Can I leave skins on tomatoes when canning?

maggie2(5)August 18, 2007

All the canning instructions I see give instructions to remove the skin before canning. My husband and I actually like tomato skins and I would like to leave them on when we can them. Is this OK? Also, does anyone have easy step-by-step canning instructions? Thanks for any help or info.

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Sure you can leave them on. Whatever you like - I find them a bit chewy.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 10:24AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

This samequestion has just been mentioned here in several threads. If you don't mind having small red 'twigs' in your sauces, then its fine to leave them in. Once the tomatoes are cooked, the skins fall off, and roll up into little red sticks. These, for some people are not a good texture in the mouth. I tried to puree them with no luck even after running in a Vitamix blender for several minutes. Now, bcause I use a Vilaware (now called Roma) the machine will remove all skins, and as a bonus, all the seeds from the tomatoes even before they are cooked.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

The peels are removed because that is where most of the bacteria is. You can leave it on, but it will be like little twigs, like Ken says. I don't like them in my food.
Be sure you add the required bottled lemon juice or citric acid for safety in both boiling water bath and pressure canning.
The link below will give you the instructions for all kinds of tomato products. I don't know if you are raw packing, hot packing, etc. If you are raw packing, not adding water, in a BWB you process for 85 min. Some folks make the mistake of trying to use the ones with water added and not processing long enough. I don't know of anyone who adds water to their tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes have a shorter processing time if you want to go that way.
They are packed hot.
Less shrinkage in the jars, too, than a raw pack.

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 5:26PM
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Just a note that the Ball Blue Book was very helpful to me when I first canned tomatoes (and now). It has some nice drawings in it that help clarify procedures.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 6:22PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I never do a raw pack or can whole tomatoes anymore. After a single batch with 3+ inches of clear liquid settling at the bottom of the jars, I felt that even though I liked to have whole tomatoes, they just didn't need to have all that water left in. To reduce the cooking and thickening time, I much prefer to scoop out most of the clear jelly liquid and seeds inside the tomatoes. Once they get this done and are pushed through the food strainer, the end result is a nice thick sauce all on its own. Its a little extra work, but makes the cook down process shorter. If I want chunks then, I will add a few peeled and chopped tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:41AM
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I am new to this canning of tomatoes. I followed the ball book recipe to a T. My question is= My jars have about 1 inch of clear liquid at the bottom. Is this normal? Are the tomatoes okay? Did I do something wrong?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 10:49AM
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No you didn't do anything wrong. There are certain enzymes and pectins in tomato products and getting the water not to settle out has to do with the temperatures you keep your tomatoes when handling them. I used to get water in the bottom of my jars occasionally even when making tomato juices, but found this information. I'll link to it.

The product is still quite safe and it's not a biggie, but if you want the product to be more homogenous please have a look at the link. My tomato sauces this year are a thing of beauty and are not settling out at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: tomato canning information

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:01AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Quite normal to see that clear liquid. Its common when your using tomatoes that contain a lot of water in them. I like using a meatier tomato type, and scoop out some of the liquid and seeds before they are either canned or are put through the Villware strainer. Skins I hate, as they even show up after 'digesting them', if you know what I mean. High fiber they are, but how useful to our digesting I have no clue.. They just don't look appealing when you see them in the bottom of the spagetti. Tip- give those jars a quick shake before selling...

Heres a quick way to enjoy them too. Slice some whole tomatoes and place on several layers of paper towels to soak up some liquid, while you sprikle salt on them. Make a batch of bread dough, spread out to the shape of a big pizza, spread it with olive oil and oregano and/or basil, then add the drained tomato slices close together, sprinkle with mozzarella or other favorite italian cheeses and bake. OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:25AM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I read your link but I'm still not super clear on how you exactly what you are doing with your tomatoes. Do you warm them whole for 5 minutes - no more, and no less - before processing?
Thanks, Melly
(still hoping to get some tomatoes)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 2:28AM
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valereee(6a SW Ohio)

Melly, that's what I'm wondering, too. It's got you heating the first tomatoes -while- chopping the rest, then heating the entire thing for five minutes. But doesn't that make the first ones in heat for too long?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:46AM
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