Canning tutorial round 2! Did you catch round 1? And this time JamieAnne and I want you to join us! So click below to add your link to your past or present canning posts, and check out what other great bloggers are canning. Miss out this round? Come back in two weeks and join us (or join us again).

I had the idea that I would try pickles, a la JamieAnne’s round 1 tutorial, but then I listened to this horrifying article from NPR about  grocery store tomatoes (if you never want to buy another tomato again, I recommend giving this a listen. Or if you would just like to learn a little more about where mass-produced food comes from). So I decided that I better save up as many fresh garden tomatoes as possible. Nothing beats a real tomato.

Canned Tomato Sauce Tutorial

This is another easy and simple canning recipe. It is more time-intensive than my jam recipe, as the sauce takes a little while to cook down. This is a low-intensity time commitment, however, so you can curl up with a good book or trashy movie and just get up every once in a while to stir.

Step 1: Get Your Basics

Canning jars, lids and rings.

One giant pot for water. This pot needs to be big enough for your jars plus one to two inches of covering water.

You can buy specific canning supplies (ladle, spatula, tongs and funnel), or you can just use what you have around the kitchen.

Step 2: Get Your Ingredients

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • Basket of ripe plum tomatoes, washed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 T dried basil
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 2 t. dried thyme
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 T sugar

This is a flexible recipe. If you want to include more veggies like corn or bell pepper or additional spices/herbs, go for it. I like to leave mine fairly basic, so I can add veggies when using the sauce or so I can use my tomatoes for chili, soups and other dishes in the winter beyond the usual tomato sauce purposes.

Step 3: Get Your Tomatoes Ready

Dunk your tomatoes into boiling water briefly to loosen the skins, then peel and dice your tomatoes. Put ’em in a big pot with your other ingredients. Bring everything to a low boil and cook it down for about 2 hours.

Important: Once your sauce has cooked down, add 3T vinegar to increase acidity for canning safety. I use balsamic vinegar for my tomato sauce, but any kind will work.

Step 4: Sterilize

Every must be sterilized, and everything should be warm to hot. The easiest way to do this is to send your jars (but not your lids!) through the dishwasher, and dip all your equipment and the lids and rings into boiling water. While everything (tomato sauce included) is still warm, bring the water in your giant pot to a boil and get to cannin’!

Step 5: Get to Canning

  • Fill your jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top
  • Remove air bubbles  by running a spatula along the inner sides of the jar
  • Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet paper towel, making sure the rim is clean
  • Set the lid on top and screw the band on tightly

Step 6: Can It Up

  • Put your jars into your (gently) boiling pot of water. If you have a jar rack, use it! If not, make sure your jars will remain relatively stable and won’t knock into each other too much throughout the boiling process.
  • Leave your jars in the boiling water (35 minutes for pint jars and 40 minutes for quart jars).
  • Remove the jars and let them sit. Give them 24 hours to seal (they’ll surprise you with a POP when they do!), and then check the seal (press on the lid–if it goes down, it hasn’t sealed. This isn’t a disaster–just put your sauce in the fridge and eat it within a few weeks).

You Have Sauce

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