How to store tomatoes at home correctly?
Tomatoes are perishable products, and many mistakenly assume that it is absolutely impossible to keep them fresh in the apartment until winter. In fact, there are some tricks that can increase the shelf life of tomatoes. These tricks will be discussed in today's article.
Dates and features of the collection
Harvesting, or more precisely, the degree of ripeness of the fruit, affects how much the tomatoes will be stored at home. So, in the apartment, red fruits will lie for about 4 days, pink - for 1 day longer, brown - 7 days, green - about 10 days. In order to increase the shelf life, you need to create other conditions, but more on that later. Now we say that in order for the crop to be well preserved, it is necessary to follow the rules of its collection:
- have time to collect tomatoes before the start of frost (until the temperature at night has dropped to 5-8 ° C);
- pick tomatoes when the dew comes down;
- try to pluck the fetus along with the peduncle, so its durability will increase;
- select whole tomatoes for storage, and send the rest for processing.
Important! Harvested fruits must be immediately sorted by maturity and size. Each degree should be kept separately.
Basic storage rules
There are certain rules, following which, you can save for a long time tomatoes collected from the garden or bought in the store:
- Only absolutely whole fruits can be stored at home. Spots, cracks, signs of late blight instantly reduce the shelf life of such a fruit and those lying next to it.
- Before laying, wipe each fruit from dirt and moisture, but do not wash.
- If you buy tomatoes, then choose only ripe. If you plan to use them in a couple of days, leave them on the table; if later, put them in the refrigerator.
- Leave the acquired unripe tomatoes warm for a couple of days so that they ripen, and then put them in the refrigerator.
- If possible, it is better to store these vegetables in the cellar, basement or on the glassed balcony.
Place and optimal conditions for storing tomatoes
Correctly selected place and conditions play an important role in how long the tomatoes will be stored:
- The ideal place is a dark, cool room or container (cellar, basement, vegetable box in the refrigerator) with good ventilation. If in winter the temperature on the balcony does not drop below 5 ° C, then it is possible there.
- It is necessary to maintain a temperature of 8–12 ° C (for green tomatoes), 1–2 ° C (for red) or 4–6 ° C (for brown), and a humidity of 80%.
- Arrange the sorted fruits in boxes (wooden or plastic) up with the stalks and redistribute with paper or straw.
How to store tomatoes in the apartment
There are several options for storing this vegetable at home. We will tell about them further.
Important! If you want to store tomatoes for as long as possible in a box, you should wrap each of them in paper and pour them with chopped tops. It will not allow bacteria to develop.
When storing tomatoes in boxes, it is important to choose the right container. It can be plastic or wooden, but always completely lattice. The container should be lined with clean paper, without printing. You can stack the fruits in a maximum of 3 layers, each layer separated by paper or straw. Do not stack tomatoes tightly - it is necessary that there is an air space between the fruits for ventilation. A box of tomatoes should be taken out to a cool place. The fruits folded in this way can lie for several months (it all depends on ripeness), provided that you will regularly sort them.
In the straw
For this method, you will also need a trellis box. It is covered with straw. Fruits are laid out in layers delimited with straw.Layers should be a maximum of 3. In a cool place, green and milk tomatoes are able to lie 3-4 months, ripe - 1-2 months.
You can store the crop in the bank in several ways:
- Ripe. Fold in a jar and pour vegetable oil so that its level is 1 cm higher than the fruit level.
- Overripe. Wash the fruits, chop coarsely and put in a pan or jar with a layer of 10 cm, sprinkle with salt and put the tomato layer back on. So, alternating layers, fill the entire container. Tomatoes are stored in this form for several weeks.
- Dairy Wash whole vegetables, dry and put in a sterile jar. You do not need to ram them. Pour 3 tablespoons of alcohol, close the container and rotate it well in your hands in order to alcohol all the tomatoes. Open the lid, immerse the wick in the jar and light it. As soon as the alcohol breaks out, the jar must immediately be rolled up with a metal lid.
- Green and pink. Wash the tomatoes and dry them outdoors. In a sterile jar pour 2 tbsp. tablespoons of mustard powder. Put tomatoes in a container, sprinkling a little powder on each layer. Finally add another 1 tbsp. a spoonful of powder and roll up the lid. So the vegetable can be stored in a cool place for 4–5 months.
Did you know? In 2003, Oregon farmer Rob Baur cultivated a tomak culture. It was obtained by grafting a tomato on tobacco. The purpose of the experiment was an attempt to confirm a scientific publication in a journal. 1959 Scientific American on the possibility of creating such an unusual plant. Samples carried out in the same 2003 showed the presence of nicotine in the foliage of the plant, but the very next year tomac was recognized as an unpromising culture.
Here, fresh vegetable is stored in a vegetable tray. The container needs to be covered with paper, lay on it a layer of tomatoes, base up, re-paper and lay out the tomatoes again. You can wrap the fruits individually in paper. If the tomatoes are of late or mid-ripening varieties, then in the refrigerator they can last about 2 weeks.
Tomatoes are perfectly capable of ripening in the apartment, only they must be sorted, since the ripening rate of the fruits of each maturity is different. Brown or slightly reddened should ripen in the first place, whitened - a little longer, and green can lie right up to the winter.
Ripening speed is affected by temperature. So, at 8–12 ° С, ripening is extremely slow, but at 18–20 ° С - almost instantly.
Important! The ripening of green tomatoes will help to accelerate the addition of ripe.
Vegetables need to be folded into cardboard or wooden boxes. To do this, cover the bottom of the container with paper, all layers of the fruit are also separated by paper. It is laid and the last layer. All stalks are turned in different directions. The box must be put in a dark place and reviewed 2 times a week: vegetables that turn red should be moved to the upper layers, and green ones should be lowered down.
Features of storage after heat treatment
By heat treatment of tomatoes is meant drying, drying and preservation.
- The dried product is placed in a bag of cotton fabric. You can also put it in an airtight container and add olive oil. Such a vegetable is stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Dried tomatoes can also be stored in bags or in sterile jars. If you are going to lay them in banks, then you need to add salt, herbs, garlic, spices and pour vegetable oil over the neck of the container. The neck should be covered with cling film and a nylon cover. In addition, you can store dried fruits in wooden, cardboard boxes, baskets, lined with paper, in a cool place with a temperature of 1-10 ° C.
- Canned. Usually, many housewives believe that harvested preservation can be used for more than one year. In fact, it is best to eat canned tomatoes for 1 year. This is because acid is able to react with the metal of the lid and break the tightness.Preservation should be stored in the pantry or under the bed. If you fermented vegetables, then you need to send them to the cellar or refrigerator, where they will normally remain for 8 months.
Did you know? Every year, over 60 tons of tomatoes are grown in the world.
The best varieties for long-term storage
The following varieties are well green (until March):The following varieties can be stored for 4 months:
- "New Year";
- Rio Grande
2 months stored:
What if the tomatoes began to rot?
Often, even with strict adherence to storage rules, tomatoes begin to deteriorate. As a rule, the causes of this are late blight and bacterial cancer. Sick fruits are covered with brown spots with a black border. Pasteurization will help to cope with the problem. Fruits that started to deteriorate must be collected and immersed in water at a temperature of 55–65 ° C for 2 minutes. Then you need to extract the vegetables and dry them on paper in a dry ventilated room, and then send them for storage to another place, also laid out on paper. Such tomatoes must be eaten before the rest.
Some more useful tips for preserving the crop:
- To prevent the tomatoes from spoiling, inspect them regularly.
- If you do not want the fruits to ripen quickly, remove all red tomatoes from the crate.
- Coating the fruit with wax or petroleum jelly will help improve stubbornness.
- If you need to accelerate the ripening of green tomatoes that have been lying for a long time, put among them a ripe vegetable or banana.
- The whole stalk is a guarantee of a long lay.
- When putting tomatoes in a wooden box, wipe them with alcohol. So you keep them fresh.
- Greenhouse fruits retain their freshness worse when lying than grown in open ground.
- Before packing tomatoes in boxes, containers must be disinfected.