Canning cherry tomatoes begins by washing the tomatoes and removing the stems. Blanch them in boiling water for about a minute, then transfer them to an ice bath to make peeling the skins easier. Pack them into canning jars and process them for 10-15 minutes in a pressure canner or boiling water bath.
What is the Best Way to Can Cherry Tomatoes?
The best way to can cherry tomatoes depends on the tomato you are canning. There are about 7,500 varieties of tomatoes, all with varying pH levels of around 4.6; some higher, some lower. Any food with a pH of 4.6 or under can be safely water-bath canned. However, any food with a pH above 4.6 must be pressure canned.
If you can tomatoes in a water bath, you must add additional acid of some kind, be it lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar. Adding acid to tomatoes you plan to process in a pressure canner is also recommended. You can use white wine or apple cider vinegar if the acidity level is 5%.
How to Prepare Cherry Tomatoes for Canning
When preparing cherry tomatoes for canning, there are different ways of preparing them depending on your preference and the desired outcome.
- Peeling is optional, as their skins are usually thin and tender. If you prefer skinless tomatoes in your canned product, you can blanch them to make peeling easier.
- Blanching tomatoes involves briefly immersing them in boiling water and then transferring them to an ice water bath to stop cooking. If you prefer to remove the skins from the cherry tomatoes, you can do so after blanching them. Use your fingers or a knife to peel off the skins gently.
- Cherry tomatoes generally have small seeds that are less bothersome than larger tomato varieties, and removing the seeds is optional. If you wish to remove the seeds, cut the cherry tomatoes in half or squeeze them gently.
- If you prefer whole cherry tomatoes, leave them as is or cut larger ones in half. If you prefer smaller pieces or crushed tomatoes, you can chop the cherry tomatoes into smaller pieces.
Can Cherry Tomatoes Be Canned with Skins On?
Yes, cherry tomatoes can be canned with their skins on. The skins of cherry tomatoes are typically thin and tender, making them less noticeable in the final canned product than in larger tomato varieties. However, if you find the skins bothersome or prefer a smoother texture, you can peel them before canning.
Is Canning Liquid Required for Canning Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes contain enough natural juice to create a decent amount of liquid during the canning process. The tomatoes also release their own juices during processing, which helps create a flavorful and natural canning liquid.
However, many recipes recommend adding boiling water so there is a ½ inch of headspace in the jar before the canning process begins. This space allows for the expansion of the liquid and air removal during the canning process and creates a proper seal.
Should You Raw Pack or Hot Pack Cherry Tomatoes?
Hot packing (pre-cooking) or raw packing cherry potatoes is a personal preference.
- Hot jar packing means enhanced flavors, better textures, and improved preservation. The cooking process softens the tomatoes and allows you to fit more into each jar.
- The raw pack method saves time, retains nutrients, and results in a firmer texture, which is desirable for certain recipes.
What Size Jars Do You Use For Canning Cherry Tomatoes?
Pint jars are suitable for smaller portions. They are convenient for recipes that call for a smaller amount of tomatoes, such as sauces and salsas, or adding tomatoes to dishes like stews or soups.
Quart jars are ideal if you have a large harvest of cherry tomatoes or prefer larger quantities of canned tomatoes. They are suitable for recipes that require larger amounts of tomatoes, like canning whole cherry tomatoes or making large batches of tomato sauce or puree.
What Are The Benefits of Canning Cherry Tomatoes?
- Canning allows you to extend the shelf life of cherry tomatoes, even when they are out of season.
- Canning allows you to preserve and enjoy unique or heirloom tomato varieties that may not be readily available in stores.
- Having jars of canned tomatoes is convenient to easily incorporate into sauces, soups, and stews.
- When canning cherry tomatoes, you have control over the ingredients.
- Canning cherry tomatoes is cost-effective as buying fresh tomatoes in bulk saves money.
Shelf Life And Storage of Canned Cherry Tomatoes
When canned properly, cherry tomatoes can have a relatively long shelf life.
- Canned cherry tomatoes typically have a shelf life of 1 to 1.5 years. However, it’s important to note that the quality and flavor of the tomatoes may diminish over time.
- Store canned cherry tomatoes in a dry, dark, and cool place to maximize their shelf life. Ideally, they should be kept in an area where the temperature remains stable and doesn’t exceed 75°F.
- Ensure that the canning jars are properly sealed before storing them.
- Label the jars with the date of canning to track their freshness.