Here are a few easy tips to know about How to Store Tomatoes so they last longer. We’ll also answer a few common questions, like should you refrigerate tomatoes? How long do tomatoes last? How long do tomatoes last in the fridge? And, can you freeze tomatoes?

white rectangle enamel bowl with green trim filled with garden tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. A green handled and red handled paring knife sits on the rim of the bowl.

There’s a lot of different thoughts and opinions out there about the best way to store tomatoes so they stay fresh and last the longest.  Should you refrigerate tomatoes or is it better to leave them on the counter at room temperature?

white rectangle enamel bowl with green trim filled with garden tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. A green handled and red handled paring knife sits on the rim of the bowl.

Choosing the Best 

There are so many different types to choose from,  but when choosing the best to buy, no matter the type, always look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skins free of bruises, blemishes or cracks. The leaves should look fresh and green. Choose whatever size you need for your intended use. The size doesn’t have any bearing on flavor, texture or quality.

What’s the Best Way to Store Tomatoes

As a general rule of thumb, tomatoes are best stored at room temperature. Typically they will last on the counter for up to 7 days, but be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight. If you’re not going to use them right away, then you can store them in the refrigerator. And if you’re not going to use them in the near future, you can also freeze them whole or chopped.

Should you Refrigerate Tomatoes

That depends. You don’t want to put unripe tomatoes in the refrigerator. Refrigeration stops the ripening process, so they won’t ripen properly in the fridge. Fully ripe tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two, but if you keep them there any longer,  you will have a watered down, mealy and mostly tasteless tomato on your hands.  Storing tomatoes in the fridge will alter the flavor and texture.

How Long Do Tomatoes Last in the Fridge

So how long do they last in the fridge? Well, that depends on how ripe they are when you put them there in the first place. A perfectly ripe tomato should last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. An overly ripe one will only last a day or two.

How to Store Sliced Tomatoes in the Refrigerator

Sliced tomatoes can be stored in an air-tight container or a zip-lock plastic bag in the refrigerator. They’ll keep for 1-3 days before they start to turn watery and tasteless.

Can You Store Them in the Freezer

Yes! And it’s so simple to do! Just remove the cores and place the tomatoes in a zip-lock freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. They’ll last 6-8 months there. To thaw them, you put them in a bowl with warm water and wait a minute or two. The skins will peel right off. Then you can chop them and add them to soups, stews and pasta sauces the same as you would use canned tomatoes. 

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