Peeling Tomatoes Article -
Add a Comment

How to Peel Tomatoes

The small amount of effort it takes is worth the glorious taste of peel-free tomatoes!

Although peeling a tomato is not an extremely common method in many home kitchens, it is a very useful process to be familiar with. Some recipes will call for a tomato to be peeled and seeded in order to rid the tomato of any bitter taste that the peel and seeds can contain. This method can also be used for peeling peaches and plums.

1. Remove any stickers and wash the tomato thoroughly. Remove the stem, but be careful to remove only as much of the tomato as is necessary to detach the stem and the green skin surrounding the stem from the red flesh of the tomato.

    2. Cut a very shallow X on the bottom of the tomato.

      3. This will aid in the actual peeling of the tomato later in the process.

        4. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Then, drop the tomato into the boiling water. You will remove it after 30 seconds or when the skin begins to peel. If you intend to peel several tomatoes make sure you have enough water for all of the tomatoes.

          5. Once you notice any skin peeling off the tomato, or that 30 seconds is up, quickly remove the tomato and place it into the prepared bowl of ice water.

            6. Let the tomato sit in the ice bath for at least 5 minutes. It is important the tomato be cooled all the way through in order to stop the cooking process the boiling water began.

              7. Once the tomato has been chilled, remove it from the ice water. The tomato should still be very firm, with the skin wrinkled and hanging off of it slightly.

                8. Begin peeling the tomato. Peel the skin off with your hands.

                  9. If the skin is stubborn, use a small sharp paring knife to remove the pieces of skin that will not budge, being careful not to squeeze the tomato.

                    10. A marvelous, peeled tomato! To prepare it for use in a wide variety of recipes, you can dice it further (view the dicing tomatoes article).

                    Toss a peeled, diced tomato into this tasty recipe: 

                    ms. derr 
                    Aug. 30, 2009 9:05 pm
                    i found that it works well to core the tomato before throwing it in the hot water. De-seeding it is easier after that.
                    Sep. 6, 2009 11:09 am
                    I grow Roma Tomatoes and when they rippen I wash them and dry them and put them in a big ziplock bag and freeze them. When you need them simply run then under hot water and the skins will come right off, and add them to your recipe
                    Sep. 7, 2009 9:42 am
                    Please make bigger pictures! Thanks!!!!!
                    Sep. 9, 2009 7:03 pm
                    This method was so simple and fast. Thanks for the tip on the romas I have some I'll be bagging and saving for one of those days in the middle of winter when nothing but a home grown tomatoe will do.
                    Apr. 10, 2010 2:52 am
                    I have used this method before. It works great!
                    Sep. 3, 2010 5:38 pm
                    thanks for the hint on freezing tomatoes,,will love them all year now
                    Sep. 10, 2010 8:34 am
                    I thought you had to blanch everything before freezing to kill anything harmful! How can you put them directly in the freezer?
                    Sep. 24, 2010 2:46 pm
                    You are all spending too much time and effort with this tomato peeling process. When I was a young boy just starting to learn to cook I watched with fascination as an Italian ladyfriend of my Mom made wonderful marinara sauce from scratch at least once a week. Her secret for speedy tomato peeling was as follows -- and it works wonderfully! After cleaning and washing your tomatoes, DO cut a shallow "X" in the bottom end as described above, but then forget about the boiling water and ice water. Insert a two-prong 'carving fork' in the stem end of the tomato and hold the tomato over an open gas range burner set medium-high to high rotating it until you see the "X" begin to curl and the skin just begin to blister. At that point you can set it aside in a bowl while you do the same with the rest of your tomatoes or if you are only using that one tomato, you are ready to peel. Just take the blade of your knife (paring, chef or whatever), grasp one of the corners of the "X" cut and the
                    william barnes 
                    Nov. 8, 2010 3:37 pm
                    no comment
                    Mar. 10, 2011 3:58 am
                    actually tehre's another method that works better than this and is a lot more quick. Cut an x at the bottom of the tomato. Put directly onto the flame of your stove. The skin will shrivel and burst. Take off of heat, cool a bit and take skin off. No going through the cumbersome process of boiling and cooling if you have only a couple of tomatoes to peel
                    Jul. 8, 2011 7:56 am
                    Perfect tutorial. I followed it exactly and they peeled perfectly. Thanks AR for a great tutorial.
                    Jul. 27, 2011 2:10 pm
                    I really liked what daddy rob had to say below! Too many steps is time consuming and if one is going to cook the tomatoes anyway, why bother with the ice bath for five mins?
                    Aug. 19, 2011 8:31 pm
                    I had to do several tomatoes because I was canning salsa. This worked really well.
                    Aug. 27, 2011 2:28 pm
                    Boil for thirty seconds than put in ice water for twenty seconds than peel. Easy Easy.
                    Sep. 5, 2011 6:47 pm
                    Method works similarly for peaches!
                    Sep. 20, 2011 4:38 am
                    Thanks for the tutorial, I wasn't really sure how to peel a tomato and plan on making a soup this week that requires to peel them...I usually leave the skins on for most recipes, but think with soup I'd better peel them...great help.
                    Sep. 23, 2011 11:37 pm
                    Well I followed the tutorial exactly and my Roma tomatoes peeled perfectly.
                    Feb. 4, 2012 10:59 pm
                    I used both grilling and boiling tomato and it both works although here in the Philippines I used bamboo sticks to grill my tomatoes
                    Apr. 19, 2012 7:31 am
                    All of these work really well....use the one you like!
                    Jun. 6, 2012 5:36 am
                    If you plan on canning tomatoes as I am doing holding one tomato at a time is way more mind numbing then boiling and cooling
                    Jun. 12, 2012 8:49 am
                    I have a rice steamer which i use to steam the tomatoes for 15 mins. then when they are done i put them in a cold water bath and the peels remove so easily! The tomatoes never go into the water in the steamer i pit them in the upper tray of the steamer...
                    Jun. 12, 2012 8:49 am
                    of course I core the tomatoes first!!!
                    Jun. 13, 2012 7:17 am
                    Wonderful timeing AR. Was just chatting about this in the recipe buzz. Thanks
                    Jul. 25, 2012 2:18 pm
                    No offense to daddyrob, but I tried the method of boiling then cold and it worked just fine for me. Don't think I ever used the frozen tomatoes I put up there! Will have to make marinara soon!!!
                    Sep. 2, 2012 12:32 pm
                    I have used the boil, ice water method, but I still prefer the method my Grandmother taught me over 50 years ago. I use the back side of a paring knife and run it over the entire surface of the tomato with firm, not too firm, pressure. Then cut off the top and the peel will start coming off as you peel away the stem, the skin will easily peel away. There is no hot water or ice to mess with and very little clean up and the tomatoes taste is unaffected by either heat or cold.
                    Sep. 18, 2012 8:58 am
                    Daddyrob1: I tried your Mom's friend's method and it worked perfectly! I highly recommend. Thanks!
                    Sep. 24, 2012 10:10 am
                    If I'm going to cook the tomatoes, anyway, I don't bother with the ice water. I score each tomato once, down the side, dunk in boiling water, and then plop them into a colander until I'm done dunking all the tomatoes I need. Then, I just slip the skins off, cut them up, and seed them. They're cool enough to handle by then.
                    Sep. 24, 2012 11:44 am
                    I simply put all my tomatoes into a large sauce pan, cover on low heat and the tomato skins slide right off. Any pieces that stick as I cook my sauce I pull out as i stir.
                    Subscribe Today!

                    In Season

                    Tart, Flavorful Rhubarb
                    Tart, Flavorful Rhubarb

                    Rhubarb adds its tangy flavor to everything from salsa to lemonade. Don't forget the pie.

                    Perfect Summer Smoothies
                    Perfect Summer Smoothies

                    Warm weather calls for a cold, fruity smoothie. Choose from over 400 refreshing recipes.

                    Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
                    Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

                    Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

                    Related Videos

                    How to Prepare Fresh Tomatoes

                    See how to prepare fresh tomatoes for salads, salsas, and sauces.

                    How to Peel, Seed, and Dice Tomatoes

                    Watch how to peel, seed, and dice fresh tomatoes for salsas, salads, and more.

                    Sun-Dried Tomatoes I

                    See how to make your own sun-dried tomatoes in the oven.

                    Most Popular Blogs

                    Read our blog

                    Recently Viewed Recipes

                    You haven't looked at any recipes lately. Get clicking!
                    Quick Links: Recipe Box | Shopping List | More »
                    Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

                    Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States