Canning tomatoes -replacing lemon juice?
I'm about to head to the market to pick up some fruits for preserving. I have canned sweet fruits, pickles and preserves in the past, but this year I have decided to branch into tomatoes and plan to can some with basil leaves.
I have noticed most tomato canning recipes call for lemon juice. I understand that it serves the important function of increasing the acidity of the fruit (which is important for me because I don't have a pressure canner). However I am wondering if anyone has experience experimenting with different acids. I was considering, for example, whether some balsamic vinegar might be good, however I want to make sure that any substitutions I make will be tasty and safe.
Also, I found a tomato recipe that doesn't call for any added acid. Do you home canners think this will be sufficiently acidic for canning by water bath?
Many thanks, chowhounds!
Link to the acid-free recipe here (for those from Toronto, it's from the Healthy Butcher):
I curious about how the lemon juice altered the flavor.
I grew up canning hot pack, water method only (no pressure cooker)
whole peeled roma tomato, no additions
so the idea of adding lemon is heretical to me
but I'm curious
reading the clemson site, I am totally grossed out
They suggest adding sugar to offset acid taste, if desired, and suggest that vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.
What a way to ruin homegrown and canned produce!
There is a very active canning community with very knowledgeable people at the Harvest forum on GardenWeb. I am not a master canner, but tomatoes need extra acid (5% distilled white vinegar, not balsamic or red wine, or BOTTLED, not fresh lemon juice) for BWB. The USDA standards have changed and should be considered. 'No one has died from my canning...' YET.
Acid is definitely recommended for tomatoes. New varieties tend to be lower in acid:
I, personally, wouldn't use balsamic, but that's based on taste alone. You never know in the depth of winter just what you'll be using your tomatoes for, and balsamic could clash with other flavors. But if the acid percentage is the same (is it?), I don't see why not.