Tips for Storing Tomatoes

by Getty Stewart, Professional Home Economist

We’ve pulled all of our tomato plants (sigh) and took home a bunch of green, somewhat orange and red tomatoes.  Looks like we’ll have a few more soups, sauces, salsas, salads and sandwiches to enjoy – as long as we can store them properly, that is.

Here are a few tips we’ve discovered about storing tomatoes:

Tomato Storing Tips

Tip # 1 – Do not store split, punctured or damaged tomatoes, even the ones with just a tiny spot.  It only takes a couple of days for any tomato that has a wound to turn really, really nasty and spread mold and rot to your nice tomatoes.  Trust us, we know!  Two days after storing a batch of tomatoes I went to the basement to do laundry – that’s when I learned just how critical this step is.  The smell was intense!

Tip # 2 – Place unripened tomatoes in a cool dark place.  We place ours in a single layer in a shallow cardboard box with a folded newspaper on top.  Our friend Chris, who is able to keep tomatoes for a very long time, wraps each one individually in newspaper and places them in a box.

Tip # 3 – Check and smell your tomatoes regularly to catch any trouble before it spreads.

Tip # 4 – Once the tomatoes are ripe – use them, they won’t last very long once they are fully ripe.

Tip # 5 – Store tomatoes with the stem down to prevent air from getting into that scarred area and decreasing the shelf life.

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