Canning Tomatoes… when to water bath and when to pressure can?

Photo/chart graphic credit goes to: Dickey Bub

ALERT! CANNING TOMATOES or recipes that have Tomatoes in them!
hahaha I am just throwing this out there, because I am reading so much mis-info/BAD info out there on people water bath canning tomatoes or worse yet water bath canning vegetable soup with veggies in it and thinking because they add tomatoes to the broth, it is safe to water bath can.Please, make the lambs stop screaming!!!!! LOL

When you home-can foods, it is all about the PH level. PH goes from 0 to 14. The magic number in home canning is 4.6. anything higher than that, needs to be pressure canned. Tomatoes run on the border. Their PH is anywhere from 4.5-5.2. Therefore you MUST….. MUST add an acid to it before water bath canning tomatoes safely. If you do not add an acid, you MUST pressure can them to be safe. If you add other vegetable or spices to your tomato sauce, you MUST pressure can it, because adding vegetables and spices increases the PH into Alkaline territory. Also, it is never safe to can pasta or rice….. so if you are making a soup,keep it to vegetables and tomato broth and add the pasta or rice when you take it out of the jar to heat it. All of this info can be easily found in canning book after canning book. It can even be easily found online. Tomatoes are only safe to water bath can if you add acid to them, otherwise, pressure canning is the safe way to go. Here is a chart to make it easier to see where tomatoes sit on the PH guide. Remember 4.5-5.2 depending on the tomato….. and the magic number for safety is 4.6. No one want botulism. It is not only deadly, but the antitoxin has to be flown in from the CDC and only helps reduce the severity of symptoms if caught early enough and if you’re lucky it will take weeks or months to recover! serious business! It isn’t worth it just because you didn’t want to pressure can those tomatoes! Or because Grandma always did it that way, you can too. Our food is not the same food as our fore-mothers used!