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Canning Stewed Tomatoes {Canning Crushed Tomatoes}

Follow this step by step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Stewed Tomatoes can be. A key ingredient for so many comfort foods, canning crushed tomatoes is a recipe that can be pressure canned or done via water bath canning.

three jars of canned stewed tomatoes with fresh tomatoes and herbs

Today we’re diving deep into the incredibly sexy world of canning tomatoes. The excitement is palpable!

Canning stewed tomatoes, aka canning crushed tomatoes, aka canning quartered tomatoes is a wonderful way to preserve the summer harvest with minimal work.

Minimal work is, of course, a relative term when it comes to canning. But this stewed tomatoes canning recipe is very straightforward.

If you love canning tomatoes (nerd), you should also check out Canning Tomatoes {Whole Tomatoes} and Canning Tomato Soup.

And if you’re ready to transition to canning fruit products (I know, I know, technically tomatoes are a fruit), try your hand at Canning Peaches, Canning Pears, and Canning Applesauce.

Before we get into the thick of it, it’s important to know that you can actually freeze these stewed tomatoes. If you just don’t feel like canning them when all is said and done, leave 1 inch of headspace and freeze in wide-mouth jars.

Canning Stewed Tomatoes Supplies & Ingredients

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

You’ll need:

What kind of tomatoes work best for making stewed tomatoes? Whatever tomatoes you have! I would not use cherry or pear tomatoes simply because they are small and annoying to work with. Much like my two kids.

Roma and other paste tomatoes work really well because they aren’t very seedy and will cook down easily. 

How Many Tomatoes Do You Need for Canning?

This stewed tomatoes canning recipe will fill 7 quarts of tomatoes. For 7 quarts you will need about 22 pounds of fresh tomatoes. It works out to about 3 pounds of tomatoes per quart.

If you are canning pints, you’ll need approximately 14 pounds for 9 pints. If you use 14-16 oz cans of crushed tomatoes from the store, a pint jar will replace one of those cans.

If purchasing tomatoes in bulk, a bushel weighs 53 pounds and will yield approximately 18-20 quarts of tomatoes.

Pro tip: if you grow your own tomatoes and don’t have enough to can at once (like me!), you can freeze them on baking trays and then transfer to freezer bags (I love these reusable silicone bags).

You can add the tomatoes to the boiling water without thawing them first. They will mush up so much you will not need to cut them ahead of time. :confetti:

WHY DO I NEED BOTTLED LEMON JUICE?

The lemon juice is needed to regulate the acidity of the tomatoes to keep the ph level consistent. Storebought lemon juice generally has the same level of acidity from bottle to bottle. You don’t get that guarantee with freshly squeezed lemons.

How Long Do You Process Stewed Tomatoes in a Water Bath?

Stewed tomatoes need to be boiled for 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. 

Do You Have to Cook Tomatoes Before Canning?

No, you don’t have to cook tomatoes before canning them. That being said, canning raw (uncooked) tomatoes will result in what we call “fruit float”.

Fruit float means the uncooked or undercooked produce in the jars release additional liquids during the canning process. Your produce will float to the top of the jar and fill the bottom with liquid.

There is nothing wrong with fruit float as long as your jars are still sealed.

That being said, this stewed tomatoes canning recipe does require you to cook the tomatoes down prior to adding them to your canning jars.

How to Can Stewed Tomatoes

*water bath canning instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Pressure Canning Instructions

Rinse all your awesome tomatoes and cut in half and then quarters. If you have big ol’ hunkers, cut them into smaller chunks.

Prepare a large bowl with ice water.

Wash and clean your jars. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

You can put them in a clean dishwasher and run them through a quick wash cycle, or place them in a large pan with some water in a low heat oven (my lowest temp is 170 degrees) until you need them. I’ve even just put hot tap water in them before and left them on the counter.

Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

Add the tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and parboil them until you see the skins start to come off the tomatoes (about 1-2 minutes).

Use a slotted spoon and remove the tomatoes and place in the ice water.

tomatoes in a bowl of ice water

Working with the tomatoes one at a time, remove any skin that hasn’t already slipped off.

parboiled tomatoes in a bowl

Drain the pot you parboiled the tomatoes in, and add one-third of your skinned tomatoes to it. Cook over medium heat to maintain a gentle boil, stirring often.

Using a potato masher, gently crush the tomatoes to release juices. Add another one-third of the tomatoes, and gently crush those as well.

Add your final third of tomatoes, and maintain the pot at a low boil for 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching. You do not need to crush these as having some intact tomatoes is fine and they will cook down even more in the canner.

Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

Add lemon juice or citric acid to your canning jars (see recipe card below for exact measurements).

Using a canning funnel, ladle hot tomatoes in the jars. You really want to pack the tomatoes in there, so use a spoon to smoosh them down until they are covered in their own juices. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar. 

Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.

two photos showing how to fill jars for canning stewed tomatoes

Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Any juice or bits of tomato left on the rim may impact the seal of the lid in the canner.

Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

tomatoes in two canning jars

Place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe (I call it the steam chimney). Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator (I call it the chimney cap) on top.

Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner (yay!). Stewed tomatoes need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes for both pints and quarts.

4 steps of using a pressure canner for canning tomatoes

When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

processing times for canning stewed tomatoes

When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is super hot).

Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed.

You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

Can I add other vegetables to this Stewed Tomatoes Canning Recipe?

Adding anything not listed in the recipe means altering a safe and tested recipe.

If you want to add veggies to your canned stewed tomatoes, you need to follow a recipe from a trusted source like the one from The Ball Blue Book of Preserving (see recipe notes for tested ingredients).

Also, if you add low-acid vegetables to the mix, you must use a pressure canner to process your stewed tomatoes recipe.

Three jars of stewed tomatoes stacked on each other

How Long Do Canned Stewed Tomatoes Last?

Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.

How to Use Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes are wonderful in homemade chili (related: Chipotle Instant Pot Turkey Chili or Hidden Veggies Chili), vegetable soup (related: Instant Pot Vegetable Soup), or rice dishes (related: Leftover Turkey Casserole With Rice).

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three jars of canned stewed tomatoes with herbs
Print
Canning Stewed Tomatoes {Canning Crushed Tomatoes}
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Pressurizing/depressurizing time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
 

Follow this step by step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Stewed Tomatoes can be. Canning crushed tomatoes is a recipe that can be pressure canned or done via water bath canning.

Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canning crushed tomatoes, canning stewed tomatoes, how to can stewed tomatoes
Servings: 7 quarts
Calories: 263 kcal
Ingredients
  • 22 lbs tomatoes
  • 14 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp per quart
Instructions
Pressure Cooker Instructions
  1. Rinse tomatoes and cut in half and then quarters.

  2. Prepare a large bowl with ice water.

  3. Wash and clean your jars. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

  4. Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl.

  5. Add the tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and parboil them until you see the skins start to come off the tomatoes (about 1-2 minutes).

  6. Use a slotted spoon and remove the tomatoes and place in the ice water.

  7. Working with the tomatoes one at a time, remove any skin that hasn't already slipped off.

  8. Drain the pot you parboiled the tomatoes in, and add one-third of skinned tomatoes to it. Cook over medium heat to maintain a gentle boil, stirring often.

  9. Using a potato masher, gently crush the tomatoes to release juices. Add another one-third of the tomatoes, and gently crush those as well.

  10. Add the final third of tomatoes, and maintain the pot at a low boil for 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching.

  11. Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

  12. Add lemon juice or citric acid to your canning jars (see notes below for exact measurements).

  13. Using a canning funnel, ladle hot tomatoes into the jars. Pack the tomatoes using a spoon to smoosh them down until they are covered in their own juices. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.

  14. Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.

  15. Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

  16. Place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe. Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator on top. (see photos in post above to see this in action)

  17. Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner. Stewed tomatoes need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes for both pints and quarts.

  18. When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

  19. When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is crazy hot).

  20. Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

  21. After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

Water Bath Canning Instructions
  1. Follow steps 1-10 above in the Pressure Canning Instructions.

  2. Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water. You just need to have enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches once the water is boiling.

  3. Set the canner on the stove. Turn the burner to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce it to simmer. You want to keep the water hot so that everything is ready when the tomatoes are

  4. Follow steps 12-15 above in the Pressure Canning Instructions

  5. Return the water in the canner to a rolling boil.

  6. Using canning tongs, carefully lower the jars into the boiling water and place the lid on and set your timer.

  7. Pints should process for 35 minutes, and quarts for 45. Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.

  8. Once the stewed tomatoes have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, carefully take off the lid, and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Pro tip: I tend to just slide it into the middle of my stove, as it weighs a ton.

  9. Carefully remove the jars using canning tongs, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours. The lids should start to pop within 20-30 minutes of being removed from the water.

Recipe Notes

Quarts: 2 tbsp lemon juice OR 1/2 tsp citric acid. Salt (optional) 1 tsp

Pints: 1 tbsp lemon juice OR 1/4 tsp citric acid. Salt (optional) 1/2 tsp

22 lbs tomatoes per 7 quarts, or 14 lbs tomatoes per 9 pints. About 3 lbs tomatoes per quart.

 

Store in a cool dark place for 9-12 months.

 

Flavored Stewed Tomatoes (From Ball Blue Book of Canning) MUST be pressure canned.

4 quarts tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Follow directions 11-21 in recipe card above for Pressure Canning instructions. 

Nutrition Facts
Canning Stewed Tomatoes {Canning Crushed Tomatoes}
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 263 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 72mg3%
Potassium 3410mg97%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 11875IU238%
Vitamin C 207mg251%
Calcium 144mg14%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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