How to Peel Tomatoes

August  5, 2011

Watch Amanda demostrate two ways to peel tomatoes -- one hot and one very, very cold. (Hmm, which do you think we'll be doing this sweltering August?) Take your pick, then make this genius Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter from Marcella Hazan.

This week's videos were once again shot and edited our videographer Elena Parker (who now produces our bi-weekly Dinner & a Movie column as well!).

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • zahavah
  • melcooks
  • Gretchen Froelich
    Gretchen Froelich
  • CharlotteD
  • sarabclever
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zahavah October 5, 2012
Tried the freezing technique - foolproof! What I love is that the uncooked tomatoes aren't slimy like they are when you drop in boiling water.
melcooks August 8, 2012
If you have a gas stove top, there is another way to peel a tomato. Make a small "x" on the bottom of the fruit and spear the other end on a long two-pronged fork. Rotate continuously over a medium high gas flame for a minute or so until the skin blisters a bit in places. Remove from fork and peel. Works great if you just have a few tomatoes to peel.
Gretchen F. April 25, 2012
Love this - thank you for the video. Now, where are those tomatoes? Can't wait for summer!
CharlotteD August 18, 2011
The how to videos are helpfu,l but what happened to the recipe videos? I miss those :-(
sarabclever August 17, 2011
Interesting about the frozen method, especially as sometimes I don't like the idea of boiling up a pot of water if the quantity of tomatoes to peel is just one or two. A watched pot never boils, and all that! I've heard a suggestion to use a serrated vegetable peeler because the serrated version can actually grip the tomato skin. I'm not sure if I'm a convert to that method--I've tried it and I seem to remember it was (unsurprisingly) a bit sloppy.
Donald S. August 11, 2011
Great method! I'll try it myself. Thanks for demonstrating. This method is kind of new to me, since I am new in cooking and trying to learn.
Donald S. August 11, 2011
Wow great method! I'll try freezing it next time! Thanks for the demonstration
The C. August 7, 2011
Great idea to freeze the tomatoes first. Cheers!
The C. August 7, 2011
Good idea freezing the tomatoes first. Cheers!
Babcia August 6, 2011
The riper the tomato, the better this works. Doesn't work too well on tomatoes with hard green tops or spots but neither does the water bath. But don't we usually use ripe tomatoes for sauce?
Babcia August 6, 2011
Why not do it the easy way?! Rub the tomato skin with the back of a knife evenly around the whole tomato from stem to stern. This loosens the skin, then you can just peel it off with the knife blade. Voila - no hot OR frozen tomatoes.
Amanda H. August 6, 2011
Do you find it works best with very ripe tomatoes or ones that are nearly ripe? I've never had luck with this but will try it again -- thank you for suggesting it.
Hector C. August 5, 2011
FYI. I don't think you should leave it in the water for about a minute. It should take no more than 10 seconds otherwise the entire tomato will get mushy. That's probably why you lost more pulp. also an ice bath immediatly after makes peeling less painful and lowers the chance of mushy tomatoes too. Just leave tomatoes in water until cool to avoid leeching out color or flavor.
Amanda H. August 6, 2011
It's true, the water bath is the proper way -- I'm just lazy! And I said a minute because it took nearly that for this tomato, but I should have pointed out that it can be as little as 10 seconds. It's really better to watch for the skin peeling back from the X than to count seconds. Thanks.