Trying to decide which type of tomato to buy at the grocery store or farmers market can be a challenge.
While there are many different varieties, each kind has its own benefits and drawbacks.
One thing that’s clear from all the tomato research we’ve conducted over the years is that canned tomatoes can last for months if they are stored properly.
You can enjoy them in salads, on pizza, and even in savory sauces and stews.
But how long do canned tomatoes last once you open them?
How long do canned tomatoes last?
According to the USDA, shelf life for most varieties of canned tomatoes ranges anywhere between eight and 18 months, depending on the variety and the storage conditions.
The longer you keep your cans, the longer the tomatoes will last.
If you store your tomatoes correctly, they can last for years!
If they aren’t stored correctly, they may not last as long.
This is why it’s so important to know what you need to do to store your tomatoes properly.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about storing tomatoes before we look into some of their delicious uses.
How should canned tomatoes be stored?
For the longest shelf life possible, store your tomatoes out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.
You want to avoid placing them near the top shelves of your pantry where temperatures can get high.
Instead, put them somewhere else in the house.
You also want to make sure they don’t come in contact with metal objects or other foods or liquids that could potentially react with the acidity of the tomatoes.
So, when you are packing your groceries, choose glass containers or plastic instead of paper whenever possible.
And if you must use paper bags, make sure to line them with wax paper or parchment paper.
Finally, remember to label the contents of your can so you know what was inside and when it was packed.
Also, write the name of the brand on the lid and date the container.
This will help you identify any potential issues as time goes by.
What is the best way to use canned tomatoes?
The only real downside to canned tomatoes is that they don’t offer quite the same versatility as fresh ones.
They are more limited in terms of how they can be used.
However, if you are looking for a quick and easy dish to make, canned tomatoes are perfect.
There are plenty of ways to prepare them, including pasta sauce, chili, soups, and casseroles.
You can even add them to your favorite salad dressing.
Are canned tomatoes as healthy as fresh tomatoes?
While there isn’t much difference in nutritional value between fresh and canned tomatoes, the vitamins and minerals found in fresh tomatoes tend to degrade faster.
Therefore, it’s best to opt for canned tomatoes if you find yourself running low on fresh produce.
Canned tomatoes contain higher levels of vitamin A, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
However, the amount of these nutrients differs based on the variety of tomato.
How do canned tomatoes compare to other types of canned vegetables?
It’s true that canned tomatoes have a longer shelf life compared to other types of canned vegetables, but they still won’t last forever.
In fact, canning tomatoes actually shortens their lifespan because the acidity increases during processing.
This means that even though canned tomatoes may last longer than other types of canned vegetables, they aren’t going to last as long as fresh ones.
For this reason, you should try to eat your fruit and vegetables within one month of purchase.
After that, you should discard them since they have lost too much of their nutrient value.
What are some recipes that use canned tomatoes?
There are thousands of ways you can use canned tomatoes, from making salsa to creating homemade ketchup.
Here are just a few of our favorites:
Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Italian Pasta Salad
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Homemade Italian Salsa
Cranberry BBQ Sauce
Spicy Hot Chili
What are some tips for using canned tomatoes?
Once you start using your canned tomatoes, you might notice that they go bad quicker than usual.
To ensure the healthiest results, follow these four simple steps:
1. Use ripe tomatoes
Avoid using any tomatoes that are wilted, moldy, or discolored.
If you see any of these signs, toss them out immediately.
2. Remove the lids
Make sure to remove the lids after opening your cans.
Otherwise, all the oxygen gets trapped inside the can, which will accelerate the deterioration process.
3. Store the cans in the fridge
If you want to extend the life of your canned tomatoes, place them in the refrigerator right away.
The cold temperature slows down the degradation process.
It can also prevent bacteria from forming in the first place.
4. Use the food sooner
Since tomatoes are acidic, they shouldn’t sit around for very long.
You can eat them as soon as possible, especially if you plan on using them in dishes with meat (such as burgers) or dairy products (like cheese).
How can you tell if canned tomatoes have gone bad?
A lot of people think canned tomatoes just magically degrade overnight, but they rarely do.
This is because they become “off” very quickly after opening.
This means that the flavor and texture become unpleasant and the texture becomes mushy.
When you use your canned tomatoes, check them regularly to make sure they haven’t become spoiled.
What do canned tomatoes taste like?
If your canned tomatoes are still good, they should have a bright red appearance, a natural sweetness that comes from the sugar content, and an intense tomato flavor.
As the days go by, the color will gradually fade while the sweet taste will fade as well.
What are some uses for canned tomatoes?
We already mentioned how to make several delicious dishes with canned tomatoes, but here are just a few more ideas:
What are some tips for eating fresh tomatoes?
Fresh tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and lycopene.
They are also rich in antioxidants, so they have been shown to help reduce symptoms associated with heart disease.
Eating fresh tomatoes is also a great way to increase your intake of vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin K.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of the tomatoes in your garden:
Wash them thoroughly
Remove the stems
Cut them in half
Peel off the skin
Slice them thinly, then put them in water with sea salt
Serve them plain
Put them in sandwiches
Add them to salads
Use them in sauces
Eat them raw
Canned Tomatoes Recipe
- 1 bottle
- 21 pounds tomatoes
- 14 tablespoons lemon juice
- 7 teaspoons salt
- Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while preparing common canning jars and lids.
- the tomato’s skin and core. Cut into halves or quarters, or leave whole.
- When all the tomatoes are ready, fill one jar at a time while maintaining the heat in the other jars.
- To each quart jar, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Tomatoes should be gently pressed into the jars so that the juice will fill the crevices between the tomatoes. Make a headspace of half an inch.
- Get rid of air bubbles.
- Apply two-piece canning tops after wiping the jar rims clean.
- For both quarts and pints, boil the ingredients for 85 minutes.