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How to Make and Freez Tomato Juice - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

How to Make and Freeze Tomato Juice at Home - Easily!

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Making and freezing your own tomato juice is also quite easy.  And imagine how much better it will taste in the winter, with the flavor of home grown tomatoes! Just scroll down this page to see how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated.  I like it with the basil, but you can also make plain tomato juice, too.  If you want to make a Mixed tomato-vegetable juice (like "V8") see this page.

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (any quantity - see step one)
  • Lemon Juice (optional) (less than a cup)
  • Salt - (optional) 1 teaspoon salt to each quart of juice.

Equipment

  • Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
    Canning accessories kit
  • At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • Freezer containers (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores

Directions

Different types of tomatoes

Step 1 - Selecting the tomatoes

It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality tomatoes!  

Wash, remove stems, and trim off bruised or discolored portions of the tomatoes.

Quantity: An average of 23 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts, or an average of 14 pounds per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs about 53 pounds and yields 15 to 18 quarts of juice - an average of 31/4 pounds per quart.

At right is a picture of tomatoes from my garden - they are so much better than anything from the grocery store. And if you don't have enough, a pick-your-own farm is the pace to go!  At right are 4 common varieties that will work:

Top left: Beefsteak Top right: Lemon Boy, yellow
Bottom left: Roma, paste-type Bottom right: Better Boy

Also, you don't want mushy, bruised or rotten tomatoes!

Caution: Do not use tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely, also.

Step 2 - Cut up the tomatoes and quickly put into the pot

To prevent the juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of tomatoes at a time into quarters and put directly into a saucepan on the stove.  (If you are not concerned about juice separation, simply slice or quarter all of the tomatoes at once into a large saucepan.)

Juicers? Can you use a juicer?  Certainly!  It will eliminate step 6 and 7 later on, but, of course, you will need to simmer for 5 minutes (step 5).  The one potential downside to using a juicer is that the juice may later separate (clarify) into a top and bottom portion, for the reasons already explained above.

Step 3 - Heat to boiling and keep adding tomatoes

Heat immediately to boiling while crushing (I use a potato masher). Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture; repeating steps 4 and 5. Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while you add the remaining tomatoes.

 

Step 4 - Continue cooking

Simmer 5 minutes after you add all pieces. Crush, heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before juicing.

 

Step 5 - SieveFoley food mill

Press the heated tomato juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds.  I use the Foley food mill, shown at right

There is also a VERY nice, versatile strainer pictured at below!  Click on the links there or see the bottom of this page for more information and to order! The VillaWare model can handle higher volumes than a Foley food mill (without giving you cramps!) And yes, you can use your juicer, if it can handle boiling hot liquids!

To see a greater variety of strainers in other types, sizes, and prices, click here!

Step 6 - Add seasoning

You may add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars, as described in the next paragraph, to acidify the contents. This helps avoid spoilage and increase safety. this is really a precaution

Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid  (such as "Fruit Fresh") per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the containers before filling with product. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes, compared with lemon juice or citric acid.

Seasoning: Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart, if desired. I also add 1 teaspoon of ground basil.

Step 7 - Fill the containers and pop into the freezer

You may want to let the juice cool down a bit for an hour before you fill containers and put it into the freezer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Canning Kits

Features:


* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!



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Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Click here for more information, reviews, prices on Amazon.com for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback - May 31, 2016

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information from Amazon.com about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving


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FAQs - Answers to Common Questions

  • As my jars are cooling after i take them out of the canner, they sometimes make a popping or hissing noise.  Is this normal and safe?
    Yes, the lids are designed to flex and that's actually a key selling point.  You can tell if a jar hasn't sealed properly (after it has cooled completely) if the lid flexes and makes a popping sound when you press the center of the lid with your finger.  The popping sounds while it is cooling is the lid being sucked down by the vacuum that is forming inside the jar - which a normal part of the sealing process.  Hissing sounds are usually just escaping steam or hot water evaporating on hot surfaces, also normal!