How do you strain tomatoes for canning?

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables in the garden. From soups to sauces to salsa, they have a variety of uses in the kitchen. And if you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, you may be wondering how to preserve them for later use. Canning is a popular option, but before you can start the canning process, you need to strain the tomatoes. Straining is essential to remove the seeds and skin, ensuring a smooth, delicious sauce. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to strain tomatoes for canning.

What You’ll Need

To strain tomatoes for canning, you’ll need a few items. First, you’ll need fresh, ripe tomatoes. It’s important to use only ripe tomatoes as unripe ones won’t give you a good flavor. You’ll also need a large pot for boiling water, a strainer or sieve, or even a food mill, a bowl or saucepan to collect the juice, and a jar or container to store the finished product.

Step-by-Step Process

1. Wash the Tomatoes: Begin by washing your tomatoes in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. You don’t want any extra dirt or debris in your final product.

2. Boil Water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water.

3. Score the Tomatoes: Use a sharp knife to score an “X” on the bottom of each tomato. This process will help the skin peel away more easily.

4. Blanch the Tomatoes: Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the scored tomatoes into the boiling water. Leave them in the water for 30 seconds to a minute or until the skin begins to peel away. You don’t want to leave them in too long, or they’ll become mushy and start to break down.

5. Cool the Tomatoes: Once blanched, use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and place them in the ice bath. This process stops the cooking process and helps to cool the tomatoes quickly.

6. Peel the Tomatoes: Once the tomatoes are cool, remove them from the ice bath and peel off the skin. The skin should come off easily with your fingers or a knife.

7. Remove the Seeds: After peeling the tomatoes, cut them in half and use your finger or a spoon to scoop out the seeds and any excess liquid inside.

8. Strain the Tomatoes: Use a strainer, sieve, or even a food mill to strain the tomatoes and remove any remaining seeds or excess liquid. Work with small batches of tomatoes and push them through the mesh using a ladle or spoon.

9. Collect the Juice: Collect the strained tomatoes in a bowl or saucepan. You can use the juice immediately or store it in the refrigerator or freezer.


Straining tomatoes for canning is an essential part of the process. By removing the skin and seeds, you’ll have a smooth, delicious sauce that you can use in a variety of dishes. When preparing to strain your tomatoes, be sure to have all the necessary equipment on hand, and always work in small batches. With the right preparation, you’ll have a stockpile of delicious tomato sauce to last you through the winter months. And if you want to learn more about canning, check out our blog post on how to can vegetables at home.


What is the best way to strain tomatoes?

Straining tomatoes is the process of removing seeds and skin from the tomato to achieve a silky smooth texture. There are different methods to strain tomatoes, but the best way depends on the task at hand. Here, we’ll discuss a popular and straightforward method for straining tomatoes.

The first step in straining tomatoes is to drain them. Cut the tomatoes in half and drain the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to place the halved tomatoes in a colander for about an hour. Gently shaking the colander every few minutes can help remove excess liquid.

Once the tomatoes are drained, it’s time to remove the skin. The skin should come right off, especially if the tomatoes were ripe. An easy way to remove the skin is to blanch the tomatoes for a few seconds and then transfer them to an ice bath. This process loosens the skin, making it easier to peel off.

After peeling the tomatoes, cut each half in segments. This process exposes the seeds. Use your thumb to scoop out each segment, removing the seeds.

Next, place the seeds and their juices in a medium sieve and stir until all the juices have been strained. This process separates the juice from the seeds, resulting in a silky smooth texture. The sieved tomato juice can be used for various recipes, including sauces, soups, and stews.

The best way to strain tomatoes involves draining the tomatoes, removing the skin, halving the tomato, scooping out the seeds, and finally straining the tomato juices using a medium sieve. The result is a pure, silky smooth tomato juice ideal for a wide range of recipes.

Do you have to remove seeds from tomatoes for sauce?

Tomatoes are a staple in many home-cooked dishes, including pasta sauces, stews, and soups. While their bright red color and juicy texture are excellent for creating flavorful and hearty sauces, their seeds may not be desirable in some recipes. In this regard, the question arises, do you have to remove the seeds from tomatoes for sauce?

To answer this question, let’s examine the role of tomato seeds in sauce-making. Tomato seeds are surrounded by a gel-like substance that has a bitter taste, which can affect the overall flavor of your sauce. The seeds can also contribute to a gritty texture when blended or processed. Therefore, it is generally recommended that you remove tomato seeds when making homemade tomato sauce, especially if you want a smooth, velvety texture and a sweet, tangy flavor.

That said, not all recipes dictate the need to remove tomato seeds. For instance, if you’re making chunky salsa or pico de gallo, leaving the tomato seeds in can add a pleasant crunch to the dish. Similarly, if you’re roasting whole tomatoes, such as for bruschetta or as a side dish, the seeds and jelly inside can help keep the tomatoes moist and flavorful.

But how do you remove the seeds from tomatoes? One easy method is to cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and gently squeeze the seeds and juice out over a fine-mesh strainer or a bowl. You can also use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, though this can be a bit messier and may result in some wasted tomato flesh. Another option is to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds to one minute, then plunge them into an ice bath. This will make it easier to remove the skin, core, and seeds.

Do you have to remove the seeds from tomatoes for sauce? The answer depends on the recipe and your personal preference. If you want a smooth, sweet tomato sauce or soup, it’s best to remove the seeds beforehand. However, if you’re making a chunky salsa or roasting whole tomatoes, leaving the seeds in can enhance the texture and flavor of the dish.

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