How to Peel, Core, and Seed Fresh Tomatoes

Tomatoes. Diana Rattray
  • 01 of 06

    Make Cuts in the Bottom of Each Tomato

    How to Peel Tomatoes - Cut X
    How to Peel Tomatoes - Cut X. Diana Rattray

    You might not care if the tomatoes are peeled for a tossed salad or sandwiches, but if you're making a fresh tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes, the tomatoes should be peeled.​​

    First, place the tomatoes on a cutting board, stem-side down. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. If you plan to core the tomatoes, you may do so now or do it later when you remove the skin or when you remove the seeds. 

    To core the tomatoes, make a deep cut next to the stem end. Holding the knife at an angle,...MORE cut around the stem. Remove the center.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Place Tomatoes in Boiling Water

    Tomatoes, How to Peel
    How to Peel Tomatoes. Diana Rattray

    Using tongs or slotted spoon, place tomatoes, two or three at a time, into rapidly boiling water. Let tomatoes boil for about 15 to 25 seconds. Skins should just begin to split around the "X." The tomatoes will be slightly cooked if left in the boiling water for too long.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Place Tomatoes in Ice Water

    How to Peel Tomatoes - Ice Water Bath
    How to Peel Tomatoes - Ice Water Bath. Diana Rattray
    Using the tongs or slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes from the boiling water to a large bowl of ice water. Immerse completely in ice water. Repeat steps until all tomatoes are in the ice water, ready for peeling.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    How to Peel Tomatoes - Remove Skins and Core

    Skin and Core Tomatoes
    Skin and Core Tomatoes. Diana Rattray

    When tomatoes are completely cool, remove from ice water and pat dry. Starting at the "X," begin to peel the tomatoes. If necessary, use a small sharp knife to peel. 

    Core the tomatoes now if you didn't in step 1.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    How to Peel Tomatoes - Cutting Tomatoes to Seed

    How to Peel Tomatoes - Scoop Out Seeds
    How to Peel Tomatoes - Scoop Out Seeds. Diana Rattray

    To seed the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise. Scoop the seeds out with a small measuring spoon or your fingers. If you're making a soup or sauce, put the discarded tomato pieces, peels, and seeds in a sieve over a bowl to catch any extra juices. Use the juices in your recipe or​ refrigerate or freeze for another use.

    Cut any remaining tough core pieces out at this point, if desired.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Tomato Preparation: Tomatoes Ready to Use

    Gazpacho With Fresh Tomatoes
    Gazpacho With Fresh Tomatoes. Diana Rattray

    The fresh peeled tomatoes are ready to use in your favorite recipes, including salads, sauces, and the garden-fresh gazpacho pictured.

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