Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making tomato juice

The tomatoes in the garden are still producing fast and furious. I have been canning tomato juice, spaghetti sauce or bbq sauce at least twice a week. I will admit it can be a time consuming process, but in the end it is so worth it. Especially when the pipeliner is stirring up a batch of his spicy chili in the middle of winter. All he has to do is open up the pantry door, reach up and grab for a jar of homemade juice. One that has been specially seasoned just for his chili!

While the pipeliner was out pipelining this past Sunday, I worked on a batch of tomato juice with his chili in mind.

I washed off the all the tomatoes I had just gathered from the garden.
This variety of tomatoes are called Celebrity.
Most basic juice recipes call for peeled and cored tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is by putting your tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds.
Then immediately plunging them into a bowl filled with ice water.
                                             They peel right off! Just take your knife and cut out the core.
I also added 3 stalks of celery, 3 small onions, 4 purple peppers, 2 cayenne peppers and a couple of garlic cloves.I sprinkled a teaspoon of canning salt over the top. Then I poured a 1/2 cup of vinegar in as well. Those are yellow tomatoes in there. They were ones that didn't sell at Saturdays farmers market. Can't let any of those tomatoes go to waste!
                                         I have found my roaster is the best thing to mix and cook all of these veggies in.
I set the temperature at 300 F. -350 F. Cover and let the cooking begin!   Remember to stir things up every 15 minutes or so.   Depending how many tomatoes you have simmering away, it usually takes a good hour or so for all of the veggies to become tender. The smells inside of your kitchen will be heavenly!

When it is all simmered to a softened mixture it should look something like this: Lots of flavor filled juices filling the pan.

 Now is a good time to fill your water-bath pot full of water, then get it on your stove.  You want it to be at a full rolling boil by the time you get done pressing your mixture.

I use an old fashioned food press.  This also a great tool for making applesauce! Put the press over a pot big enough to hold all of the extracted juices.  With a large measuring cup just dump some of your veggie mix into the press and turn the crank.
When you have squeezed every last bit of juice out, return the pot of hot juice back on the stove. Bring it back to a simmer, then cover.
While that is simmering away, you want to get your jars ready.
Make sure you wash them along with the lids and bands in a very hot soapy bath.
My mother in law taught me a little trick to keep the jars hot before filling them. Heat your oven to 350F.  Line up your jars on a cookie sheet, then turn off the oven and pop the jars in to the preheated oven.
Your lids and bands should be in a separate pan of boiling water, waiting to be screwed on the jars.
Now comes the time to fill your jars.
Take the jars out of the oven a carefully ladle the hot juice into them. Make sure there  is no foam around the edges of the filled jars. If there is use a spoon to remove it.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a hot,wet, clean cloth. Carefully put on a hot lid, then screw on the bands. You may have to go back and re tighten each band.
Now you are ready to add the jars to your boiling pot of water.
Most canners have a metal jar holder. This makes it easier to lower your jars into the boiling water and then remove them later.
The water should cover each jar by an inch or so. Put the lid back on the pot. Bring your water back to a full rolling boil.
Quart jars should process for 30 - 40 minutes. Pint jars 25-30 minutes.
Carefully remove the cooked juice from your pot.
(Hey, they look the same as they did before I put them in the water!)
In the next hour or so you should hear a popping noise from each lid. That means they have sealed. If the lid hasn't sealed within the next 6 hours that jar of juice needs to be refrigerated and used within the next week.
A properly sealed lid doesn't pop back up after you poke the middle of it with your finger.
Make sure you label your jars with its contents and date as soon as it cools
Most canned tomato juice is usually good for 9 -12 months
I am sure there will be more jars of tomato mixtures added to the pantry closet in the weeks to come. Fingers crossed I can get the most out of my tomatoes before the first big frost hits! 


  1. Hi Liz, thank you so much for sharing your canned tomato juice at our Inspiration cafe Party! What a great share...awesome step by step recipe/tutorial! Pinning! This looks and sounds perfect for chili!

    1. I need to go back and write some recipes down from your party! Lots of great ones for sure! Thanks!

  2. What a great thing to have on hand. Home-canned tomatoes taste so much better than anything you can buy at the store! Love this.

    1. My supply is running low! Hoping for a good tomato crop again this year. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh wow I what a great tutorial Liz. Those tomatoe jars look really good!

    1. My tomato juice supply is running low! Ready for gardening season to growm some more! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Oh even better than V-8 I'm sure! I have yet to try canning, but when I do, I'm going to try doing this juice too! Never would have thought about it if I hadn't seen this at the Inspiration Cafe! Thanks for linking it up!

  5. This juice is so easy to make in the big roaster! This was a fun party! Thanks again!