Why do we can by hand? What are the benefits of canning at home?

    • Having the ability to preserve the foods for future use

    • Preserving the food in its freshest form to use at a later date

    • Knowing the exact ingredients that go into the can/jar/package


How long has canning been around?

“The process was invented after prolonged research by Nicolas Appert of France in 1809, in response to a call by his government for a means of preserving food for army and navy use.” Encyclopedia Britannica


Step 1: Cooking the Tomato Sauce


    1. Wash your tomatoes thoroughly to wash away any garden dirt
    2. Cut out the pedicel with its sepal leaves at the top of the tomato
    3. Cut each tomato in small wedges, which will be cooked in a big pot
    4. Cut up some onion
    5. Add onion to the food processor (to avoid tears and for the size of the cuts)
    6. Cut up some garlic and add it to the food processor as well
    7. Place some of the tomatoes in the big pot, use potato masher to swish them down as they cook down
    8. Keep adding more and more tomatoes as they cook down into a soupy mixture
    9. Then add the chopped up onions and garlic
    10. For spices add: salt, pepper, parsley, bay leaf and pepper flakes
    11. Cook a little bit longer for the spices to incorporate


Deseeding your Tomato Sauce

For a smoother and better textured tomato sauce, using a Food Mill is best, as it helps to mash and sieve soft foods. Typically used for mash potatoes, apples, soups, sauces or for deseeding tomatoes!

Crank the food mill so the tomato juice is released into the bowl/pot (three cranks clockwise, then one crank counterclockwise; repeat).

This helps to re-set the mill and not get stuck.

Types of Canning

There are 2 different types of canning ways out there – water bath canning and pressure canning.

Because C. botulinum spores cannot survive in high-acid environments, water bath processing is used for high-acid foods. High-acid foods are defined as those that are 4.6 and below on the pH scale. This includes…

● Most fruits (apples, pears, peaches, berries, citrus, etc.)
● Pickled vegetables
● Most BBQ sauces and salsas

There are some fruits that are on the 4.6 line and those need to have additional acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice added to them to ensure they are safe for water bath canning. Those fruits are:

● Bananas
● Dates
● Melons
● Persimmons
● Papaya
● Pineapple
● Tomatoes

Today we’re using the Pressure Canner to do the task.

Pressure canning is done in a large specialty pot that can be pressurized. Instead of filling the canner full of water like a water bath canner, a pressure canner has just a few inches of water in it. The lid for the pot locks in place and creates a seal. When the water is heated, the steam builds up pressure, and the internal temperature rises above the boiling point of the water. This is important because C. botulinum spores can only be killed when heated to 240 degrees F, which is what a pressure canner is designed to do.


Step 2: Pressure Cooking


    1. Preheat your pressure cooker by putting 2-3 inches of water at the bottom of the pot (read your cooker’s instructions for more information).
    2. Pre-heat your jars in the oven to try to match their temperature with the pressure cooker, otherwise you stand a chance of shocking your jars, which causes breakage
    3. Do the same thing with your tops and lids ( we heat ours in a pot of water on a stove, while the jars get pre-heated in the oven below)
    4. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and salt to each jar of tomato sauce, then fill it up with tomato sauce, leaving a little bit of room at the top
    5. Wipe your jar and lid with seal with a dry cloth to ensure that you get the best seal
    6. Use jar tongs to grab each jar and place it gently into the pressure canner
    7. When your canner is filled, close the lid and let it pressure cook based on your recipe/jar amount/canner instructions
    8. After completing, open your pressure canner and gently place your jars in a dry spot for future consumption.

Once completely cool, remove the canning rings.  Jars should not be stored with canning rings on, whether pressure canning or water bath canning.  The vacuum inside the jar should be what’s holding the lid closed and leaving the ring on can cause the impression of a false seal. 

Pro Tip!

Here is our ASMR-style (no talking ) video about canning tomato sauce with garden tomatoes.

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