Blanching Tomatoes

by Suzan Ferreira

Blanching tomatoes is an easy way to peel your fresh garden tomatoes. Learning to blanch and shock them makes quick work of this process. Using this method will have your whole fresh tomatoes ready for use in no time!

This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you.  By making your purchases through the links on this website, IMSL may make a small percentage at no direct cost to you. IMSL only promotes products we use & truly believe in. Please refer to my Privacy & Disclosures for further information. IMSL thanks you for your support!

Ever crave a fresh garden tomato in the middle of the winter? Not a store bought, hot-house tomato that lacks, well, flavor. But instead the kind you can only get during the height of the growing season when tomatoes are at their peek? So do we 🙂

That’s why we preserve as many of these full-flavored fruits as we possible can when they are at their best. By the bushels. And let me tell you, nothing, and I mean nothing can be harder & more laborious than trying to peel a fresh tomato!

Whether you are processing bushels of fresh whole tomatoes or just a few for use in your salsa’s, sauce, & favorite recipes, blanching & shocking them turns a painful process into one done in minutes. This quick tutorial will hopefully show you how easy it is in just a few simple steps.


Blanching in cooking is the process of which vegetables are boiled for a predetermined length of time. This prepares and ensures your product will then be safe & last while freezing, canning, or preserving.


The process of blanching prior to processing or preserving is a must for most vegetables. According to our favorite canning & preserving resource, National Center For Home Food Preservation,

 “It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.”

“Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.”


For our beloved fresh whole tomatoes, the blanching method makes quick work of removing those tough to peel skins!


Yes. Yes. And, you got it, yes. Don’t skip this important step when blanching your whole tomatoes! An ice bath, or better known as “shocking” them, stops the cooking process. Skip letting the tomatoes hang out in a cold water bath for 30-60 seconds after blanching and you will have one mushy tomato on your hands.


The core of a fresh tomato is tough, woody, and will not cook down like the flesh of a tomato. So, yes, definitely cut the tomato core out when getting them ready to concassee or use the tomato in your favorite recipe.


As tomatoes that are blanched are peeled & cored, they are ready for use in just about any favorite tomato based recipe you enjoy!

We use our blanched tomatoes primarily for canning. Canning whole tomatoes, salsa, soup, & sauces. Not into canning? No problem! Tomatoes that have been blanched also make freezing them for use later a wonderful option!

And don’t forget fresh eating!! Blanched tomatoes are wonderful to chop up and use in pico de gallo, tomato based soups like minestrone (our favorite recipe coming soon!), and any other recipes using your fresh garden ingredients!


STEP 1 Prepare an ice bath for shocking the tomatoes after blanching. Simply fill a large pot, bowl, or vessel of your choice with cold water and add a few ice cubes.

STEP 2 Bring a large stockpot filled 1/2 to 3/4 way full of water and bring to a boil.

Find lots of unique solutions for your home, cabin or farmhouse at LEHMAN'S Old Time General Store! Shop now!

STEP 3 Rinse your tomatoes. Score each tomato on the blossom end (not the stem end) with an “X” using a sharp knife. I find using a serrated knife works especially well.

NOTE: This “X” marking does not need to go deeply into the flesh of the tomato. Marking it by just scoring through the skin is all you need here.

STEP 4 Add 8-12 tomatoes to the boiling water and leave in the boiling water for 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds. I find the 30 to 40 seconds time frame to be the perfect amount of time for the skins to easily be removed, but the flesh of the tomato remain firm.

STEP 5 Quickly remove the tomatoes that are blanched from the boiling water. You will know they are ready when the skin begins to peel back. Using a “spider” makes quick work of this, but tongs or a large spoon or ladle with drainage holes will work as well.

NOTE: I typically keep to the 30 second time frame even if the skin is not peeled visibly back. I have had tomatoes that don’t display any signs of peeling skin but are ready, yet if blanched longer will be a mushy mess.

STEP 6 Place the blanched tomatoes directly into the ice water bath to “shock” them. Leave the tomatoes in the ice bath until cooled. Typically this only takes 30 seconds but can take up to 60 seconds. Place the cooled blanched tomatoes in a colander in the sink to be cored & peeled.

STEP 7 Core the tomato (the stem end) of all woody, fibrous portions and peel the skin from the tomato.

STEP 8 Place the cored and peeled tomatoes into another vessel. I have placed mine into a large stockpot as I will be canning these as whole tomatoes.

STEP 9 Repeat the process until all your fresh whole tomatoes are blanched and processed.

Check out our Microgreens at True Leaf Market

These blanched, shocked, cored, and peeled tomatoes are now ready for whatever use you have in store for them!

No matter if you are in need of 2 fresh whole tomatoes or 100, this blanching method has you covered!

What is your favorite way to blanch tomatoes?

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life

This tutorial was featured at Saturday Sparks!

You may also like


Ann @ Live The Old Way October 6, 2020 - 12:39 am

This is an old time skill that has been lost over the years. If you’re growing your own tomatoes, it’s a must know! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Homestead Blog Hop!

Maggie | October 5, 2020 - 2:32 pm

Your explanation and photos are spot on; you put so much work (and love!) into this post. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes and can’t wait to try this!

Cindy October 5, 2020 - 2:34 am

This is a wonderful method for getting the skin off of tomatoes! I’ve done it before but it’s been a while. Thanks for the great instructions…and reminder of this method.

Cynthia Mailhot October 4, 2020 - 5:30 pm

Thanks for the step by step. I have never done this before.

Melissa Jones October 2, 2020 - 1:35 am

I’ve never even heard of this concept before. Thanks for sharing!!

Alison September 30, 2020 - 7:29 pm

This is the same method I use to peel tomatoes. Once I’m done skinning the tomatoes, I dehydrate all the skins to make tomato powder with. Nothing goes to waste!

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2020 - 10:35 am

Absolutely! A wonderful way to utilize all tomato’s flavors!

Barbara September 30, 2020 - 3:19 am

This is the process I learned at a young age watching and helping my Mother as we harvested from our garden! This brings back a lot of great memories for me!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2020 - 8:26 am

What a beautiful memory! How fortunate that you grew up learning. Thank you for sharing this, Barbara!

Tiffany Smith September 29, 2020 - 9:52 pm

This is how my grandma taught us. Most efficient way I’ve seen!

Of Goats and Greens September 29, 2020 - 9:15 pm

Seriously good to have this method to hand!

Jennifer Dynys September 29, 2020 - 7:32 pm

So helpful and your pictures are beautiful! I love any fruit or veggie in a basket like that! Thank you for sharing at Embracing Home and Family!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2020 - 8:28 am

Thank you, Jennifer! I take that as an amazing compliment coming from someone whose images are stunning.

Alice September 29, 2020 - 4:43 pm

Thanks for this valuable information. I just was talking to a customer yesterday (I’m a cashier at Walmart) and we were talking about canning. I mentioned your blog by name and the customer thought she had heard of you. I currently live in a small town in northern Wisconsin (moving next month to a much bigger city).

Suzan Ferreira September 29, 2020 - 6:33 pm

Thank you for thinking of me when chatting! I appreciate the support!!

Sandi Barrett September 29, 2020 - 4:05 pm

This is the best way to blanch tomatoes. Not a good tomato year for us – we had a woodchuck that decided he liked the green ones – Ugh!

Suzan Ferreira September 29, 2020 - 6:34 pm

Oh no! Our crop was challenged as well with our severe drought. Always interesting!

Suz September 29, 2020 - 5:03 am

Mmm…it seems I can’t even get good tomatoes during the height of summer. Craving a BLT over here!

Chelsea September 29, 2020 - 4:52 am

This is great. And your pics are really helpful in seeing the process. When I make sauce from our home-grown tomatoes, I seriously struggle with the skins. Thanks for explaining blanching!

Lisa September 29, 2020 - 3:48 am

Ya know, I have always blanched green beans, but never thought to use it for tomatoes. Sounds satisfying to be able to peel tomatoes so easily.

Linda S September 29, 2020 - 2:41 am

We put in a bit of time blanching tomatoes recently as we put up 75 quarts of salsa. It’s my families favorite food and the whole family pitches in to help. It’s a little work, but oh so worth it!

Suzan Ferreira September 29, 2020 - 10:27 am

Right? When processing bushels, this process makes quick work of it!

Bonnie September 28, 2020 - 10:25 pm

They look so strange when they are peeled but taste so good!!!

Suzan Ferreira September 29, 2020 - 10:28 am

LOL! That they do 🙂

Sandra Whitmore September 28, 2020 - 9:12 pm

Never did this but it looks interesting.

Elaina September 28, 2020 - 7:39 pm

I just did this for the first time yesterday, super easy. Only thing I forgot to do was remove the core but it still worked out

Adrienne September 28, 2020 - 6:10 pm

This is of great interest to me as I’ve always wanted to can my own pasta sauce and bloody mary mix with garden tomatoes but hadn’t attempted yet. Thanks for the great info!

Ali Huseman September 28, 2020 - 5:43 pm

Wow I had no idea this is how this was done! Can’t wait to try it.

Linda Egeler September 28, 2020 - 5:19 pm

This looks like an easy way to preserve those lovely garden tomatoes. Thanks for sharing!

Kristin September 28, 2020 - 4:19 pm

Wow, this is great info. We want to get into gardening again full blast once we get a backyard. I would love to have vine-ripened tomatoes for all sorts of things year round. The less hassle, the better.

Sydney Delong September 28, 2020 - 4:13 pm

Great instructions! Very straight forward, this doesn’t seem too daunting of a task anymore!

Debbie Lilly September 28, 2020 - 3:52 pm

Nice to know that the skins will peel off like that!

Ashley Pacheco September 28, 2020 - 3:12 pm

My mom would can tomatoes so we always had these for soups and spaghetti and things. I like you put this stuff out there because I think canning is a lost art.

Sarah Gallagher September 28, 2020 - 2:41 pm

Once I learned how to blanch tomatoes, I used this method for peeling peaches as well. Life changer! Well, at least when it comes to canning. 😉 Thanks for that tips about removing the core! I had no idea!

Megan September 28, 2020 - 1:43 pm

Great way to preserve all those garden tomatoes at the end of the season!

Lisa Manderino September 28, 2020 - 1:27 pm

I used this technique this summer on peaches but it makes since to do this with tomatoes! It was pretty easy!

Magan Martin September 28, 2020 - 1:27 pm

Ooo, this is perfect! I’ve never been able to successfully blanch tomatoes—I’ll have to try again now!

Alyssa September 28, 2020 - 1:09 pm

What a heat guide. I really wish I had a garden, if I ever do I know I’ll be in good hands following your posts! I bet this would be a perfect start to homemade marinara sauce!

Christina Siwik September 28, 2020 - 12:34 pm

I remember doing this years ago when I canned tomatoes. Thank you for sharing.

Jan September 24, 2020 - 12:28 pm

Very informative! I’ve never blanched tomatoes but now I know how!

Beth Shields September 23, 2020 - 5:17 pm

When I first blanched tomatoes, I was so impressed at how it worked and delighted the skins just slipped right off. I use the same method for others things (fruits – ie peaches!). But this is great information and I love the heirloom tomatoes. Thanks for sharing.

Suzan Ferreira September 24, 2020 - 10:35 am

Yes, this method works wonders for so much! Thank you for mentioning that point Beth!


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy