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How to Blanch Tomatoes for Easy Peeling: An Illustrated Guide

Updated on June 28, 2015
ButterflyWings profile image

Butterfly loves cooking and growing beautiful foods, and has a passion for designing memorable meals. Garden-born recipes are her favorite.

Finished Product

A bowl of just-blanched, skinned tomatoes.
A bowl of just-blanched, skinned tomatoes.

It is possible to peel tomatoes without blanching them, but blanching makes the process much simpler and quicker. It does not hurt or actually cook the tomatoes, and it is almost imperative if you are dealing with large quantities of tomatoes for sauce or other cooked concoctions.

Blanching just means heating food for a short time in boiling water, then cooling it immediately in cold water. With tomatoes, this helps the skins literally slip off, while the tomatoes stay relatively cool.

 

Step One - Put Tomatoes in Boiling Water

Two large, Caspian Pink tomatoes in simmering water. Not pretty, but very tasty.
Two large, Caspian Pink tomatoes in simmering water. Not pretty, but very tasty.
Cover the pot and wait 15 seconds. If tomatoes are a bit green, 30 seconds may be better.
Cover the pot and wait 15 seconds. If tomatoes are a bit green, 30 seconds may be better.

Step Two - Cool Tomatoes Immediately

Immediately place tomatoes in cold water (ice is good). Leave in cold water at least as long as they were in the boiling water.
Immediately place tomatoes in cold water (ice is good). Leave in cold water at least as long as they were in the boiling water.
Using a paring knife or your nails, start peeling the skin.
Using a paring knife or your nails, start peeling the skin.
It should come off in fairly large pieces, reasonably easy. Discard skins. Place finished tomatoes in a large bowl, and proceed with your recipe.
It should come off in fairly large pieces, reasonably easy. Discard skins. Place finished tomatoes in a large bowl, and proceed with your recipe.

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    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I don't know why, but blanching tomatoes was always one of my favorite parts of preparing food for storage. :)

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      Great article, informative and well presented.

    • ButterflyWings profile image
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      ButterflyWings 6 years ago

      Ivorwen, that's too funny. It has always been something I wish I could skip! :D

    • ButterflyWings profile image
      Author

      ButterflyWings 6 years ago

      PN, thank you very much.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      I´m the idiot who forgets to put them straight into ice-water..... just leaving them cool down while I´m doing something else... then something else... till I remember .. Oh yes I was blanching tomatoes for easy peeling Duh! Thank you for this.

    • ButterflyWings profile image
      Author

      ButterflyWings 6 years ago

      DF, you crack me up so bad! :) I can relate. Except I'm the idiot who forgets altogether that I'm blanching tomatoes, and leaves them to boil until I remember!

    • profile image

      Jeanne Grunert 5 years ago

      Thanks for this! I have pounds of tomatoes to blanch and freeze today and wasn't sure how to do this. The pictures were great.

    • ButterflyWings profile image
      Author

      ButterflyWings 5 years ago

      Jeanne, you're welcome! I'm so glad to be of help.

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