Best Cooking Time - Techniques - Methods - Flavors

Recipes with Tomatoes - How long to cook tomatoes



There are many sizes shapes and colors of tomatoes available. For the most part they can be used interchangeably, but plum tomatoes are more firm and have less juice and are more commonly used for sauces and pastes.

Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are used as vegetables.

The table below is very flexible. Most of our tables show approximately how long it will take to soften a product or to make it safe by raising its temperature enough to kill pathogens. But, tomatoes start out safe and soft. Although the reason to cook them might be to soften them even more, it is probably for some other purpose - perhaps to add warmth, to caramelize the sugars, to brown the surface, to incorporate flavors of other ingredients or, to dry up the juice to create thick sauces or pastes. Also, tomatoes can be can be sun dried or oven dried to to concentrate the flavors.

Tomato Cooking Method

Cook until desired temperature, tenderness, heat or consistency

Raw slice, cube, wedge, stuff, juice
Simmer for tomato sauce 25 min. - 8 hrs.
Bake 350 F halves 30 - 45 min.
Steam whole 2 - 3 min.
Roast 500 F. cherry tomatoes 25 min. stir once or twice; slow roast sauce 1/2 in. slices salted 250 F 3 hrs. add basil and olive oil

whole or half 3 - 4 min.


direct heat: plum tomato 8 min., slicing tomato 1/2 in. slices 3 min.; cherry tomato 2 - 3 min.


whole or half cherry tomatoes 2 - 3 min.

Pressure Cook

whole or half 2 - 3 min.

Cooking times for Tomatoes

Test for Doneness: Tomatoes are often eaten raw, so the cooking has to do more with adding warmth or changing the texture. They are done when they meet your specifications as to heat, texture, and browning.

Tomato Tips And Techniques

Do not refrigerate tomatoes as the flavor is diminished.

Whenever possible buy locally raised tomatoes. Grocery store tomatoes especially in winter look like tomatoes but the comparison ends there. If you are cooking a tomato recipe in the winter look for canned tomatoes with few additives.

Hothouse tomatoes are getting better, but are expensive and still don't compare to those locally grown outdoors - and nothing beats a homegrown tomato.

To remove tomato skin blanch the tomato in boiling water.

Cook tomatoes in non reactive pots or pans so that the acid will not react with the metal.

If you are processing lots of tomatoes by removing the skin and seeds consider a food mill.

Native to the Americas - taken to Europe in the 16th century. Now widely used especially in Italian, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.


Flavors That Go

Common ingredients used in tomato recipes include:

balsamic vinegar
bay leaf
bell pepper (green, red)
cayenne pepper
celery stalks
chicken broth
chicken Stock
chile peppers
chili powder
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh parsley
Dijon mustard
dried oregano
dry white wine
fresh lemon juice
fresh lime juice
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
freshly-ground black pepper
green onions
ground beef
ground coriander
ground cumin
heavy cream
olive oil
red onion
red wine vinegar
Sour cream
soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce

Classic Tomato Recipes:

Salad (cherry tomato or wedges)
Greek Salad
Sundried tomatoes
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Jam
Tomato Soup
Tomato Salsa
Tomato Chutney
Stuffed Tomatoes
Fried Greek Tomatoes
Stewed Tomatoes




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