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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Home Canned Crushed Tomatoes

I am not a huge fan of home canning plain, basics as in tomato products.  The reason is two fold.  First home canned basic tomato products while versatile take up a fair amount of space in the pantry that could be better used for a home canned convenience product.  I would rather can the tomatoes in the form of ready to use sauce or quick meal than just plain tomatoes.  Second, there is little savings in canning a basic tomato product like whole, diced or crushed tomatoes.  This is not the case for me as my tomatoes are free to begin with but it is a factor for others who have to pay for their produce.

home canned crushed tomatoes
I decided to can a few jars of crushed tomatoes for the pantry.  Like most of my tomato products, I acidified and pressure canned both batches.  Pressure canning results in a healthier product that makes the beneficial anti-oxidant lycopene more readily available to the body and it save considerable time over processing in a boiling water bath canner (BWB).

I hot packed the first batch of crushed tomatoes (l jars to the back).  Plain tomatoes tend to be a bit problematic in that they will lose liquid during the canning process especially if raw packed.  I don't like that so hot packed the jars meaning I brought the tomatoes to a low boil using the method to prevent separation then processed.  There should have been no liquid loss but I suspected the venting time was a bit longer than it should have been for the first batch.  The batch was fine with all jars sealing just a bit more headspace than I like.  The second batch (500 ml jars to the front) had no leakage problems.  Once I removed the rings for storage, I was more than happy with the results.  The jars were picture perfect!

When it comes to home canning, pay attention to the required headspace.  This is a must and very important when processing using a pressure canner.  Be meticulous about the venting period before the canner is brought to pressure.  This allows any trapped air in the jar to be released before the canning process.  Most canner manufacturers recommend a 10 minute vent period.  Ignoring either of these will cause problems like liquid leakage and failed seals.  In the event a jar does leak during the canning process, as long as it seals during the cooling period the food is fine for storage although you might have a bit of a mess to clean-up in the canner.  If the jar does not seal during the 24 hour cooling process, put the jar in the refrigerator for use within a day or two or reprocess.

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