Water Bath Canning Yellow Tomatoes at Home

Canned yellow tomatoes
Canning yellow tomatoes is the same as canning red tomatoes. When water bath canning, acidify tomatoes by adding bottled lemon juice or citric acid to the canning jars and process for 85-100 minutes in a boiling water canner.

What is the Best Way to Can Yellow Tomatoes?

The best way to can yellow tomatoes is by processing them in a water-bath canner. To process them in a boiling water canner, they must first be acidified by adding bottled lemon juice or citric acid.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends pressure canning low-acid foods or pickling them before water bath canning. Since yellow tomatoes are less acidic than red tomato varieties, it is important to raise their acidity before canning if not using a pressure canner.

Cutting yellow tomatoes in half on a cutting board
Cutting yellow tomatoes

How to Prepare Yellow Tomatoes for Canning

  1. Pick ripe tomatoes without blemishes, as bruised and overripe tomatoes have lower acid levels.
  2. Rinse tomatoes under running water to remove dirt and debris.
  3. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds until the skin begins to split.
  4. Remove them from the hot water with a slotted spoon and submerge them in ice water to prevent cooking.
  5. After cooling the tomatoes, peel them using clean hands or a sharp knife.
  6. Leave tomatoes whole or cut them into halves or quarters, if desired.
  7. Pack tomatoes into prepared canning jars and fill the jars with hot water or tomato juice, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  8. Wipe the rims of the jars and top the jars with new canning lids.
  9. Add screw bands and tighten until fingertip tight.
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Yellow tomatoes on a cutting board

Home Canning Recipe for Yellow Tomatoes

  • Author: Regie
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes


Save your summer harvest for winter days with this beginner-friendly recipe for water-bath canning yellow tomatoes.


  • 21 pounds whole yellow tomatoes
  • 14 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • 7 teaspoons pickling salt


  1. Prepare fresh tomatoes for canning by rinsing them and blanching them in hot water for 30-60 seconds.
  2. Fill prepared canning jars with peeled whole, half, or quartered tomatoes.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice into each quart-sized jar.
  4. Tightly pack the tomatoes into the hot jars, using a spoon to press down on the tomatoes and fill the space as much as possible. Do not add canning liquid, and leave 1/2-inch headspace.
  5. Remove any trapped air bubbles using a bubble popper tool or sanitized spatula.
  6. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Cover each jar with a new canning lid, and tighten screw bands around the jars until fingertip tight.
  7. Fill a water bath canner halfway with water. Place a jar rack inside and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  8. Place the jars into the canner using canning tongs, and add more boiling water until the water level is 1 inch above the tops of the jars.
  9. Wait until the water returns to a vigorous boil before covering the canner with a lid and setting a timer. Process the sealed quarts and pint jars in the boiling water bath per elevation.

Processing Time

  • 85 minutes (0 – 1000ft)
  • 90 minutes (1,001 – 3,000ft)
  • 95 minutes (3,001 – 6,000ft)
  • 100 minutes (6,001ft +)

Post Processing

  1. Once the time is up, remove the lid from the canner. Allow the jars to sit in the water for another five minutes.
  2. Use a jar lifter to carefully remove the jars and place them on a clean towel-covered countertop. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours at room temperature.
  3. Remove the screw bands and check the vacuum seal by tapping the lid with a spoon or pressing with your finger. If the lid flexes up and down, it is not sealed. If the lid doesn’t move, it is properly sealed.
  4. Label sealed jars with the contents and add the date. Store labeled jars in a cool, dry, dark place.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Canning Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 63kcal
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 598mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 3g

How to Prepare Canning Jars for Canning Yellow Tomatoes

  1. Inspect canning jars for cracks, defects, or imperfections.
  2. Wash the canning jars in hot, soapy water.
  3. Rinse the jars thoroughly to remove traces of soap or detergent.
  4. Sterilize the jars by submerging them in clean boiling water with the rims facing up for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the jars from the hot water using canning tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.

Is Canning Liquid Required for Canning Yellow Tomatoes?

Canning liquid is not required when raw-packing yellow tomatoes, but it is recommended for most canning applications.

Water and tomato juice may be used as canning liquids for whole or halved yellow tomatoes. Maintain 1/2-inch headspace when water bath canning or 1-inch headspace when pressure canning with canning liquid.

Water being poured into a jar of fresh tomatoes
Water used as canning liquid

Are Yellow Tomatoes Good for Canning?

Yellow tomatoes are good for canning. This type of tomato can be canned using the same method as canning red tomatoes and green tomato varieties.

Yellow tomatoes have a sweeter taste because they have less acidity, which requires using a bit more citric acid or bottled lemon juice when canning them. Canned yellow tomatoes are great for making tomato salsa, puree, ketchup, and spaghetti sauce.

Why Do People Believe You Shouldn’t Can Yellow Tomatoes?

There’s a prevailing notion that yellow tomatoes are a low-acid food and unsafe for water bath canning.

However, they have an average acidity and contain more natural sugar than other types of tomatoes.

Experts recommend adding ½ tablespoon of citric acid or 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice per quart jar to make canned yellow tomatoes safe for water bath canning. For pints, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or ¼ tablespoon of citric acid should be added.

Three jars with different colors of canned tomatoes; yellow, red, and orange.
Canned tomatoes

What is the Difference Between Canning Tomatoes and Canning Tomato Juice?

While one is a product of the other, there are three key differences between canning tomatoes and tomato juice:

1. Preparation

When preparing tomatoes for canning, you wash, peel and core them before packing them in jars.

Conversely, preparation for the juice includes cleaning tomatoes, boiling them in a saucepan while crushing continuously, then removing skin and seeds using a food mill or sieve.

2. Processing Time

Processing sealed tomato jars takes 85 minutes in a water bath canner and 40 minutes when pressure canning.

On the other hand, canning tomato juice requires 35 to 40 minutes for the boiling water bath canning method and 20 minutes if using a pressure canner.

3. Quantity of Ingredients

Canning tomatoes requires fewer ingredients than making tomato juice. You’ll need 23 pounds of tomatoes for juice and 21 pounds for canning tomatoes per 7-quart canning load.

Quart of canned tomato juice sitting on countertop
Canned tomato juice

What are the Benefits of Canning Yellow Tomatoes?

Canning yellow tomatoes has numerous benefits, including:

  • Convenience: Whether preparing your favorite soup or tomato sauce, canned yellow tomatoes are easily accessible.
  • Cost-effective: Home canning reduces food waste, and commercially prepared products cost more.
  • Packed with nutrients: Canned yellow tomatoes provide niacin, lycopene, folates, and vitamins A, C & K.
  • Promotes self-sufficiency: Having canned tomatoes is great for emergencies.
  • Saves time: With jars of tomatoes in your pantry, fewer visits to the grocery store are needed.
  • Tastes better: Home-canned tomatoes have better flavor than commercially prepared options due to fewer additives.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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