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3 Simple Methods For How To Peel A Tomato

With the tomato harvesting season right around the corner, you sure do not want to waste any of those delicious red beauties. Whether cooking or canning your tomatoes, peeling them is a simple task. Here you are going to learn how to peel a tomato and make the most out of your harvest throughout the rest of the year! 

Closeup of a tomato with the peel partially removed.

Why Should You Peel a Tomato?

The reason to peel a tomato is that the skin is a different texture than the flesh. Because of this, when preparing a sauce or a puree, you tend to get bits of skin mixed through instead of a uniform texture. But do you have to peel a tomato to make a fresh sauce or puree? The short answer is, no, you do not. 

Of course, when preparing a salad or wanting fresh slices of tomatoes peeling them just wouldn’t make too much sense after all the skin give off some of the freshest flavors. But with sauces, purees, and soups it balances out the texture. 

A plate of blanched tomatoes -- blanching is one method for how to peel a tomato

How to Peel a Tomato: An Important Step in Making the Best Tomato Sauce 

Peeling tomatoes is a crucial step when perfecting the most delicious tomato sauces. You do not need any special equipment and should already have everything you need in your kitchen. 

A pan of peeled plum tomatoes, herbs, and liquid for a tomato sauce.
Peeled tomatoes to cook down into a sauce.

So here it is, three simple and effective ways to peel your tomatoes at home. These methods are easy and give you amazing fresh peeled tomatoes ready for the next recipe. 

Method One – Boiling & Blanching 

Equipment Needed

To peel your tomatoes, you want to get your area prepped and ready to begin. You are going to need water, ice, one large stockpot, one large bowl that can fit all of your tomatoes, a paring knife, and long-handled tongs. 

Instructions 

  1. In a large stockpot, fill 3/4 of the way with fresh water and put it on the stovetop to boil. 
  2. Wash your tomatoes thoroughly to rid them of any dirt. 
  3. While waiting for the water to boil, use your paring knife to slice a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Make sure not to cut too deeply into the flesh of the tomato, just enough to pierce through the skins. 
  4. Once the water is at a rolling boil, gently place the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Fill a large bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes and set to the side. 
  6. When the skins of the tomatoes begin to crack, carefully remove the tomatoes with tongs and place them into the bowl of ice water. 
  7. Only when the tomatoes have cooled enough to be handled, gently peel the skins from the tomato, and you are ready to cook or can your freshly peeled tomatoes. 
Blanched tomatoes with the skins scored.

Method Two – Roasting

Equipment Needed

All you need for this method is a large baking sheet, cooking oil of choice, pairing knife, and your oven. This way of peeling tomatoes is hands-off and super quick, easy, and foolproof. 

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Thoroughly wash your tomatoes under cold water. 
  3. Slice your tomatoes in half and remove the core.
  4. Grease your baking sheet with your preferred cooking oil and place the tomatoes flesh side down. 
  5. Bake the tomatoes for 35 minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool until you can touch them with your hands.
  7. Pinch the tomato skin right off the tomato. 
A baking dish with roasted cherry tomatoes  in it.

Method Three – Freezing 

Equipment Needed

Freezing is a unique method of peeling tomato skins when you have an abundance of tomatoes but don’t have the time to peel them the same day. All you need for this method is a small baking sheet that can fit into your freezer, freezer-safe ziplock bags, and you guess it, the freezer itself!

Instructions

  1. Wash your tomatoes to rid them of any dirt. 
  2. Core the tomatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel or cloth. 
  3. Place them onto your baking sheet and put them into the freezer to completely freeze. It is essential that during this step, the tomatoes are not touching. 
  4. Once the tomatoes are frozen, place them into freezer-safe ziplock bags until you are ready to peel.
  5. When you are ready to peel the tomatoes, just let them thaw on your countertop, and the skins will slip right off. 
Closeup of frozen cherry tomatoes.

Removing the Seeds

If you also want to remove the seeds of your tomatoes, follow the processes above, then cut the tomato in half, and with a spoon, scoop out the seeds over a bowl. Now you have freshly peeled and seeded tomatoes perfect for homemade chili. 

What Kind of Tomatoes Work Best for Peeling?

Any tomato. These are fantastic techniques to use to peel any tomato variety, either growing in your garden or picked from a market or grocery store! Sure, depending on the recipe you have in mind, you may want to use a specific type of tomato. For example, if you’re mastering the perfect marinara sauce, use Roma tomatoes for the best taste and texture. 

Mouthwatering Recipes That Use Freshly Peeled Tomatoes

Once you have your freshly peeled tomatoes, you are ready to make some delicious meals. No matter what time of year it may be, these delightful tomatoes can be used in so many different types of dishes. 

Soups and Stews

– Classic Tomato Soup 

– Beef and Tomato Stew

– Rustic Tomato Vegetable Soup

– Gaspacho

Overhead view of bowls of tomato gazpacho.

Pasta Sauces

– Simple Marinara Sauce

– Penne Alla Vodka

– The Best Meat Sauce

– Fresh Garden Organic Chili

A bowl of turkey chili with tomato sauce.

Wrapping Up

With these three simple methods teaching you how to peel a tomato, you are well on your way to creating some of the freshest dishes or canning your homegrown tomatoes for later in the season. With the recipes listed above, you have many options on what to cook with your freshly peeled or canned tomatoes.

Have you ever used any of the above methods of peeling tomatoes? Which way would you try first? Let us know in the comments below!

Are you looking for a new tomato variety? Want to learn everything about tomatoes? Check out our other blogs here