Step 2: Roasting the tomatoes

Tomato season is usually still the heat of summer. It certainly was the Thursday I got my tomatoes. I hefted the bushel box from my car trunk to a stool on my kitchen deck -- thankfully only a few steps. I had a tarp roof on the deck and an umbrella over the deck table, so there was some shade. Then I set up everything to do as much as possible outside.

I really hate scalding and skinning tomatoes. I like opening a jar of sauce and just using it in the winter, so I make sauce. I really like the taste of fire-roasted tomatoes. I've also found that if you let them sit, a wonderful tomato stock drains from them -- and there is that much less liquid to boil off  your sauce!

This year I set up an assembly line: roast, extract stock, extract pulp, dump debris. Through the door to the right of the grill is the kitchen stove and I have a movable island that I use for my jar-filling station. The deck table held the pots for pulp and stock.

We have an Australian barbeque that has a grill on one side and a griddle on the other. I put a marble tile on the griddle to hold the bowl and colander for the stock extraction station. Another marble tile went on the wooden side rack to hold the tomato mill, which has a suction grip that worked fine on the glossy tile surface. The domed cover for our grill is a repurposed large stainless steel bowl with an attached knob. With a conventional grill, you'll need another small table to hold your extraction stations. You will probably, however, be able to roast twice as many tomatoes at a time as I could.

The Romas I got were about the size of tennis balls. These take longer to roast than paste tomatoes the size of plums, which is what I usually get from my garden. Once I got going, I used the roasting time to extract the stock, mill the pulp, gather the other sauce ingredients and prepare them.

Use a high setting on your grill. You want the skins slightly blackened and the insides soft. The first side takes longer. Once you turn your tomatoes, the second side browns quickly and splits. If you have mixed sizes, try to sort by size when loading the grill. Then you can toss them all into the colander at the same time.
<p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/amtrudell/" rel="nofollow">amtrudell</a> SPECIFICALLY mentions using lemon juice or red wine vinegar to raise the acidity of her sauce to a level such that water bath canning is safe!</p>
This made me exhausted. Great post.
I noticed just one problem with your method - you should be using a canner specifically for acidic canned foods. Even if you boil it for 35 minutes per batch, you may not be preserving them correctly. You really need a pressure canner.
Ignore my comment.. I did some quick googling, and it looks like tomatoes are actually fine to water bath. I wanted to do some black beans a few months ago and found out I couldn't do them without a pressure canner/cooker.
Love the idea of roasting the tomatoes. I have also tied the tomatoes up in a piece of cheesecloth hung over a pot to collect the tomato stock.
i notice you use a funnel to fill the jars - i recently found out that mason jars actually screw right onto most blenders! might mean different measurements for your recipe with adding ingredients to the jars instead, but it could be less messy next time?<br /> [the jars my coffee comes in work too!]<br />
The funnel is used to fill canning jars with cooked sauce or cooked stock.&nbsp; You also need to keep the jar rims that the lids seal to free of jar contents or the lids won't seal.<br /> <br /> Canning jars are designed to withstand the temperatures of a home boiling water canner or a pressure canner and the handling the jars undergo.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The blending I do is of all the herbs and garlic that go into a full batch of sauce or stock (one jar of blended material into a pot that will fill six pint jars).&nbsp;&nbsp; The whole sauce or stock needs to cook together before being sealed in jars.<br />

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