Pressure Canning Tomato Sauce Without Lemon Juice
In 1994 a big change was introduced into the process of canning tomatoes. The research made it mandatory to add acid into your tomatoes when canning.
The reason? Well, researchers after compiling a lot of experimental and physical data concluded that even though tomatoes were previously considered high acid foods. They are ultimately just fruits, and the acidity in fruits changes over time. A tomato when unripe has a green color, this is when it has the lowest pH value. But as time passes and the tomato starts to get a reddish color, its pH value increases as well. From an initial pH value around 3, it goes above the required pH of 4.6. This ultimately makes the tomato a low acid food.
But the research doesn’t end here. There is a large variety of tomatoes, and each one has a different pH value when ripe. Similarly, different regions and climate conditions can also affect a tomatoes final pH. Thus, due to not having a proper canning recipe that allows you to can a tomato without acid, it was deemed necessary to add acid when canning tomatoes as a precaution.
Now, let’s talk about acids. The acid that is commonly used when canning tomatoes is lemon juice. But you can add any other citrus acid or vinegar.
The recommended amount per quart is 2 tablespoons if you are using bottled lemon juice. ½ teaspoon if you are using citrus acid or 5 tablespoons of 5 percent acidity vinegar.
Lemon juice is more popular because vinegar gives the tomato sauce an undesirable taste. Even adding sugar will not be able to offset it.
The reason for adding acid is to kill the bacteria called Botulinum that manifests when canning low acid foods. High pH and temperatures above 240 degrees Fahrenheit can effectively kill it, eliminating all chances of food poisoning.
As a result, pressure canning tomato sauce without lemon juice can be done. All you have to do is replace lemon juice with vinegar, but everything else remains the same.
Below we will show you how to pressure-can your tomato sauce with vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- In a pot of boiling water, boil your jars and their caps for at least 10 minutes. This for sterilizing your jars.
- Make sure your jars are free from any sort of defects.
- Make sure that your tomato sauce is heated up, put hot sauce with vinegar into your hot jars, and close the lid properly.
- Place your jars inside the pressure canner. Make sure the water is below the fill line and don’t submerge your jars completely in water, give them a little headspace. Seal the lid and close it properly, you don’t want your pressure canner blowing up.
- Now you will allow the pressure canner to vent for at least 10 minutes. You will do that by letting V-shaped steam come out through the vent. This is an important process that removes any clogging inside the steam vent.
- After the venting process, place the weight over the vent and maintain 11 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
- Shut off the heat and allow the pressure canner to cool down. The cooling process will take approximately 45 minutes.
- Take the weight off, take the lid off, and remove the jars. Place the jars onto a cooling rack with a lot of breathing space. Let the jars cool off for at least 12 hours.