Peeling Tomato Skins

Tomatoes Ready for Processing – September 2014

Over the course of the season, I make a lot of salsa out of my tomatoes and peppers.  This year is no different.  A few nights ago, I finished making six quarts and a couple pints of spicy salsa, and before I write a post about that, I will talk about Step 1 of that recipe: peeling tomato skins.

Why Peel Tomato Skins?

Well, you certainly don’t HAVE to remove the skins.  I am not forcing you.  However, I have found in my years of making salsa that peeling tomato skins gives them a better texture, and you do not have that rogue chunk of tomato with a tough skin on it.  Blech!  Been there; done that.  I want a salsa or sauce without a weird texture associated with it.

Peeling Tomato Skins: Step-By-Step

Peeling Tomato Skins

Set-Up for Peeling Tomato Skins – September 2014

It is really an easy process.  Here is your materials list:

Materials List

  • Tomatoes (yep, obviously)
  • Stainless steel stockpot
  • Container with water and ice
  • Container to hold your peeled tomatoes
  • Container to take peeled skins to the compost pile
  • Slotted spoon
  • Knife

That is a pretty short list of materials.  For the containers, I used a large bowl for the water and ice (see the picture above).  It can hold several tomatoes, the water and the ice, and you really need to have a decent sized-bowl to handle more than one tomato at a time.


  1. Bring the water in the steel stock pot to a boil.
  2. Cut an “X” in the bottom of the tomato before putting it in the boiling water.  This is where the skin will begin to pull away from the tomato.  I am marked a tomato so you can see where “X” does mark the spot (see below)!

    Peeling Tomato Skins

    “X” Marks the Spot! Slice Tomatoes along the Bottom before Soaking

  3. Using the slotted spoon, drop a few tomatoes into the boiling pot of water.  Wait for about 30 seconds.  At that point, you will see the tomato skin start to peel off at the “X”.
  4. Peeling tomato skins

    Boil Tomatoes for about 30 Seconds

  5. Drop the tomatoes into the bowl with ice water to let them cool off.  Trust me: your fingers will appreciate it (HOT), and you’ll have an easier time peeling the tomato skins.

    Peeling Tomato Skins

    Tomato Skins are Peeling Off after the Water Bath

  6. In many cases, the skins are almost coming off by themselves (see the picture above).  Pull the tomato out and begin to peel the skin at the “X”.  It should come right off.

The process is fairly quick.  I peeled tomatoes skins off that entire batch in a short time (and hour perhaps) before turning them into salsa.

One thing to note: skins do not like to come off unripe fruit.  It gets a little tricky. I would for those green tomatoes to ripen up.  If you noticed, I did have a couple of green ones in the pile.  I did wait on those and let them turn bright red.  Now I have to repeat this process.

Give this method a try!  Trust me, you will be making your favorite sauce or salsa in no time.


Peeling Tomato Skins Yields Great Salsa -September 2014



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