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 thoughts on "Giveaway: Roma by Weston Electric Tomato Strainer and Sauce Maker"

  • My favorite canning helper would be when either my husband or mother comes to help! After that, it would have to be wonderful set of knives that helps with just about any type of canning!!

  • My favorite helps are my jar lifter- how many hands were burned before the advent of that thing- and my fur baby, Sadie. Nothing like a dog who loves you sooo much she has to lay down in the exact place you need to stand. Oh so helpful. 🙂

    KK

  • My Mother-in-law! She came to a canning demo with me, bought your book and just today taught me about preparing tomatoes for canning while helping make a batch of your savory apricot sage jam! Her newest favorite canning helper is the magnetic lid lifter she bought immediately following your demo.

  • Wow! That is awesome. I thought the funnel I got last year was nifty. I’d totally make sauce every day and night with that machine.

  • This strainer looks amazing! My favorite canning ‘helper’ is my group of vegetable growing friends who give me their excess produce! Nothing makes me happier than getting a note from someone saying ‘I have extra tomatoes. Want them?’

  • As of late, my favorite canning helper is my dear daughter who loves to help me in the garden, picking tomatoes, and into our little kitchen to stew them. I love her to pieces, and love having her by my side.

  • My favorite canning helper (that I don’t have!) would be air conditioning. Cooking down and canning so many jars of food in a 100 degree kitchen is no fun.

  • My favorite canning helpers were my daughters who “loved” to turn the handle of the Victorio hand cranked tomato squisher. Now that they have grown up and moved away, I need the motorized Weston version.

  • My favorite canning helper is my daughter who has taken the time to make sure what we can for our family is done correctly and safely.

  • My dog Thor! Why? Because he keeps me company while I’m canning, though he does have the habit of laying behind me while I work.

  • My favorite canning helper is my husband! We find that the teamwork really makes the whole process more enjoyable. We both agree this machine would be an excellent helper, as putting up all the heaps of tomatoes can be quite a task.

  • I have shoulder damage so replacing my manual Foley’s mill with this lovely would sure make life easier !!

  • I think the best canning helpers I have are good knives-absolutely essential. That looks like quite a machine. Thanks for the give away!

  • I’m new to canning, but so far, my favorite canning helper is the magnetic lid lifter. I got into canning so I could make tomato sauce so this giveaway will be quite useful!

  • I love my half sheet pans. I put clean towels on them and have one for the hot jars for filling and then a new one when they come out of processing. They make it easy to transport the jars. Thanks!

  • My favorite canning helper is my husband. He’s always right by my side during the canning process and the eating process.

  • My favorite (or most helpful) canning helper is the double layer pressure canner. I, absolutely, love it. While, it will only hold the same number of quarts as smaller canners, it will hold a second layer of pints. This allows me to eliminate half the “wait time” – remember to include the length of time for the pressure to reduce. That may not be important for some projects, but it absolutely helped when I was canning more than a hundred jars of green beans.

    I think this tomato strainer would be equally as time saving – particularly as I’ve been using a Foley Food Mill.

  • My favorite tool, especially when canning tomato sauce and apple sauce,
    is a device called a”Squeezo”. I bought it over 30
    Years ago. It is essentially a manual version of this slick
    Looking Electrical strainer.

  • My favorite canning helper is cheesecloth! I use it to strain the amazing beach plums that I pick late summer that grow by the ocean on Long Island. Nothing like good old fashioned beach plum jelly!

  • Jar lifters and silicone half-gloves are my favorites. The half-gloves help me lift larger jars from the canner in the frame provided. Jar lifters are just overall good for every jar. –djs

  • My cat, Torticia. She sits faithfully on the island watching over the entire production. Actually, if I don’t keep an eye on her, she’ll sit faithfully IN my box of tomatoes. I just started canning this year, but I’ve canned over 100 lbs of tomatoes so far, so if I win the tomato strainer, it might come close to taking Torticia’s place as my favorite canning helper.

  • My favorite canning helper my fresh herb garden. Dill for pickles, cilantro for salsas, basil for sauces…possibilities are endless!

  • i know lots of folks have already said this, but it’s probably because they are so indispensable…my loving husband does so much to help me put up food for our family to enjoy through the long winter.

  • My twins are almost 5 and I would have to say they are my biggest helplers in the kitchen. I can count on them to help prep all my canning projects. The classic “Mom, whatcha doing” is music to my ears! I love that they are interested in what I’m doing. Canning has become a dying art and I’m so happy to pass what I know on to them. My Grandma would be proud!

  • That would NOT be my children tugging at my legs the whole time, or the extreme heat here in LA. Perhaps my collection of canning books which always bring me inspiration.

  • Could have used this over the last month as I put up 33 quarts (and counting) of puree. Actually, I currently cheat and use my kitchen go-to tool, a food processor and don’t skin or seed, so this tool would definitely make me more legit!

  • My favorite canning tool is my friend Veronica!! The 2 of us get much more accomplished when we can and preserve together.

  • The first pot I used for water bath, when I started canning this yr. I found in our metal shop, half full of rusty nails. It was the only pot I found that could accommodate the 8oz jars for the peak of blackberry season was just kicking off. When hubby surprised me with the 21qt stainless steel Ball pot, I couldn’t bear to part with “Rusty Nails”

  • My favorite canning helper was my blender. I say was because I just moved and couldn’t bring any of my tools or equipment with me. 🙁

  • my favorite helper is packaged pectin. While I’d love to experiment more with recipes that rely on the fruit to provide the pectin, my attempts have edible results much more often with packaged pectin.

  • My favorite canning helper was an outside stove. It stopped working this year, and I’ve so missed the extra space and lessened kitchen heat.

  • I love the new tools Ball has put out; magnet, sizer/bubble out tool (lol), jar gripper and funnel. They are so much better than the old tongs and other household items one might have.

  • My favorite canning tool is my grandmother’s old funnel..which her mother used. I use it while canning with mt favorite girlfriends Ricki and Kathy. It’s a fall tradition we’ve been doing for over 10 years.

  • My favorite helper is my immersion blender. When I want to get a nice pureed jam or sauce I just stick that sucker in the pot and give it a little whirl! I don’t usually puree the whole batch, just a bit to give a nice thickness to things. (and yes, I am VERY careful with it to avoid hot lava splatter!)

  • My favorite canning helper is my Fiance’ Angela. Even though it’s often “too hot” to can and make sauces in the summer!

  • My favorite canning helper is the internet! I;m a VERY novice canner, but I’ve got all the information I could ever want right at my fingertips!

  • My favorite canning helper is my pair of soft soled Birkenstocks… they keep my feet from getting sore during a marathon kitchen session!

  • My family! When I see them enjoy all the delicious, nutritious, home-grown, home-canned foods, it makes all the hard work worth it! Yummy!

  • I use my husband’s grandmother’s hand crank food grinder when making pepper jelly with bell peppers and jalapeno peppers. Also love it for ‘raw’ cranberry and orange relish at Thanksgiving. YUM!

  • My favorite canning helper is my manual Roma food strainer. It’s totally awesome and a huge timesaver. My dog always kept me company in the kitchen until she passed away this year. Canning has not been the same without her but I dedicate all my canning to her now!!

  • Even though it’s old and a bit clumsy, I love my grandma’s food mill – makes me think of her every time I use it! This tool would definitely speed up the sauce making process!

  • My favorite item to use when canning is my camp stove. It provides me extra space for another canner. And since I have a flat top stove, which is not recommended for canning, the camp stove gives me exactly the heat I need.

  • My favourite canning tool is this blog! No seriously, I’m a beginner and have found a ton of helpful hints and recipes here. Couldn’t have done it without you!

  • I couldn’t can without my jar lifter that my mother-in-law found for me at a garage sale. Love the beautiful puree this machine makes!

  • Don’t know how I’d fill my jars without the fruit funnel and a small sharp knife for coring and cutting the tomatoes using the cold pack method of tomato canning. Then having a book on tape or CD helps to keep the rhythm going on the canning process.

  • My favorite kitchen helper for canning is my Magic Bullet. It plus a simlpe food mill helps turn a couple of pints of raspberries in to a sublime seedless jam.

    I use the jam alomst exclusively for wonderfil triffle I make for the holidays.

  • My favorite canning helper is my mom. We have been canning jams and tomatoes like crazy for the past few weeks and this would be an awesome aid. She has bursitis in her arm so I do all the manual food milling. Ouch!

  • My favorite canning helper is my apple peeler/corer/slicer. It is wonderful on apples, and works on pears too. This year is a good one for apples and pears, and having the peeler makes life easier

  • My favorite canning helper is friends – we get things done so much faster when we have more people doing the canning! Plus, it is more fun to be social!

  • My mother-in-law, who happens to live next door. Anytime I have a question about canning I can just ask her! Also, if I don’t have the right equipment over here, I can usually borrow it from her. Neither of us have a tomato strainer, though!