Picture of How to Skin Tomatoes
It's summer!  Time to grow or buy huge quantities of delicious tomatoes for your favorite summer tomato dishes.  Peeling or skinning tomatoes turns out to be the easy part - in fact, it's so easy a 3-year-old can do it.  Just follow these easy instructions, and you'll be making great tomato soup, salsa, or pasta sauce in no time flat.

i just processed about 22 pounds of tomatoes in about half an hour, including extra time to accommodate my assistant's* help. :)

*Corvidae just turned 3 yesterday!  She loves helping out with fiddly food-prep processes, especially if they involve the stove and/or ice.  If you let your toddler (or older kid) help in the kitchen, make sure they've got a nice stable platform (we use a folding utility stool for Corvidae) and that they're smart around hot and/or sharp objects.  We're trying to scald tomatoes, and hopefully NOT innocent bystanders. 

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

You'll need:

- a pot full of boiling water
- a bowl full of ice water, and more ice to add as needed
- a slotted spoon
- a sharp knife
- lots of beautiful fresh tomatoes!  

I got these Early Girls from my favorite tomato growers, Wild Boar Farms.  Soon they'll have tons of gorgeous and amazingly delicious heirloom tomatoes at the market, but I prefer to roast and freeze those, and their skins are so thin they don't require peeling. If you don't live in the SF bay area, I highly recommend buying some of their seeds so you can grow your own.
vincent75203 years ago
Nice !
But really you don't have to go through all this pain to peel tomatoes.
Just dip them in boiling water holding each one with a fork. Let them sit there a few seconds to a minute and a half depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit. Then retrieve each with the fork and put it on a clean towel … and that's it ! …
The 4 holes made by the fork will be a starter to peel them as well as the nice cross. By the time they're all on the towel they'll be cold enough to be handled.
I've been doing tomato salads this way since 1970, and about 4 to 7 times a week !…
But then again, I really don't see any flaw in this Instructable : "crossed" tomatoes, iced water … Very professional !…

Now what you can to after that, which can be seen as a complementary refinement to tomato peeling for a salad is to take off the seeds. Do this over a bowl after cutting the tomato in four or five big chunks (depending on how many hollows the fruit has. This will enable you to drain the juice : you will use it for the seasoning of the salad. Oil as usual, vinegar but not as much as a regular oil and vinegar seasoning as it will be complemented by the juice from tomatoes : this will make a very sweet oil and vinegar seasoning. If you feel this lacks of acidity add a lemon squeeze … 

Enjoy !…

Great instructable! I've never tried Wild Boar seeds, I'll give them a go next year. Also, love the pictures of your son helping out. I can't wait for mine to be old enough to cook alongside :)
jomoncon3 years ago
It's amazing how well this technique works! This is my first year processing tomatoes and the boiling water/ice water works like a charm.
sunshiine3 years ago
These tomatoes look so good. Can't wait until mine are ready to try this. Thanks for sharing.