Peeling Fresh Tomatoes

Updated June 21, 2009

To peel fresh tomatoes for use in salsas, sauces, soups etc.

  1. Cut out the stem scar, and cut an “X” in the bottom of each tomato.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
  3. Fill another large pot or bowl with ice water.
  4. Place a few tomatoes in the boiling water taking care not to crowd to pot – you want to keep the water boiling.
  5. After a few seconds to a minute, the skins will soften and some may begin to crack.  Immediately submerge the tomatoes in the ice water.  Depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes, their times will vary, so you may want to use a slotted spoon and remove each of them as they are ready.
  6. When they have cooled completely, remove the tomatoes from the ice water.  It is important that they cool completely or they will continue to cook and get mealy, but don’t leave them in the ice water too long or they will get waterlogged. Use a paring knife to pull the skins off.  If the skins do not peel easily, you may repeat steps 4 & 5.
  7. Seed and cut each tomato as needed for your recipe.

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