How to peel tomatoes

Lately I’ve been canning salsa and making our own fresh spaghetti sauce with all the tomatoes coming out of our garden. My problem is that currently do not have a way to either pulverize the skins and seeds (a.k.a Vitamix blender) nor do I own a sauce maker that separates everything for me.

I have to do it the old fashioned way.

With the dipping the tomatoes into boiling water for 30-45 seconds and then putting them into ice water. But it’s time consuming with the fact that you can only add so many tomatoes to the pot at once without cooling the water down.

So here’s what I do now:

  • Fill one side of your sink with washed tomatoes and make sure the plunger is in the bottom.
  • Fill up the other side with ice water
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil
  • Once it’s boiling, dump the water into the sink with the tomatoes IMG_0656
  • After about 30-45 seconds, take a gloved hand (or pair of tongs) and pull out the plunger from the sink.
  • The tomatoes can then be transferred to the ice water to cool. (not necessary if you’re canning them, but stopping the cooking process can make it easier to cor and cut them up!)

This makes it so much easier to do a large batch at once!

This post is linked to:

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays over at Tammy’s Recipes

Works for me Wednesday at We are That Family

About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.


  1. I’ve been doing the ladle-tomatoes-from-boiling-pot-to-ice-water method, and it IS time consuming! I still have plenty more tomatoes- I think I’m going to try this trick this week! Thanks!

  2. I do mine the old fashioned way–but I really like this way!

  3. I think i will try this way as well seems much easier

  4. Lovin’ the new look, Donielle! What a beautiful pic of your tom’s taking a lovely bath. This is the way I know how to do it. :)

  5. Hey, I have a tomato/peach peeler, its a zylis. I love it!
    Also, I have a food mill from the hardwear store and it seperates the skin and seeds out of the yummy stuff.

    donielle Reply:

    I so want one of those! Maybe next year – this year I’m spending my extra $ on jars. :-)

  6. I think I read sometime last year at Amy’s Finer Things that she fills up big yogurt containers and the like to freeze for occasions like this since the big blocks of ice melt more slowly than small cubes (which are gone in an instant!). I suggested my method to her last summer, and I think she’s used it some – freeze the tomatoes first, then the skin slips off no problem when you run the still-frozen tomato under warm water. I finally got a blog and posted on how I freeze tomatoes here. I also do this when I don’t have enough tomatoes to really mess with – I freeze them, and then use them later to make salsa, spicy tomato juice, and tomato sauce. Of course, freezing changes the texture a bit, but so does canning, I think. :>)

    donielle Reply:

    I did the same thing for when I used them for sauce! I decided to do mostly salsa this year though as we didn’t get as much harvest as we could have due to blight.

  7. Smart idea. I hate the pot-bowl transition, especially when there are other things you need to get together. I’ll have to give it a try!