How To Core, Peel, and Seed a Tomato

Diana Rattray

Fresh, unpeeled tomatoes are fine in salads and for slicing, but for some recipes, such as a sauce, soup, or relish, you might find it necessary to peel them. If you happen to have an abundance of garden fresh tomatoes, freeze them with their juices in 2-cup containers and use them for soups and sauces when you need them.

How to Core Tomatoes

Place the tomato on its side, holding it steady with one hand.

Just outside the core and next to the stem, insert a small, sharp paring knife about 1 inch into the tomato.

Rotating the tomato as you cut, carve a full circle around the stem end, keeping the point of the knife angled towards the center.

Lift out the core and discard.

How to Peel Tomatoes

Bring a large pot or saucepan of water to a full boil.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it aside.

Slice a small "X" in the bottom of each cored tomato and lower several into the pan of boiling water. Use a wire basket to lower the tomatoes if you have one. It will be easier to transfer them to the ice water all at once. Bring the water back to a boil.

After about 45 to 60 seconds in the boiling water, you should notice some wrinkling of the skins. Remove them from the boiling water and immediately immerse them in the ice water.

Working in batches, repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes are cooled, begin peeling them.

 The skins might slip off easily, but some areas might need more coaxing with fingers and a sharp knife.

How to Seed Tomatoes

Put a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl.

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze them or scoop out the seeds into the strainer with your fingers. 

Combine the seeded tomato pieces with the juice in the bowl and discard the seeds.


Once you have cored, peeled, and seeded the tomatoes, you can freeze them in containers. Leave about 1/2-inch of head space in wide mouth jars or containers, and about 1 1/2 inches if freezing them in standard (narrow-mouth) canning jars.

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