Learn how to can tomato sauce and get a thicker sauce with less cookdown time.
If you are using a food mill and canning tomato 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.
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. Whatever 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 cookdown time.
You will probably still need to cook the tomato sauce down for a couple of hours but not
nearly as long as if you were not able to skim off the liquid first. (For canning tomato sauce instructions, please see this page.)
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.
Page last updated: 2/13/2020.