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Home-canned tomatoes: how long should they keep?

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I searched before posting this and didn't find anything, but if this has already been discussed, links are appreciated!

My mom put up a boat-load of tomatoes last year and found she didn't like them. (They were from my work and not her usual variety; I think they are too "tomatoey" for her taste.) I currently have... 31 quarts and a pint in my kitchen, I think.

How long are home-canned tomatoes supposed to keep? Usually, they get used up by the next summer in chili, but this past winter they went untouched. (Plus she put up about twice her normal amount.)

Thanks!

If it matters, she doesn't use a pressure canner, just a hot-water canner.

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  1. I am envious, I always run out of tomatoes by around January!

    I think the USDA recommends only canning as much as you will eat in a year, but that is based on flavor and nutrition, not safety.

    If the seal is good, and they were properly canned, I would think they would be safe for several years, at least.

    1. I took a tomato canning class recently, and the instructor said they can last for a couple of years. I've also read they can keep for 3-4 years.

      1. Awesome. I should have time to get through them. Thanks for the answers. :)