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Canning, Freezing and Drying: To Peel or not to Peel, Tomatoes for Sauce?

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dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 24, 2012
12:09 PM

Post #9136792

I see lots of recipes that suggest peeling and seeding tomatoes before making sauce. I'm thinking of doing some roasted tomato sauce, and I'm wondering about peeling the tomatoes.

I have an immersion blender that I've used in the past when making jam. How much effect on the flavor would you expect, either positive or negative, if I roasted tomatoes with their skins and seeds (quartering and coring out any green stem) then blended with the immersion blender?

The other option I have is to cook the tomatoes, then run through my hand-cranked food mill. The food mill is more work than the blender, but less work than scalding and peeling the tomatoes by hand.

Thoughts? Opinions?

David

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bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 24, 2012
12:54 PM

Post #9136854

I would give it a whirl (pun intended) -- the commercial 'fire-roasted tomato sauce' has bits of blackened skin in it, and I love the smokey flavor. Let us know how it turns out.
araness
Auburn, AL
(Zone 8a)

May 31, 2012
12:32 PM

Post #9146375

I've done both and my new way is to cut the maters in half (I use my normal tomatoes since I don't grow paste) seed, drizzle with evoo and roast doesn't take much at all to mill them and I like the taste better when roasted with the skin.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 31, 2012
1:30 PM

Post #9146478

I'm quartering and roasting in the skin. I have decided that I will use my food mill to separate most of the skins out and a good bit of the seeds. I decided against blending all the skins and seeds into the sauce. I figure that blending everything increases the risk that the sauce will be bitter.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 17, 2012
8:31 AM

Post #9168645

[quote="dreaves"]I'm quartering and roasting in the skin. I have decided that I will use my food mill to separate most of the skins out and a good bit of the seeds. I decided against blending all the skins and seeds into the sauce. I figure that blending everything increases the risk that the sauce will be bitter.[/quote]

How did the roasted tomatoes turn out?

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 18, 2012
8:02 PM

Post #9170938

I've been happy with the roasted sauce, processed with a food mill. I've canned about 4 dozen pints. Roasting the sauce slowly allowed it to thicken nicely. The food mill gave me a coarse, delicious sauce.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 19, 2012
3:48 AM

Post #9171177

Great! The sauce sure will taste good this winter while at the same time save on the food bill.

I bet you are glad you removed the skins from the sauce. It just doesn't seem right to me to leave them on.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

June 26, 2012
3:22 PM

Post #9182378

Here is how I scald mine. I place the ripe tomatoes in a big stainless steel bowl in the sink. Heat my big tea kettle to the whistling stage. Then, pour over the tomatoes. Let them roll around a minute or two...actually, you can see the skins start to fall away. The remove them to the other sink with a slotted spoon. Cool a bit. Now, the skins just practically fall off. The riper the easier the skin loosens, so you need to kind of watch them in the hot water.
To dejuice, cut out the stem end and squeeze the juice out into a bowl. Use the juice in soups and stews or make juice. It's all good.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9189154

I've done roasted sauce with seeds & skins, immersion blender to grind away as well as properly skinned & deseeded. The flavor is definitely better with the latter method but when pressed for time, skins & seeds in my own roasted sauce beats anything I can buy at the grocery. :-)

Tam
ilovetigger
Belleville, MI

July 6, 2012
7:44 PM

Post #9195961

ME...I love my "Squeeze-o-matic" as I call it. It is actually a Victorio. I just quarter and run the tomatoes through it.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

July 7, 2012
12:08 PM

Post #9196715

Oh, yes...Those are wonderful I have heard. You never see Squeeze o matics on sale. Wonder if they still make them?

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 7, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9196793

I broke the hand-cranked Presto processor. Since I had to buy something, I decided to get the grinder/seeder for our Kitchenaid mixer. It worked nicely, but left the sauce a bit finer than the previous food mill.
cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

August 13, 2012
11:20 AM

Post #9240114

this thread is just was I was looking for. A friend said to leave the peels on but when I got to the cooking part they didn't look good, and were tough when I tasted it. I ended up running all the salsa through the chopper. I prefer chunky but now the skins aren't visible and it tastes just fine. We go through a big jar of salsa nearly every week with having teen boys in the house. I may go looking for more tomatoes, this was kind of fun and it is sure to be easier following all of your suggestions. Thanks!
cakesjean
Bad Zwischenahn
Germany

September 4, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9264670

I made tomato jam this year and processed the unpeeled tomatoes before cooking. The peel tends to get tough when cooked, and then does not chop up finely enough.

w_r_ranch

w_r_ranch
Colorado County, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 8, 2013
4:15 PM

Post #9551373

[quote="dreaves"]I've been happy with the roasted sauce, processed with a food mill. I've canned about 4 dozen pints. Roasting the sauce slowly allowed it to thicken nicely. The food mill gave me a coarse, delicious sauce.
[/quote]

Here is ours, we've been doing it for years...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1308029/



Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 7, 2014
8:08 PM

Post #9784395

Just found this...I made roasted sauce and just cut the stem out and then cut the tomatoes in chunks/slabs...whatever you want to call them. (I'm lazy...didn't want to skin them). Sliced some onions, green peppers, put in garlic if I had it, some sliced celery (a good place to use the leafy tops too), dribbled on some EVOO, oregano and basil. I used a half-sheet pan (12x18)-took 5-6 hours in the oven. I ran it through my food mill when it was done. I put it in bags and froze it.

Since I made it last year I bought a VitaMix and might try a batch in there instead of the food mill when it's done "roasting". We'll see.

Sorry, the first photo is the "after" one. LOL

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dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 12, 2014
11:58 AM

Post #9788126

I have done this: Freeze the tomatoes whole. Thaw them and the skin comes right off. Proceed however you desire.
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

March 12, 2014
12:17 PM

Post #9788141

I have had the skins roll up into little spikes in sauce when I didn't get all the skin off.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 12, 2014
2:00 PM

Post #9788238

YankeeCat, if you run your tomatoes through a food mill, or the automatic juice separator on a Kitchen-aide mixer it will get almost every bit of the skin. I think roasting with the skins adds to the flavor.
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 12, 2014
2:01 PM

Post #9788239

Oh, dotcha just HATE that??? LOL I do. And I don't have freezer space for all those whole tomatoes. Easier for me to just hack them up and put through a food mill at the end.
Glenda_Michigan
Fowlerville, MI
(Zone 5b)

June 28, 2014
8:44 AM

Post #9879812

Ilovetigger, is this the one you have?

http://www.amazon.com/Victorio-VKP250-Strainer-Sauce-Maker/dp/B001I7FP54

Here's the manufacturer's website...
http://www.victorio.info/index.html


MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2014
5:03 PM

Post #9884880

I like them both ways, dependin'. I've got a food mill attachment on my KithchenAid that seeds and skins. Really excellent when I'm into being a purist but the sauce lacks the rustic garbage I like in some/many dishes. The first year I had the food mill I milled most of my tomatoes and slow roasted or crocked (will explain later) the rest. At the end of the day I was always going for the tomatoes with the seeds and skins. To me, they tasted more like tomatoes from the garden and less like jarred sauce from the grocery store.

So about the crocking thing...I put chunked up tomatoes into a very large oval crockpot, with the top off, and reduce and reduce. Maybe take a few days and more additions. Then can the thickened result.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 7, 2014
3:00 PM

Post #9912572

Maypop...Would you mind going over the crocking thing again? I just don't get that! It sounds like a great idea, but there seems to be some things missing on your how-to. You cook it for days with the lid off?? What about seasonings and I assume it's on low. And, do you love/like the flavor? Thanks
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 7, 2014
3:43 PM

Post #9912600

Certainly. The idea is to reduce the water in the tomatoes and concentrate the flavor. No seasonings are required because the idea is to make a rich tomato base to use in many types of recipes. Not tomato paste and not necessarily tomato sauce. Just not watery, canned tomatoes. The objective is to not have to stand and stir over the stove, doing the sauce thing for hours, while trying to take care of business and not burn the bottom of a pan. I usually start the morning before processing and can in the afternoon the next day. If you don't can you could certainly freeze. Here is...

Set up as many crockpots, as large as possible, as you have tomatoes to deal with. Turn them on high. Do this in advance of prepping the tomatoes. Fill with coarsely cut tomatoes to near the brim. Bring to a simmer with the lid on and then remove the lid. If you are around during the day and can check here and there leave the pot on high. Otherwise turn to low. Allow tomatoes to reduce by one or more inches and add more. No need to hang around and coddle that pot. Continue to add as time allows/is needed, and stir when you add. At bedtime replenish the tomatoes to the brim and stir. Turn the crockpot to low. Go to bed. The next morning you should have a pretty concentrated sauce. If not, turn back to high and continue to cook. If too concentrated, add more tomatoes and cook for a while before canning. You determine the thickness and flavor. A standard four quart crockpot will give you four quarts or eight pint jars of super premium sauce. Something about the tomatoes adhering to the crock edges give them a unique, almost roasted, flavor that cannot be achieved stovetop and in a pot. I oven roast and freeze or can small tomatoes but this is a good way to deal with large tomatoes.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2014
8:09 AM

Post #9914523

MaypopLaurel...Thank you So-o-o much for taking the time to write that marvelous sounding method for making tomato sauce. I have heard of making crock pot apple butter, but have never heard of making tomato sauce in one. What an easy and delicious way to do it. I hope to be able to try this this season. Thanks again...
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 10, 2014
11:02 AM

Post #9914642

Your welcome, Bee. Considering where you live heat may not be a factor come August-September canning season but any method that limits time spent over a stove or avoiding turning on the oven is desirable here.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

August 13, 2014
6:10 AM

Post #9916974

I do the crockpot thing too. I like that I have a more flavorful end result, and it saves space and money on jars and lids! I sometimes add bayleaves, celery,cracked pepper,onions and herbs. some times I just use tomatoes only. Also, a little salt goes a long way, and I just add it when I use the sauce, because all that rducing can give you a concentrated dose of salt. I always seed the tomatoes, but i hate the chore of peeling,so I peel as amny as I can stand and then just toss em in skins and all. I dont even notice the rolled up skins when eating the finished product. The skinned tomatoes go in halves, but I cut the un peeled halves in 4ths. Perhaps the kitchen aid attachment will simplify that.

Really, home canned tomatoes taste so good in the depth of winter, I open up a jar and pour out summertime. ...sigh...

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2014
3:13 PM

Post #9925403

Scarletbean...That sound so very very good. Don't know if I will get enough toms to fill a crockpot. Maybe I should buy some at the farmers market.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2014
3:48 PM

Post #9925425

Your sauce will only be as good as your tomatoes so if you buy them make sure they are tasty. I grow slicers and pastes for sauce. The type is not as important as the flavor. I save my freezer space for 1/2 pint to pint containers of roasted, mixed cherry tomatoes which are used in pasta dishes, pizzas, and in dips and spreads. Since they are oil roasted they can't be safely canned. While agreeing with other posters, as for milling tomatoes, I prefer to mill before I cook though when I began I was advised differently. The end product is less rendered. And, BTW, tomato water (that water that gives off in the bowl of blanched tomatoes and looks like nothing) makes the best cocktails. I can it for occasions.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 25, 2014
1:35 PM

Post #9926050

Yes, I would not buy them from a supermarket, only from local farmers that go to the outdoor market on Wed. We have a wonderful farmers market with tons of gorgeous veggies and fruit. They usually come from the interior valley where it gets much hotter than here.
Maypop...you really get into canning. I like that!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2014
3:56 PM

Post #9926164

Bee, thanks for the acknowledgement. It was a lengthy and complicated "process" and I am the "aged product". I didn't grow up at mama's knee while kettles boiled throughout sweltering summers. My father's business was food processing, preservation and packaging; manufacturing on a high production, 24/7, commercial scale. Food technology science was part of my upbringing but not the "how to" of home kitchen preservation. My father was a food scientist. My mother was a classically trained chef, nutritionist and director of food services in hotels and restaurants. I was raised to be particular about food handling. So when you see my posts that disagree with methods that's why. I am a caterer and strict about food handling. My interest in food preservation on a micro level is based on a passion for cooking in general and home grown foods in particular. I feature food from our garden in my work.

There are several posters to this forum, among them Edens_Gardener and Lanakila who are probably more experienced home canners than I. Learning to preserve the food you grow or, if you have access to superior food, is very rewarding. I never thought my own products could rival commercial offerings or fresh options.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

August 28, 2014
4:55 AM

Post #9927940

Thanks for that description about crockpot tomato processing, Laurel. I know what I'm going to do with my next batch now! By prepping, though, do you mean skinning and seeding? Or just chunking them before cooking them down?

This message was edited Aug 28, 2014 7:56 AM
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 28, 2014
10:48 AM

Post #9928103

Leslie, I don't peel or seed but will remove any very large floating skins. I also don't strain after cooking because the sauce seems too fine to me. When it comes to strained sauces I've found the KitchenAid attachment does better if I mill before cooking.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

August 28, 2014
3:22 PM

Post #9928246

Thanks, Laurel. I wanted to avoid peeling and seeding; otherwise I might just as well use the tomato machine and simmer the pulp down. I like your idea and am planning to use it next time, but I'll purée the tomatoes in my Vitamix. I like the idea of the seeds and skin remaining as part of the purée; I'm sure they provide extra nutritional value.
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

August 28, 2014
5:05 PM

Post #9928317

I tried chewing a batch of roasted sauce up in the food processor. Not the end result I was hoping for, so haven't done that again. Might try a batch in the VitaMix and see what that looks like.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 28, 2014
5:06 PM

Post #9928319

Originally Italian sauce was made with fresh whole tomatoes, year around, and only sometimes had skins removed. "Spaghetti sauce" as we know it came about when Italians iimmigrated to the N.E. and began to preserve summer tomatoes for winter use.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2014
4:40 AM

Post #9928561

I would suspect that roasting toughened the skins before you had a chance to purée the whole tomato. I know that dehydrating toughens pear skins. Try the Vitamix and see what you think!

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