How to Peel a Tomato

How to peel a tomato quickly and easily! I use the blanch and shock method to peel whole fresh tomatoes for all my recipe needs. This helpful guide will show you everything you need to know.

Knife cutting two shallow criss-cross slices into a tomato

It’s culinary science time! I want to share a pro tip that I learned in culinary school. You can peel a tomato in under a minute in just 4 easy steps! It was one of the first techniques I learned, and I still use it all of the time.

Using the blanching technique we can quickly remove the tomato skin. This makes it easier to cut, or concassée the tomato for your desired application. If you ever need to make a fresh homemade sauce, bruschetta topping, salsa, or just want to impress your friends, you are going to love this tutorial!

Watch how to peel a tomato

Make sure to select fresh tomatoes that are plump with a smooth shiny surface. If the tomato is soft and mushy or too hard, the flavor and texture will not be at its peak, no matter if you peel or not.

Boiling a tomato after carving an X into one of the sides

Ok, let’s get started!

Step 1

Use a sharp knife to score a small 1-inch size “X” on the bottom of the tomato. Cut just enough to pierce through the skin, but not too deep into the flesh.

Step 2

Bring a pot filled with water to a boil, enough to completely submerge the entire tomato. Add the scored tomato and blanch for about 20 seconds. You can see the skin start to separate from the flesh when it’s ready to be removed. You may need a little more time for larger tomatoes, but be careful not to overcook them because the flesh will become mushy/grainy if left for too long.

Tomato being shocked in a water with ice cubes

Step 3

Immediately transfer the tomato to a bowl filled with ice water to quickly cool down and prevent additional cooking.

Fingers peeling the skin off a tomato

Step 4

The skin should easily release from the tomato now. You can use a small knife or your fingers to help peel away all the skin. If needed, you can blanch for a few seconds longer if the peel does not easily release the first 20 seconds.

Cutting board with several sliced pieces of tomato

Now you are ready to use the peeled tomatoes however you wish! Keep them whole for some slower cooker beef short ribs, or dice them up to add to some crunchy chicken tostadas or top on some yummy blackened mahi mahi fish tacos.

Let me know how your first tomato peeling experience goes, and how you use them in your recipes!

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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5 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. William Lazenby says

    This will make my meal prepping so much easier. I’m making packets of low carb curry, so I can just throw the contents of a bag in a skillet and cook it the night before work. Thanks for posting!

  2. Cathy says

    Perfect directions on peeling tomatoes! You got right to the point , spoke clearly, and didn’t go too fast. Thank you!

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