If you’re a fan of home canned tomato sauce, salsa, or any tomato-based recipe but don’t like peeling tomatoes for canning, then I have great news!

In this blog post, I will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to peel tomatoes for canning that is so easy you will be amazed! The best part is this method of peeling tomatoes helps eliminate extra watery juice from the tomatoes, so you end up with thick tomatoes. 

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3 bushels of tomatoes that are fresh ready to be peeled

Recipes –> If you enjoy canning, be sure to try some of these recipes that use tomatoes. Easy Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa Recipe For Canning, Canning Salsa Without A Pressure Cooker, Green Salsa Without A Pressure Cooker, and How To Make Fermented Salsa: Step-By-Step.

The Challange Of Peeling A Tomato 

Peeling tomatoes can be challenging. Truthfully I dread canning tomatoes because they need to be peeled first. Getting the thin and delicate skin off a slippery ball is challenging, especially when peeling a bushel basket full. 

I used to use the hot water and then ice water bath method, but I am now converted to oven baking because it’s easier and takes less of my time. 

How To Select A Tomato That Will Be Easy To Peel

When selecting the right tomatoes for canning, here are a few tips to help you.

  • Look for ripe, firm tomatoes and free from blemishes or bruises. Ripe tomatoes are essential because they will have the best flavor and texture once preserved.
  • Firmness is important to ensure that the tomatoes hold their shape during the canning process.
  • Avoid tomatoes that are overly soft or mushy.
  • Check for any signs of blemishes or bruises, as these can affect the quality of your canned goods.

 How To Prepare Tomatoes For Peeling

Peeling tomatoes is a big job when you are home canning. Let’s break it down into a few simple steps. 

For the best quality and taste in your home-canned tomatoes, washing them thoroughly before preparing them is important. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to wash tomatoes thoroughly:

  1.  Start by selecting ripe, firm tomatoes. Spritz the tomatoes with Fit Organic Fruit and Vegetable Wash. Fit Vegi Wash cleans produce from unknown distribution factors such as unsanitary issues in growing, transit, and customer handling at the grocery store. Rub the vegetable wash around on the tomatoes.
  2.  Fill a clean sink or a large bowl with cool water. Gently place the tomatoes into the water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help loosen any dirt or debris clinging to the skin.
  3.  Using your hands, gently rub each tomato under the water to remove dirt or residue. Remove any stems by snapping them off. Pay Check the stem and blossom end, as these areas tend to accumulate more grime.
  4.  After washing, transfer the tomatoes to a colander or a clean towel to drain excess water. Inspect each tomato for any remaining dirt or blemishes, and discard any that appear spoiled or damaged.
  5.  Pat the tomatoes dry with a clean towel to remove any remaining moisture.

Using Your Oven To Peel Tomatoes Step-by-step Instructions

Drum roll, please! Here is the easiest way to peel a bushel of tomatoes! 

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Line the largest baking sheet that will fit in your oven with parchment paper. Parchment paper makes clean-up easier.

3. Arrange the whole, uncut tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. They can touch slightly but give them room between each tomato.

baking sheet filled with fresh tomatoes

4. Place the baking sheet with the tomatoes into the preheated oven. 

fresh tomatoes going into the oven on a baking sheet

5. Set a timer for the tomatoes to bake for 15 minutes. Remember that the baking time may differ based on the ripeness and size of the tomatoes.

6. After about 15 minutes, check the tomatoes. You want the skin to start to split and peel away from the flesh. If you see the skins cracking on most of the tomatoes, remove them from the oven. If they are not cracking, bake for another 5 minutes, then recheck them. Continue to do this until most of the tomato skins start to crack and pull away from the tomatoes. 

7. When done, remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. You want to be able to handle them without getting burnt. 

oven baked tomatoes with wrinkled skin peeling off

8. While the tomatoes are cooking, I set up my peeling and coring station. I work next to my sink with my cutting board near the edge. and a draining tray in my sink. A bowl is next to the cutting bard to set my jars in so I can put the tomatoes in a jar as I peel and core them. The bowl helps keep my stone countertops from my messiness.

oven baked tomatoes on pan with cutting board and peeled tomato on it

9. Grabbing the core of a tomato, gently peel off the skin and discard. I find it easy to pinch the core out of the tomato. However, if you have a tomato that is not quite ripe on top, lay the tomato on a cutting board. Using a knife, cut the core out.

oven baked tomatoes, core removed and skins with a knife on a cutting board

Pro Tip: I’ve found that using latex gloves is an absolute game-changer when peeling a large batch of tomatoes. Not only does it protect my hands from getting all messy, but it also makes the clean-up process a breeze. Trust me, once you try this trick, you’ll want a box of gloves for all your messy kitchen tasks.

How To Can Thick Whole Tomatoes 

I used to get frustrated when canning tomatoes because I had a large amount of watery juice in my jars. My goal was to have thick chunky, or whole tomatoes that were not watery. I discovered the secret to alleviate this problem easily. 

canned tomatoes in ball pint jars and fresh tomatoes next to them

If you use the oven-bake method when peeling tomatoes for canning, you can easily thicken your tomatoes.

  1. To have thick chunks of tomatoes, to can extend your baking time in the oven to 350°F (175°C) for approximately 20 minutes. Time will vary according to the ripeness and size of your tomatoes.
  2. The goal is to watch for the tomato flesh to start to slump and break down. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 30 minutes. Allowing them to sit for 30 minutes will allow the extra watery juice to drain from the tomato flesh. 
  3. Remove cores and skin. You are now ready to home-can your tomatoes.

More Recipes For Canning

If you are looking for more easy canning recipes, be sure to look at some of my readers’ favorites.

fresh bushels of tomatoes ready to be peeled
5 from 1 rating

The Easiest Method For Peeling Tomatoes For Canning

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake and Peel: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 pounds
Step-by-step guide on how to peel tomatoes for canning that is so easy you will be amazed! The best part is this oven baked method of peeling tomatoes helps eliminate extra watery juice from the tomatoes, so you end up with thick tomatoes. 

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line the largest baking sheet that will fit in your oven with parchment paper. Parchment paper makes clean-up easier.
  • Arrange the whole, uncut tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. They can touch slightly but give them room between each tomato.
  • Place the baking sheet with the tomatoes into the preheated oven.
  • Set a timer for the tomatoes to bake for 15 minutes. Remember that the baking time may differ based on the ripeness and size of the tomatoes.
  • After about 15 minutes, check the tomatoes. You want the skin to start to split and peel away from the flesh. If you see the skins cracking on most of the tomatoes, remove them from the oven. If they are not cracking, bake for another 5 minutes, then recheck them. Continue to do this until most of the tomato skins start to crack and pull away from the tomatoes.
  • When done, remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. You want to be able to handle them without getting burnt.
  • Grabbing the core of a tomato, gently peel off the skin and discard. Pinch the core out of the tomato. However, if you have a tomato that is not quite ripe on top, lay the tomato on a cutting board. Using a knife, cut the core out.

Notes

How To Make Thick Tomatoes For Canning
  1. To have thick chunks of tomatoes, to can extend your baking time in the oven to 350°F (175°C) for approximately 20 minutes. Time will vary according to the ripeness and size of your tomatoes.
  2. The goal is to watch for the tomato flesh to start to slump and break down. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 30 minutes. Allowing them to sit for 30 minutes will allow the extra watery juice to drain from the tomato flesh. 
  3. Remove cores and skin. You are now ready to home-can your tomatoes.
Author: Gina Dickson

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