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As summertime wanes and fall is on the horizon, you may be interested in preserving your favorite fruits and veggies from the summer harvest. When done correctly, canning is a safe way to store produce for up to 18 months. If you’d like to conserve produce to use at a later date, consider the following tips for home canning.

Canning Tomatoes: How It Works  

For an introduction to canning with a pressure canner, we’ll use tomatoes as an example. Tomatoes are a summer staple. These versatile plants grow exceptionally well in a variety of environments, making them a popular choice for container gardens in the city. They’re also simple to preserve, and should hold up well in a cool, dark place for at least one year. To try your hand at the art of canning, here’s what the experts recommend:

Start With the Core

For best results, you’ll need to start the process by scoring and coring each tomato. A small paring knife is the ideal tool for this step. Once you’ve removed the tough core of the fruit, slice a small “x” into the skin so it’ll be easy to remove a few steps down the road.

Blanch and Shock

To prepare the tomatoes for preservation, let them sit in a boiling pot of water for approximately 30 seconds. Be sure to have an ice bath sitting close by, and immediately submerge the tomatoes after removing them from the boiling water. Keep an eye on the temperature of the water, and add extra ice if necessary.

Skin, Seed, Crush, and Stew

For this step of the process, set up a simple workstation of three large bowls or pots. At the first station, carefully peel away the skin after receiving the tomatoes from the ice bath. At the next bowl, set a sieve over the top to drain the juice and seeds. At the last station, crush the seeded tomatoes into your desired consistency. Pay close attention to the firmness and texture of the flesh–you may want to discard any tomatoes that feel too firm. Once you’ve crushed the tomatoes, it’s time to let them stew on a low boil until they’ve broken down to your desired consistency for using in recipes.

Finish Up With Canning in the Pressure Canner

After the prep work, you’re ready to can! Although you can go the extra mile and boil the jars in hot water, it’s not necessary if you’re using a pressure canner for more than 10 minutes.

To begin, funnel the crushed tomatoes into the jars, making sure to leave at least half an inch of room at the top. After ladling them in, pop air bubbles with a clean knife and secure the lids and rings. Using a pair of canning tongs, carefully set the jars into the pressure canner over high heat. Keep a close watch on the canner for 15 minutes, making sure that the heat stays high and the pressure stays no lower than 11 pounds. Once 15 minutes have passed, turn off the pressure canner and allow the jars to cool completely before removing.

Getting the hang of home canning can be a challenge, but it’s a great skill to have if you enjoy using local produce all year long. Canning tomatoes requires patience, but crushed tomatoes are versatile and can be used in recipes from homemade red sauce to stock for soup. If you’d like to learn more about home canning, pickling, and preserving, head over to this website for additional tips and insight.

Canning and cooking are much more enjoyable when your home is equipped with a spacious, modern kitchen. If the kitchen is on your top list of priorities, the Flats at VillaRosso could be the perfect community for your needs. Each one of our residences offers gorgeous amenities, including contemporary kitchens with quartz countertops and custom cabinetry. If you’d like to learn more about our exceptional condominiums, please get in touch with our team.