How to Can Tomatoes Without A Pressure Cooker

Want to know how to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker? Well, you've come to the right place. Eating fresh produce is all the rage right now, as it should be, for healthier living.


It can be tough to find fresh produce, and if we do, we don’t know how to cut it properly. And yes, even if we know how to cut and cook it properly, we might not know how to store it to preserve its freshness. That’s why people are interested in canned fruits and vegetables.

However, when buying canned products, we can't be sure what's really in there. Will it be good enough? Has it been preserved properly? For a long time, I found it difficult to preserve food and thus, a lot of food went to waste.

How to Preserve Fresh Tomatoes?

How to Preserve Tomatoes

Recently my father came to visit my home, and he brought fresh tomatoes with him. He loves gardening and has one full of fresh vegetables. I love cherry tomatoes, and I eat tomatoes with everything. It can eat them in a salad, with pasta, with pizza, with a grilled cheese and even with bean and toast.

My father brought a few kilograms of tomatoes for me. While I greatly appreciated the gift, I didn’t know how to store them properly. You can’t freeze them, and you can’t just keep them in the refrigerator as they become soft too easily.

  • Did you know how far apart to plant tomatoes for better frowth? Find out here!

You Should Can Tomatoes!

That's why I decided to ask my dad, and he told me to can them. It sounded like the perfect idea, but I was hesitant. I hadn't canned anything before. So, I browsed the web for instructions. Most of the websites I visited recommended using a pressure cooker, but I didn't own one. So, I began my search again.

How to Can Tomatoes Without A Pressure Cooker?

I did find a useful video about canning tomatoes without a pressure cooker. You can watch the video below.

I didn’t try it out because I wanted an expert opinion from someone I knew.

That’s why I called my dad again and he told how to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker. I started with a small amount, and once I got the hang of it, I continued canning the rest of the tomatoes.

Below you’ll find everything I did. I even mention the things that didn’t work out for me.


  • Tomatoes (as much as you want but if you are scared to try being with small amount).
  • Lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed but bottled is perfectly alright as long as you don’t use anything synthetic like vinegar as a substitute).
  • Boiler or big pot.
  • Apple core remover (I had one but if you don’t just use a knife instead, no big deal).
  • Jars (medium size).
  • Pot holder or mittens (just to make it safe, no pressure).

These are all the ingredients that I used. There are two main steps for canning and preparing tomatoes for proper storage.

Preparation of Tomatoes

Preparation of Tomatoes

1. You'll need to wash all of the tomatoes properly and also remove the stem from the tomatoes. For relatively bigger tomatoes use an apple core remover, but you can also use a knife if you prefer. You can remove the tomato seeds if you want but it is optional. I like mine with the seeds so, I didn’t remove them.

2. Add water in a big pan and let it boil.

3. Add the tomatoes in the pan. If the size is normal just cook everything for one minute but if the tomatoes are bigger in size boil it for two minutes. I had pure organic tomatoes, so they were relatively bigger in size; it took me a little more than just two minutes.

4. If you are still not sure, they are boiled enough just notice the skin if the skin is a little cracked you got it right.

5. Strain the water thoroughly.

6. Add these tomatoes in cold water, and you will see them shedding their skin. The skin will easily begin to tear apart, and you will see the inner part. Just peel the skin off.

Now we come to the canning part. Again, the steps are easy. You just need to follow them properly. You might make a few mistakes in the beginning, but you'll learn the correct way soon enough.

Canning Tomatoes

Canning Tomatoes

For canning, you need jars obviously, but you need to find the one that is medium sized so that they can comfortably fit in the pot.

If you are wondering why you need them to fit in the pot, you will see why I've mentioned this if you continue reading.

1. Wash all the jars properly and add water in a big pot.

2. Now, put all of the jars in the pot. You need to boil them. If you are thinking of skipping this process you need to know you are compromising the shelf life. I skipped this process the first time, and my canned tomatoes didn’t last long.

3. After boiling them, rinse them with cold water and dry them properly.

4. Add the tomatoes in the jar. You can cut them if you want but I didn't. Even if you cut them, they'll be okay.

5. Keep adding tomatoes and squish them to make room for more by using a spoon. Keep on doing this until you’re left with an inch of free space at the top.

6. Add lemon juice. But why should you? It’s because lemon juice actually adds acidity and help increase the shelf life. You can add one to two tablespoons depending upon the size of the jar.

7. Now use a knife or spoon to remove all the bubbles.

8. Go ahead and add boiled water to fill the top of the jar. This step is optional. Your tomatoes will be fine either way.

9. Make sure not to add tap water and if you are squeezing lemon juice yourself make sure to pick out all the seeds. Seeds may spoil and reduce the shelf life.

10. Close all the jars and clean the rim with a paper towel.

11. Now, again boil water in a big pot and boil all the sealed jars. If you don’t want to boil the jars just microwave them, both are equally effective.

12. Make sure to sterilize them properly; you don't want your hard work to go to waste.

13. Leave them overnight to cool.

14. Check for leakage. If there is any sort of leakage, obviously this means that they won’t last longer. So, you should put them in the fridge and use them first.


Another important thing is to notice the jars when you eat them from them. If there is air in it, you’ll notice the lid being a bit elevated. Having air in their means bacteria is growing, and the canned tomatoes shouldn't be consumed.

Canning Tomatoes Without A Pressure Cooker is Possible

I hope you try these steps and they have answered your question about how to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker. I’ve tried these steps out myself and can guarantee that it’ll keep your tomatoes preserved.


As shown in the steps above, you can easily can tomatoes without a pressure cooker. All you need to do is make sure to follow the instructions as closely as possible.

Having your own storage of fresh produce feels wonderful especially if you’re working towards living a healthier life. You can simply pick a jar and start eating from it right away, savoring the fresh taste.

If you found this article helpful, do share it without people you think will be interested. Also, leave your comments below if you've tried this method or have any questions.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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