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Automatic Home Canning System Basic Tomato Sauce

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Automatic Home Canning System Basic Tomato Sauce

Makes about 4 pints (16 oz.) or 3 quarts (32 oz.) of sauce. Note that this recipe will only perform as expected when using the Ball®freshTECH Automatic Home Canning System.

You will need:

For 4 pints (16 oz.), use:

12-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 tsp Ball® brand Citric Acid*, divided
2 tsp salt (optional), divided
4 Ball® brand Glass Preserving Jars with Lids and Bands
15 pounds ripe tomatoes

For 3 quarts (32 oz.), use:

1-1/2 tsp Ball® brand Citric Acid*, divided
3 tsp salt (optional), divided
4 Ball® brand Glass Preserving Jars with Lids and Bands

TIP: If you want a thicker sauce, you will need about 20 lbs tomatoes for 3 quarts or 13 lbs for 4 pints.
TIP: Be sure to add Citric Acid or bottled lemon juice to each jar before adding tomatoes.


A. Make Your Sauce

   1. WASH and sort tomatoes, removing any bruised or discolored ones. Quarter 6 tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes to release juices, stirring constantly.

     2. QUARTER additional tomatoes, adding them to the saucepan as you work while maintaining a boil and stirring to prevent burning. Make sure the mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the remaining tomatoes. When all tomatoes have been added, boil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

   3. PRESS tomatoes through a fine sieve, food mill, or Victorio Strainer, working in batches, to remove skins and seeds. Discard skins and seeds.

    4. RETURN mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until volume is reduced by at least one-third for a thin sauce. For a thicker sauce, cook until reduced by half. When you have about 20 minutes left, begin pre-heating your jars.

B. Pre-Heat Your Empty Jars

    1. REMOVE Inner Pot from Appliance. Remove Rack; set aside. Fill Inner Pot with warm tap water to fill line. Return Inner Pot to Appliance. Place Rack back into Inner Pot. Place empty jars onto Rack in Inner Pot. Set preserving lids and bands aside in your work space. Close and lock Appliance Lid.

     2. PRESS Pre-Heat button, then press Start. The red Pre-Heating light will illuminate, and the Appliance will begin pre-heating your jars. Jars will be pre-heated when the green Ready light is flashing. Keep jars in Appliance, with Lid closed and locked, until ready to fill with sauce.              

C. Preserve Your Sauce

    1. UNLOCK and open Appliance Lid. 

    2. REMOVE one hot jar. Close lid, but do not lock, to keep remaining jars hot. Ladle hot sauce into hot jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add 1/4 tsp Citric Acid per pint, 1/2 tsp per quart. Or, add 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice per pint, 2 tbsp per quart. Add 1/2 tsp salt per pint, 1 tsp per quart, if using. Remove air bubbles. Wipe any sauce from the rim of the jar. Center new lid on jar. Twist on band until fingertip tight. Return filled jar onto Rack in Inner Pot.

    3. REPEAT step 2 until all jars are filled with sauce and returned to Inner Pot. Close and lock Lid.

    4. PRESS Sauces then press Recipe 6. Press Start to begin preserving.

    5. THE APPLIANCE will start sensing your recipe, indicated by the orange Sensing light. Then, the preserving phase will begin, indicated by the orange Preserving light. When your appliance beeps and the green Ready light is flashing, your sauce has been successfully preserved! Press Stop. Unlock and open Lid. 

    6. REMOVE jars from Inner Pot and place upright on a towel. Allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Refer to the After Canning section on page 21 to learn how to check lids for seals and store your jars.