It is hard to beat the incredible taste of homemade canned tomato juice. Especially when it’s made from fresh tomatoes straight from the garden!
Tomato juice is one of the easiest and most useful food canned items that can be created from a tomato harvest.
It is the perfect ingredient for all kinds of soups, including chili, vegetable and of course, tomato soup too! And of course, it is wonderful for flavoring casseroles, roasts, and dishes of all kinds.
But perhaps best of all, it is hard to beat the simple pleasure of enjoying a refreshing glass of homegrown tomato juice?
Especially when it so incredibly easy to make and can your own homemade tomato juice! No matter if you are an experienced canner, or a first-time rookie!
Here is a classic, tried and true recipe for making and canning delicious tomato juice from fresh tomatoes.
How To Make And Can Tomato Juice
It all depends on the variety of tomato used, but a good rule of thumb is that 25 pounds of tomatoes will make about 6 to 8 quarts of juice.
Begin by washing and cleaning your tomatoes. Select only firm, ripe tomatoes for processing. Remove any small spots or blemishes with a knife.
Next, dice tomatoes into small chunks. 1/2″ chunks work well, allowing the tomatoes to cook down at a faster rate.
Dice enough tomatoes to fill a 6 or 8 quart stock pot
Heat the tomatoes on medium-low heat, allowing them to cook down slowly.
It is important at this point to stir the pot every 5 to 10 minutes. This helps keep the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
As the tomatoes begin to cook down, there will be a bit more room in the pot to add in additional chopped tomatoes.
Continue to cook the tomatoes down until they fall apart completely.
This process can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour depending on the variety and overall ripeness of the tomatoes.
How To Can Tomato Juice – Removing The Skins & Seeds
Once they have cooked down, it is time to remove the skins and seeds. If you have a tomato press or mill, it works wonders for removing and separating the seeds and skins quickly.
As another option, a food mill works well too. It is a bit slower than the tomato strainer, but certainly gets the job done.
After separating the juice from the skins and seeds, place the juice back in a stock pot and heat on medium to medium high heat.
Allow the tomato juice to heat to a slow, rolling boil. Once the tomato juice begins to roll, allow to boil for a full 10 minutes.
Now you are ready to can!
Sterilizing & Filling Jars
Sterilize pint or quart jars by first running through your dishwasher. Next, heat the jars and lids in a separate pot on top of the stove.
Once heated, fill jars with the hot tomato juice, adding in one tablespoon of lemon juice per jar.
The lemon juice helps to increase the acid level to a safe level. It will not affect the overall taste of your juice.
Fill each jar near the top, leaving 1/2″ of head space at the top of the jar.
At this point, you can also add in a half teaspoon of salt per quart jar for taste. It is not needed for safety reasons, only for taste if desired.
To finish, wipe the rim, and seal with a warm ring and lid.
At an elevation of 0 to 2000 feet, process quarts in a hot water bath for 45 to 50 minutes. Pints would be 40 to 45 minutes. When pressure cooking, it will take 20 minutes for quarts, and 15 for pints with 6 lbs. of pressure.
If you live in higher altitudes, please consult with your local extension office or check with the Ball canning guide for proper times and pressure.
When done, remove jars and place on a towel and let cool for 24 hours.
Check to make sure all jars are sealed by pushing on the lid.
If the lid is down and won’t move it is sealed appropriately. If not, immediately place in your refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
The jars can then be safely stored and used as needed.
Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor every time you open a jar! And if you are looking for more great recipes for those tomatoes, try this homemade salsa recipe : Blue Ribbon Salsa Recipe
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