Monday, May 29, 2017

May Food In Jars: Cold (Raw) Pack Processing

The Food In Jars challenge this month was "cold pack processing" (also known as 'raw pack').  Basically it means you don't pre-cook your vegetable/fruit before processing.  You put the raw produce into the jar and put brine/sugar/juice...whatever your liquid is on top of the produce.

Then you process it in a hot water bath.

Most of the recipes I found were for pickles.  And frankly I'm pickled out.  

Then I found a recipe for canned whole tomatoes...

...and that is why I headed out to the Amish produce auction.  There are a lot of greenhouse grown tomatoes available this early.  See that box on the corner of the table?  Those are my "canning tomatoes".  I think it is a half bushel and my scale said it was about 25 pounds.

Aren't they pretty?  And they smelled so good.

After picking out a few to keep for eating, we got busy preparing them.  We cored and slice in X in to bottom of each one.  Then they were blanched for 2 minutes to make the skins slip off.  That left us with the tomatoes on the right.

From there we just put them into the ready-to-go jars, mashing them down a bit to get them nice and juicy.  A bit of clean-up and the jars went into the processor.

My pot holds 4 quart jars.  It was only when I got them into the pot that I checked the processing time...


Are you kidding me?  I was shocked.  I wonder how many cans I could have bought for the electricity I used.  I had about a quart and a half of tomatoes left...and they went into the freezer for soup.

Supposedly it is fairly normal for crushed tomatoes to separate and you just give it a shake before you use it.  Yeah...

So these tomatoes are my one venture into canning tomatoes.


  1. I've always shied away from canning tomatoes; it seems like they're always the homemade items they talk about it articles about food poisoning. I'd much prefer to dry or freeze them.

    1. Tomatoes are getting hard to can because the acidity is being reduced. Low acid has to be pressure canned. My recipe called for adding 2 T of lemon juice per jar.

      I won't be canning any more, it will be the freezer or Hunts from now on.


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