How to peel tomatoes?

peel the tomatoes with thin skins

The tomato is a particularly appreciated fruit, in particular because of its many virtues for health. Nevertheless, although its thin skin is very rich in vitamins and a source of other benefits, the fact remains that it can irritate the intestines of fragile people and be undigested.

How to peel tomatoes?

Method 1: Long and Tedious

Peeling the skin off tomatoes takes a bit of effort, but when you taste the result in tomato sauces and soups , you'll realize it's worth the effort. Removing the skin gives sauces a smoother texture and milder taste. (This method also works for peeling peaches and plums).

comment éplucher les tomates? 

Peel the tomatoes, cutting them

Follow these 7 steps:

1) Remove any stickers and wash the tomato thoroughly

2) Remove the stem and cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Peeling will be much easier this way.

peel the tomatoes

3) Fill a large bowl of water with ice cubes and set aside. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Gently lower the tomato into the boiling water. You can add more than one at a time. Remove them after 30 seconds, or when the skin begins to peel off, and place them in the bowl of ice water instantly.

peel the tomatoes in boiling water

4) Let the tomatoes sit in the ice bath for 5 minutes or until you see the skins shrivel up and start to peel off.

peel the tomatoes in ice water

5) Once the tomatoes have cooled, remove them from the ice water. The tomatoes should still be very firm, with the skin wrinkled and detaching from the flesh.

6) Peel off the skin with your hands

peel the tomatoes by hand

7) If the skin is stubborn, use a small, sharp paring knife to remove any bits that won't budge, being careful not to squeeze the tomato

Method 2: Simple and quick

Peel the tomatoes using a special peeler.

Since the skin of tomatoes is quite thin, it is very complicated to remove their skin without spoiling part of the flesh when peeling with a knife. This is why the use of a kitchen peeler fitted with a micro-toothed blade is then recommended to peel with complete peace of mind and thus obtain a fine peeling.
  1. Rinse the tomatoes
  2. Use the whole peeler starting at the top of the tomato, rotating downwards to peel the tomatoes.

FAQ When should tomatoes be peeled?

Peeling tomatoes is a daunting task, whether you blanch them or use a serrated peeler. Some would say that it's rarely necessary to peel tomatoes (the skin is completely edible after all), but some specific cases call for peeling tomatoes to get a better end product. Here are five.

why peel tomatoes

1. Size matters.

It's a no-brainer: Small tomatoes don't need to be peeled. The big heirloom varieties, with their tender skin, don't need to be peeled either. Oxtail tomatoes and varieties selected for canning (like black plum or roma) have quite thick skins that would not be welcome in sauces or heavy soups.

do you have to peel the tomatoes?

2. For the gazpacho texture

Supermarket tomatoes are usually grown in greenhouses, so the fruits tend to have thin skins. In contrast, tomatoes grown outdoors and sun-ripened tend to have a thicker waxy skin which can be unpleasant to eat and can totally ruin the texture of your gazpacho sauce.

3. Tomato paste

To preserve tomatoes, they sometimes need to be peeled. Dough is a good example, it is recommended to peel them before preparing the dough. The skin would prevent the dough from obtaining a smooth texture and a succulent taste.

4. Canning

Long-term storage of tomatoes requires peeling them. Think about it: Have you ever bought canned tomatoes with any skin on them? The reason is simple: Most canned tomatoes are made into a sauce, so canners want to remove the tough skin from tomatoes before canning them to preserve their taste.

5. Tomato juice or Bloody Mary cocktail

A good tomato juice or Bloody Mary made from ripe summer tomatoes is pure delight. You can quickly make your own tomato juice by pureeing peeled tomatoes in a blender and straining the resulting liquid, all without the tomato peels of course.

Why not peel the tomatoes?

Obviously, there's no reason to peel tomatoes meant for a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich: it's the skin that holds it all together. The same goes for tomatoes that you slowly roast in the oven: if you remove the skin, they will melt.

to peel the tomatoes or not


But regardless of the method of preparation, there is another reason not to peel tomatoes: flavonols. It is a kind of plant-derived antioxidant and like other health-beneficial plants, they impart a bitter flavor. But studies have linked flavonols to a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and various age-related complications. You won't get much if you peel your tomatoes, up to 98% of the flavonols found in tomatoes are found in the skin. Keeping your tomato intact will therefore maximize its nutritional value for you.

Can I peel a tomato without boiling it? Yes, but.


You can steam or microwave them, but both methods have their downsides. When you add food to a steamer, you have to open the lid, which releases the steam. It takes a while to bring the temperature back up after adding the tomatoes and closing the lid. The quantity of cooked tomatoes can therefore be greater than if you blanched them in boiling water.

In the microwave

Also, microwaves heat unevenly, so some parts of the tomato may be overcooked while others won't be hot enough to peel easily. You will also need to do several at the same time so that the cooking is as even as possible. It is therefore more complicated to start and stop the microwave several times than to immerse them in boiling water.

Why are peeled tomatoes easier to peel?

When a tomato cooks, the cell walls of the flesh break down, causing the tomato to dissolve. By boiling and rapidly cooling the tomato, you can dissolve a layer of tomato just under the skin without cooking the tomato through. The skin is thus released and can be removed very easily.


How long should I blanch tomatoes before peeling them?

It depends on the size of the tomato and its degree of ripeness. The bigger the tomato, the longer it may take, and the less ripe the tomato, the longer it will take. I usually leave Andean horned tomatoes for 2-3 seconds, while I start with 5 seconds for larger, beefsteak style tomatoes.

What can I do with peeled tomatoes?

There are so many possibilities. You can for example use tomato peels to make chips in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil on it, or even a tomato coulis. If you have a garden, they can also be used as compost. We also wrote an article on what to do with carrot peelings if you are interested.


The team of