Storing excess tomatoes?

aaaaaaaa(6)August 19, 2009

Hi,

Finally, I have tomato fruits growing now. My question is---what is the best way to store the excess? LikeÂcan, freeze, preserve etc. And what is the process?

I did do the search on this topic---in Harvest, Tomatoes and Vegetable forumÂcould not find right linkÂI know there was few links on this subject sometime.

Suggestion or even the link is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Anna

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marlingardener

Anna,
Saving tomatoes for future use is such an easy process. Just wash and core the tomatoes, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. When you have hard red tennis balls, put them in freezer bags to be taken out later in the amount you need. The skins slip right off when the tomato thaws. These can be a base for soup, sauce or stewed tomatoes.
Canning is just a bit more complicated, and if you google "canning tomatoes" you'll come up with lots of instructions.
Good for you to plan ahead while your tomatoes are green. I usually start thinking about what to do with them when I have ripe tomatoes littering the kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:15AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I don't even core 'em - simply freeze whole in doubled freezer bags or large containers - the same way I do cranberries. Not good for salads, but great for salsas & cooking. They keep a long time this way & thaw pretty quickly. I rinse them well to start the thawing process.If making salsa, I chop while still slightly frozen.

HTH

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:26AM
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oilpainter(3)

To can tomatoes:

Wash and rinse well pint or quart canning jars. Peel and remove stem end, and cut out any healed up scars from tomatoes. Pack as many as you can into the jars. Small ones can go in whole and bigger ones can be cut up. Whirl a few of the bigger ones in a blender--leave some chunks. Pour over tomatoes in the jars using a table knife to work down the sides and remove air pockets. Leave 1/2 inch of head space at top of the jar. Add pickling salt and sugar--1 teaspoon of each for quarts--1/2 teaspoon for pints. With a wet paper towel wipe off tops of jars so they seal well. Screw on sealing tops hand tight. Lower into a canner with enough water so the jars have 1 to 2 inches of water on top of them.
Boil for 35 minutes for pints--45 minutes for quarts.

Notes: There is enough room when bands are screwed on as tight as you can by hand for trapped air to escape.
No need to sterilize jars because of the long cooking time.
I start water boiling in my canning kettle before I start. When I'm ready I set the jars on top and lower when it boils

Tomato juice:
Remove stem end and any healed over cracks. Cut tomatoes into quarters and bring to a boil stirring often so they don't stick. Boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat.

Put through a pulper or anything that will allow the pulp to go through but keep the skins and seeds beghind. Small white seeds may go through but they are fine--I just leave them.

Discard the skins and seeds and put the juice back in the washed out pot. Bring back to a boil and ladle into steralized quart jars add 1 teaspoon each sugar and salt.

Wipe tops and screw on lids hand tight as before. Give a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

I would recommend anyone to order bernardins canning book. It covers all sorts of canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables as well as meat. You can get the address from the box tops of canning lids and jars.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 12:17PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

send them to us here in MA..blight took out most commercial and home crops here in Soutehrn MA.
LOL,,
Enjoy your bounty !

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 3:01PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Uhhhh if you decide to get into canning tomatoes - in any form - I'd like to suggest that you used the current approved guidelines readily available (and linked below) rather than those posted above. Those instructions do not meet the safety guidelines that have been in effect now since 1984.

The Bernadin Canning book has been updated several times since those instructions were in it and was revised again as recently as this year. It is sold in the US as The Ball Blue Book of Home Canning and can be purchased at WalMart or any store that carries home canning supplies for approx. $5.00.

You'll find several discussions how to preserve tomatoes and the pros and cons of each method currently running on both the Growing Tomatoes forum and on the Harvest Forum which focuses on home food preservation.

Both forums are linked at the top of this forums from page.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to can tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 3:50PM
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growinidaho

Thanks for all the info! This year I will freeze them and next year I will attempt canning. We finally have 4 orange beefsteaks. Last week we had a 39 degree night. I hope they they make it to the inside freezer! I may have to pick them green and wrap them in newspaper like my grandpa did years ago.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 3:54PM
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sharon_midtn

Another question about freezing--I like to leave the skin on tomatoes when adding to soups, etc. Can I just wash my extra tomatoes, slice them and put into freezer bags and freeze?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 8:54PM
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bleedenver(z7 GA)

Freezing is all well and good if you have the freezer space but when you're picking a few pounds of tomatoes daily and don't have a seperate freezer, it gets to be a problem. We gave away a lot to our neighbors and co-workers and just started dehydrating them also. They really shrink up so they take up much less space afterwards.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:58PM
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rjinga

I filled my freezer up last year, and this years, I started canning, easy process hot water bath, this way I figure it takes a little longer but in the end, I can store them just about anywhere. When I froze mine, I quartered them, simmered in a big pot til they broke down and then let them cool and placed in freezer bags, all I did was core them, I leave the skins on because whenever I make sauce or soups, they get blended up.

If you just want some kept fresh, they do keep a good long while on the counter top (room temp) never in fridge

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:11PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

I have been having a bumper crop too. I give away, prepare all kinds of meals using tomatoes but I end up with lots more. So I went and bought 24 quart size mason canning jars(65cents each).

Here is how I do it:

1- wash tomes, drop in boiling water (5-10 sec), drop in ice water(fast)
2- peel, core, chop up, boil until almost broken.
3- blend with a hand-held blender, strain, to get pulp and seeds out
4- simmer until halfed or less (now its like spaghetty sauce)
5- Pour into jars(washed sterilized),
6- add half spoon of lemon juice, teaspoon of salt on top(do not mix)tighten up lids.
7- refrigerate.

This way, I get more bang for my buck by concenteration.

ALTERNATIVE:

After stage (3) strain (fine mesh), get the juice out for drinking and continue steps (4, 5,..)
This way you have to simmer shorter time, get thicher sauce and have juice too.

I find this better than freezing whole tomatoes which will take a lot more storage space.

cyrus

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 11:48AM
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kris(8b)

I don't think anyone mentioned just making and freezing sauce. Garlic olive oil in the bottom of a pan, cook the tomatoes skin and all down for a couple hours (if the skin bothers you you can process through a food mill-I didn't), toss in some basil and parsley and freeze. Fantastic in the dead of winter and lasted me all year.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 12:01AM
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eplina

there some steps here for freezing

Here is a link that might be useful: How-to-freeze-tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 2:59PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

I do not flavore my canned tomato sauce. I rather put in herbs and spices when I am using it and according to the recepie. I just add some salt and lemon juice as preservative.

Of course, you can freez your sauce instead of refrigerating.
cyrus

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:42PM
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