By preserving tomatoes, you can still get a taste of that vine-ripe flavor even after the growing season has been left behind. That's because tomatoes keep more of their natural flavor than many other fruits and vegetables after preserving. Tomatoes should be at their peak before you start the preservation method - whether you choose canning, freezing, or drying.
Always start with ripe tomatoes, not overripe, under-ripe, or diseased. The best tomato varieties for preserving are meaty tomatoes without an overabundance of seeds. A few top tomato varieties include but are certainly not limited to:
While more time consuming than drying or freezing, canning tomatoes is one of the best ways to preserve tomatoes from the standpoint of taste and nutrition. Canning tomatoes is easy once you have a little instruction and get a little practice. Follow along with the directions in my article on canning tomatoes and I think you'll agree it's not difficult.
If you have a freezer and an abundance of tomatoes to preserve, freezing tomatoes is the fastest preservation method of all. Plus it locks in much of the fresh taste that can be diminished from boiling using traditional canning methods. Just don't expect tomatoes to keep their shape after thawing. The article on freezing tomatoes takes you through the simple process and helps you decide.
If you have a nice hot sun you can preserve tomatoes by drying and have an excellent product. If you don't then you can dry them in an oven or a dehydrator. Dried tomatoes can be used in all kinds of recipes, or even just for snacking. My family uses them for homemade pizza topping (excellent!) and in soups and stews. Dried tomatoes have a strong tangy flavor because the natural acids are concentrated. Check out the article on drying tomatoes for more information.