How to Preserve Tomatoes Without a Canner


Mention canning and many people imagine long hours over a stove full of boiling pots, rows of jars lining the counters and lots of specialized equipment. Canning and other methods have long helped people make the most of the harvest season. But it doesn't have to be labor intensive. You can preserve tomatoes, for instance, with just a pot of boiling water, some freezer containers and enough freezer space. Choose tomatoes that are at the peak of ripeness, firm and not overripe.

Things You'll Need

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Stove
  • Freezer containers that can be sealed
  • Colander or strainer
  • Slotted spoon
  • Oven mitts
  • Paring knife
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover about 3 tomatoes without overflowing. Set the pot on the stove over high heat until it is boiling.

  • Wash the tomatoes and remove the core from the top of each with the paring knife. Place the colander in the sink.

  • Add 3 tomatoes carefully into the boiling water. Use the slotted spoon to avoid splashing.

  • Boil the tomatoes until you see cracks in the skin, about 1 minute. Immediately remove the tomatoes from the water with the slotted spoon and place them in the colander. Add another 3 tomatoes once the first batch is removed.

  • Run cold water over the boiled tomatoes until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the skins from the tomatoes. They should slip off easily.

  • Place the tomatoes in freezer containers, removing as much air as possible before sealing. You can freeze them whole, chop and remove the seeds, or make them into sauce before freezing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use bags, freeze them flat for easy stacking.
  • Freeze the tomatoes in serving sizes so you can thaw only what you need.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images Hemera Technologies/ Images Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images Jupiterimages/ Images Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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