6/22/2021 – This was our first tomato canning day of 2021 using the Better Boy and Celebrity tomatoes from the garden. All had been picked over the past 3-4 days. We culled out the few with soft spots and holes and ended up with about 14 lbs. before skinning and cleaning. Both varieties had a lot of “meat” and little juice and seeds. They made 5 quarts. We followed the Ball instructions here.
- Boiled about 6″ deep water in our medium SS stockpot that is about 11″ inside diameter and holds four quart jars. Using the 6″ frying-wire ladle we set 4-6 tomatoes into the boiling water and pulled them out when the skins began to split. Place them immediately into cold water with ice cubes.
- Mary removed the skins, cut out the stems, and quartered them into a colander over the old stockpot to catch the liquid. Little drained out like it had last year when the tomatoes were not as nice as this year.
- Sanitized the jars and lids in the boiling water. Turned off the fire to let it cool a little so the warm jars would not encounter very hot water and crack.
- Packed the quarter pieces into the jars pressing them down and sliding a table knife down the sides to release any air pockets. We did not need to add hot water as the Ball recipe recommended if necessary as the jars were filled with pulp and liquid from the tomatoes. Added 1/2 teaspoon of Ball Citric Acid in each quart jar on top of the tomatoes. Installed the sanitized seals and the rings snuggly.
- Put them into the canner with the hot (not boiling water) and warmed the filled pot slowly. The concern was that the jars are sitting on the bottom of the canner and the flame immediately below could break the jars. So, the temperature was brought up slowly. Once it came to a very slow boil we set the timer to 45 minutes and let it bubble along.
- When the 45 minutes was up the jars were removed to cool on the plastic cutting boards. All five sealed.
Ordered a SS wire rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the pot and further reduce the chance of them breaking from the temperature differential.