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Ooops - missed heddle
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Discussion Starter #1
So many of the recipes for tomato sauce call for simmering to reduce the sauce to the desired thickness.

It's almost impossible for me to lose the juice from all that simmering, so I use a fine sieve/sifter to separate the sauce from the juice at the beginning.

Lots of people don't cook their tomatoes any before processing through the food mill; however, I do. I feel it produces more product. YMMV. After passing all the tomatoes (peels and all) through the mill, I set out two bowls. One is for juice; one is for sauce. Then I put the juicy stuff from the mill into the sieve and drain the juice until the sauce is the thickness I want.

The juice stays in the juice bowl, and the rest gets scraped into the sauce bowl. Then I can the sauce without the hours of simmering Ball calls for and I have the saved juice to can also.

Am I the only one who does this?
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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Consider boiling the separated juice on its own to remove most of the water content and then returning the greatly reduced juice to the strained solids and simmer that.
 

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I make my own sauce but not from tomatoes. Costco has both tomato sauce and tomato paste (Contadina) for a really good price. (around $5 for a #10 can) Far cheaper then I can buy tomatoes. And my garden isn't very large so tomatoes are more for fresh eating. This year I only plated 5 plants, each one a different variety. For a case of 12 quart jars of sauce I'll use 2 cans of sauce and 1 of paste. Then other ingredients and spices (not meat) and use a hot water bath. That case maybe lasting 4-6 months.

As for stewing tomatoes to a thick consistency you have to spend lots of fuel and time to make it into a thick sauce. Like Zeke said do it before adding anything else.
 
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off-grid organic farmer
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I have heard people say that modern tomatoes are not as acidic as they used to be.

I wonder if that juice effects the acid content. While it looks like water, it isn't. Reducing it might increase the acid level some.
 

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Prepared Gourmet
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Run the tomatoes through a food mill and then put them in a sieve to drain. You could even line it with some cheesecloth if you have some. Do NOT push them through or throw away the water (should look like a very clear liquid) that drips out.

Use the tomatoes for your sauce. While it is cooking, enjoy (drinking) the tomato water (with a bit of vodka is good but alone is fine too). That stuff is absolutely delicious! You won't lose any real flavour from your sauce but you will have tomato water as well. Don't boil it all away!
 

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We didn't plant any plum tomatoes this year so they will mostly be used fresh. The harvests have been so spotty it was not possible to really can the excess in the past. I seem to have the blight thing handled now but until they actually come in I won't know what the yields are.
We go thru a ton of canned tomatoes a year so the ultimate goal was to replace the commercial with home grown.
 

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What I do with my tomatoes when they start coming in: I wash core and cut in 4-6 pieces, fill a gallon Ziploc freezer bag and stick in the freezer. Once I actually have enough to make something with I take them out of the freezer. As they warm up slightly tomato tasting liquid is the first thing off them.
 

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I have heard people say that modern tomatoes are not as acidic as they used to be.

I wonder if that juice effects the acid content. While it looks like water, it isn't. Reducing it might increase the acid level some.
Whenever I'm canning I always add lemon juice.Usually more then they recommend.
 

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Whenever I'm canning I always add lemon juice.Usually more then they recommend.
As long as the taste is fine with you there is never really any downside, from the perspective of being safe, to adding sugar or acid to any canning recipe.
 
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Free Mason
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I run my tomatoes through the food mill into a large container. Place the container in the refrigerator over night. The liquid will separate from the pulp. Pore off the liquid and can the pulp.

I don't use new low acid tomatoes but I still add lemon juice as recommended.
 

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I just pressure can them. I don't have to worry about if they are acid enough. I can add other things to them without worrying. I also don't have to worry about sterilization, although of course things are clean.
 

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Ooops - missed heddle
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Discussion Starter #13
Consider boiling the separated juice on its own to remove most of the water content and then returning the greatly reduced juice to the strained solids and simmer that.
Ah, but Zeke, that was the whole point - make tomato juice from the liquid that you get from straining the solids without wasting that juice to boiling. That way I get both sauce and juice. It doesn't heat the kitchen up or waste electricity by boiling some huge pot of tomatoes for 4 hours to reduce it to sauce.
 

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Ah, but Zeke, that was the whole point - make tomato juice from the liquid that you get from straining the solids without wasting that juice to boiling. That way I get both sauce and juice. It doesn't heat the kitchen up or waste electricity by boiling some huge pot of tomatoes for 4 hours to reduce it to sauce.
Well, you never mentioned saving electricity or heating the kitchen up as the parameters of your needs in your OP.

You only pointed out the time involved. You made a note about simmering, which does take a very long time to reduce the water content.

Pure strained clear juice reduces a whole lot faster with boiling instead of simmering. Most folks don't want to try boiling the solids as well. Old Italian cooks simmered the "whole tomato" sauce because they didn't want to scorch the solids, but pure juice doesn't have that problem. Separate the two and you can simmer the solids slowly while boiling the almost clear juice. Done concurrently you finish the job faster.

If you want to add those two new parameters then about all you can do is remove the juice from the enterprise and either discard it or use it some other way in another enterprise. But as a pure time exercise my way uses everything and gets it done faster.
 

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Ooops - missed heddle
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Discussion Starter #15
Well, you never mentioned saving electricity or heating the kitchen up as the parameters of your needs in your OP...You only pointed out the time involved. You made a note about simmering, which does take a very long time to reduce the water content.
Okay, so bite me.:rolleyes:

I'd love to clarify, but I can barely make a reply without shockwave crashing. Sorry.
 

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Okay, so bite me.:rolleyes:
You make the mistake, I point it out, you insult me for that.

My response should be pretty obvious. **** off.
 

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Weft, I don't get the idea that you're trying to save the juice. We don't either. None of us particularly like tomato juice but we LOVE tomato sauce.

What works well for us is using an outdoor type grill to roast the tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic. We cut the tomatoes into halves for typical paste tomatoes, maybe quarters for larger beefsteak type tomatoes. 400 to 450 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, something like that. The outdoor grill is much more open than the typical home oven and the water (steam) can escape more easily. We used containers like 9X14 pyrex cake dishes, kinda like we would bake a square cake in, or something similar.

After the roasting on the grill, much of that liquid was gone and there was a nice flavor to the stuff coming out.

A trip through the food strainer and into a big pot for a short simmer on the stove... at which time flavors could be tweaked... and it was into the canning jars for pressure canning. None of that cooking all day stuff for us.

If we had wanted the juice, we'd not have done it that way. But since we did not want the juice, it worked well for making sauce.

We did find that a similar method helped us with reduced cooking times for making our ketchup as well.

Good luck! I hope you find something that works well for you, too.

:)
 

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Ooops - missed heddle
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Discussion Starter #18
You make the mistake, I point it out, you insult me for that...My response should be pretty obvious. **** off.
For crying out loud. Originally I was trying to post what I thought was a good tip. Didn't know I made some mistake. My reply to you was joking, not terribly vulgar and not said with meanness, as I hoped the emoticon showed. According to how you interpret 4 asterisks, yours is. I apologize for offending you.
 

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Ooops - missed heddle
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Discussion Starter #19
Criminy, I found something that worked for me: I get both juice and sauce - win, win. I was trying to post a tip. All I got back were arguments. According to the tomatoes, I get more juice than sauce usually. If I didn't separate that juice and boiled the sauce, I would lose the juice. I love the juice. I don't like the thick stuff that you get in cans bought from a store. I always water that down.

Over and out. Too argumentative here.
 

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Sorry, Weft... I must have misread somewhere, I didn't realize you were trying to save the juice. Anyway, glad you found something that works good for you. :)
 
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