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Everyone seems to think it is necessary to peel tomatoes before canning or freezing them. Since I do not peel tomatoes when I'm cooking with them (soups, salsa, etc.), I'm wondering if I can freeze them without peeling them. Does freezing/canning do something to the texture of the tomato that makes the peel a problem?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

When tomatoes are cooked (which I assume you plan on doing for canning or after freezing) the skins become tough and usually detach from the tomato. Since you usually don't mind this, you shouldn't mind it with canned tomatoes either, but many people do - even when pureed the texture is different.

When freezing you can freeze whole and the skin should come off easily when thawed.

One way to get around the texture issue would be to puree the tomatoes and then force them through a food mill, which will help to remove tough bits - do this either before canning or after freezing.

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The whole point is that the skin peel gets between the teeth and you should want to avoid that. As @Rebekah doesn't mind this, it's optional. – BaffledCook Sep 22 '10 at 15:29
Some say the skin is also somewhat bitter, though not as much as the seeds. This becomes most prominent if you're making a sauce. – zanlok Feb 4 '11 at 10:19

I have put tomatoes in the freezer, whole, peeled , not peeled, pureed. Later, when I cook with them, everything tastes so much better, I don't think it matters how you store the tomatoes in your freezer. I follow the same prep that most of these sites list. The tomato sauce with spaghetti in the middle of winter is divine.

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