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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

How to Can Tomato Juice in 13 Simple Steps

Few things are as satisfying as canning tomato juice. This is an activity that families have been doing for generations. The process is simple, and the outcome is delicious. You just need a few basic supplies to get started. This step-by-step photo tutorial will show you how to make tomato juice and can it in a matter of minutes.


· Knife

· Large pot

· Potato masher

· Ladell for transferring the tomatoes and juice

· Food Mill, Strainer or blender and strainer

· Wide Funnel

· Damp cloth to wipe the tops of jars

· Small pan to boil jar lids in

· Tongs or a lid wand

· Water bath canner

· Canning jars with lids and rings

· Jar lifting tongs

· Old towels or rags to place hot jars on


· Garden fresh tomatoes

· Salt (optional)


1. Wash tomatoes and cut out the stem and blemishes.

2. To allow quicker cooking, cut tomatoes into chunks before putting them into a large pot. Bring tomatoes to a slight boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher to stir and smash the tomatoes into juice every couple of minutes.

3. Next, pour the juice mixture into a strainer basket placed over a bowl or large measuring up. I like to use a spoon to press the liquid through faster. If your filter has larger holes, you may need cheesecloth to keep the seeds and larger skins from getting into your juice.

If you use a juicer to make tomato juice, you'll want to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes before pouring the juice into the mason jars.

4. Pour the tomato juice into sanitized canning jars using a canning funnel. Juice should be poured just to the base of the neck of the can.

5. Pour Citric Acid (¼ tsp. per pint or ½ tsp. per qt) or store-bought lemon juice (1 Tbsp. per pint or 2-3 Tbsp. per quart) into each can of juice to ensure a safe level of acidity.

6. Add ½ tsp. Salt per pint and 1 tsp. Salt per quart. (optional)

7. Clean the rim of each jar with a fresh cloth dampened with vinegar to remove any tomato juice that may be there. A dirty rim might stop the jars from sealing properly.

8. Once you have your jars filled, sanitize your metal canning lids by placing them in a small pan of boiling water for a minute or two. Remove the tops using a magnetic canning tool, tongs, etc.

9. Fasten each lid with a jar band/ring. Do not tighten the bands too much because they won't seal properly.

Note: Not all lids must be boiled ahead of time. Please check the box's recommendation.

10. Fill the canner with enough water to cover the mason jars by 2 or 3 inches. Fire up the burner to medium-high heat. Place jars in the water bath canner once the water is boiling.

Slightly reduce the flame and process 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts.

11. After processing is complete, turn the burner off. Remove jars using the jar-lifting tongs. Place hot jars on an old towel, blanket, or hot pad. (This protects your countertop from the hot masons.) Wait to move the jars again until they are completely cool.

12. Jars should seal as they cool, and you will hear a pop as the vacuum seal finishes. Lids will be concaved when shut. To check the seal, allow the jar to cool completely, then gently press the center of the jar lid. If it is firm and does not move, it should seal. If it pushes in, you need to reprocess.

13. After the jars cool, you can remove the rings. Rings are reusable, but lids are not.

Disclaimer: Canning guidelines have changed through the years. Always be sure to cross-reference any canning recipes online or vintage prints with the USDA Official Canning Guidelines.

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