The Best Way To Store Tomatoes
Tomatoes are absolutely delicious and are a staple of multiple international cuisines. However, many people don’t understand their ripening process, so below are some tips that will help you properly store tomatoes.
Never Refrigerate Them Unless They Are Completely Ripe
One of the most common mistakes made when handling tomatoes is placing them in a fridge. These vegetables originate from warm climates, and as such should always be placed near room temperature. Unless the tomatoes are completely ripe, they will suffer a great deal when placed in a refrigerator. The color, flavor and texture will be compromised.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Market tomatoes which are sold during peaks season are usually already completely ripe, which means that they don’t benefit much from spending extra time at room temperature, and in fact might be harmed, so these tomatoes can be kept in the fridge or cooler.
Store The Tomatoes In A Cool Spot
Cool spots such as root or wine cellars are excellent locations for tomatoes. In fact, any place that has a temperature between fifty five and seventy degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for tomato storage. Here they will stay well for a couple of days, since the environment won’t disrupt their enzyme flavor producing process. For those whose homes are not in this temperature range, then wait until the tomatoes become fully ripe and then place them in the fridge.
Storing Unripe Tomatoes
If the tomatoes are unripe, you’ll want to store them outside of the fridge away from sunlight. They should always be placed stem side so they can finish ripening, since this accomplishes two things. First, it blocks the stem of the tomato from losing moisture while also preventing air (and bacteria or mold) from getting inside.
Tomatoes should never be placed upside down since their shoulders (the region near the stem) are quite delicate and will bruise easily. Some people solve this problem by putting tape on the tomato’s stem scar. If the tomato is exceptionally unripe, you can put the stem side within your paper bag, so they can then ripe in a cool location.
Storing Tomatoes Long Term
For long term storage, tomatoes can be pressure canned or dried. To dry them, first you’ll want to cut the tomatoes in half, and then use your fingers to rub them clean. Now cut the tomatoes again from half top to the bottom, a serrated knife is best for this. Extract the stem and seeds. Although not every seed has to be removed, they will just make the tomatoes a bit crunchier once you dry them.
Next you will want to place the tomatoes inside the dehydrator with the cut side facing up. If you put them with the cut side facing down they will stick to your tray which will make them harder to turn. For those that don’t own a dehydrator, just put them on a baking sheet and place them in your oven. Dehydrate the tomatoes at 57 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit) and apply a thermometer to make sure they remain at this temperature. Take a spatula and flip your tomatoes every three hours.