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I need your experienced opinions on canning tomatoes. Feel free to discuss any home canning tips or questions here, as well.

The question: Do you can tomatoes as they are or add acid like lemon or vinegar?

I’ve been water~bath canning tomatoes FOREVER with recipes from old cookbooks and never killed anyone with “the botch*.” My old cookbooks always say that tomatoes are an exception to the pressure rule because they have enough acid. Modern cookbooks demand you add lemon or vinegar to tomatoes to supplement the acid, which in my opinion, is a crime that negates the summer smell & flavor joy. The idea in water~bath canning is you need a certain amount of acid; otherwise, you have to use PRESSURE to can. That’s why you can’t do vegetables or meat in a water~bath.


I made them yesterday the way I always do, but decided to look on the interwebs for the heck of it. EVERY RECIPE demands extra acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar! Why? I’ve never done that & they’ve always been tasty & fine in the winter. Mine always have fresh basil & garlic in there, too, which would seem to only add to “the botch*” factor. What do you say about it, GT?? I really want to know~

Below is my canning journey; so, no tldr :)

I’ve been home canning for 20 years, starting during my years living in Boston. It started on a lark.

I collect old cookbooks & had accumulated so many on New England barn sale stops. Many were old timey state agriculture books or farm wife auxiliary books. I LOVED them (many have since been lost to flooding.) I kept crawling over the home canning sections because I’d never heard of it. I was fascinated by it. I read every entry.


So, I began with fruit jams & bought my fruit at Haymarket. I made strawberry & blueberry jam to start. Then over the years, a dozen kinds of pickles & apple butter. I was a city dweller with no garden when I began and I can’t begin to describe the joy home canning brought to my life, and to be honest, to my friends who received the spoils:)

It’s really not hard to do; I promise. It’s just time consuming. If you live in a city & have a farmers market, try it :)


Eventually I won 3 ribbons at the Topsfield Fair, the oldest County Fair in the nation! Second Place for dill pickles & apple butter. Honorable Mention for daikon radish pickles. They told me they didn’t know what to make of the daikon pickle, but they liked them enough to mention it:)

When I moved back to NJ is when I started canning tomatoes, because we have the best in the whole country & I will put up my verbal & taste~bud dukes to defend this well deserved reputation. Also, see NJ Corn and weep over your sorry cob tonight :)


Anyway, let’s talk water~bath canning. What you got?


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