Whether you use farmer's market tomatoes or ones you grew yourself, freezing tomatoes is an easy way to savor the sweetness of summer all year long.
Only the Best
- Tomatoes are in season from June through September. Look for fresh garden tomatoes at farmer's markets or pick-your-own farms, or grow your own.
- Look for tomatoes that are firm, well-shaped, and richly colored. They should be free from blemishes, heavy for their size, and have a fragrant aroma. Tomatoes that are perfectly ripe will give just slightly to palm pressure.
- Most varieties of tomatoes can be frozen. However, plum (roma) tomatoes contain the most pulp and will produce the best results.
- If the tomatoes cannot be frozen immediately, store them at room temperature. Avoid storing fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator, which can make them lose flavor and become mealy.
Freezing Tomatoes Tip: Plan on 1 quart of frozen tomatoes per 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes.
Blanch Your Tomatoes
Blanching is a heat-and-cool process. It stops or slows natural enzymes in the tomatoes that could cause loss of flavor and color. It also makes easy work of peeling the tomatoes. Here's how to do it:
- Fill a large 7- to 8-quart pot with 1 gallon water; bring water to boiling.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato. This encourages the skin to split during blanching so you'll be able to slip off the skin easily with your fingers once the tomatoes have cooled.
- Working in 1-pound batches, immerse tomatoes in the boiling water.
- Cook for 30 to 60 seconds or until the tomato skins split open.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water.
Peel the Tomatoes
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin off the tomatoes.
Prepare and Freeze the Tomatoes
- Using a small sharp knife, cut out the stem end from the peeled tomatoes.
- If desired, halve, slice, or chop tomatoes.
- Spoon the tomatoes into freezer containers or bags, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Learn how to can tomatoes.
- Seal and label the container or bag.
- Freeze for up to 10 months.