We are coming to the end of our sauce adventure. The jarring process is involved – we need clean bottles that have been heated and will need to work fast to fill them before placing them in a boiling water bath. We process our 1 liter jars for about 35 minutes – the goal is to raise all of the contents of your jar up to 212 degrees (fairly easy for sauce itself, more time is needed if you are adding solids such as pieces of garlic).
We follow a tested recipe that we trust a great deal. We add fresh herbs, garlic and a touch of salt to each hot jar before filling them with hot sauce. Note that these are not required – I add them as it can be difficult to get local garlic and herbs in late winter and spring which is why we take this extra step.
Before putting the lids on, there are some things to consider carefully. The jars need to stay hot before you place them in the boiling water. Some people put the seals on right away – this can cause a premature seal as the jars cool. This seal can become a larger problem as you process the jars in boiling water – the air may not escape. We use older seals and place them upside down on the bottles to keep the heat in as we wait for room to process them (keep in mind that cleanliness is key):
Warm seals and lids are placed on the jars right before entering the water bath. There is more info on the general preserving process in the preserving section that is linked at the top of this page.
Jars are covered in boiling water for 35 minutes.
We place the jars on the crushed boxes that came with the tomatoes – this saves our porch from water staining and protects the bottle from bottleshock (which shatters bottles as hot glass touches cold surfaces).
They cool overnight in the garage before we check the seals on the following day.
We have found that a typical bushel of tomatoes will yield 4-18 jars of sauce. Using the tricks shared in our previous posts we had an unbelievable yield of 126 jars on 6 bushels this year – we have never come close to this amount in the past (21 jars per bushel). The contents of each jar is about $1 and will deliver the most amazing tomato flavor year round!