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How to Peel Tomatoes

Peel out!

Peeling tomatoes requires a little effort, but when you taste the results in tomato sauces, 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.)

fresh tomatoes

Photo by Meredith

1. Remove any stickers and wash the tomato thoroughly.

2. Remove the stem with a paring knife. And cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. This will make peeling much easier.

tomato with x cut into the base with knife

Photo by Meredith

3. Fill a big bowl with 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 can add several at a time. Remove them after 30 seconds or when the skin begins to peel and put them into the bowl of ice water.

blanch tomatoes in boiling water

Photo by Meredith

4. Let the tomatoes sit in the ice bath for 5 minutes.

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 tomatoes

Photo by Meredith

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

See our collection of Tomato Sauce Recipes.

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