Why You Should Freeze Tomatoes Without Peeling Them First

Photo: igorsm8, Shutterstock
Photo: igorsm8, Shutterstock

“Too many tomatoes” is not a problem I am currently facing, as I lack a garden in which I can grow any tomatoes at all (a far worse problem than having too many, I think). But I do know a lot of people who who are currently overwhelmed by the sheer number of love apples being produced by their yard plants, and apparently “eat more tomato sandwiches” is not an aggressive enough mitigation plan.

Obviously, such an embarrassment of tomato riches can be canned or made into a sauce, but the easiest, laziest way to preserve them is to pop them into the freezer. In fact, it’s even easier and lazier than I initially suspected: According to the editors of the Joy of Cooking (who are very smart and very nice), you don’t even have to peel them:

It’s basically the opposite of a banana, which has to be peeled before it goes into the freezer, unless you wish to be very frustrated at a banana at some point. (I mean, peeling a frozen banana isn’t impossible; it’s just not ideal.) It also means peeling them will be even simpler than the usual “cut a tiny x and blanch” method, which was already quite simple! All you have to do is freeze them on some sort of tray — a baking sheet will do just fine — and then put them in a freezer bag. Once thawed, the skins will slide right off, no blanching required.

The publication’s entire conversation on “tomato glut” is worth checking out, as the Joy editors are overflowing with tomato-y tips — including a good hack for making use of sad, subpar tomatoes, which are abundant in Oregon this year for some reason. (If you find yourself facing an avalanche of subpar tomatoes, don’t fret — we have shared many methods you can employ to make them taste delicious.)

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