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How to Store Tomatoes

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Not sure how to store tomatoes? Should you refrigerate them? Can you freeze them? Learn all this and more in our helpful How To guide! With tips on how to keep them at their best for longer, how to ripen them, and even step by step freezing instructions. Keep reading and you’ll learn everything you need to know about storing tomatoes!

A bowl of whole red tomatoes

How to store fresh tomatoes

The optimum way to store fresh tomatoes is at room temperature. This way, they give their best flavour. (There is a caveat to this theory however, so keep reading to learn more!)

Sliced fresh tomatoes should be covered, stored in the fridge, and consumed within 1-2 days.

You can also freeze fresh tomatoes. More on that later…

Tomatoes being sliced on a chopping board

The best place to store tomatoes

There are a few potential places when thinking about how to store tomatoes. But which one is best? In a pantry? In a cupboard? In a tub? Actually, it’s much simpler.

The best place to store tomatoes is on your kitchen worktop at room temperature. (Although keep them away from your oven, or any other heat source.)

I recommend placing them in a flat dish, rather than in a bowl. Learn why in the Tips section later on.

A bowl of tomatoes on an embossed board

Should you refrigerate tomatoes?

Usually the answer would be no. You shouldn’t refrigerate tomatoes, unless they’ve been cut.

However, if your tomatoes are at their perfect ripeness, or the weather is particularly hot – I actually DO recommend that you store your tomatoes in the fridge.

Refrigeration inhibits a tomatoes natural ripening process. But if it’s already at it’s best, you don’t need to worry about that!

Although, for the best flavour, I suggest you allow the tomatoes to come back to room temperature before eating.

Someone taking a tomato from a bowl

Can you freeze tomatoes?

Yes, you can freeze tomatoes! Whole tomatoes in fact! And they’re ideal for adding to a variety of soups, sauces and dishes.

This is particularly handy if you grow tomatoes at home, and can’t use all of them up when they’re at their best. Or see a great special offer on them at your local supermarket, but don’t know what to do with them!

How to freeze tomatoes

The easiest way to freeze tomatoes is to de-stem, wash and dry them. Then place spaced apart, stem side down, on a tray lined with kitchen roll. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or tub. (See the How To card at the end of this post for a step by step picture version of this process.)

Believe it or not, you can store tomatoes like this for up to 1 year!

To defrost frozen tomatoes, put them directly into soups, sauces etc. Alternatively you can place them under running warm water. However do note that different varieties will affect the firmness once defrosted.

A bonus side effect of freezing tomatoes is that the skins will slip straight off!

Sliced tomatoes on a plate with a napkin

How to ripen tomatoes quickly

The easiest and quickest way to ripen tomatoes, is to store them close to bananas!

As explained in how to keep bananas fresh for longer, bananas produce ethylene from their stems. This gas speeds up the ripening process of anything nearby. It’s why fruit bowls often have a tall hanger on them, to keep the bananas away from the other fruits.

Someone picking up a tomato from a dish

Helpful Tips!

Here are some tips you’ll find helpful when storing tomatoes.

  • When storing fresh tomatoes at room temperature, store them stem side down. This prevents them losing moisture as quickly, and they will keep for much longer. A flat dish is better for this than a bowl.
  • Allow refrigerated tomatoes to come back to room temperature before eating, for the best flavour.
  • Before storing tomatoes, make sure you remove the vines. This will help keep them fresher for longer.
  • When freezing whole tomatoes, make sure the tomatoes aren’t touching each other for the initial freeze. It’s absolutely fine once they’re frozen solid and are transferred to a bag or tub.

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Someone taking a tomato from a bowl

How To Store Tomatoes - Printable

Yield: N/A
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Less than £1

Learn how to store tomatoes, 3 ways!


  • Tomatoes


  • Flat Dish
  • Baking Tray
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Freezer Bag or Tub


How to store fresh tomatoes

  1. Store fresh tomatoes stem side down in a flat dish at room temperature. Keeping them stem side down helps reduce moisture loss and they stay fresher for longer. A dish of tomatoes at room temperature

How to store sliced tomatoes

  1. Cover sliced tomatoes and store in the fridge. Use within 1-2 days. Sliced tomatoes on a plate covered in cling film

How to freeze tomatoes

  1. Remove the stems, then wash and dry the tomatoes. Washed and dried tomatoes with stems removed
  2. Place stem side down onto a baking tray lined with kitchen roll. Make sure they're not touching each other. Place into the freezer until frozen solid. Whole tomatoes on a baking tray lined with kitchen roll
  3. Once frozen, place the tomatoes into a freezer bag or tub. Store frozen for up to 1 year. * Whole frozen tomatoes in a freezer bag


*To defrost frozen tomatoes, add directly into soups and sauces etc. Or place under running warm water.

See the main post for more tips and helpful information.

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About Emma Mason

Emma is a professional blogger. Utilising over 20 years of cooking experience, she’s passionate about making your life easier, one recipe at a time! Drawing on her 12+ year background in recipe research and development, photography, copy writing and marketing, Emma has turned into a successful career. Known as ‘the organisation queen’ among friends, she is passionate about creating easy to follow recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy. She lives in Nottingham (UK) with her husband, daughter and 2 naughty cats. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, training at the dojo preparing for her black belt grading, or dreaming up the next crazy colour combo for her hair!

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