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a table full of newly canned tomato sauce in pint jars

How to Can Tomatoes

  • Author: Patty McGuire
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 12 - 14 hours
  • Yield: depends
  • Category: fresh fare
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: italian


Tips and tricks to make canning tomatoes easier


  • Several pounds of frozen and thawed tomatoes
  • A good recipe to use for canning the tomatoes. I always recommend books from Ball® but you can choose your own adventure when it comes to the specific canning recipe.
  • Brings lots of patience and have a couple of days to get this project complete. It’s a lot of steps and it is fairly time consuming.

two large containers of fresh tomatoes


  1. Defrost your frozen tomatoes overnight at least but 24 hours is best.
  2. Mill the thawed tomatoes using your preferred method. You want juice as free of seeds and pulp as possible.
  3. Store the tomato juice in glass jars overnight in the fridge.
  4. The next morning, cook the tomato juice into sauce using your chosen recipe.
  5. Can the sauce using your preferred method. The recipe you use for canning will instruct on times etc.


As I stated in the body of the blog post, this is not so much a recipe for making home canned tomatoes as it is a step by step process I have developed for making it easier. It’s still not “easy” but splitting up your work helps. Like a LOT. Work from frozen and thawed tomatoes, and use a really good food mill to extract the juice in one afternoon. Refrigerate the juice overnight, and the second day cook the actual sauce and do the canning. I find I do the cooking in the morning, take a lunch, and can the sauce all afternoon. Generally I work in several batches of cooking sauce and canning because my stockpots are only so big and can hold only so much juice at a time.

It’s a big project, but if you take your time and split up the work, it goes so much better. Everyone else mills and cooks and cans all in one day, and unless you have several people helping you, it’s really too much. I do this process by myself, I have a small kitchen and no dishwasher. So the only way I can keep up with the dishes AND get my sauce into jars correctly is to split my work. I hope this helps you!