Every home should always have a bottle of tomato juice stashed away somewhere. It’s not just grains and tubers that fit the bill for “staple foods,” but rather any item that can be stored and eaten throughout the year.
Tomato juice can be used in a variety of ways, including as a base for hearty winter soups, to tenderize a pot roast, to add flavor to plain rice, as a salad dressing, or just to drink. In the kitchen, there is a virtually infinite number of uses for tomato juice.
The larger the tomato, the more liquid there is likely to be inside. Smaller tomatoes have thicker skins and are tougher. Better for purees and sauces.
Choose larger tomatoes that are fully ripe and have a little dimple when tested for juice ready.
Brandywine is a delicious heritage tomato with a lot of juice. It’s also delicious when eaten raw. Beefsteaks, Better Boys, and Royal Flush all produce huge fruits that are excellent for canning.
You can also select from several smaller tomato cultivars such as Early Girl or Roma tomatoes.
Start with roughly 22 pounds of tomato juice before canning it (10 kg). You can either base this quantity on your garden haul or on the number of empty jars on your shelves.
Make sure the tomatoes are all about the same ripeness.