How to Keep Fresh Tomatoes for 6 Months In Glass Containers

Keeping fresh tomatoes for six months in glass containers requires proper preservation techniques to maintain their quality and prevent spoilage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  1. Fresh tomatoes
  2. Glass jars with airtight lids
  3. Lemon juice or citric acid (optional, for preserving color)
  4. Salt (optional, for flavor)
  5. Olive oil (optional, for additional preservation and flavor)


  1. Select and Prepare Tomatoes:
    • Choose ripe, firm tomatoes without blemishes or soft spots. Roma tomatoes or paste tomatoes work well for canning due to their meatiness and low moisture content.
    • Wash the tomatoes thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Prepare Glass Jars:
    • Wash glass jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse them well to remove any soap residue.
    • Sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can run them through a dishwasher cycle.
  3. Prepare Tomatoes for Canning:
    • If desired, peel the tomatoes by scoring a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato and blanching them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Transfer them to an ice water bath and then peel off the skins.
    • Core the tomatoes and remove any tough stem ends.
  4. Pack Tomatoes into Jars:
    • Pack the prepared tomatoes tightly into the sterilized glass jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
    • If desired, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid to each pint jar to help preserve the tomatoes’ color.
    • Optionally, add a pinch of salt to each jar for flavor enhancement.
  5. Add Liquid (Optional):
    • Pour boiling water or tomato juice into the jars to cover the tomatoes, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Alternatively, you can add olive oil to cover the tomatoes.
  6. Remove Air Bubbles and Seal Jars:
    • Use a non-metallic utensil, such as a plastic spatula, to remove any air bubbles trapped between the tomatoes.
    • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to ensure they are clean and free of any debris.
    • Place sterilized lids on the jars and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
  7. Process Jars (Optional):
    • If you want to store the tomatoes at room temperature, you’ll need to process the jars in a water bath canner. Follow proper canning procedures based on your altitude and the type of tomatoes used.
    • If you prefer refrigerated storage, skip the processing step and move on to the next.
  8. Store Jars:
    • Label the jars with the date of canning and store them in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cellar. Ensure they are away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
    • Check the jars periodically for signs of spoilage, such as bulging lids, off-odors, or mold growth.

By following these steps, you can safely store fresh tomatoes in glass containers for up to six months, allowing you to enjoy their flavor and nutritional benefits throughout the year.

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