7 ways to preserve tomatoes

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “7 ways to preserve tomatoes” and discuss 7 ways to preserve tomatoes.

7 ways to preserve tomatoes

7 common ways to preserve tomatoes are:

  1. Proper room temperature storage
  2. Refrigerating
  3. Freezing
  4. Canning
  5. Dehydrating
  6. Drying and preserving in oil
  7. Making ketchup 

If stored at room temperature, tomatoes must be kept away from direct sunlight. Tomatoes are very susceptible to bruising so they are best stored in a single layer. 

Unripe, green tomatoes must not be refrigerated or frozen. They must be stored at room temperature until they finish the ripening process. To speed up the ripening process, place the tomatoes in a warm area with light for a couple of days.

How to preserve tomatoes at room temperature

Properly storing semi-ripe or unripe tomatoes at room temperature preserves them for about 6 months.

To store tomatoes at room temperature:

  • Line a container or box with newspapers or paper towels. Newspapers or paper towels absorb moisture and prevent spoilage.
  • Place a layer of unwashed, dry tomatoes in the container. 
  • Place newspapers or paper towels on the first layer and then place the second layer. Alternatively, each tomato can be wrapped in newspapers and then placed in a container.
  • Close the container and place it in a cool, dark and dry place.
  • Check on the tomatoes regularly for signs of spoilage.

How to preserve tomatoes by refrigerating

Only ripe tomatoes must be stored in a refrigerator as cool temperatures will halt the ripening process. Refrigerating preserves tomatoes for about one month.

To refrigerate tomatoes:

  • Wash and dry the tomatoes using a paper towel.
  • Cut the stems and slice the tomatoes if needed.
  • Place the tomatoes in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
  • Label and place it in the refrigerator.

How to preserve tomatoes by freezing

Tomatoes can be frozen for about a year. Tomatoes can be frozen either whole, halved or sliced.

To freeze tomatoes:

  • Wash and dry the tomatoes using a paper towel.
  • Cut the stems and slice the tomatoes if needed.
  • Place the tomatoes in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
  • Label and place it in the freezer.

How to preserve tomatoes by canning

Tomatoes can be blanched and then canned in a citric acid such as lemon juice. The acidity will lower the pH and preserve the tomatoes for a long time. 

Tomatoes can be canned either with or without the skin. Leaving the skin on may sometimes cause a bitter taste.

A drawback with the canning method is that it is time-consuming and requires a pressure canner for the best results. A detailed recipe for canning tomatoes can be found here.

How to preserve tomatoes by dehydrating

Dehydrated tomatoes can be refrigerated for about 18 months.

To dehydrate tomatoes:

  • Wash and cut the tomatoes in half.
  • Remove the stems. Seeds can either be removed or left as they are.
  • Place the cut tomatoes in a dehydrator tray with the cut side facing upwards.
  • Dehydrate at 57 °C until the tomatoes are dry and leathery in texture.
  • Store the dehydrated tomatoes in an air-tight container. 

How to preserve dried tomatoes in oil

Oven-dried tomatoes can be preserved in oil. This method preserves tomatoes for about 6 months when frozen. Freezing is required since the tomatoes are not completely dehydrated in this method and if not frozen, they may spoil faster.

Dried tomatoes in oil are added to pizzas, pasta and sandwiches.

To preserve tomatoes in oil:

  • Wash, cut and scoop out the seeds of the tomatoes.
  • Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and sprinkle with a choice of herbs.
  • Set the oven to the lowest temperature setting and dry the tomatoes overnight in the oven.
  • Once the tomatoes have cooled down, pack them into jars with olive oil leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Seal, label and freeze the jars.

How to preserve tomatoes by making ketchup 

Tomato ketchup is an integral part of many dishes such as pizzas and pasta, so making ketchup is a great way to preserve extra tomatoes. Homemade tomato ketchup can be frozen for about 6 months or refrigerated for about 3 weeks.

There are several recipes for tomato ketchup. A recipe for slow-cooker tomato ketchup can be found here.

To make tomato ketchup:

  • Wash and chop tomatoes. Peel the skin if needed.
  • Cook the tomatoes until they start to fall apart.
  • Puree the tomatoes in a food processor.
  • Add vinegar, salt and sugar and a choice of spices.
  • Cook for about 8 hours.
  • Pout into sterilized jars.
  • Process the jars in a water bath or by using a pressure canner.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “7 ways to preserve tomatoes” and discussed 7 methods of preserving tomatoes.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://www.wikihow.com/Store-Tomatoes-(Long-Term)#

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.