How many liter cans do I need to can tomatoes?


Canning tomatoes is a great way to preserve them and enjoy their flavor all year round. It allows you to have a supply of delicious tomatoes available even when they are out of season. One of the common questions that arise when canning tomatoes is how many liter cans are needed to store them. In this article, we will delve into the various factors that determine the number of liter cans required for canning tomatoes.

1. Types of tomatoes

The first factor to consider is the type of tomatoes you are planning to can. There are various types of tomatoes available, such as Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes, each varying in size and weight. The size of the tomatoes will directly impact the number of cans needed.

1.1 Roma tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are commonly used for canning due to their meaty texture and lower water content. These tomatoes are usually smaller in size compared to other varieties, making them ideal for canning whole or in halves. If you are using Roma tomatoes, you will require fewer liter cans compared to larger tomato varieties.

1.2 Beefsteak tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are known for their large size and juicy flesh. These tomatoes are popular for slicing and using in sandwiches or salads. If you are canning beefsteak tomatoes, you will need more liter cans due to their larger size.

2. Tomato preparation

The way you prepare the tomatoes before canning also affects the number of liter cans needed. Here are some factors to consider:

2.1 Whole tomatoes vs. diced tomatoes

If you plan to can whole tomatoes, you will need larger cans to accommodate their size. However, if you prefer to dice the tomatoes before canning, smaller cans can be used. Diced tomatoes can be packed more tightly, allowing you to fit more tomatoes in a single can.

2.2 Tomato puree or sauce

If you are planning to make tomato puree or sauce, you may require additional cans. Pureed tomatoes tend to be more liquid, requiring more space in the cans. It is important to consider the thickness of the puree or sauce when determining the number of cans needed.

How to Can Tomatoes, Step by Step Tutorial

3. Amount of tomatoes

The quantity of tomatoes you have will directly impact the number of liter cans required. It is important to estimate the amount of tomatoes you have or plan to can to ensure you have enough cans on hand.

3.1 Homegrown tomatoes

If you are using homegrown tomatoes, you can calculate the number of cans needed based on the weight or volume of the tomatoes. Keep in mind that the weight or volume of tomatoes will vary depending on the type and variety.

3.2 Store-bought tomatoes

If you are using store-bought tomatoes, you can estimate the number of cans needed by checking the weight or volume mentioned on the packaging. This will give you a rough idea of the quantity of tomatoes you have, allowing you to determine the number of cans required for canning.

4. Canning process

The canning process itself plays a crucial role in determining the number of liter cans needed. Here are some aspects to consider during the canning process:

4.1 Headspace

Headspace refers to the space left between the top of the tomatoes and the lid of the can. It is important to leave adequate headspace to allow for expansion during the canning process. Typically, a quarter to a half-inch of headspace is recommended. This headspace will impact the number of cans needed as it reduces the available space for tomatoes.

4.2 Liquid content

If you are canning tomatoes with a liquid, such as tomato juice or water, it is important to account for the volume of the liquid when determining the number of cans required. This will ensure that the cans are filled with an appropriate ratio of tomatoes and liquid.

5. Calculating the number of cans

Now that we have discussed the various factors affecting the number of liter cans needed, let’s explore how to calculate the exact number:

5.1 Example calculation

Let’s assume you have 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of Roma tomatoes and plan to can them whole. You have decided to leave a quarter-inch headspace and won’t be adding any extra liquid to the cans. A typical liter can has a capacity of 950 milliliters (0.95 liters).

– Step 1: Convert the weight of tomatoes into liters. 10 kilograms is equal to 10 liters.

– Step 2: Subtract the headspace from the can capacity. 0.95 liters – 0.25 liters (headspace) = 0.7 liters available for tomatoes.

– Step 3: Divide the available space for tomatoes by the volume per liter can. 0.7 liters / 0.95 liters = 0.74 cans.

In this example, you would need approximately 0.74 liter cans to can your 10 kilograms of Roma tomatoes.

6. Conclusion

Calculating the number of liter cans needed to can tomatoes involves considering various factors such as the type of tomatoes, their preparation method, the amount of tomatoes, and the canning process itself. By taking into account these factors, you can accurately determine the number of cans required for your tomato canning project. Remember to always refer to specific recipes or guidelines for canning tomatoes to ensure safety and proper preservation.

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