Interested in preserving your own food? It is easy using an Instant Pot.
Are you curious about canning and preserving your own food? You do not need to be intimidated! Small batch canning can be done year-round by using your Instant Pot. Just follow my simple step-by-step directions and you are ready to go.
- Instant Pot
- Large stock pot with lid
- Pint jars with lids and screw tops
- Canning thongs
- Canning funnel
- Food (for this story, we will use tomatoes and Italian herbs)
- Wash and prepare the tomatoes
Wash and quarter or half tomatoes. For the purpose of this recipe, we use Roma tomatoes which are similar to San Marzano.
- Add tomatoes to a large stock pot
Put tomatoes in a large stock pot and simmer on low/medium until the tomatoes become hot. Be careful to not cook them down – we want the tomatoes to hold their shape. You may add fresh herbs such as Italian Parsley, Basil and Oregano from your garden if you want to infuse some of your jars for Italian cooking.
- Sterilize your jars
Fill your sink with boiling hot water and add all of the pint jars. It is important to sterilize your jars prior to canning. You may also run them in the dishwasher on the rinse cycle.
- Fill jars with food
Using your canning thongs, carefully pull pint jars out of the hot water and place on the counter. Using a canning funnel, pour hot tomatoes into each jar. Make sure not to fill the jar to the rim. Use care to remove any excess from the rim of the jar to avoid bacteria or food poisoning.
- Wipe and clean the tops of your jars
It is important to make sure that there are no food particles or residue inside or outside the lid of the jar. Neatly clean this off with a hot washcloth or paper towel for sterilization purposes.
- Put lids and screw tops on the jars
Tightly close the lids and screw the tops on each jar. Add to the Instant Pot.
- Steam can the tomatoes
I can load four pints into one Instant Pot. Ensure the jars are covered at least 1/3rd full. Also ensure that the Instant Pot trivet is at the bottom of the pot. Close lid, open the vent to “vent” on the lid, and plug in Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot Steam button to 22 minutes. You are all set!
- Remove jars from Instant Pot
After the Instant Pot timer rings, you know the jars are ready. Wait to open the Instant Pot until after the steam has ‘naturally’ released. You will know it is ready when the pot actually allows you to open it. Carefully, with canning thongs, remove jars and place on counter. You will know each jar is ready when you hear the lid pop and the center of the lid is pushed down. If these things occur, you are all set!
- Other options with canning tomatoes.
Everyone loves the flavor of fresh tomatoes year around. Not only do I can plain tomatoes, but I also can tomatoes with Italian herbs and use tomatoes as a base for several sauces, such as green or red enchilada sauce (you can use tomatillos or tomatoes); vegetable vindaloo, or vegetable chili. You can also can acidic fruits into jams, sauces and preserves. Have fun!
Editor’s Note: Only use the Instant Pot for canning high acidic foods.