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Canning Tomatoes for Sauce Tip
Let Your Sauce Settle

Canning tomatoes can be a real chore but this time saving tip will also spare your sanity and help you preserve more in less time. Check it out at

If you are using a food mill and canning tomatoes for sauce, try this quick tip.  It doesn't really save time... but it saves labor.  And saving labor is a good thing. 

I discovered this quite by accident. I was in the middle of canning tomatoes when my husband needed me.  I put my tomato sauce in the fridge and later discovered to my delight that the thick stuff settles!

Another reader of mine shared that she does this too. In fact it is more common that I realized. I just didn't know about it!  Here I thought I was such a genius and all.  

Let the Sauce cool

When you are making tomato sauce you'll first heat the tomatoes a little then run them through a food mill to remove seeds and skins.  (this is optional)

After you have run them through the mill, return your tomatoes to a large stock pot.  Bring to a simmer and then let it cool on the counter.  You will notice that the tomato pulp will settle to the bottom.

When it is somewhat cool, place in the fridge overnight. You could go ahead and put it in hot... but for the sake of the cold items in the fridge, go ahead and let the tomatoes cool some first.

By morning you should have a clear liquid layer on top.

The depth of this clear layer will depend on the type of tomato and how juicy it is. These pictures are from a Roma tomato which is meatier than many other types.

I've heard this called tomato broth, or tomato whey, or tomato juice. What ever you call it, if you skim or siphon it off (a turkey baster works well) the thicker tomato sauce is at the bottom. This step will shorten your cook down time.

You will probably still need to cook down for a couple of hours but not nearly as long as if you were not able to skim off the liquid first.

I also go ahead and process this tomato broth just like tomato sauce. It can then be used for soup bases or other things.

Large drink pitchers work really well for a settling container. Then you can pour the tomato broth off the top.

From my inbox

Here is another similar tip from Anita in MD.  Do it this way if you don't want to remove the skins and seeds.

You may want to share this. Don't waste that precious tomato juice by cooking down the tomatoes to sauce or paste.

Squeeze the tomatoes by hand or as I do it, put them in my blender or Ninja to crush them. I then drain them really well through my strainer, saving the juice and canning the juice separately. I usually get 3 or more quarts juice to 1 quart sauce...adding 2 tbls lemon juice works great per qt. and heat the juice to boiling before canning.

It's delicious and so good for you. If you like tomato soup, add a bit of salt and finely ground black pepper to the juice and boil it down a bit. I just can it with the same headspace and time as tomatoes in waterbath.

› Canning Tomatoes Tip

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2018

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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