Appalachia Appalachian Food

How to Peel a Peach

How to peel peaches

I shared the recipe for Peach Crumb Bars earlier this week-if you missed it you can go here. SSBlueRidge left the following comment on the post:

“Is there a secret to peeling peaches?”

A few other Blind Pig readers chimed in with their advice on peeling peaches:

B.Ruth said this:

“Tell SSBlueRidge that when I have a bushel of peaches to can, I always used the blanching method to peel peaches. Put on a big pot of water bring to a boil, cut down to just simmer hot, drop in a few peaches at a time, blanch in the hot water a few minutes, dip out and either put in cold water or lay in a large bowl to cool…Peel then slips off easily!
Still putting by peaches can be slippery and a bit messy when slicing for the jars…”

Ed Ammons said this:

“Peeling peaches is like peeling tomatoes. If they are really ripe, they almost peel themselves. Drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds then into cold water till they are cool enough to handle. The peel slips right off and goes in the pan with the bruised spots to make peach butter. If the peaches have bad places you need a paring knife to remove them but bruising is not a bad thing if you love peach butter as much I do.”

I was going to reply to SSBlueRidge and share my secret for peeling peaches but before I could get around to it B.Ruth and Ed beat me to it. Blind Pig readers chiming in with their advice, thoughts, and observations is one of my favorite things about the Blind Pig and The Acorn. I tell you it makes my heart sing!

If I was canning a lot of peaches, I’d use the boiling water B.Ruth and Ed describe. But if I’m only peeling a few peaches to eat or to make a dessert with I have a secret peach peeling weapon…it’s called a tomato knife.

Best tomato and peach peeling knife


The Deer Hunter’s Aunt Wanda bought us a tomato knife way back in the day. Somewhere along the way we lost it and I never got around to getting another one. To be honest, I sort of forgot they existed.

I was reminded of the very useful tomato knife about 2 years ago when a friend asked me to look through a fund-raising magazine from her son’s school. On almost the last page there they were: beautiful shiny tomato knives! I ordered 4. One for us, one for Pap and Granny, one for Papaw and Nana, and one for Miss Cindy. I thought the knives would make dandy gifts.

A tomato knife will cut the prettiest slices of tomato you ever saw. The knife makes it super easy to cut thin slices or thick slices-whichever you prefer. It also peels a tomato very well if you like to get rid of the skin on your tomato. But as I said tomato knives also make peeling peaches easy peasy. When you think about it-tomatoes and peaches are sort of similar when it comes to their softness and their skin.

Once I decided to post about my secret peach peeling weapon, I did a quick google and wouldn’t you know it I found the Fundraising Company I purchased my tomato knives from-RADA Cutlery. This is a short quote about how the company’s fundraising enterprise works:

“Rada Cutlery Fundraising features 100% Made in the USA kitchen products – kitchen knives, utensils, gift sets (also cookbooks, stoneware, and quick mixes). There are no upfront costs and your group will make a 40% profit.”

You can jump over to their website to read more about their great fundraising program. My friend said her son earned more money selling from the cutlery magazine than any other fundraiser his school had used. I think most folks are like me-they want to buy something to help but they prefer to purchase something they can actually use.

RADA Cutlery has generously donated a tomato knife for me to giveaway to a Blind Pig Reader. To be entered in the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends Saturday August 22.



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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Love those South Carolina peaches. We bought some Wednesday when we went to Pickens. Yummm, they shore was good.
    I have one of those Rada knives, in fact I have several Rada knives. I especially love my tomato knife and bread slicing knife. I also use their little paring knife that curves just so. It is small and fits my hand just right. A standard paring knife is just to bulky for my old arthritic hands…
    You know when I used to can tomatoes of course we used the blanching method to peel them as well as I am sure you are aware of..
    Thanks Tipper,
    My computer has been mussed up by windows 10….booger!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Excellent! Thank you to everyone! I THOUGHT maybe the tomato method might work. Sure, I’m interested in a tomato knife too. whether i win one or not, though, I am definitely making peach cobbler before peach season is done.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    August 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I will have to remember the name of that tomato knife. Tomatoes and peaches, your making me hungry.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Oh I would love that knife! Wish I had a bushel of peaches. My favorite cobbler is peach. Thanks for all the good tips that make our lives sweeter. Would love to see the girls perform someday.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Never had heard of RADA knives before, but I will check out their website. I usually wait until the peach is super ripe and then the peel just pulls off easily with my paring knife, but maybe one of these is what I need. For canning or freezing I, too, use the hot water method.
    As for tomato and peanut butter sandwiches, I like both but never tried them together. I did try a new tomato sandwich this year, though, using basil leaves instead of lettuce, and it was super yummy! Thanks for all the great tips and information as always!

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    August 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

    We use peaches to make smoothies. Peel and slice then freeze. Had not thought about blanching them. Also use a regular paring knife to peel them.

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    August 21, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Sounds like a handy knife would like to have it. put my name iin the drawing please.

  • Reply
    Julia Hall
    August 21, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I would love a tomato knife!! But, first I need to learn how to peel. Everytime I peel or cut something (okra, squash, cucumbers, etc) my mom always says I am doing it wrong. Watching her speed with cutting always amazes me. I have to use a cutting board. 🙁 Maybe in 30 more years I will be as skilled as her!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Please put my name in the pot. I have never heard of a tomato knife, but it sounds dandy. Love my tomatoes without their skins…and do my tomatoes and peaches the blanch methods. Makes my mouth water just writing about them.

  • Reply
    Margaret Johnson
    August 20, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Lord knows I dearly love peaches and if this tomato knife makes peeling peaches easier with less waste, then I’m all for it. I’m also one of those people who peels tomatoes before eating. I’d love to have this handy-dandy knife for my very own.

  • Reply
    Debbie Nobles
    August 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Sounds like something I need to get. My peach peelings go to my middle aged hens.I’m trying everything to get them to lay.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 20, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I had not thought I would post today but reading the other comments triggered some memories.
    My Grandma made tomato preserves. They are better than you might think. She also got me to try a peanut butter and tomato sandwich. I know ! I know ! Some of you think that’s terrible. So did I – till I tried it.
    And Mr. Casada writing about throwing nothing away reminded me my Dad would dry peach seed. When they split open the internal seed looks, smells and tastes just like almonds. I am still very bad about laying peach seed in the window sill to dry.
    I know. None of this has anything to do with peeling peaches or tomatoes. My wife has a couple of the RADA knives from church fund raising but not the tomato knife.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Tipper and Will Dixon – The peel of the peach is where a big portion the pectin is. You don’t actually eat the peel in the peach butter. You cook it all up, which don’t take long with peaches, then run it all through a food mill which takes out the tough part of the peel and the stringy red things around the seed if you trim out that part of the peach too. It makes the peach butter smoother and the pectin from the peel makes it thicker with less cooking.
    My mother used to can a lot of peaches and she liked them to look pretty in the jar so she trimmed away everything that wasn’t perfect and made peach butter.

  • Reply
    S J MacKenzie
    August 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    We both love peaches! I eat mine with the skin, but my husband can’t stand them. We discovered the boiling method some years ago. One caveat: Don’t leave them in too long or they will cook and turn brown. I think putting them directly into the ice-cold water will help with that. The tomato knife looks interesting, too. I’ll have to look for that.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    So this is what we need! Thanks for sharing Tipper!

  • Reply
    Claire Olson
    August 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I thought I recognized that knife when I saw just a glimpse of knife and handle. I think Rada knives are the very best and that tomato knife is the best of the best! I sure enjoy your blog and your stories about your family. Thank you for the bright spot in my day.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    one more request – as I recall, before she went back to school then began teaching, Mom made tomato preserves and tomato butter – haven’t yet found those among her recipes. Anyone have favored recipes for those? I don’t remember them being overly sweet but did have a touch of sweetness.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Here’s a request for Miss Cindy’s receipt for canned peaches and “everyone’s” receipts for peach butter, peach (fruit) leather, and (soon) apple butter.

  • Reply
    Frances Allen
    August 20, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I just put several quarts of peaches in the freezer. Wish I had one of those knives when I was peeling the peaches! Would love to have a tomato knife!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Where we live, home canned peaches is a luxury enjoyed only when we go to visit family in Michigan. If we time it right, we come home either with blue berries or peaches.
    Now I am interested in the peach butter. I have made apple butter in the past. Is peach butter on the same lines? A recipe would be very helpful if we get a chance to get some of those yummy Michigan peaches.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Our Radio Station is playing lots
    of Chitter and Chatter music today.
    Paul even joined ’em in “Rock of
    Ages.” The girls just sang “Precious Memories” and it was great!
    I never peel tomatoes when having
    a tomato sandwich, but I have a
    nice tomato-slicing knife. I’ve
    had it for several years and it
    was given to me by a friend who
    worked at American Thread. She
    won two and gave me one. It never
    needs sharpening and has teeth on
    both sides. The course side is
    excellent on tomatoes.
    I remember when I was little, we
    peeled and sliced peaches and had
    a wash-tub full of peach-halfs.
    In a way daddy was like Donald
    Trump, a good organizer, and knew
    who was best at peeling. My hands
    were small and me and my just older brother took out the seeds.
    We had Open-Stones (peaches) from
    South Carolina…Ken

  • Reply
    Chuck Taylor
    August 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I’d actually never heard of a tomato knife. My mom & dad always just used one of the Old Hickory knives to cut up and peel almost everything.

  • Reply
    Janice McCall
    August 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    My cousin, who is like a sister, has one but she couldn’t remember where she got. Hers really is fantastic. Looks like yours. Thanks for the chance to win it, but since I rarely win, I’ll make a note of the company.

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    August 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Am not familiar with a tomato knife but would like to try it out. My tomatoes are doing well on the deck in pots here in the Pacific NW.

  • Reply
    Mark Mojado
    August 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    That sounds great. One day some one gave me a beef steak sandwich with mayo and spices thick slice lightly toasted seven grain bread ,it was great.Right out of the garden.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I have never seen a tomato knife! Thank you for the chance to win one.

  • Reply
    Will Dixon
    August 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Peach Butter from the skins! Explain please. Your recipe?

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 20, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I would love to have the tomato knife. For years we always peeled tomatoes & peaches till my sister-in-law (a new canner) put us wise to the blanching method. Easier , a lot quicker & more frugal–less waste. She also taught us this year to blanch sweet corn first,then cut it off the cob to freeze. Much easier to cut off & really good. These young whippersnappers are good teachers sometimes!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I don’t have a ‘mater knife. Based on these testimonials there is a big void in my life without one in my cutlery collection. I hope to rectify that.

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    August 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’ve noticed that my wife’s kitchen knives are pretty dull, and it’s hard to sharpen them. Maybe some Rada knives would be a good surprise for her.

  • Reply
    libby rouse
    August 20, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Would love to have a tomato knife, did not know there was such a useful thing out there. I hate squishing my tomatoes!!

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    August 20, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I bought a salesman’s display set of Rada knives at an estate auction a few years back. One of my better purchases, but it did not include a tomato knife. For that, I use a homemade knife that looks like a mini bow saw. It actually uses a wide-tooth saw blade that’s dangerously sharp. As for peach peelings, I feel the same about them as I do those of apples and pears and potatoes–they’re my favorite part!

  • Reply
    grandpa Ken
    August 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

    My sister and I have been trying to remember how our mother made chocolate rice pudding when we were young. Do you or anyone remember the recipe from the 1940’s? We remember eating it warm neither of us can remember watching mother cooking it and she been gone from us several years.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 9:19 am

    This comment is about peeling tomatoes, not peaches. My mother taught me this years ago. Flip the blade of your paring knife so that you’re using the top or non cutting edge of the blade(you’re still holding it by the handle, of course!). Just scrape the backside of the blade from top to bottom of tomato all the way around as though you were peeling a potato. Then insert the tip of the blade just under the edge of the skin and start peeling. Works best on firm, ripe tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 20, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Tipper–Having been raised by parents who had known the ravages of the Depression and as a result wasted nothing (and threw nothing away), I would note that there is some waste when you peel peaches. If they are dead ripe you can literally slip or pull the skin away without any loss of peach.
    Alternatively, you can save the skins from peaches peeled with a tomato knife (and I agree, they are a dandy kitchen tool) and, provided you are working up quite a few peaches, press the leavings in a colander and use the resulting juice and pulp as part of a run of peach butter.
    Or, in yet another approach, you can dry the skins and use them as a peach leather snack or in fried pies. There’s actually nothing wrong with peach skins except and aversion to the fuzz, and drying seems to get rid of it.
    I know that’s likely taking frugality to a lengthy few want to go, but it seemed worth at least mentioning.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. While Momma saved all the peach she could, interestingly enough she peel tomatoes before slicing them for the table. She didn’t like chewing on the skins and I must admit I’m sort of in her court in that regard.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    August 20, 2015 at 8:43 am

    GOOD JOB! Makes me want to start peeling those Georgia peaches!
    Nothing would please me more than to come to Hiawassee Dam Friday evening to MAKE a performance with those beautiful girls. We really enjoyed their show on the Square in Hayesville.
    Now do any of your ‘followers’ know how to get rid of a bruised spot on your hand or where ever? A little mountain medicine just might make it go away!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Lots of good stuff today. I’ve never canned peaches, so the boil method for peeling was very interesting. I also have not seen a tomato knife. I will have to explore that one. Hope everyone has a ‘peachy’ day!

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    August 20, 2015 at 8:10 am

    I love my Rada tomato knife. I’ve bought one for each of my kids and many for shower gifts too.

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    August 20, 2015 at 8:01 am

    My favorite paring knife is from RADA.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 20, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Interesting about the tomato knife. Of course, a real sharp knife will work, too. Most of our kitchen knives aren’t kept as sharp as they could be.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I am rarely reduced to the desire to throw things in frustration but the thing that gets me there the quickest is trying to slice a tomato with a dull knife. I wait all winter for fresh garden tomatoes to make an M & M sandwich. That would be a ‘mater and mayonnaise sandwich, one of summer’s greatest treats. If the knife is dull it makes the tomato sloppy and a sloppy tomato makes a sloppy sandwich and I don’t like sloppy sandwiches. There you have my biggest pet peeve!
    I love my tomato knife! NO sloppy sandwiches.
    I learned the trick of scalding the peaches to slip the skins a few years ago. It cuts down the processing time quite a bit. I don’t remember where I learned it, maybe from you, Tipper.
    When the Deer Hunter was little my Aunt Ruth taught me how her mother canned peaches. The peaches came out firm, not mushy. I’ll give you the directions sometime if you like.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    August 20, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I have several knives from this company. They excellent,light, comfortable to handle and stay sharp. My favorites are the small paring knife and the spreader. Don’t remember seeing the tomato knife, but would love to have one.

  • Reply
    Sandy Rees
    August 20, 2015 at 7:22 am

    I’ve never heard of a tomato knife. Thank the chance to win this one!

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