Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Step-By-Step Guide For Bottling Your Own Tomatoes

Bottling is not one of my favorite past times. However, when it is as easy as this, who can complain!

Step 1: Pick ripe tomatoes from your garden. If you don't have a garden, grab a bunch at your local farmer's market. Fresh is best for this! (I went out in the over 100 degree afternoon to get these fresh off the vine.)

Step 2: Wash and score the bottom of each tomato (as seen in the picture).
Step 3: Place clean tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds. The skins will slide right off!

Step 4: Drop skinless tomatoes into canning jars. Squish them in there really good. This part might get a bit messy. Make sure to clean the outside of the jars when you're done.

Step 5: Place HOT canning lids (I boil mine in a bit of water in a small shallow pan) on cleaned jars and twist the ring on.

Step 6: Arrange filled and sealed bottles in a stovetop steam canner. The one shown above is perfect and a fantastic price. There are many other things you will be able to bottle using this canner (peaches will be on soon! or even salsa!).
Step 7: Let steam for 90 minutes. After the time is up, turn off the heat and let the bottles cool completely in the steamer (overnight is great-don't peak!).

Your own bottled tomatoes for all those wonderful sauces you make come fall and winter. 
I have an amazing marinara sauce recipe that I will share tomorrow.

P.S. This little set would come in handy.