Tag Archives | Roma Electric Tomato Strainer

Links: Boozy Infusions, Blackberry Kvass, and a Winner

A late Monday morning breakfast.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a normal week. The kind where I’m home for seven days straight, don’t have any huge extra projects on the horizon, and actually get to cook my way through my CSA share. Happily, this week is shaping up to be wonderfully normal and I couldn’t be more pleased. Now, links!

assembled tomato strainer

roma by weston winner The winner of the Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer is commenter #248/Kara B. She said, “My favorite canning helper is my Presto 23 qt. pressure canner. I even just started using it for water bath processing. I’ve been doing my tomato batches with a strainer and a rubber spatula. I need this little gadget so much!!!” Well Kara, looks like you’re in luck!

I’m going to take this week off from giveaways (it’s been quite the summer of great canning gear, hasn’t it!), but I’ll be back with something terrific for you guys next Monday.

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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.