually dried in the sun for winter usage but may also be used to produce a tasty sauce.
Principe Borghese tomato plants, despite their determinate growth pattern, will benefit from additional support, including trellising or caging, as they may grow up to six feet tall and produce numerous heavy clusters of fruit.
Hybrid Tomatoes for Canning
To obtain the greatest qualities, hybrid tomatoes are often hand-pollinated to crossbreed tomatoes. Some of these cultivars are new, whereas, others have been time-saving and preserving wonderful flavor for decades in the home canning kitchen.
- Green Envy Tomatoes
‘Green Envy’ is meaty and delicious, with a distinctive and attractive hue that contrasts nicely with red and yellow types.
Keep tomatoes out of direct sunshine to allow them to mature. The temperature in the room should be between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The taste will diminish if the temperature drops below 55 degrees F. Mature, green tomatoes kept at 65-70 degrees for two weeks will ripen.
These indeterminate plants reach a height of about 5 feet and produce a bumper crop of emerald green, 1-inch rectangular fruit 60-70 days after transplanting.
- Big Mama
Big Mama is one of the greatest paste tomatoes, and it’s great in sauces. These tomatoes require at least 2.5 cm of water a week at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
These hybrids yield 8- to 10-ounce meaty fruits that resemble your favorite ‘Roma,’ but are somewhat larger, and measure 5 inches long by 3 inches broad. The vines are also rather large, reaching a height of around 6 feet and a width of about 5 feet.
These plum-shaped crimson fruits are practically seedless and come in large proportions (5″ fruits weigh 8-10 oz.) with a rich flavor. After par-boiling, the skin peels away easily, resulting in less hassle, less mess, and more wonderful, rich, creamy crimson sauce.
- Fresh Salsa
Salsa ripens early in the season and produces a lot of fruit. Its fruit is globe-shaped, consistent in size, weighs approximately six ounces, is brilliant red in color, solid, and delicious. Its flesh-to-juice ratio is ideal for preparing fresh salsa, as the name indicates.
It produces plum tomatoes that are 5 ounces in weight, 2 to 3.5 inches long, and 2 inches broad.
It bushes bear fruit swiftly, in 65-70 days on average. The plants reach 36-40 inches tall and spread about 18 inches, making them an excellent choice for small-space gardeners.
This dependable mid-season cultivar has a manageable plant size and a long harvest of huge, globe-shaped, and smooth fruit with rich red exteriors.
The majority of its fruit ripens at the same time, ensuring a consistent harvest that our grandparents could only dream of. It improves from caging or staking and requires full light, average water, and fertilizer.
In 68 to 74 days, Biltmore tomato bushes produce perfectly spherical fruit weighing 10-12 ounces.
- Golden Fresh Salsa
In 70 days, these plants produce meaty, firm, water-free fruit. Golden Fresh Salsa’s bright, warm golden contrasts wonderfully with a red variety for a distinctive, vibrant salsa.
- Ten Fingers of Naples
A fantastic determinate cultivar with large clusters of fruit. Long trusses of 5-6 inch fruits weighing roughly 3 oz. each fruit are produced by the plants. The taste is sweet and deep, and it produces some of the tastiest sauces. Plants are resistant to illness.
Look for versatile tomato varieties if you want to can numerous tomato products but don’t want to plant a profusion of tomato varieties. Amish Paste, for example, is a fantastic sauce tomato that also works well in salsa, ketchup, and paste. Whatever you choose to plant and can, you’ll be able to savor the tastes of summer throughout the year long.