Can I wait to process my tomato jars until tomorrow?

I have 9 pint-and-a-half jars filled with blanched tomatoes, lemon juice and hot water, with sterilized lids and rings. Can I put them in the fridge overnight until I can find a pot deep enough to process the jars in boiling water?

  • Posted by: Angela
  • September 3, 2012
  • 1 Comment

1 Comment

Diana B. September 3, 2012
Are you unable to get the water in whatever pot you usually use to can to a depth of one inch over the top of the submerged jars? That's all you need. But if you can't, I wouldn't advise just refrigerating the tomatoes in the jars. Instead, dump the contents of the jars out into a bowl and refrigerate overnight, then reheat it once you've got a big enough kettle and the kettle's on the boil, so the tomatoes are boiling hot when they hit the (hot) jars, and then go right into the canning kettle or pressure canner. It's much safer than starting to call all your neighbors now to get a big enough kettle to can them in. For one thing, how are you going to keep everything hot while you search? You could put them in the oven, but jar manufacturer's don't recommend this and you're courting jar failure (most of today's canning jars are not all that well made, anyway, so the last thing you need is another reason for them to fail).

Is this a recipe that's approved as safe for canning? Tomatoes are borderline in terms of safety for water-bath canning, so you need to be using an approved recipe to know it's safe. There's good advice for you here: Believe me, with home canning, much better safe than sorry.
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