How to Freeze Tomatoes
Freezing tomatoes is the simplest way to process and preserve them. Here’s how to freeze tomatoes in 4 easy steps.
Step #1: Prepare fruit
The easiest way to prepare tomatoes for the freezer is to use a tomato press
. You'll save time and work, eliminate chopping, and reduce waste.
- If you don't yet have a tomato press
, then peel tomatoes. Dip them into boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve them. Plunge tomatoes into ice water. Skins will slip off easily. (You can also choose to freeze tomatoes unpeeled, but bits of skins left on tomatoes can be tough and chewy.)
- Cut out stem scars.
- Slice tomatoes in half.
- Hold tomato half over the sink. With your fingers or a spoon, scoop out seeds and juice.
- Set tomato half in a colander over a bowl or pot to drain while you de-seed the rest of the fruit. Save the tomato juice to can or freeze later.
Step #2: Slice, chop, or puree tomatoes
To prepare sliced tomatoes: quarter or slice as desired
To prepare chopped tomatoes: chop tomatoes to desired consistency
To prepare pureed tomatoes: chop in the food processor on intermittent. Avoid processing on high, which adds air to tomatoes and makes them foam.
(Or, use a tomato press
to save time and work, eliminate chopping, and reduce waste.)
You can also freeze tomatoes whole.
Step #3: Cook tomatoes (or not)
Freezing tomatoes raw saves time, but most people agree that frozen tomatoes keep more of their flavor when they’re cooked before packing.
- Place prepared tomatoes in a large cooking pot.
- Cover and cook until tender, about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Place pan containing tomatoes in cold water to cool.
Step #4: Pack tomatoes in containers
More on freezing tomatoes and canning tomatoes
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- Fill containers with prepared tomatoes. How to choose containers for freezing tomatoes.
- Leave 1” headspace in plastic freezer containers. Allow space in freezer bags; remove excess air from bags before sealing.
- Label containers and place in the freezer.
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