Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How To Quickly Peel Tomatoes

After 10 years of canning, it never fails to amaze me when I learn or stumble on something new. Last week, I went to the farmer’s market and picked up a ½ bushel of Roma tomatoes for $10. This is my favorite (and most exhausting) time of year; all the produce is coming in like gangbusters and it’s all I can do to keep up till October.

Tomatoes are starting to come in, and despite all the wet weather we’ve had, the prices at the farmer’s market haven’t budged. I promptly snatched that ½ bushel right up and had intentions to try Local Kitchen's Fire Roasted Tomatoes and a batch or two of my favorite Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce. So, as I was prepping the tomatoes for peeling, it dawned on me to use the same roasting method called for in Local Kitchen’s recipe to remove the skins for all my tomatoes.

Now in the past, I’ve always used the boil/blanch method for peeling my tomatoes. I hate it…standing there over a boiling caldron of water, fishing out steaming hot tomatoes, and then dunking them in ice water to stop the cooking process. In the end, it takes forever, the kitchen gets heated and messed up, and there’s water spills everywhere.

I was able to roast and peel that whole ½ bushel of tomatoes in UNDER AN HOUR! While one batch was roasting, I was prepping another sheet. No mess, no babysitting bobbing tomatoes, no steamy sauna…AND my tomatoes had the extra flavor bonus of being roasted.

Why did it take me so long to figure this out???

How to Quickly Peel Tomatoes

1. Preheat oven broiler to high; set oven rack 6 inches away from broiler. Prepare rinsed/clean tomatoes by cutting out the woody core and slicing in half. Place sliced tomatoes skin side up on a large cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the oven under the broiler and broil until skins are dark and charred (rotate cookie sheet halfway through).

2. Remove cookie sheet from oven and lay a dish towel over the roasted tomatoes on the cookie sheet. This lets the tomatoes cool and steam for easy peeling. After about 10 minutes, while the tomatoes are still warm, remove the dish towel and simply pull the skins right off with your fingers or a pair of tongs. Throw away skins (or if you’re my husband…EAT THEM….BLECH!!!).

3. While one batch of tomatoes are cooling, slide another cookie sheet full into the oven and cut up more tomatoes for the next batch.

Do a happy dance around the kitchen.



Susan said...

This is great! I have a brown grocery bag full of tomatoes on my work table. This will really help! Thanks!

Just the Right Size said...


This will save you SOOO much time versus blanching. It frees you up to do other things while the tomatoes are roasting.

Have fun!

Brittany said...

This saved me so much time today while I was canning salsa. I know this is an older post but I am really glad I found it! I hated doing the blanching method. Thanks so much for sharing!

Just the Right Size said...


You're so welcome! I can knock out a half bushel of tomatoes in under an hour with only cookie sheets. No water, not ice, no mess! I'm so glad this helped.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Unknown said...

Hi there, does this method just work with fresh tomatoes, or would it work with green tomatoes as well. Thanks

Unknown said...

Hi there, does this method only work with fresh tomatoes, or would it work with green tomatoes as well. Thanks.

Just the Right Size said...

Hi Jordan,

Yes, this works great for peeling green tomatoes! Just be sure to get them nice and charred and to put a dish towel over them while they are cooling. The dish towel helps them to steam a little, which makes peeling much easier.

Have fun with those tomatoes!


Unknown said...

Hello so happy I found this method saves so much time wish I would of found this sooner (like a couple of weeks ago when I blanched all the tomatoes that I canned) thanks

Just the Right Size said...

Hi Tammy,

So glad you found this too; next year you'll be a canning queen! Thanks for stopping by.


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