There are many questions asking on how to reduce the watering from (fresh) tomatoes in a dish or a sauce (most likely baked):

There are several ways to do that, but what are the pros and cons of each technique?

  • See related: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/34388/…
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Oct 13, 2013 at 13:23
  • 2
    I've converted your five answers into a single answer. You've asked one question - what are the pros and cons of various techniques. It deserves just one answer. (One idea per answer is essentially never a good format, with exceptions mostly on meta. And your question is not community wiki, nor should it be, though your answer is.)
    – Cascabel
    Oct 18, 2013 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


Bake as you would to create a sun dried tomato but don't put it in olive oil.

Cut in half and spoon or squeeze out the pulp.

Look up recipes for sun dried tomatoes but maybe reduce the time to not remove as much moisture.

  • I merged it in w/ the other long post
    – Joe
    Nov 15, 2016 at 17:37

Here's another question where I mention salting, which doesn't seem to be included in the links you've mentioned Keeping scrambled eggs with tomatoes from being too watery. I like salting in any application where you want to keep that "fresh" flavor and texture but want less water. Of course it removes juice, but isn't that the point?

EDIT: So the "pros" of salting would primarily be the maximum reduction of moisture without losing the flavor and texture of fresh, raw tomatoes (if that's what you'd like to accomplish). The cons would be the loss of juice (although I find it hard to think of that being a "con" when reduction of moisture is a goal) and of course excessive saltiness if that particular issue is troublesome. The use of kosher or other coarse salt instead of table salt ameliorates that particular issue to a point, coarse salt can be more easily brushed off than table salt. .

  • Actually that's what I meant by "draining" (one of the draining techniques anyway). Googling again, I figure "draining" is often used for "seeding" — my bad, I'm not native English, +1 for making me notice it. Feel free (or anyone else) to rephrase with a better word. That being said, I would make a difference between juice (which you remove e.g. by seeding) and water (which you remove by simmering). Oct 17, 2013 at 17:39
  • The question was "There are several ways to do that, but what are the pros and cons of each technique?"; this is not a terribly complete answer.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 18, 2013 at 21:12


Let tomatoes simmer slowly for hours.

Pros: probably the tastiest solution.

Cons: time consuming, energy (gas/power) consuming, loss of "fresh" tomato flavor, if you want that.

Adding thickener

Add flour/bread/carrots/potatoes/whatever to add consistency.

Pros: quick and easy.

Cons: may change the flavour. May require heating to near-boil to activate the starch.


Remove seeds and gel/pulp with fingers or a spoon.

Pros: quick, and removes seeds, which may give a bitter taste.

Cons: removes pulp (which gives most of the 'umami' flavor) and juice.


Use a strainer to remove the watery part.

Pros: ?

Cons: removes part of the juice.


Drain (without seeding) tomatoes before to bake them - a (very) light salting helps to draw out excess liquid.

Pros: Removing liquid before allows for less cooking time and preservation of fresh tomato flavor

Cons: waiting time, and removes part of the juice.


Halve and place on a sheet pan, then bake until sufficiently dewatered for your purposes. May have to leave oven door cracked open.

Pros : Easy. Skins are easy to peel after roasting. Adds some caramel/roasted flavors where the sugars burned.

Cons : Not quick. Not good if you want skins on. Loses the 'fresh tomato' flavor.


Bake as you would to create a sun dried tomato (at low heat) but don't put it in olive oil. Can reduce the time to not remove as much moisture.

Pros : Easy.

Cons : Very slow (we're talking most of the day slow). Loss of the fresh tomato flavor.

Tomato Selection

Use a plum tomato, or other variant that has a higher flesh to gel ratio.

Pros : Extremely easy (if you can get them at your market)

Cons : Often have less flavor than beefsteak, heirloom and other varieties (but may not be noticeable if you're buying from a grocery store)

  • how is draining different from filtering?
    – Joe
    Nov 15, 2016 at 17:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.