January 25, 2012

Test Frying Those Canned Green Tomatoes

A quart of canned green
tomato slices
We had grilled burgers for dinner the other night, and you know what sounded good to go with them? Fried green tomatoes along with some sauerruben to complete the meal. It was a perfect opportunity to try the  green tomato slices I canned last November. Several folks asked then, if I'd share how well they worked for frying. So here are the results, along with how I made them.

My recipe is the same as I use for other batterless fried foods:
  • coat tomato slices with seasoned flour, bread crumbs, or corn meal
  • dip in beaten egg & milk
  • coat in flour again 
  • pan fry until golden brown in about 1/4 inch fat of your choice 

One nice thing about cooking on a wood cookstove, is that you
can rub grease spatters right into the cast iron cooktop.

A few notes on the process:
  • If I'm using fresh tomatoes, I slice them about 1/4 in. thick. The canned ones were sliced a little thicker, 3/8 to 1/2 inch. 
  • Coating with flour first, helps the egg & cornmeal stick to the food being fried. I used to skip this step and then wonder why my breading always fell off in the pan.
  • Can add salt or other seasonings to the egg mixture rather than flour if preferred. Or salt hot out of the pan
  • Frozen eggs work well for this.

When I first took the tomato slices out of the jar, they were soft from the canning process. However, they held up beautifully and were just as tasty as fresh. The fun part was that everything except the seasonings and fat, was homegrown: tomatoes, milk, eggs, corn meal.

In that original blog post, readers discussed frying frozen green tomato slices in the comments. There was mention that these turned out soggy, so The Weekend Homesteader did some experimenting. She reported on her blog, that if breaded straight from the freezer and put still frozen into the pan, they turned out just like fresh. Good to know, eh?

I asked Dan if the canned green tomatoes are a keeper. He and I both wholeheartedly agreed that indeed they are.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I will be canning green tomatoes this summer to enjoy next winter!!!

  2. Very, very interesting that they came out tasting just as good as fresh! I would have imagined that being the case with the frozen ones but for the canned ones to work that well is encouraging. I'm quite experienced in growing green tomatoes. It's the ripe ones I have definite problems with!

  3. They look so yummy! Thanks for sharing your test with us.

  4. They sure look good and how fun to be cooking on your cook stove! xo

  5. Now that's a great idea that will keep me in Green Tomato 's for frying..I'm glad you shared this one..I never got around to trying it out for freezing or canning.

  6. Sounds good. We pickled green tomatoes last year, and also made green tomato chutney. Both turned out well, though the chutney topped the list.

  7. I am going to note this in my garden notebook. Not only is it a great way to use those green tomatoes, but it's easy! The end product sure looks delicious.

  8. Trixi, there are tons of things to do with green tomatoes, but this one is a real treat!

    Mama Pea, I know you said you didn't care for your first taste of fried green tomatoes, but neither did I. Maybe it's the recipe(?) or the preparation(?). It would be a useful thing for you and Papa Pea to develop a taste for!

    Stephanie, you're welcome. Definitely something good to share.

    Sherri, I love my wood cookstove!

    Ginny, if you've got room in the freezer (I don't) that would probably be easier But this way was easy too!

    John, I would love your recipe. I also made green tomato jam, which I have yet to try. And I still have plenty of green tomato salsa from 2010. :)

    Susan, definitely worth doing. Especially when green tomatoes are plentiful!

  9. They sure are pretty in the jar. I don't do much in the way of fried foods though. When we have extra unripe tomatoes, I generally either let them ripen on the windowsill or turn them into relish or chili sauce. I could see haveing a few jars of these around though, if only to liven up the shelf!

  10. Thanks for sharing the putting in flour first tip. I will have to try that.

  11. Hi again, just wanted to thank you again for the Candied Ginger recipe..I went to the Super Asian Market and got me a couple pounds of ginger ..I'm working on it today.

  12. Oh boy! I will definitely be doing the canning of green tomatoes this summer, as I had plenty this year, of which I made relish. I'll have enough relish to last quite a while so it'll be sliced green tomatoes this time.

  13. I've breaded and frozen green tomatoes before but never canned them other than pickling them! They do make great pickles but I LOVE fried green tomatoes! Due to limited freezer space they are a special treat. Very nice to know that I could can them and fry them in the middle of winter! Thanks as always for your really helpful tips! Your blog is a wealth of information!


  14. I will post the recipe for the green tomato chutney on my blog. Carol is looking it up.

  15. Very interesting that they came out like fresh. I am glad to hear this since I am really thinking of losing the freezer, so all that is in there will need to be canned in the future. Good to know.

  16. I have never had green tomatoes... guess I am just a die-hard that tomatoes should be red LOL! But that sounded so good, I may just try them if I find myself with some at the end of next season. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Fried Green Tomatoes year round? WOW that's totally awesome!!!

    Now I just need to get my hands on some tomatoes! :D

  18. Hey, Leigh. Thanks for the mention. I am definitely going to try canning them this year, now that you've served as the guinea pig. ;-) I'm trying to wean myself off of freezing as much, so this will be a good way to go.

  19. Nina, they are a pretty addition to the pantry. We ate the last of our window sill ripened tomatoes just the other day! I only saved the most likely candidates for that.

    Mother Moon, and it was!

    Connie, funny how I never did that before. I'm bad about shortcuts, but some of them don't pay off!

    Ginny, you're welcome! Let me know how you like the process and the candied ginger.

    Janice, yes that green tomato relish lasts for quite awhile. :) Still it's nice to have. Nice to have a few other green tomato recipes up our sleeves as well. LOL

    RaShell, yes, canning worked very well!

    John, thanks!

    Jane, my freezer is too small for anything I can can. Plus, it just feels more prepared to have them canned, doesn't it?

    BRF, okay, but you really need to try fried green ones at least once in your life!

    Renee, it was such a treat!

    Candace, you're welcome. Yeah, I haven't been freezing a whole lot either. Mostly meat, milk, grain, and cheese.

  20. this is indeed good to know. I love FGT's!

  21. FGT! God, I love you! And I love tomato's! As a side dish and I can see them on my next burger too! I always learn something from you!

  22. Thank you so much for sharing your success story. No more excuses for me not planting tomatoes in the garden despite our lack of growing season. I always get more green than ripe tomatoes, and I can only dig up so many plants to bring into the house!

  23. Paula, definitely a good thing to do with an end of the year abundance of green tomatoes!

    Tom, you're welcome!!!

    Sue, you're welcome as well. I was thinking about you northern gardeners when I did this. Green tomatoes do have the tomato flavor, they just aren't as tender and pretty as ripened ones. Still, I'm discovering that they are useful in cooking.

  24. Leigh, oh how I LOVE you! Evey blog is so worth the time to read. Every idea so well researched or trialed. You are amazing.

  25. I have never had a green tomato... let along fried, but you make it sound tempting!

    And also, how cool about your wood stove. I would love to just be able to rub splattered grease onto the stove!

  26. Donna, well, I tend to blog the way I like to read, for information. :) I'm very happy to offer interesting content!

    Prairie Cat, you really need to try this! If you like tomatoes, you'll likely enjoy fried green ones. :)

  27. I love fried green tomatoes but did not realize they could be canned. Did you pickle them during the canning or just can like ripe tomatoes? What a wonderful way to use those multiple green ones at the end of the harvest.
    Sure glad to find you. Love the simplicity you live. And by the way, your kitchen is so cool.
    Also, have you ever used a bit of the pickle juice in a homemade tartar sauce? It's fantastic!

  28. Dar, I didn't realize it either until I started looking for ideas for my extra green tomatoes. Canning was easy, just slice and add boiling water and salt to taste. Since I processed in a boiling water bath, I did add a bit of citric acid to each jar. Leave 1/2 inch headroom and process 7 minutes for quarts.

    Thanks for the suggestion for tartar sauce! I love fish and I love tartar sauce. Great idea. :)

  29. Yum!!! I'm sure these taste as good as they look. I would never have thought to can green tomatoes.

  30. I have never in my life had a fried green tomato. It seems (from the movie) to be a southern american thing. This weekend im pulling tomato plants out that still have a few green ones. I might give this a try. I think some parmesan cheese in the crumb might be nice.

  31. Barb, the recipe was a great find! Such a treat in winter months.

    Lynda, I confess the first time I tried them I wasn't impressed. Somehow though, we've developed a real fondness for them. I do thing you're correct about their origin. But it's worthy of being a world wide treat!

  32. I just did one jar full in my 5th burner pot (love the little basket that fits inside for one-jar canning!), and will fry those beauties sometime when the snow flies. OK, snow doesn't fly in Florida, but it does get a little chilly here in the winter for a week or two. I must say, this was the easiest canning project I've ever done! If the tart flavor of FGTs doesn't grab you, do as my mother did, and I do, and sprinkle some sugar on those fried filets of tomato! Delish!

  33. Barbara, hello! That 5th burner pot sounds like a really useful addition. And I have to say that those fried green tomatoes are delicious any time of year. :)

  34. Has anyone ever dehydrated green tomatoes? Then rehydrated in
    boiling water, and going through the usual routine for frying?
    I did this with okra, and it tasted just like fresh fried okra. I also
    use this okra in soups, gumbo, etc.

    1. Margo, I never have. Sounds like something worth experimenting with, however. Glad to hear it worked well with okra.

    2. How much citric acid did you add to your jars
      when canning?

    3. A half teaspoon per quart jar, a quarter teaspoon for pints.


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