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How To Can Fruits and Tomatoes in a Water Bath

Discover here how to can fruits and tomatoes in a water bath. There are just a few easy steps and procedures when canning fruits and tomatoes you should follow. Here are the tips and tricks to follow.

Canning takes over the kitchen starting in mid July and runs through late September and often longer if we have a good growing season. I check our canning pantry when planning our garden to see what we have eaten and where I need to concentrate on our seed which will eventually wind up in the pantry in a glittering array or color and texture.

We always use fresh fruits and berries, and oh those tomatoes. We use so many tomatoes in so many ways that canning them is the best way to insure that we have enough.

Luckily for all of us fruits and tomatoes are the easiest to can. Fruits and vegetable are also not that intimidating and a great place for beginners to learn the process of canning, without buying expensive equipment or getting overwhelmed.

The water canning process can be done with just a large container with a rack and tongs. Well all of that and the produce.

There are just a few easy steps and procedures when canning fruits and tomatoes you should follow:

Packing The Jar

There are two packing methods, raw packing and hot packing.

Raw packing

To raw pack, simply add the raw tomatoes or fruit to the jar. Add water or juice to cover food, press the food down into the juice to make sure they are covered. Remove any air bubbles. Then can using the water bath method.

Hot packing

I tend to use hot packing for fruits as well as crushed tomatoes. Heat fruits in syrup then pack in jars before canning. Adding the hot fruit, pack loosely in the jars, then cover with boiling liquid. Again remove any air bubbles. Then put on sterile lids and rings. Then process in water bath canning method.

Sweetening Fruit

Having fruit you processed is such a special treat and saves you so much money. In the dead of winter opening a jar of your personally canned fruit is a treat.

A jar of peaches in syrup would sure be nice to eat during the winter months. Sugar helps canned fruit keep its shape, color, and taste.

Directions to make the sugar syrup are as follows:

  • 4 cups of water or juice +

  • 2 cups sugar will make a thin syrup.

  • 3 cups of sugar will make a medium syrup.

  • 4 cups of sugar will make a heavy syrup.

Making Jelly

We use a lot of jelly and jams both in our home and for guests. Jellies, jams and tomatoes are close firsts for out canning needs.

Making jelly is super easy. I keep it simple and add flavors as I like.

  1. Cut and/or crush the fruit, such as strawberries, blackberries, or other types of berries. Heat to simmer over low heat crushing more as needed. You can add additional flavors now too, such as ginger or a cinnamon stick.

  2. Cook to the consistency that you want.

  3. Then strain through a cotton cloth to get all the seeds out. If you don’t mind the seeds, then add to jars while hot.

  4. Then can right away in a water bath.

Boiling Water Bath Canning

This is where you need to relax and just let the bath do it’s thing. If you follow all best practices you will be just fine.

Simply add the filled glass jars to a large pan that has boiling water or at least hot water. Be sure the jars are covered with at least an inch of water. Never pour boiling water right on the jars, they might break, instead add water and let the water come back up to a boil.

Add the cover; when water reaches a rolling boil, that’s when you start your timer. You need to keep the water boiling gently and consistently for the allotted amount of time. To ensure proper canning.

Altitude determines canning time. Know the altitude of your location and follow the recommended time in the chart below

Increase process time if the time is called for is…

Altitude 20 minutes or less More than 20 minutes

1000 ft 1 minute 2 minutes

2000 ft 2 minutes 4 minutes

3000 ft 3 minutes 6 minutes

4000 ft 4 minutes 8 minutes

5000 ft 5 minutes 10 minutes

6000 ft 6 minutes 12 minutes

7000 ft 7 minutes 14 minutes

8000 ft 8 minutes 16 minutes

9000 ft 9 minutes 18 minutes

10000 ft 10 minutes 20 minutes

Here is a quick reference guide for canning and timing fruits and tomatoes.


Wash, peel and core apples, also remember to remove any bad spots then cut into pieces. You can drop your fruit into a mixture of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and salt per gallon OF WATER??? This will keep them from turning brown. Pack hot fruit and cover with water or syrup.

Canning time: Pint jars 15 minutes, Quart jars 20 minutes.


Wash peaches and remove the skin. Save the skin for syrup and remove any bad spots. A trick to get the skins off peaches and tomatoes quickly, is to dip the fruit in boiling water and then in an ice bath. Cut in halves and remove pits. To prevent them from turning dark, use the same process as with the apples by dipping them first into the vinegar solution.

Pack fruit up to ½ inch from the top of the jar. Cover with boiling syrup, be sure to leave ½ inch from the top. Add lids. Process in boiling water. Canning time pint jars 25 minutes, quart jars 30 minutes.


Use only the firm ripe tomatoes. First, you will need to remove the skins, to do this, you simply dip the tomatoes into boiling water for less than a minute.Then dip in an ice bath. You can easily do this by adding them into a wire basket and then dipping a batch at a time. Cut the stems out and remove the skins.

Add tomatoes to the jar and gently push down to fill up the spaces. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Pack jars until there’s about ½ inch to the top. No need to add water put on the canning lids and process in a boiling water bath. Canning time Pint jars 35 minutes, Quart jars 45 minutes.

Always remember to can in the peak of ripeness. You will appreciate your efforts while eating peaches in a snowstorm.


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