How to Can Crushed Tomatoes

With the abundance of harvested tomatoes comes the question, what to do with all of them?

Marge Braker, a home economics instructor, shows us how to can crushed tomatoes using a boiling-water canner. The steps are quite simple and the results will be some delicious tomato-based soups, chili’s, and casseroles this coming winter. Braker also talks about what to look for in a good canning tomato, why it’s important for safety reasons to use bottled* lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice, and shows you an easy method to peel tomatoes.

Pint Jars of Freshly Canned Tomatoes

There’s almost nothing tastier than having fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter right at your fingertips to use as an ingredient. For those interested in canning, a variety of other foods check out this playlist of canning videos so you can fill your pantry with fresh food stocks.

How to Can Crushed Tomatoes

makes 5 pints


  • 7-8 pounds of tomatoes
  • 5 Tablespoons of bottled lemon juice
  • Salt (optional; up to 1/2 teaspoon per pint jar, depending upon personal taste)


  1. Wash firm, ripe tomatoes.
  2. Remove skins by first blanching in boiling water for :30 – 1:00, then place in ice water for them to cool down enough to handle. Core and slip off skins.
  3. Quarter each tomato then chop into chunks.
  4. Fill the bottom of a large pot with tomato chunks and begin to crush them, with spoon or masher, as they heat up to a boil. Once they have reached a boil, add the remaining tomato chunks and stir frequently. Gently boil for 5 minutes.
  5. As tomatoes gently boil, prepare the hot, sterile pint jars by placing 1 Tablespoon of bottled lemon juice into each jar.
  6. Fill jars immediately with the hot tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  7. Remove any air bubbles by running a chopstick or plastic knife down the inside of the jar.
  8. Wipe the lip of the jar clean of any tomato residue with a clean damp cloth or paper towel.
  9. Place a warmed new lid over the mouth of the jar and screw on a ring to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  10. Process in a boiling-water canner. Length of time will depend upon your altitude. Please check Table 1.
  11. After reaching allotted time in the boiling-water canner, turn off the heat and remove jars, one at a time, and place on a towel or rack to cool for 12 to 24 hours.

For more written information, please read Principles of Home Canning (PDF) and Using Boiling Water Canners, both from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.


  1. Anna says

    Great tutorial! Made a few cans with different varieties last night and everything worked as it should have. Can’t wait to try them in a few weeks!!

    • says

      Thank you! I love how Marge explains the canning process – I always learn something new. This is the first year I attempted canning tomatoes myself and I felt confident with her help.

      I’m sure yours will be delicious and you’ll get good use out of them in the months to come. Thanks for writing. =)

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