There’s something really satisfying about making your own tomato juice. You can make it to your taste, dialing the spices and sweetness up or down depending on what you like. A novice cook can easily make the stuff. It’s essentially a case of tossing all the ingredients into a pot, boiling them, then filtering out the delicious juice. But what tomatoes are best for juicing? Does it matter? Let’s take a look at this now.
What’s the best juicing tomato?
To make homemade tomato juice that’s full of flavor you’re best to use a combination of different tomatoes. In fact, the more varieties the better. If you’re about to pay a trip to the store to stock up, get a combination and of every variety available.
Choosing a juicy tomato
Some tomatoes are juicier than others making them a prime candidate for juicing. As a general rule, the larger tomato varieties have more juice. If you only want to use one variety (rather than a combination) then the following are good options.
- Solar Flare: luscious sweet red flavor.
- Brown Berry Cherry: Slightly acidic, semi-sweet rich flavor.
- Black Krim: Intense flavor with a balance of sweet and acidity.
- Aunt Ruby’s German Green: Strong fruity, sweet flavor.
- Good Old-Fashioned Red: A beefsteak tomato with intense flavor.
- Amos Coli: Well suited to juicing and stewing.
If you intend jarring your tomato juice you may find that the liquid separates over time. To help counteract this, include a tomato with higher pulp content and less juice. Roma is a paste tomato and works well in small quantities when juicing.
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The two types of tomato
Indeterminate tomatoes can produce tomatoes throughout the season until they get hit by a bout of cold weather. They can grow massively in size and stakes or wires are beneficial to help support the plant.
Determinate tomato plants are much smaller – they generally from to around 3 feet in height. This variety will produce all their fruit at the same time. If you enjoy using tomatoes for salads and sandwiches, this isn’t ideal because you get far too many at the same time. If you intend using your crop for juicing or canning sauce then this is an excellent option.
How much juice in a tomato?
- If you use large tomatoes, it will take about 4 pounds of tomatoes to produce 2 quarts of juice.
- Smaller tomatoes such as Jet Star, Whopper or Valerie are good options for juicing. Although you’ll need a bigger quantity, their juice to weight ratio is similar to larger varieties.
Extra reading: You may also be interested to know how many tomatoes are in a pound. We’ve pulled together a fun infographic with everything you need to know.
The ultimate tomato juice recipe
Here’s a recipe to make refreshing tomato juice that has a lovely balance of flavor and a hint of spice from the tobacco. If you’re not a big fan of spicy flavors then leave the tobacco out.
- 4 pounds ripe tomatoes
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 2 ½ Tbsp sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Splash of tobasco
- Chop tomatoes into chunks, they don’t need to be too small.
- Add tomato, onion, celery, sugar, seasoning and tobacco sauce to a stock pot and heat on high, uncovered, until simmering. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until you get a soup consistency.
- Process the mixture through a food mill or a sieve then allow to cool before serving.
This juice can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Here’s a video recipe you may like to try.
Unless you love sweet juice, avoid varieties that are high in sugar such as Pink Oxheart as they don’t make for an enjoyable beverage.
There are plenty of DIY food projects like jam making, beer brewing or kimchi that require a fair amount of your time. Making tomato juice isn’t one of these. It’s very simple to make and hard to get wrong. The end result is a quality of juice that is vastly superior to the store bought option.
When you choose a tomato for juicing, don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and record how they taste. I recommend choosing a range of tomatoes; this will improve the flavor balance as well as the texture.
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