How to Make Tomato Sauce With a Pressure Canner
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 than any store-bought tomato sauce. Pressure canning is recommended for low acidity foods. Are you curious about 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 – Layout your canning equipment
Layout 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 your 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.
Check out other articles on canning here.
If you have any questions or tips on how to make tomato sauce with a pressure canner, please leave a comment.
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I was given a pressure cooker as a gift years ago and am afraid to use it. Silly I know. I always used to sterilize my jars in boiling water, but now I sterilize them in the oven. 175 F for about 20 minutes. It frees up space on my small stovetop for all of the other pots!
That’s a great tip! I will have to try sterilizing my jars in the oven. Thanks for the comment!
I never made my sauce in a pressure canner, I always did it in a water bath canner (with added acid to make it safe). Now of course I don’t make it anymore as I can’t eat it. My husband really misses the homemade sauce as he is stuck with commercial now.
I usually do whole tomatoes in a water canner. I used the pressure canner for sauce because I added some herbs. I don’t add acid to my pressure canned sauce. You should not have to because of the high sterilization rate. I have never had a problem. Sorry you can’t eat tomatoes anymore. Thanks for the comment.
A pressure canner is definitely on my wish list. I just recently started to can pureed tomatoes using the water bath method but would love to can actual tomato sauce, which I only recently read should only be done in a pressure canner. Yours looks delicious!
Thanks! It takes a bit of effort, but I think it’s worth it. Pressure canning is a safe way. Thanks for commenting.