Have you seen those late night infomercials that show you how poorly your kitchen knife works on a tomato in a sad attempt to cut it? They want you to buy their new set of kitchen knives, so they show a bunch of improper methods for cutting tomatoes. If you know how to cut tomatoes properly, though, even a dull knife will work fairly well.
Whether you just need to improve your cutting technique, or you want to know how to cut tomatoes in cubes or other specific ways, we have you covered.
Different Cuts for Different Uses
How you cut a tomato depends on how you are going to use that tomato. Are you making a salad or making a soup? You’ll have different cuts for both. Are you making a sandwich and need larger slices? Are you cutting tomatoes for a salsa or a dip? The cuts need to be different each time to achieve the desired effect.
Different kinds of tomatoes need to be cut in different ways as well. You cannot cut a large, plump tomato the same way as a tiny cherry tomato or a thin Roma tomato. The size and shape of the tomato often determines the kind of cuts it can give you and the options you have for cutting.
How to Cut Tomatoes for Salad
For salads, you usually want to use wedge cuts. How do you do that?
Start by placing the tomato with them stem facing upwards. Get rid of the green stems, if there are any, and cut your tomato in half. The cut should start at the stem and go to the bottom of the tomato.
Next, cut the tomato in half again from the top to bottom to make it into quarters. You can cut out the tough green stem in the center if you like, but you don’t have to.
Then, cut each quarter into smaller wedges by slicing them directly down the center. You will be cutting through the stem where there is one.
How to Cut Tomato Slices
If you are making burgers or any kind of sandwich and need tomatoes, you should be cutting your tomatoes into slices.
Here is how to cut tomatoes for burgers.
Turn the tomato on its side, with the top and bottom facing left and right. Then, slice off the stem part of the tomato.
Next, cut the tomato into parallel slices, cutting them as thin as you need. It’s tough to cut the slices a second time after they are cut, so plan your cuts carefully. Work from one end of the tomato to the other until you have a pile of slices ready for sandwiches and burgers.
How to Cut Tomatoes for Tacos
If you are cutting tomatoes for tacos, you usually need to dice them. Here is how to cut tomatoes in cubes and dice them for salsa, tacos, sauces, and garnishes. You will use this method for pico de gallo as well.
Start with tomato slices from our last section up above and cut those slices into thin strips. Just cut from left to right until they are all sliced. Next, cut again but in the opposite direction. You are turning those strips into smaller pieces.
This is how you cut tomatoes for salsa, and it makes your tomatoes into cubes, which can be used for most Mexican dishes.
Diced tomatoes are used for so many different dishes, and if you just want to add some tomato flavour to something, then dicing is the way to go. This is how to cut tomatoes for bruschetta and any kind of dish that needs a tomato garnish. Dicing the tomato makes the pieces small enough that they can just be sprinkled on top or mixed into a salsa or dip.
Cutting Small Tomatoes
Some tomatoes are so small that they are tough to cut into more than a few pieces. However, they might be too big for what you want them for. Cherry tomatoes come to mind, and they might not be comfortably bite sized for everyone, especially if you are putting them on a salad. How to cut cherry tomatoes?
We recommend simply cutting them in half. That should make them just the right size, and it is going to be difficult to cut them neatly into smaller sections than that.
For slightly larger tomatoes like Roma tomatoes, we suggest a different cutting method. How to cut Roma tomatoes? You probably want to cut them in half and then once more into quarters. That should be enough to make them into decent sized wedges that are about the same size as 1/8th wedges from larger tomatoes.
Roma tomatoes are often used in tomato sauce, and to prepare tomatoes for pureeing, you can simply dice them using the method described for cutting tomatoes for tacos.
What Knife to Use for Cutting Tomatoes?
If you want to cut without a lot of hassle and sawing, then you need to use the proper kind of knife. Typically, that means using the sharpest knife you have, with a flat blade rather than any serrated edges. You want a smooth, clean slice, and the sharper the knife, the easier that will be.
If you are trying to cut tomatoes that are soft and a bit mushy, then you may opt for a serrated edge knife. This will help you cut through it easier and not end up with a lot of mushy tomato pulp all over your counter.
How to Store Cut Tomatoes
Now that you know how to cut tomatoes, let’s talk about how to store those slices, wedges and cubes. Once a tomato is cut, it won’t last as long, so it needs to be stored properly to keep it from going mushy or spoiling. Don’t store whole, uncut tomatoes in the fridge, but cut tomatoes definitely need to be refrigerated.
You should package or tightly wrap them in paper towels or plastic bags. Don’t leave a lot of air in with them, and you can store them inside airtight containers in your fridge.
Refrigerated tomatoes that have been cut should be used within three days. If you notice signs of spoiling, though, be sure to discard them. This is how to keep cut tomatoes fresh and tasting their best.
You can also freeze your cut tomatoes. You don’t have to blanch them first like you would other vegetables, and you can store them in freezer bags for up to eight months. The best way to store cut tomatoes in the freezer is to put them on a sheet