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During canning season – or anytime you're making perfect homemade salsa, for that matter – one common task that needs to be tackled is peeling tomatoes.
This is simpler than it may seem – and there's one simple trick to making it easy.
And as you can see, when you're dealing with 50 pounds of tomatoes, the more hands, the merrier. 🙂
Here's why this secret works: when peeling tomatoes, you want to loosen the outer skin so it basically peels itself off rather than trying to fight it off and ending up with a mess of wasted tomatoes in the process.
So, the trick is simple: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a few tomatoes to the boiling water for 30-60 seconds (just until you see a split in the skin), then remove them to a sink of ice water, which helps the skin separate and keeps the rest of the tomato from continuing to cook. Then simply peel off of the skins and place the peeled tomatoes in a large bowl, ready for whichever cooking project you want them for.
Here's the Step-By-Step for How to Peel Tomatoes:
- Place a large pot of water over high heat to bring it to a boil.
- Meanwhile, ensure your sink is clean and fill it about two-thirds with cold water and add several cups of ice. Simply let it sit at the ready.
- Begin to prepare your tomatoes. Snip a small “X” on the bottom of each one and set at the ready.
- Set a large bowl at the ready for the finished tomatoes as well.
- When the water is at a full boil, add 6-12 tomatoes, depending on size. As soon as they begin to split, move them from the boiling water to the ice water using a slotted spoon. Continue to add tomatoes to the boiling water in batches until all tomatoes have been processed.
- As soon as the tomatoes in the ice water are cool enough to handle, grasp the peels firmly (a table knife or a paring knife may make this easier) and pull them off. If the skins have split, they should peel very easily. Set the skins aside to compost (or dehydrate to make tomato powder) and place the peeled tomatoes in the bowl.
- When all tomatoes are peeled, they're ready to use fresh, to freeze, to can, or to use as you see fit!