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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!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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Freezer Bag or Tub
How to store fresh tomatoes
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.
How to store sliced tomatoes
Cover sliced tomatoes and store in the fridge. Use within 1-2 days.
How to freeze tomatoes
Remove the stems, then wash and dry the tomatoes.
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.
Once frozen, place the tomatoes into a freezer bag or tub. Store frozen for up to 1 year. *
*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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