How to Peel Tomatoes

See how easy it is to peel tomatoes. It's a method that also works for peeling peaches and plums.

fresh tomatoes
Photo: Meredith

Peeling tomatoes requires a little effort, but when you taste the results in tomato sauces and soups, you'll realize the rewards are well worth it. Removing the peel gives sauces a smoother texture and a sweeter taste. Read on to see how easy it is to peel tomatoes. (This method also works for peeling peaches and plums.)

How to Peel Tomatoes

1. Remove any stickers and wash the tomato thoroughly.

2. Remove the stem and cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. This will make peeling much easier. Optional: Some cooks also cut out the stem end with a sharp paring knife.

tomato with x cut into the base with knife

3. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside. Place a pot of plain water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Carefully lower the tomato into the boiling water. You can add several at a time. Remove them after 30 seconds, or when the skin begins to peel back, and place them into the bowl of ice water.

blanch tomatoes in boiling water

4. Let the tomatoes sit in the ice bath for 5 minutes or until you see the peels shrivel and start to peel off.

blanched tomatoes in ice bath

5. Once the tomatoes have chilled, remove them from the ice water. The tomatoes should still be very firm, with the skin wrinkled and coming off the flesh.

6. Peel the skins off with your hands.

peel blanched and shocked tomatoes

7. If the skin is stubborn, use a small sharp paring knife to remove the pieces that won't budge, being careful not to squeeze the tomato.

Ready to seed 'em? Here's the quick way to remove tomato seeds.

VIDEO: How to Peel, Seed, and Dice Tomatoes


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