I've seen and read online, and experienced firsthand, that refrigerating a tomato is an awful idea. Not only does it lose freshness, it does little to prevent wilting and leads to flavorless tomato.

But, eventually a tomato needs to be cut if it's going to be used in slices (for say, a sandwich), and I hate to throw it out when there's still a full half of the fruit left.

How can I preserve the tomato after it has been cut, without putting it in a refrigerator and spoiling the freshness?

  • 3
    Sprinkle some salt on it and eat it on the side, problem solved. :) Jan 30, 2015 at 14:29

4 Answers 4


Doing a bit of Googling, it seems that there are a couple of different methods but I think the one that will please you best is to:

  1. put a piece of plastic wrap on the cut side only
  2. place it cut side down on a plate or plastic container
  3. leave it on the counter

Some recommend putting it in the fridge regardless, as the cut side is prone to bacterial infection.

I would probably recommend using it within 24 hours, though. Maybe add it to a salad at dinner?

Personally, I just eat the rest of the tomato along with the rest of my lunch sandwich.

Source: Fine Cooking Among others. There was a good deal of consensus on this issue.

  • My only issue with this is that we tend to use only a few slices of tomato for dinner, then when lunch comes along the next day there isn't much call for it anymore. With a 24-hour limit, it sounds like there won't be any really good way to preserve it for long. Maybe just having it as a snack on the side?
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 29, 2015 at 20:25
  • 2
    The Fine Cooking site actually says two days but I just (personally) don't feel comfortable with that... I live in a very hot climate where, during the summer, I'm lucky if I can keep my house under 80 degrees during the day. I fully stand behind the choice to cut the remainder in wedges, hit with some salt and pepper (oooh, maybe some balsamic?) and just eat it along with the sandwich.
    – Catija
    Jan 29, 2015 at 20:27

I peel and seed the leftovers, freeze them, and use them the next time I make tomato sauce or marinara.


I think your best option may be to vacuum seal the leftover tomato and refrigerate it. I think everyone has run across the dilemma of what to do with the leftover piece and, while it doesn't happen often, it does happen. (For me, it usually happens when I make a sandwich for lunch and only use a slice or two.)

Being frustrated so many times at having saved the tomato in the fridge and then throwing it away when I took it out, on a whim I tried the vacuum sealer and saved it in the refrigerator. After two days when I took the tomato out to use, it was virtually unchanged, almost like I had just cut it.

I haven't tried any long term storage, just 2 - 3 days max. Best solution I've found so far.


My Dad has a tomato storage container. It reminds me of chicken shaped roll baskets, or toaster covers that look like a forest cottage. It's a red plastic tomato that you twist apart and you put the cut tomato inside and place it in the fridge. Tomatoes placed in it actually stay fresh longer.

  • 2
    Could you provide a picture of this container? Your description doesn't quite give a good image of what it looks like.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 30, 2015 at 14:41
  • @Zibbobz This type of product is called a "tomato saver" or "tomato keeper", a google image search on either of these phrases reveals several different types.
    – Random832
    Jan 30, 2015 at 18:15
  • @Random832 I've noticed after looking it up. The only reason I haven't made a suggested edit with such a picture is because I don't know if it's the same type of container that Hildred is using - there could be differences in the functionality.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 30, 2015 at 18:17
  • 1
    @Zibbobz I assume the main benefit over a generic airtight container is that by having a single designated container for tomatoes, you're encouraged to use yesterday's tomato or throw it out before cutting a new tomato.
    – Random832
    Jan 30, 2015 at 18:19
  • I googled for some more information and apparently many of these have a raised pattern in the bottom to prevent the tomato from sitting in a pool of juice. Not sure if @hildred's has the same feature, but it seems likely.
    – Random832
    Jan 30, 2015 at 18:28

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