Canning Tomatoes do I add water with the Kosher Salt and Lemon Juice before the Bath time

After the Tomatoes are in the Jar do you add water along with the Salt and Lemon juice before the Bath time

Stella Smith
Grandma's Canned Tomatoes
Recipe question for: Grandma's Canned Tomatoes


Lori T. August 9, 2019
You shouldn't need to add liquid to the jars, and it doesn't matter if you add the lemon juice and salt to the jars before or after filling them. I generally add it after the jars are filled, but as long as it all gets in the jar- that's all that counts. I save the water I used to blanch the tomatoes, and cut individual tomatoes into a large shared bowl to catch all of the juice that get released. If you press down on the tomatoes as you pack them in, enough juices should get released to provide enough for canning. Don't be afraid to press them down in the jar, either. Use a chopstick or butter knife all though the jar and around the inside to release the bubbles which always happen. If you don't have enough liquid released to cover the tomatos at that point, add in some of the juices which collected in the bowl you cut them up in. De-bubble again, and add in the salt and lemon juice if you didn't put it in the jar before packing. Top with the seal and ring, and process. I've never had to add extra liquid beyond what gets released during the peeling and cutting stage- but if you needed more, you could add water. During the water bath processing, the tomatos will release a lot of their own juices, so you need to be sure to allow that 1/2 inch of headspace after packing and adding liquid. Otherwise you might end up with too much liquid in the jar, which can prevent the jar from sealing properly.
Gammy August 8, 2019
Checking other recipes online, it seems adding extra water is not necessary if you have packed the tomatoes properly in the jar by jamming them in tightly. They will release an amount of juice on their own and help to top up the jar. When each jar is full, you need to run a skewer or chopstick around the inside of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles. This also helps settle the contents. I am sure some of our Master Canners have some good advice they can add.
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