24 Sep How To Skin and Deseed a Tomato

Cooking Tips

How To Skin and Deseed a Tomato

24 September 2020

PREP. TIME: 5 min  

On Tomato Day - we work our way through hundreds of kilos of tomatoes.  They are sorted and prepared in different ways.  The tomatoes that we reserve for bottling whole need to be skinned.  They are a valuable stash throughout the winter and we add them to soups and stews as you would tinned tomatoes - they smell like heaven - even more than a year later!

Recipe Template

Some recipes call for one or two skinned and de-seeded tomatoes.  It is a good technique to learn.  Unless you have access to fresh, flavoursome tomatoes that are in season - it is often a good idea to use tinned Skinned Whole Tomatoes instead.  I recommend Mutti brand.  You can deseed as described below or simply squeeze them and the seeds will run through your fingers.

The Italians often keep any pulp and seeds they remove.  They mix these with olive oil and salt and pepper and use it to dip freshly toasted sourdough bread.

NB: Grating tomatoes is another way of skinning small quantities.  See the Variation below.




A pot for boiling water 

A spider or slotted spoon

A bowl of cold water to cool the tomato

A paring knife

A small melon baller - optional


Step 1

Depending on how many tomatoes you plan to skin - boil a pot of water that can hold them comfortably.

Step 2

Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and cover with a lid.

After a minute or two - depending upon their ripeness, the skin will begin to blister.

As soon as this happens, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon or spider and plunge them into cold water.

Step 3 

When cool enough to handle - pick up the tomatoes and see if you can slip the skin off with your fingers. 

Sometimes a small slit into the skin - made with the sharp tip of a paring knife will get you started.

The other consideration is to return them to the boiling water for another minute or so.

If you are planning to keep the tomatoes whole - work the melon baller or the tip of the paring knife into the place the stem grew out from and carefully dig the core out.

If your recipe calls for skinned and deseeded tomatoes - once you have skinned the tomato, cut it in half length ways and cut a V around the centre core and use the tip of the knife to scrape out all of the seeds and the pulp. 

chopped tomatoes - chop the tomatoes on a plate using a small serrated knife - reserving the juice and the pips to add with the tomatoes if necessary.

Cut the tomatoes in half.

Grate each half with the cut side facing the grater, and the skin side held in your hand.

The flesh will disappear into the grater - leaving you holding just the skin.



Elizabeth Peddey

More Recipes


June 4, 2017


April 3, 2020