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A jar of home canned tomatoes.
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4.67 from 15 votes

How to Can Tomatoes

Step by Step Directions on how to can tomatoes
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: canning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 Quarts
Calories: 42kcal
Author: Kathy


  • 2-3 pounds tomatoes per quart
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice per quart
  • ¼ teaspoon salt per quart, optional


  • Blanch and peel tomatoes
  • Chop tomatoes into desired size
  • Add lemon juice to each canning jar
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Pour boiling water over tomatoes. Fill just to where the rings on the jar begin making certain you leave at least ½ inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife around inside of jar and tapping bottom jar gently against counter.
  • Wipe rim of jars clean and add lid and band
  • Place jar in a water bath canning pot half filled with warm water. Add additional water level covers the top of the jars by 1-2 inches.
  • Cover pot and bring to a roiling boil. Once boiling, lower temperature so there is a gentle but steady boil. Boil quarts for 45 minutes and pints for 40 minutes. (Adjust time for altitude - see below)
  • Remove jars from canner and place on a towel or a baking rack to cool. Do not touch jars or tighten lids until at least 12 hours.
  • After jars have cooled, check lids for a proper seal by pressing on the center of each lid. The lids should not have any give in the center. Remove bands wipe down jars to remove any residue. Label and store in a cool, dark place.


  • Can use ½ teaspoon citric acid in place of the lemon juice
  • If using pint jars add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and ⅛ teaspoon of salt
  • Adjust recipe based on amount of tomatoes you have available and on the size of your canning pot. 
Canning Tips
  • Always wash and sterilize your jars before using. I wash my jars in my dishwasher before using, which sterilizes my jars.
  • Wash canning lids in warm soapy water. Place lids in a dish with plain hot water before using. You do not need to boil your lids before using.
  • Examine jars for any defects, especially along rim. Do not use for canning if you find any chips or cracks.
  • Use good quality tomatoes. Do not use if rotting or moldy. 
  • Always adjust processing times for your elevation: 
  • 1,001- 3,000 ft. - add 5 minutes
  • 3,001- 6,000 ft. - add 10 minutes
  • 6,001- 8,000 ft. - add 15 minutes
  • 8,001-10,000 ft. - add 20 minutes


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1889IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg