Giveaway: Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer and Sauce Maker

September 4, 2013(updated on October 3, 2018)

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. I am not sure who or what is my favorite canning helper. I can say I am thankful for my mother in law who answers any questions I have. My family for helping with the gardens. All the wonderful sites that provide me with info and inspiration for all my canning recipes.

  2. My favorite canning “helper” is my local Farmers Market that provides me with the most delicious organic fruits and vegetables for my canning projects!

  3. I am brand new to canning thanks to the overabundance of tomatoes and plums this year. And now I am obsessed! My favorite tool is my produce! Though the gigantic water bath I bought isn’t bad, either.

  4. My favorite canning helper is my boyfriend, my tomatoes, and my jar grabber thingy! I also learned to use a cut-off plastic soda pop top as a funnel – a great way to reuse and save money! I like my cool basement that houses all of my canned treats, as well!

  5. I love my canning funnel! I use it often when storing left-overs or filling my decorative dry goods jars. I couldn’t live without the jar lifter either.

  6. my favorite canning helper is my 5 year old grandson Riley, who is good at harvesting from the garden, chopping figs and other farm chores. who knew how great grandkids could be.

  7. I am new to canning and so I am still learning who and what my helpers are! I have been using my immersion blender a lot!

  8. My favorite helper is my hubby!! He picks the produce and does anything I ask to help me. But then he is the one that insisted 38 years ago, “Everyone cans food.” I knew nothing about it and have had to learn from his sisters and books!

  9. I have, just this year, started canning and am hooked!! I will be working towards a self-sustaining lifestyle. My biggest canning helper right now is the Internet. I can get an answer to virtually every question.

    Mary

  10. My favorite canning helper is the canning stove (for outside on my deck) that my father built from a side burner on a dead gas grill. I love being able to can when it is hot without heating up my kitchen.

  11. Thanks for sharing this. I had given up on canning sauce awhile ago because of the issues you brought up. Maybe this will bring me back.

  12. What a lovely machine! It would make tomato squashing so much easier! My favorite canning helper is my 18 year old daughter who’s just now showing an interest in preserving.

  13. My favorite canning helper is my propane basecamp stove, it allows me to do my processing in the garage and does not heat up my kitchen in this late summer time period.

  14. My little apartment kitchen is just big enough for me and my operation, but I am helped by some groovy cajun or country blues music while canning.

  15. After days on end cleaning up after the spillage of my Victorio food strainer, I am really starting to feel like my favorite canner helper is a BIG glass of wine at the end of the day…..

  16. My canning helpers are always my two Cocker Spaniels 🙂 I learned how to can this year and would love this machine!!!! I did tomato sauce and bits this year and love the fact I have fresh ingredients for my sauces now. I did find it was hard to do without any type of mil though lol

  17. I guess my funnel is my favorite helper because I use it constantly to fill my jars with things whether I’m actually canning or not. I use my jars for storing leftovers in the refrigerator and I also do a lot of dehydrating. I use that funnel every day for something! It pleases me to use not only my own plastic one, but my mom’s old metal one.

  18. My favorite helpers are our 2 dogs, Gus and Legan, who don’t help as much as provide companionship during the late-night sessions.

  19. I love my wide mouth funnel. It keeps my kitchen neat. I hope to win this giveaway.
    Cheers
    Louise
    ps To plant a garden is to believe in the future.

  20. My favorite canning helper is Oliver, my 9-yr old Golden Retriever! Whenever I’m in the kitchen he is right there spread out on the floor so I never feel alone in my efforts. And he is very helpful when food is dropped on the floor, if ya know what I mean! 😉

  21. My favorite canning tool is a tie between my large spoon with the handle that fits so comfortably in my hand and the little magnet on the end of the plastic stick that retrieves lids and bands from the hot water!

  22. My favorite canning helper is my older sister. She usually gets to take a small number of the spoils, but she has helped me can strawberry jelly, applesauce, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce. She also chops and chops and chops zucchini and peppers ready for freezing and helps me u-pick berries.

  23. My favorite canning helper is a very sturdy four-foot folding table that I can set up in the kitchen or adjoining hall during canning season. There’s never enough work space in the kitchen.

  24. I love canning my fresh tomatoes from my garden. My favorite helper for canning is my husband. He gets to skin and seed the tomatoes while I chop the other veggies and prepare the jars 🙂 This would be perfect for us!

  25. My favorite canning helper is my husband’s 78 year old grandma. She’s done it for all her life and still has a deep love and appreciation for preserving her own food. Plus, she can still wield a paring knife like no one’s business!

  26. My aunt and my my mother are my best canning helpers. They are with me, when I can and are in the background keeping me on my toes. It is also a wonderful time to hear old stories about when my grandmother canned. I love the memories they share!

  27. Funny, I lost my magentic lifter and so I grabbed a magnet that was stuck to the fridge to lift my seals out of the pot last night. The magnet was my 4 year-old son’s dart that has a magnet on the end instead of a spike. Worked like a charm!

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