How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes - Photo Tutorial

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How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes - Photo Tutorial

The below photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. Check out Cynthia's Southwest Recipes.

Tomato season is a great time for making big batches of tomato sauce for freezing or putting up jars of fresh tomatoes. Most recipes, however, ask for peeled fruit. The following technique makes this job easy and quick. You probably are saying, "Why peel tomatoes? The answer is very simple - peeling gives a better texture that is softer in the mouth.

unpeeled tomato

peeled fresh tomato

How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes - Photo Tutorial

Recipe Type: Tomatoes, Tomato Recipes
Yields: as many tomatoes as desired
Prep time: 10 min

Things You’ll Need To Peel Fresh Tomatoes:

Fresh Tomatoes

Large saucepan

Water to fill the saucepan just above the level of the tomatoes

Large bowl filled with ice and water

Sharp knife

Ladle or slotted spoon


In a 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 3½ quarts of water to a boil.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water that contains enough ice water to cover the amount of tomatoes you need to peel.


Use a paring knife to cut out the stem at the top of each tomato.


cutting the tomato

Turn tomato over. Carve a shallow X in the bottom (blossom end) of each tomato.

Working in batches of three (3), plunge (drop) the tomatoes into the boiling water, a few at a time, for 10 to 15 seconds.

NOTE: Do not leave tomato in the boiling water for more than 15 seconds as your tomato will become mushy (especially if you are using the tomatoes uncooked in a salad or salsa, you don’t want them in a boiling pot any longer than they have to be, because they’ll start to cook.)

Remove hot tomato with a slotted spoon

soaking tomato in ice water

With a slotted spoon, gently place the tomato in a bowl or sink filled with ice water to cool them down.

Once the tomatoes are cool, immediately take them out of the water to drain. Leaving the tomatoes in water may cause them to become water logged.

peeled fresh tomato

Gently pull away the skin of the tomatoes, beginning at the points created by the X. The skin will easily slip off each tomato.

You may use a small paring knife or your fingers to remove the skin.

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