How to Ferment Whole Tomatoes

Have you ever found yourself at the end of the garden season, drowning in luscious red tomatoes? Ever wondered how to use them up? If so, you need to know how to ferment whole tomatoes.

They make a delicious addition to the farmhouse kitchen! This technique is so simple a child could do it. In fact, if you have children they’ll love it.

How to Ferment Whole Tomatoes



You’ll need:

  • one half-gallon (2 pint) jar
  • 1 quart (4C) of chlorine free water
  • tomatoes to fill jar
  • 3 Tbs salt
  • tomatoes to fill jar
  • herbs of choice (go light)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves

Directions: combine the 3 Tbs salt with 1 quart water and let dissolve. Place herbs and peeled garlic in the bottom of the jar.

Sort through your tomatoes, choosing those similar in size and also small enough to fit in the mouth of your jar! The smaller they are, the firmer your finished product will be. Golf ball size or smaller is ideal.

Wash tomatoes and remove the stems. Take a fork and deeply pierce tomatoes 2-3x (1x if using cherry tomatoes)

After piercing, pack tomatoes into the jar.

Don’t be afraid to push on them a bit! Ideally, they will be so tightly wedged into place that a weight won’t be necessary to keep them submerged in the salt-water brine!

Add the 1 quart of salt water. Top off as necessary to completely cover tomatoes.

Seal the jar with a canning lid and set in a warm place, between 60-75F (and no higher!).

Tomatoes ferment viciously! Be sure to check for pressure build up every day! Break the seal every 12-24 hrs when fermentation is in full force.

Allow the good bacteria to work anywhere from 6-12 days. The longer tomatoes ferment, the stronger the flavor becomes. If left for too long, it will begin to take on a slightly boozy flavor and will beĀ stronger than most individuals can stomach.

Fermented tomatoes should be eaten raw. You can blend them up and mix into hummus or salad dressing, or slice and use in the same way you would a fresh tomato!


When you have an overhaul of garden tomatoes, consider putting this recipe to good use!

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