How to Can Tomatoes the Right Way in Just 5 Steps


Tomatoes are vibrant and versatile fruits and are a staple in many cuisines around the world. Whether you’re growing them in your garden or purchasing them from the local market, knowing how to properly process and preserve tomatoes can ensure that their delightful flavors and nutritional benefits are enjoyed year-round.

In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of processing and preserving tomatoes, from selecting the right tomatoes to various preservation methods.

1. Choosing the Right Tomatoes

The first step in the journey of processing and preserving tomatoes begins with selecting the right ones. Look for tomatoes that are fully ripe, firm, and free from blemishes.

While processing, the quality of the tomatoes you choose will greatly influence the final taste and texture of your preserved product.

2. Washing and Sanitizing

Before you begin processing, it’s crucial to wash the tomatoes thoroughly under cold, running water. Gently rub the skin to remove any dirt or residue.

For an extra layer of cleanliness, you can sanitize the tomatoes by soaking them in a solution of water and food-grade sanitizer.

3. Blanching for Easy Peeling

Blanching is a common technique used to peel tomatoes effortlessly. Make a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato and drop them into boiling water for about 30 seconds to a minute, until you notice the skin starting to loosen.

Immediately transfer the tomatoes to an ice water bath to halt the cooking process. The skins will now easily slide off, revealing the juicy flesh beneath.

4. Removing Seeds and Excess Moisture

While the seeds and gel surrounding them are perfectly edible, they can contribute to excess moisture in preserved products. To remove them, cut the blanched tomatoes in half horizontally and gently squeeze out the seeds.

You can also use a spoon to scoop them out. This step is especially important when making sauces and salsas.

5. Choose Your Preservation Method

There are several methods you can choose from to preserve tomatoes, depending on your preference and the intended use of the preserved product:


Canning tomatoes allows for long-term storage without the need for refrigeration. You can can them whole, crushed, or as tomato sauce.

To can tomatoes, pack them into sterilized jars and process them in a boiling water bath. Acidic ingredients like lemon juice can help maintain the tomatoes’ color and flavor.


Freezing is a simple method to preserve tomatoes while retaining their fresh flavor and texture. After blanching and removing the skins, chop or puree the tomatoes and place them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Leave some headspace to account for expansion during freezing.


Drying tomatoes concentrates their flavors, resulting in deliciously sweet and chewy treats. You can sun-dry them, oven-dry them, or use a food dehydrator.

Before drying, marinate the tomato slices in herbs, garlic, and olive oil for added flavor. Store the dried tomatoes in oil or vacuum-sealed bags.

Making Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance sauces, soups, and stews. Simmer down tomato puree over low heat until it thickens and reduces in volume.

Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Once it reaches the desired consistency, let it cool and portion it into jars for refrigeration or freezing.

6. Proper Storage

No matter which preservation method you choose, proper storage is key to maintaining the quality of your preserved tomatoes.

Store canned goods in a cool, dark place and check jars for signs of spoilage before consumption. Frozen tomatoes should be used within 8 to 12 months for optimal flavor. Dried tomatoes can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry pantry.

7. Creative Culinary Uses

Preserved tomatoes open up a world of culinary possibilities. They can be used in sauces, stews, soups, and even as pizza toppings.

Dried tomatoes can be rehydrated and added to salads or used as a flavorful pizza topping. Get creative and experiment with different recipes to make the most of your preserved tomato bounty.

In conclusion, processing and preserving tomatoes is a rewarding endeavor that allows you to enjoy the delightful flavors of these fruits long after the harvest season has passed.

By selecting the right tomatoes, employing proper processing techniques, and choosing the appropriate preservation method, you can savor the taste of summer all year round.

Whether you’re canning, freezing, drying, or making tomato paste, the key is to preserve not only the fruit itself but also the memories of sunny days in your garden or visits to the farmers’ market.



Read Also: Weeds that Look like Tomato Plants

Agric4Profit Online Community Changed status to publish September 5, 2023