Making tomato sauce with a pressure canner can be a great way to preserve all of your tomatoes from your garden or from the farmer’s market. It is also cost-effective and will taste better then any store bought tomato sauce. Pressure canning is recommended for low acidity foods. Are you curious how to make tomato sauce? Let me show you how.
How to Make Tomato Sauce In a Pressure Canner
First step – Pick and wash your tomatoes
Pick and wash your tomatoes and any herbs you would like to add to your sauce, remove any dirt or bugs. I like to use different varieties of tomatoes and herbs like oregano, basil and parsley. I think it gives the sauce a depth of flavor. You can use any type you want. Experiment with what works best for you and your tastes. Make sure you pick ripe tomatoes. Sometimes I will pick them and let them sit for a day or two on the kitchen table. The riper the better.
Second step – Lay out your canning equipment
Lay out all of the items you will need to start canning, including your jars, lids, bands, blender, magnetic lid wand, jar lifter, pressure canner, two pots (for sterilizing), funnel and roasting trays. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
This kit comes with six essential tools for canning and dehydrating. A vinyl coated jar wrench, vinyl coated jar lifter, extra wide mouth funnel, tongs with vinyl coated handles, a bubble popper/measurer and a magnetic lid lifter all conveniently in one box.
Third step – Wash your jars
Wash all of you jars, lids and bands in soapy hot water. Rinse them thoroughly and place just the jars and bands in a large pot to sterilize. Place the lids in a separate small pot and keep them warm. Make sure the water is just at the boiling point. You do not want a rolling boil. Allow the jars and lids to sterilize for about 15-20 min. Once they are done, remove the jars and bands to a towel and allow them to air dry.
Fourth step – Cut tomatoes
Now it is time to get your knife skills going, a sharp knife works best. Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. Make sure to remove the core. Place them onto a roasting tray and drizzle them with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Put them in the oven for about 1 hour at 400 degrees. Let them get some color.
Fifth step – Blend tomatoes
Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Now it is time to blend the tomatoes and add any herbs you would like. Be careful to let the tomatoes cool down a little. Just scoop the roasted tomatoes into the blender. Do not overfill the blender. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. Then pour your sauce into a large pot in several batches.
Sixth step – Time to jar
Time to jar. I use a ladle and funnel to pour the sauce into the jars. Make sure you do not overfill the jars. Leave about 1 inch of headspace. If you don’t, some of the sauce will seep out of the jar and into the pot when pressurizing. Make sure to wipe any water or sauce from jar tops. Place hot lids on jars using your magnetic lid gizmo. Then tighten bands onto jars. Make sure they are hand tight.
Seventh step – Canning
Fill your pressure canner with hot water. Most pressure canners have a fill line inside. It is usually about 2 inches of water. Turn on the stove to medium-high. Place your jars inside the canner. Make sure the bottom rack is in the canner. Place the top of the canner on and make sure to line it up with the grooves and twist the top till secure. Now you want them to allow the canner to get some pressure. Remove the stopper this will allow the steam to escape the canner. You want a constant stream of steam to flow out. Once you have a constant stream, place the stopper on the top and allow the pressure to build. Please use an oven mitt or towel to do this, it will be very hot.
The Presto 16-quart pressure canner is more than adequate for any home canning needs. It’s a professional-quality tool, made of heavy-duty aluminum, with stay-cool handles and a strong-lock steel lid. An accompanying rack fits down into the pot to keep jars up off the bottom so that liquid can circulate underneath. And it can do double duty as a large pressure cooker. It’s easy to cook healthfully with pressure cookers since the food retains so much more of its nutrients and flavor.
Last step – Process
This part may take some tweaking and monitoring to get right. Once the pressure builds, a lock will click down securing the lid so you can not open it. My recipe asks for a PSI of 10 for about 35 minutes. The basic idea is you want to keep the PSI gauge in the range of 10 PSI. You do this by adjusting the heat and releasing pressure from the stopper if it gets beyond 10 PSI. Just tilt the stopper to the side to let the pressure out. Again make sure you use a towel or oven mitts to let the pressure out. Once you find a happy medium the pressure will stay at 10 PSI. When you have it at 10 PSI set your oven timer for 35 min. After the timer goes off, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to go down. You can also tilt the stopper to let the pressure out. Make sure you allow the pressure to come down slowly. The lock will click down when the pressure is gone and you can now remove the lid. Remove the hot cans to some towels and let them sit until they cool down. I like to cover them with a towel to allow them to cool slowly. Lastly, label and date them. I just write on top of the lid with a Sharpie. Now you know how to make tomato sauce in a pressure canner. Enjoy your homemade sauce! I store mine in the basement in a cool dark space. They should keep for several years.
If you have any questions or tips on how to make tomato sauce with a pressure canner, please leave a comment.