Freezing tomatoes is a great way to preserve your harvest without needing a pressure cooker. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for how to freeze tomatoes.
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As long as I can remember, my parents have always raised lots of tomatoes in their garden. I grew up helping them can batches of tomatoes, tomato juice, and salsa at the end of August each year.
I don’t remember ever seeing my parents freeze tomatoes. So when my mom asked me if I wanted some tomatoes to freeze, I said “sure…if you can teach me how to freeze tomatoes.”
The following weekend my parents showed up at my house with a box of ripe tomatoes, a strainer basket (because they didn’t know if I had one – which I didn’t) and some freezer bags — talk about coming prepared!
Easy Step by Step How to Freeze Tomatoes
Step 1 – Flash Boil Tomatoes
Boil tomatoes for a couple of minutes until you see the skin beginning to split open. Using a strainer basket makes it easy to remove tomatoes after they become soft in the boiling water. Dump the tomatoes into a pan to cool for a few minutes before handling.
Step 2 – Remove Skins and Cores
Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use your hands to easily remove the skins from the tomatoes. Then use a knife to carefully remove the core from the tomatoes. You’ll want to have a separate pan to throw the peels and cores into (or throw directly into the sink if you have a garbage disposal).
The pan you are working out of will also quickly fill up with the water that comes out of the tomatoes. You may need to dump this excess water once or twice during this process to avoid too much splashing when adding more boiled tomatoes to your pan.
Step 3 – Separate Tomatoes into Small Chunks
After peeling and removing the cores, use your hands to separate the tomatoes into smaller chunks and remove as much of the water and seeds as you can. Put the good tomatoes into a separate bowl or pan.
Step 4 – Fill Freezer Bags
Start removing the tomatoes from your pan to fill freezer bags. Pull the tomatoes out of the pan one or two pieces at a time to help remove even more water and seeds before putting into the freezer bags.
Once you have the desired amount in your bag, remove as much air as you can and seal. Then spread the bag out to flatten so bags will be stackable and take up less room in the freezer. Let the filled bags cool, label and put in the freezer. No need to add salt or anything else to the tomatoes before freezing.
Enjoy your tomatoes this fall and winter in homemade spaghetti sauce, chili, and other recipes.