Canning Tomato Juice
Canning tomato juice is a great way to use tomatoes for your garden and incorporate them into your recipes. You can also make tomato soup from tomato juice too.
We use regular canning tomatoes to make tomato juice and process them through the food mill to remove the seeds and skins.
See our other tomato canning recipe options for your remaining tomatoes.
How to Can Tomato Juice
- food mill (manual or electric)
- 2 large bowls
- 2 small bowls
- 1/2 bushel canning tomatoes, washed
- bottle of lemon juice
- Wash the tomatoes in cold water. Core and quarter the tomatoes, placing into the enamel pot.
- Once the pot is full, with about 4 or more inches from the top, place on the stove and begin to cook, stirring to keep from burning on the bottom. (you have to be able to stir this!)
- While it is cooking, get the food mill ready to process the crushed tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes are soft, you can remove from heat and begin to run through the food mill.
- The electric food mill attachment is great for large batches like this. Run the food mill on low speed to keep it from splattering everything. And put towels down before you start! If you have a hand food mill, don't go crazy and make sure the mill and pot are secure and not moving all over the counter.
- While working on the tomatoes, have the water bath canner on the stove heating. Fill a little less than 3/4 full (less if processing quarts).
- Once all the juice has been extracted, wash out the enamel pan and pour the juice back into it.
- Put the tomato juice on the heat and heat the juice to 190F for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and begin placing the tomato juice into the jars.
- Add 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice in pints, 2 tablespoons for quarts.
- Clean the rim of the jar and place the seal on top. Cover with a band and hand tighten.
- Process the jars in the water bath canner 35 minutes pints, 40 minutes quarts.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing.
- Once removed, place towels around the jars, to slow the cooling process.
- Allow to cool like this for 12-24 hours.
- Label and date the juice, store and enjoy.
Does Tomato Juice Need to Be Pressure Canned?
Tomatoes need to have a certain amount of acidity, to not need to be pressure canned (acidified). Because tomatoes have different acidity, you add lemon juice to be able to water bath can instead of pressure can. If you don’t use lemon juice, use citric acid.
Because they are then acidified with the lemon, you do not need to use a pressure canner, you can water bath can the juice.
How Much Salt Do You Use When Making Homemade Tomato Juice?
You can use 1 teaspoon of salt per quart jar, if desired. It is a personal preference to use salt in canned tomato juice.
Do You Need to Add Lemon Juice When Canning Tomato Juice?
Yes. You need acidity when canning tomatoes. Depending on the variety and ripeness of the tomatoes, acidity varies. Adding bottled lemon juice or citric acid should be added as it raises the acidity. We received this information from Michigan State University Extension Office.
Should You Use A Sieve or Food Mill?
I use the term food mill or sieve as the same thing. But when looking online, food mill is used to remove seeds from things like berries. Well the hand cranked kind. I recently purchased an electric food mill to process tomatoes like they do in Italy. Either works well, depends on how many tomatoes you are processing and your budget and time. How you make your own tomato juice is up to you.
How Do You Thicken Tomato Juice?
To thicken home canned tomato juice, you need to put the juice on heat and slowly cook to reduce and concentrate the tomato juice.
Can You Use Cherry Tomatoes For Canning?
No. Cherry tomatoes are eating tomatoes.
- Add salt to the juice before processing the jars.
- You can water bath can the tomato juice if you add lemon juice or citric acid to each jar
- We used 2 large bowls to collect the tomato juice and 1 small bowl (emptied twice) to collect the skins and seeds
- Allow the jars with hot tomato juice to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the canner.
- Reuse pots and bowls when possible to keep the dishes down to a minimum (there will be a lot)
- If you use citric acid use 1/4 teaspoon in pints and 1/2 teaspoon in quarts
- Add bottled lemon juice, not fresh when making canned tomato juice
- Place a towel on the counter before putting the jars down, to prevent the jars from breaking
- Using towels around the jars allows them to cool slowly and lessen the jars to break
- Avoid the metal taste from store bought tomato juice by making homemade tomato juice
- Decide how you want to can tomato juice pints or quarts (how much will you need in each dish you will use them – pint or quart jar)
- You could take your crushed tomatoes and can into tomato juice.
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