Giveaway: Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer and Sauce Maker

assembled tomato strainer

For years now, the bulk of my tomato canning has been in the form of the whole peeled tomato. It’s quick to prep, is hugely versatile, and always felt like the best use of my time. I’d make a few jars of basic puree each season, but I never found as easy a groove with sauce. However, a new appliance has come into my life that has made me rethink my preserved tomato allegiances.

sauce shute

This year, I’ve been a puree making machine thanks to the Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer. It operates much like the hand crank tomato presses (one of which I’ve had for years, but never managed to fit it comfortably into my work flow), only instead of using your own brute force, the 200 watt motor gets things moving.

tomato strainer warning

It’s always important to be careful when using electric appliances that press and grind.

You cut your tomatoes into manageable bits and then pile them into the hopper. Using a tamper, you press them into the machine’s shaft, where they meet the auger, which pushes them through a screen (it comes with three different sizes, so you can also use it for fruit sauces).

The tomato pulp then comes pouring down the chute and the skin and seeds are ejected out the end of the screen. It’s incredibly effective and makes it possible to do things like break 20 pounds of tomatoes down into pulp in just 15 minutes. Once the tomatoes have been milled, you can cook them down into sauce or take them further into paste or conserva.

tomato strainer in the kitchen

One thing I particularly like about making sauce with a strainer is that the tomatoes go in raw and then you cook down the resulting puree. So often, sauce recipes have you simmer your tomatoes to soften, then press them through a food mill and then return them to the pot.

It’s a good technique (and one that I advocate in my cookbook), except that if you take too long in milling your tomatoes and they cool down considerably, you risk ending up with sauce that separates (more on separation, fruit float, and liquid loss here). It’s not the end of the world if it separates (just give it a good shake to reintegrate), but it sure does look prettier when your finished product is uniformly integrated.

working tomato strainer

The only issue I have with this tomato strainer is that motor portion is a little too light. It means that as you’re pressing the tomatoes into the shaft, you need to rest your elbow on the top of the motor to keep it stable. Otherwise, you’re liable to flip the machine.

It’s not hard to hold it in place once you realize that it’s necessary, but a metal body would have given it a little more weight and heft. But metal is heavier and more costly, so I understand why it’s been made as it is.

finished jars of sauce

I got this tomato strainer from the nice folks at Weston Products. They’re a company devoted to tools for those of us who like to make our food from scratch and carry an extensive collection of food mills, pasta makers, dehydrators, and sausage makers. Want to press your own wine or cider? They’ve got you covered. Because they’re awesome, they’ve given me a second Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer to give away to one lucky Food in Jars reader. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite canning helper (animal, vegetable, or mineral).
  2. Comments will close at 5 pm east coast time on Sunday, September 8, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random (using random.org) and will be posted to the blog later that day.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Weston Products gave me a tomato strainer for review and photography purposes and are also providing the unit for giveaway. No money changed hands and all opinions expresses are exclusively mine. 

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1,253 Responses to Giveaway: Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer and Sauce Maker

  1. 1151
    Jo Booth says:

    My favorite canning helper, is my big wooden spoon. It never gets lost in any pot, gets to hot to touch, and if making jam….will let me know when things are ready.

  2. 1152
    SJ says:

    I need my hot “hot pepper” apron! 🙂

  3. 1153
    Brooke says:

    My mom, definitely. She is my go-to person for all canning related questions.

  4. 1154
    Luann says:

    My favorite canning helper – my husband! We live in Iowa, have a large garden and make a great team in the kitchen. I just discovered this site – love the recipes!!!

  5. 1155
    Sue K says:

    I love canning with my daughters!

  6. 1156
    Anne says:

    I’d have to say my biggest canning helper is my husband… He can lift heavy pots & fetch things I forget while I’m canning… Now he can keep the kids entertained too!

  7. 1157
    Nicci says:

    I love my Ball Blue book and my silicon trivet.

  8. 1158
    Todd says:

    My wife is my favorite canning helper. I usually do most of the cold side of processing and she handles the hot.

  9. 1159
    Mindy says:

    Oh my, this tomato strainer looks amazing. I need to start putting up tomatoes from my garden ASAP. I love my immersion blender!

  10. 1160
    Stephanie K says:

    My favorite kitchen helper is my radio. I can’t get through an entire day of canning without rocking out.

  11. 1161
    Janet says:

    I love Ball jars – absolutely LOVE them! They are so versatile and pretty. 🙂

  12. 1162
    Cece says:

    Definitely my immersion blender! What a great looking machine!

  13. 1163
    nancy j says:

    my old housemate, she helped me get into canning and taught me a lot.

  14. 1164
    Katherine harris says:

    My best canning tool is our group of mommies who together every fall and have girl time (and a little wine) while we work. we don’t have any fancy tools except the old school metal can grabbers! We were going to add tomatoes this year to our project list so that fancy tool would be great!

  15. 1165
    Susan K. says:

    I’d have to say my husband, I make him deal with all the icky stuff!

  16. 1166
    Laura J says:

    My husband. He’s best at lifting the hot jars out of the boiling water!

  17. 1167
    Kathy Jo says:

    The internet is my favorite helper! So many wonderful ideas.

  18. 1168
    Debbie Pfeffer says:

    Canning is a lost art in my family. I always helped my mom can as I was growing up so I started canning peaches, green beans, beets and tomato sauce and juice. My favorite to can is beets and zucchini relish which I use all the time in my potato salad, deviled eggs and such. Its hard work but I do love to look at the finally product. Do have a food mill but after you crank so many pounds off tomatoes you get awful tired and every I’m buying a motorized one. Good luck to me. Thank you, Debbie Pfeffer

  19. 1169
    MJ Barnes says:

    I love my slow cooker for prepping fruits and veggies overnight.

  20. 1170
    Megan says:

    I just bought a manual apple corer/peeler, and it works wonders. What a time saver when peeling apples and pears (and I suppose even potatoes, but I haven’t tried that yet).

  21. 1171
    Alexa says:

    My boyfriend and I are a great canning team… he takes charge of sterilizing cans and lifting heavy quarts in and out of the bath. I get to do the fun parts!

  22. 1172
    Mike H says:

    At he risk of sounding cliche, my wife is my biggest helper in the kitchen( and all other things)

  23. 1173
    Four dogs and one quilter says:

    My husband is my biggest helper in the kitchen. Ove-rplanted tomatoes (again) this year and he has been a huge help by cranking the handle on my stainer as I feed the tomatoes through. He would surely love the electric model.

  24. 1174
    Juli J says:

    My biggest helper is the smiles on the faces of the people we share our jars of luscious goodness with. That makes all the work worthwhile!

  25. 1175
    Scrubber says:

    I love my pressure canner. It’s deep enough for water bath canning, too…

  26. 1176
    Deweyne says:

    My favorite canning helper…I’m tempted to say my electric waterbath canner. Our stove in our travel trailer is pretty small, so that canner frees up a lot of space for cooking. In another month we will be back home, with my bigger range. Wait…forget that! My favorite helper is my 3-year-old (boy). He tastes the cukes and the ‘maters to make sure everything is ripe. And when we’re done he listens for the ‘pings’.

  27. 1177
    Scott C. says:

    My favorite canning helper is my mother. She cans a lot more than I do, but she’s ever so willing to share her knowledge (as well as her delicious results).

  28. 1178
    Bea says:

    Definitely magnets and tongs. I’ve blanched my hand more than once in the past (not while canning) and I feel better knowing I don’t have to go anywhere near the water.

  29. 1179
    Kathy Amundson says:

    My husband is my best canning tool! We have a hand powered strainer/saucer. Been using that for years. I would love an electric one for him since he does all the cranking 🙂

  30. 1180
    Jennifer says:

    My vintage jar lifter. It has lifted a few jars in its day and keeps on tickin’.

  31. 1181
    Emily says:

    Toss up between the can lifter and magnet lid lifter. Also, I have been using my slow cooker to prep more canning recipes — love it!

  32. 1182
    Maryann says:

    I love to have my two canning buddies over and we work cooperatively to get the job done quickly. We all share the results!

  33. 1183
    Ariel Tindolph says:

    My favorite canning helper is my friend Cindy who drives 7 hours north every summer to make over a 100 jars of jam with me. One year we made 158 jars from about 13 flats of berries in 95 degree heat with no air conditioner. Having her here made it bearable. We’ve been making jam every year since our kids were babies, now they are seniors in high school! I was dubious about canning at first, it just seemed like a lot of work for something you could easily buy at the store but she convinced me it was worth it. I wouldn’t do jam without her, we have a great system and there is someone to laugh with while we clean up the occasional jar that breaks mid-air. Maybe if I win the tomato mill I can convince her to come up and make tomato jam with me!

  34. 1184
    Andrea says:

    My pickle crock with water seal is my favorite old-time gadget and my best little helper is is my mini dachshund, who is always alert for floor clean-up.

  35. 1185
    Anne SD says:

    My grandgather inspired me to start canning, my mom taught me how, but my beggest helper is my husband, who is a whiz with a knife and all things prep-wise!

  36. 1186
    Sue Scherr says:

    My friends & family are my inspiration in canning. Their happiness in receiving our goods is enough to keep my RA hands & body continuing to struggle & produce wonderful fresh food.

  37. 1187
    Dianne says:

    Hands down, my daughter Heather. She is willing to do whatever it takes and even helps with all the cleanup

  38. 1188
    Kim says:

    I love my food processor for making pesto! I would like to try this kitchen helper to make my marinara sauce.

  39. 1189
    Kari says:

    I cannot believe anyone would get 5 jars of tomato sauce from that puny amount of tomatoes shown. I just did a bushel and got 4 jars!!! What a waste of time and money. You should let your readers know.

  40. 1190
    Denise8 says:

    Hmm, I guess my tongs get the prize for favorite canning assistant. They keep on working to safely move jars as needed.

  41. 1191
    jenna! says:

    my favorite canning helper is an episode or two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. it makes tedious peeling tasks far more tolerable. a human friend helper is nicer though:)

  42. 1192
    Judy says:

    Definitely my favorite canning helper is my husband. While I was laid up with an injury, he canned pickled green bean that turned out wonderful.

  43. 1193
    Jen says:

    My husband loves spicy food and I enjoy canning things that he enjoys, however this becomes difficult since I don’t like spicy food at all. I don’t even use black pepper when I can get away with it. So when I make salsas, aji sauce and hot sauce I have to wait to finish cooking and canning them for him to taste test them. One day he decided he wanted to help me with the hot sauce and thought I was insane to peel and then core and seed all the tomatoes by hand. I laughed because he thought it just took some chopping and throwing things together and asked if I did this for all the tomato items that I can.

  44. 1194
    Craig says:

    Favorite canning helper is anyone in the family ready and willing to lend a hand.
    (I just made a batch of carrot cake jam (found a new recipe this morning and my wife bought a bushel of peaches his afternoon… canning peaches and making peach jam tomorrow!)

  45. 1195
    Lori says:

    My family; husband, daughter, and son in-law. All pitch in to get the job done. I am a baby boomer who was one of 7 kids and grew up helping my mom to process over 1,000 + jars each year. We grow a huge garden and share with family, friends, and community members. This year we have scheduled canning dates to process; cherries, apples, peaches, beets, pickles, beans, carrots, and cabbage in addition to freezing other berries and vegetables. This year has been especially challenging since I suffered a stroke mid canning season, and my daughter is 7 mo. pregnant. However, I do believe the process of canning has been therapeutic and helped in my recovery. After just finishing 33 pints of salsa and 21 quarts of tomatoes, we are exhausted and would welcome the help of the Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer.

  46. 1196
    Angie Manderscheid says:

    My favorite 2 things ia my apple peeler/corer/slicer hand turning machine and my tomato corer! Lol doesn’t take much to float my boat. ;0)

  47. 1197
    Ginny says:

    Favorite canning tool, jar grabber !

  48. 1198
    Jenny says:

    My jar tongs!

  49. 1199
    Erin says:

    My favorite ‘helper’ are my big pots for getting thing ready!

  50. 1200
    Deanna says:

    My Nana! She was the first one to teach me about canning. She passed away this year and I will miss her dearly!