The Ultimate Tomato Variety for Canning: Discover the Top Pick for Preserving Your Bounty

The Ultimate Tomato Variety for Canning: Discover the Top Pick for Preserving Your Bounty

When it comes to canning tomatoes, not all varieties are created equal. Some tomatoes just don’t have the right qualities for canning, such as being too watery or lacking the right balance of acidity and sweetness. But fear not, there is one tomato variety that stands above the fang and is worth every effort.

The San Marzano tomato is the ultimate choice for canning. These tomatoes were originally grown in Italy and have long been prized for their exceptional flavor and high yield of thick, fleshy flesh. They are slightly larger than your average tomato and have a firm texture, making them perfect for sauces and paste. Whether you’re an experienced canner or a beginner, these tomatoes will make your canned goods taste like they came straight from Mama’s kitchen.

One of the great things about San Marzano tomatoes is that they are easy to find in stores or can be grown in your own garden. They are also less prone to disease and fungal infections, making them a good choice for gardeners who want to minimize the risk of losing their crop. Plus, their larger size means you’ll have more tomatoes to work with, so you can make tons of delicious canned goods to enjoy throughout the year.

But if San Marzano tomatoes aren’t available or you prefer a different variety, there are other options that can work well for canning. The Amish Paste tomato is another popular choice, known for its meaty, flavorful flesh. It produces a high yield of tomatoes that are perfect for making sauce or paste. Similarly, the Supersauce tomato is a newer variety that is gaining popularity for its large size and high yields.

When canning tomatoes, it’s important to follow a reliable recipe and use proper canning techniques to ensure your canned goods stay fresh and safe to eat. This means using the right amount of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to prevent bacteria growth. It’s also important to sterilize your jars and lids before use and process the jars in a boiling water bath for the recommended time. And don’t forget to add a little love to each jar, because a homemade tomato sauce or canned tomatoes are always a labor of love worth preserving.

Best Canning Tomatoes

When it comes to canning tomatoes, not all varieties are created equal. Some tomatoes are better suited for canning than others due to their size, flavor, and texture. Here are some of the best canning tomatoes you should consider:

1. Amish Paste – These large, meaty tomatoes are perfect for canning. They have a sweet flavor and a thick, fleshy texture, making them ideal for sauces and salsa.

2. Roma – Roma tomatoes are a popular choice for canning due to their high acidity and lower water content. They have a firm texture and are ideal for making tomato paste and sauces.

3. San Marzano – San Marzano tomatoes are known for their rich flavor and meaty texture. They have a lower acidity compared to other varieties, making them a great option for canning tomato sauce.

4. Pruning Amish Mama – This variety of tomato is known for its exceptional flavor and productivity. They are fleshy and have a lower water content, which means less cooking time and better-tasting canned tomatoes.

5. Atkinson – Atkinson tomatoes are smaller in size, but they are packed with flavor. They have a high sugar content, making them perfect for canning and preserving.

6. VF-33 – VF-33 tomatoes are a favorite among home gardeners. They are disease-resistant and have high yields, making them perfect for canning and processing in large quantities.

When deciding which tomatoes to use for canning, it’s important to consider the type of food you’ll be preparing and the desired flavor profile. Some tomatoes are better suited for making sauces, while others are perfect for canning whole or diced tomatoes. The choice ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific recipe.

Regardless of the variety you choose, make sure to pick tomatoes at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and texture. It’s recommended to can tomatoes during the warm summer months when tomato plants are thriving and producing a large crop.

If you’re unsure what type of tomato to use, it’s always a good idea to consult local farmers or experts in your area. They can provide insights into which varieties work best for canning in your specific region.

In conclusion, the best canning tomatoes are those that are fleshy, have a good balance of acidity, and are suitable for the specific recipe you’re making. Whether you’re canning for the first time or are an experienced canner, the right choice of tomatoes can make a world of difference in the quality and taste of your canned goods.

For more information on canning tomatoes and other frequently asked questions, visit our kitchen and food preservation section for helpful tips and advice.

What makes a good canning tomato

When it comes to canning tomatoes, not all varieties are created equal. Some tomatoes are better suited for canning than others, and it’s important to choose the right type of tomato for the best results. Here are some factors to consider when selecting tomatoes for canning:

  1. Plum Shape: Plum tomatoes, such as Roma or San Marzano, are ideal for canning because they have a firm texture and less juice. They are perfect for making tomato sauce or whole canned tomatoes.
  2. High Acid Content: Tomatoes with a higher acid content, like lime tomatoes, are preferred for canning because the acidity helps to preserve the tomatoes and prevent spoilage.
  3. Sauce Varieties: Some tomato varieties are specifically bred for making sauces, such as Amish Paste or Brandywine. These tomatoes have a great flavor and are perfect for making sauces, salsa, and other canned tomato products.
  4. Good Fruiting: Look for tomato plants that have a good track record of producing a high yield of fruit. This will ensure that you have plenty of tomatoes for canning and preserving.
  5. Disease Resistance: Certain tomato varieties are more resistant to fungal or other diseases that can affect the plant’s overall health and fruiting. Look for varieties that are known for disease resistance to ensure a successful harvest.
  6. Home-grown: Many gardeners love to can tomatoes from their own homegrown plants. Home-grown tomatoes usually have better flavor and a higher overall quality, making them a great choice for canning.

When it’s time to start canning your tomatoes, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure the best results:

  • Proper Pruning: Regular pruning can help improve air circulation and reduce the risk of fungal diseases. This will keep your tomato plants healthy and productive.
  • Longer Shelf Life: If you’re planning to store your canned tomatoes for a longer period of time, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice or citric acid to each jar to increase the acidity and improve shelf life.
  • Proper Canning Technique: Follow the instructions for your specific canning method, whether it’s a water bath canner or a pressure canner, to ensure that your tomatoes are safely preserved.
  • Quality Inspections: Before canning, inspect your tomatoes for any signs of spoilage or disease. Discard any tomatoes that are soft, bruised, or damaged.
  • Preserving the Harvest: Canning tomatoes is a great way to preserve your summer harvest and enjoy delicious tomatoes all year round. It’s also a wonderful way to share your homegrown produce with others.

By selecting the right type of tomato and following these tips, you can ensure that your canned tomatoes will be of the highest quality and flavor. So whether you’re making tomato sauce, salsa, or just preserving whole tomatoes, choose your tomatoes wisely and enjoy the fruits of your labor for months to come!

How do you can tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is a great way to preserve the flavors of peak-season tomatoes for use throughout the year. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Choose the right tomato: The best tomatoes for canning are plum or paste varieties, such as San Marzano or Supersauce. These tomatoes have a higher level of acidity, which helps to preserve the tomato flavor. They also have less water content and more flesh, making them perfect for sauces.
  2. Prepare the tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes and remove any blemishes. You can blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two to make peeling easier, or you can leave them as they are.
  3. Cut and chop the tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending on their size. You can also remove the seeds and pulp if you prefer a smoother texture.
  4. Heat the tomatoes: Place the tomatoes in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the tomatoes for about 5 minutes to break them down slightly and release their juices.
  5. Preserve the tomatoes: Ladle the hot tomatoes into sterile jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch headspace. Add lemon juice or vinegar to increase acidity and ensure safe canning. Use a canning funnel to prevent spills.
  6. Seal the jars: Wipe the jar rims clean, top with sterile lids, and screw on the bands tightly. Place the jars in a boiling water canner and process for the recommended time based on your altitude and jar size.
  7. Wait and store: Let the jars cool completely and then check that they are properly sealed. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

By following these steps, you can enjoy the taste of fresh, homemade tomato sauce, salsa, or other tomato-based recipes all year round.

Best overall canning tomatoes

When it comes to canning tomatoes, there are certain varieties that stand out above the rest. These tomatoes have the perfect combination of flavor, texture, and juiciness that make them ideal for making sauces, juices, and more. Here are some of the best overall canning tomatoes:

  • Roma Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are the top choice for many gardeners when it comes to canning. They have a thick, meaty flesh that makes them perfect for sauces and canning whole. The flavor of Roma tomatoes is slightly sweet and they are less juicy, which means they produce thick, rich sauces.
  • Amish Paste Tomatoes: Amish Paste tomatoes are a favorite among canners for their large size and meaty texture. They are great for slicing and canning, and their sweet and slightly tangy flavor adds a delicious taste to sauces.
  • San Marzano Tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are often referred to as the “queen of sauce tomatoes.” They are known for their incredible flavor and are the classic choice for making pasta sauces. These tomatoes have a thick flesh and low seed count, which makes them perfect for canning.
  • Supersauce Tomatoes: As the name suggests, Supersauce tomatoes are great for making sauces. They are big, fleshy, and have a high yield, making them ideal for canning in large quantities. Plus, they are disease-resistant, so you can count on a healthy harvest.
  • Fang Tomato: Fang tomatoes are a relatively new variety, but they are gaining popularity among canners for their tasty and thick sauce. They have a sweet and tangy flavor that is perfect for bottling and preserving for the winter months.

These are just a few of the best overall canning tomatoes available. The choice of tomato variety ultimately depends on personal preference, as flavors and textures can vary slightly from one type to another. However, if you’re looking to try your hand at canning, these varieties are a great place to start!

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.