Canning Tomatoes Old Fashion Grandma Way [Open Kettle] – My First Time Experience

I was a total newbie to canning. There, I admitted it.

If you’re like me and want to know how to start or where to start…. here is my little journey getting started with canning tomatoes with my mom and two of my aunts as a total newbie to canning.

Here we are my first ever canning day (September of 2019 I believe). My aunt Cindy, me, my mom and aunt Sandy.  Aren’t we cuties? LOL And yes, those are flowers behind my mother because they brought me them to celebrate my first time canning tomatoes with them. They are the absolute sweetest and I love them dearly. It’s neat looking back at these photos because this is shortly after we moved into our house so we have an updated kitchen now.

how to can tomatoes open kettle grandma way style

You will NOT regret learning how to can tomatoes. It is one of my absolute favorite (out of my very few) cherished skills I have learned over the years.

Just keep in mind that we canned them the way they were taught by their mom, my grandma.

This is called open kettle canning.

What is Open Kettle Canning?

Open kettle canning is a means of boiling, peeling and putting food straight into sterilized warm jars.

That’s it.

No water bath or any other ingredients.

Just an FYI: This process is not considered “safe” by the FDA, but that’s an American regulation and this process is done all around the world today in other countries who aren’t under the strict guidelines of the FDA.

Watch a full video by Buon-A-Petitti showing this same method: “Italian Grandma Makes Canned Tomato Puree

Before I get into how we did our canning, if you are considering canning tomatoes yourself, I would strongly suggest you to review the safety issues and guidelines for canning. When canning tomatoes (or any foods) the level of acidity will dictate the preservation method. I’ve included some awesome up-to-date resources below.

How to Can Tomatoes Open Kettle Style

There are three parts to the way in which we canned the tomatoes: prepare the jars, prepare the tomatoes, and canning of tomatoes.

STEP 1: Prepare the Jars

  • Canning jars need to be washed and sterilized (place in 225 ° F oven for at least 10 minutes). Leave them in the oven until ready to be filled up;
  • Lids also need to be sterilized; just 10 minutes in simmering water is all it takes. Leave them in the water until you need them;
  • The rings only need to be properly washed but you can put them in the water with the lids

STEP 2: Prepare the Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes need to be washed. We get farm plump tomatoes for canning, but some people think Roma tomatoes are the best when it comes to canning. Regardless of the kind, be sure to use tomatoes that are blemish-free.
  • Score the tip of the tomato with an “x”  OR just slice off the tip. I find that slicing the tip off allows for the tomato skin to just slip off once it has been blanched
  • Drop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds
  • Work in batches if necessary
  • Remove tomatoes and place in a bowl to cool down (if you want, you can place them in an ice-water bath)
  • When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin.

STEP 3: Packing & Canning the Tomatoes

  • Add one tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice per pint (or 2 tablespoons if using quarts)
  • Each quart of tomatoes will need a teaspoon of salt
  • Fill each hot jar with peeled tomatoes and their juices;
  • Leave 1/2 – 3/4 inch head-space from the top;
  • Remove air bubbles by running a knife along the side of the jar or use the tool
  • Wipe the rims clean with a clean towel
  • Place a sterilized lid and screw on the bands until “finger tight”

At this point, many people put the jars into a water bath, however, this is NOT how my family has done it….

We just let them sit out and wait for the jars to seal by listening for the POP.














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Canning Tomatoes Old Fashion Grandma Way [Open Kettle] – My First Time Experience



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