Friday, June 24, 2016

Comparison of easy ways to remove skins from tomatoes for canning

In the past I have used several different methods for removing skin from tomatoes with varying degrees of success.  This time I decided to get ideas from fellow canners.  They gave me a few great ideas to try.   

I purchased 50 lbs of tomatoes and wanted to can them. I didn’t want a hassle or mess, so I decided to try a few different methods.  To be clear, these are MY experiences.  Your experiences may be different. 

Blanch/ice bath -- .  In the past, I’ve cored the tomatoes, cut an X in the bottom and blanched them in boiling water.  After a minute or so, I removed them and put the tomatoes in ice water.  The skins are supposed to come right off, but sometimes they do not.  While this is considered the standard, for me, this method is messy and time consuming.  I rate it ‘average’. 
Thin skin peeler

Peeler – if I just have a few tomatoes to peel, I just use a thin skin peeler.  It’s quick, not messy, and very easy to do.  I’ve done this method with 20 or 30 tomatoes and can peel them quicker than I can bring the water to a boil.  I rate it ‘excellent’ for small amounts of tomatoes.


Food mill – the last time I bought a case of tomatoes, I decided to use the food mill.  No peeling, seeding or anything.  I just blanched and rough chopped them and used the food mill to remove all the ‘stuff’.  While the end result was wonderful, it was time consuming and my arm just about fell off before I was done.  I rate it ‘below average’ because it is difficult.  Now, I understand there are many electric powered food mills.  If I was using an electric one, I would have to rate it ‘excellent’.


Roasting – Someone suggested that she roasts the tomatoes at 425° for about 30-40 minutes.  I never thought to do that.  I washed, cored and cut the tomatoes in half and placed on a rimmed baking sheet.  In about 35 minutes, the peels just about removed themselves.  I rate this ‘so much better than excellent’.  Actually, after I was done with all the other methods, this is the one I went back to. 



Freezing – in the past I froze peaches and their skins fell right off when defrosted, so I assumed that this method would be the best.  I washed, cored, cut an X in the bottom and froze the tomatoes.  I placed one batch on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer and the other in a ziploc bag.  I left them in the deep freezer overnight.  When I removed them and allowed them to thaw, I was very disappointed.  With some, their peels came off easily; but with most of them, the peels were very difficult to remove.  I gave up and decided to cook them and remove the peels after they were cooked.  I rate this ‘below average; however it is possible that they would have worked better if I left them in the freezer for another day or two.
Food processor/blender – last time I made crushed tomatoes, I blanched them whole then threw them in my vitamix.  I whirled it a few times and the tomatoes had the perfect consistency.  There were not hunks of peel or core for that matter.  I rate this as ‘superior’, but only for crushed tomatoes. 

So as you can see, there are many ways to prepare tomatoes for canning and depending upon what you are trying to achieve, there is no one right way.  You pick your favorite.  I have picked mine.



1 comment:

  1. Do the tomatoes have a smokey flavor when you roast them? Would love to try them this way


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