Both fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce can be frozen so you can make later use of a current abundance of tomatoes. Freezing tomatoes and tomato sauce properly will allow you to enjoy them up to eight months later.
Freezing Fresh Tomatoes
Fill a large pot with enough water to submerge your tomatoes when you add them to the pot.
Bring the water to a boil on the stove. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.
Place the fresh tomatoes into the pot of boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds.
Dump the tomatoes and water into a strainer in the sink. Immediately place the drained tomatoes into the ice water and let them sit for no more than two minutes.
Peel the skin off the tomatoes with the help of a small knife. The mixture of the hot water and cold water should make the skins come off easily.
Slice each tomato into quarters. Cut off the tough part of the flesh around the stem, and remove any soft or bruised areas.
Wash your hands. Gently squeeze each tomato quarter with your hands to remove the juice and seeds. Use your fingers or a spoon to scoop out any remaining seeds. Don't worry if you miss a few seeds. Place each seeded tomato into a strainer in the sink to drain any water or juice while you work on the rest.
Place the tomato quarters onto cookie sheets. Put the cookie sheets into the freezer until the tomatoes are frozen, about three hours.
Remove the cookie sheets from the freezer. Place the frozen tomatoes into plastic freezer bags, making each bag about three-quarters full.
Seal the bags tightly after removing all air. Write the contents and date on the bags, and put the bags into the freezer.
Freezing Tomato Sauce
Let fresh-made tomato sauce cool to room temperature. Put containers of sauce into bowls of ice water to speed the cooling.
Fill freezer containers three-quarters of the way with tomato sauce.
Label the containers with the contents and the date of freezing.
Place the containers of tomato sauce into the freezer.
- Keep the freezer temperature at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below. Use the frozen tomatoes or sauce within eight months. Store tomatoes or sauce at the back of the freezer, which is the coldest part, for optimal quality.
- You can freeze tomatoes with the skin on. Use the same process but skip the peeling. The skin, however, could be tough after you thaw the tomatoes.