Best way to freeze stewed tomatoes? In canning jars or plastic containers?

I don't have a pressure canner so I'm going to have to freeze the tomatoes I prepared. I've made approximately 12 to 14 quarts of stewed tomatoes. I have a lot of 8 oz ball canning jars and pint size that are the smaller lid size. I also have a lot of plastic containers too. Which is best for freezing?



Voted the Best Reply!

Cav October 14, 2014
I vote for the Ziplock solution. Being able to freeze things flat(ish) can be really useful when organising a freezer. Fill the ziplocks with portioned amounts, lay flat on a sheet pan and place in freezer to freeze. When frozen, remove from sheet pan and file in freezer.
tiffanylee October 14, 2014
Thank you. This worked really well.
lem M. October 14, 2014
Plastic containers sometimes get discoloured from tomatoes, so if you want to reuse them later and this is a concern, you might want to use jars or, as Susan suggested, ziplock bags instead.
Also: here I thought that tomatoes being quite acidic were one of the things, that—even according to u.s. food safety regulations—were ok to can with the normal water bath method. Or did you stew a lot of vegetables/meat along with them ?
tiffanylee October 14, 2014
I cooked the tomatoes with green pepper onion garlic , and some with onion fresh basil garlic red pepper , and some plain . I let it cool to room temp then refrigerated it as it was getting too late to finish. Can I water bath the tomatoes after refrigeration ?
lem M. October 14, 2014
Personally, I would go ahead and do it: reboil the sauce, fill into sterilized jars and can in a water bath. However, I’ve learned from previous discussions here, that many of the methods in my (European) family recipes would be considered wildly unsafe in the U.S., so I feel reluctant to advise you. But there are great resources online: the "USDA guide to home canning" has a chapter just on tomatoes and suggests not using more than 3 cups of chopped veg in a 7 quart batch of tomato sauce, if you want to use a boiling water canner.
lem M. October 14, 2014
oh, and adding a bit extra salt & lemon juice (or citric acid) would also be a good idea
Susan W. October 14, 2014
It really is up to you, but when I have a choice, I choose glass over plastic. I say that, but I fire roasted 20 lbs of tomatoes a d made ratatouille and marinara and froze everything flat in zip loc bags because I have a tiny apt freezer.
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