Freezing tomatoes for later

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)January 29, 2014

I'm not a regular tomato grower or canner, but my SIL brought over frozen bags of tomatoes she'd been given by generous tomato growers last summer, and we made them into salsa. They peeled incredibly easily after being plunged into some hot water, and crumbled instantly when cut with a knife. SIL said her tomato prep time had never been so short. It was also nice to be canning in the middle of winter rather than in busy summer. Of course, saving tomatoes in the freezer takes up valuable space, but I was curious whether anyone else had tried it. It also gives you a chance to save up until you have enough fruit to work with. She purchased peppers,etc. which probably didn't help the final flavor, since they weren't fresh from a garden. But, we have plenty of dried peppers around to sprinkle in for additional zip. Anyway, just wondered what experience others have had.

Martha

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oldfixer

Tried the freeze method once, didn't care for them or the flavor.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:41AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Frozen matoes is ok in cooking. But I would rather cook them then freeze, for better taste. Freezing and refrigerating tomatoes adversely affect their taste.
JMO

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:58AM
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labradors_gw

I freeze tomatoes and use them in my cooking, running them under the hot tap to remove the skin and tossing them into soups and stews.

I think it's great to use frozen tomatoes for making sauce. First I skin them, then I leave them in a bowl to thaw out, and I can toss out a ton of liquid that way and reduce the cooking time!

Linda

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:08AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

What you describe is a common practice for home canning folks and has been for decades. it is often discussed over on the Harvest Forum here which is the canning and food preservation forum.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Harvest Forum

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:00AM
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labradors_gw

Well that's good to know Dave!

I thought I invented it (LOL). I couldn't believe that everyone simply boils their tomatoes forever to reduce the liquid.......

The trouble I have found with the other forums on here is that they aren't very tomato related.....

Cheers,
Linda

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:08AM
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BriAnDaren Ottawa, On Zone 5

I too thaw out frozen tomatoes and then press them to remove excess liquid before cooking. Instead of throwing out the liquid, I collect it for drinking and/or flavoring rice. I find this liquid surprisingly salty with a strong tomato flavor. This is odd because I only freeze bland, tasteless tomatoes that are inedible when fresh.

Daren

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:03PM
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kathywide(7b)

Freezing is helpful when you're short on time or have just a few quarts to put up and don't want to mess with the canner. The tomatoes lose their texture when frozen. I use them in cooking (sauces, soups, casserole.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Freezing Tomatoes

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:28PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The trouble I have found with the other forums on here is that they aren't very tomato related.....

No they each have their defined focus as they should. Just as the focus of this one is Growing Tomatoes. :)

But when the primary focus of the question is food preservation then Harvest is the place to go for the most relevant info. And tomato preservation methods is the most common topic over there.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:59PM
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labradors_gw

Thanks Dave,

I'll check it out the Harvest forum if you say that it's tomatoey :-).

Interesting about the tomato liquid being salty Daren, I'll have to try saving it for cooking rice.

Kathywide, interesting about the frozen tomatoes losing their flavour/enzymes. I guess we give up a few things in the name of convenience!

Linda

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 7:10PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Saving whole tomato as frozen, requires TOO MUCH storage volume. But if you convert it into sauce you will reduce its volume by more than half. There is no advantage in freezing tomato as whole or as smashed. When you lightly smash it, you get the juice out quickly. Then freeze the remainder in zip bag.

But as somebody mentioned, freezing them whole is easiest and the quickest way to deal with it. Call it comfort factor.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:57PM
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lucille(Houston)

Why does freezing adversely affect tomato flavor? Does canning?
Last season I froze some peppers, they lost the crispy fresh pepper texture but were very flavorful in cooking.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:14PM
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