How to efficiently dice lots of ripe tomatoes?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
How do you guys dice ripe tomatoes? Any techniques or tricks to make it more efficient? If it is just a few any method works, but for a few more there has to be a good way of doing it.
 

kpham12

Active Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
99
Location
U.S.
How are you doing it now and what knife do you use? I usually do it like an onion, but with vertical cuts first, then horizontal, then pull cut to dice. It does get less effective/more messy with riper tomatoes, but still doable.
 

Unstoppabo

Breaker of knives
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
152
Reaction score
97
Location
NYC
I grab my 240 HD2 for small quantities but TBH, offset serrated bread knife if you're dicing more than a dozen.
 

McMan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
1,664
Back in the day, I worked in one kitchen where the first thing we'd do to prep diced tomatoes was to halve then scoop out the seeds/pulp with a spoon. (Insert your own judgements here--I just did what I was told...) Then stack halved tomatoes and dice (like stacking peppers). Logic being, pulp gets the nachos soggy :eek:

It's interesting to think about what to do with a tomato if the flesh and pulp aren't together...
Jose Andreas would serve the pulp with jamon--his logic was that's where the flavor was but there was less astringency. IIRC El Bulli used pulp almost as a seasoning. Kind of in the tradition of pan con tomate.

I betcha strained tomato pulp would be great in a vinaigrette.
 
Last edited:

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
How are you doing it now and what knife do you use? I usually do it like an onion, but with vertical cuts first, then horizontal, then pull cut to dice. It does get less effective/more messy with riper tomatoes, but still doable.
That’s how I do it, but there has to be a better way, this becomes messy the riper the tomatoes and as you prograss to the end. I’ve tried different knives, thinner work better in this particular exercise. Perfect for lasers of which I have maybe one.
 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
Back in the day, I worked in one kitchen where the first thing we'd do to prep diced tomatoes was to halve then scoop out the seeds/pulp with a spoon. (Insert your own judgements here--I just did what I was told...) Then stack halved tomatoes and dice (like stacking peppers. Logic being, pulp get the nachos soggy :eek:

It's interesting to think about what to do with a tomato if the flesh and pulp aren't together...
Jose Andreas would serve the pulp with jamon--his logic was that's where the flavor was but there was less astringency. IIRC El Bulli used pulp almost as a seasoning. Kind of in the tradition of pan con tomate.

I betcha strained tomato pulp would be great in a vinaigrette.
I have friends who are avid cooks and they do just that take the pulp out and also remove tomato skins. I applaud their dedication, but it’s just too much trouble for me.
 

HumbleHomeCook

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
678
Reaction score
1,006
Location
PNW USA
Back in the day, I worked in one kitchen where the first thing we'd do to prep diced tomatoes was to halve then scoop out the seeds/pulp with a spoon. (Insert your own judgements here--I just did what I was told...) Then stack halved tomatoes and dice (like stacking peppers. Logic being, pulp get the nachos soggy :eek:

It's interesting to think about what to do with a tomato if the flesh and pulp aren't together...
Jose Andreas would serve the pulp with jamon--his logic was that's where the flavor was but there was less astringency. IIRC El Bulli used pulp almost as a seasoning. Kind of in the tradition of pan con tomate.

I betcha strained tomato pulp would be great in a vinaigrette.
Today I learned a new word: astringency.

Thank you. :)
 

kpham12

Active Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
99
Location
U.S.
That’s how I do it, but there has to be a better way, this becomes messy the riper the tomatoes and as you prograss to the end. I’ve tried different knives, thinner work better in this particular exercise. Perfect for lasers of which I have maybe one.
I’ve been taking videos to try and improve my knife skills a bit. First vid is with an Itsuo Doi I’ve been thinning the tip on, but has a very thick grind and not my favorite for tomatoes. Second is with a a Heiji semi stainless that’s awesome for anything with a waxy skin. I think the tomato in the first vid was a bit riper, but neither were full on mushy. Second vid is a bit shorter, but I think both methods are similar speed wise if you’re trying. If you’re using the second method, I think you could fan out the slices to make it easier on ripe tomatoes. Now I can maybe justify buying a laser to try this out with. :D


 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
If you are talking about bushels then you need something like this and two people. One slices and then one dices. I used to do this for regattas at a Yacht Club. Hot dog condiments for thousands.

Tomato Witch
That looks cool, but no not quiet that much. Something to do with a knife but more than a dozen. Let’s say dicing 30-50 medium size tomatoes by one person with a knife. Is onion type dice the way to go or is there a better way.
 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
I’ve been taking videos to try and improve my knife skills a bit. First vid is with an Itsuo Doi I’ve been thinning the tip on, but has a very thick grind and not my favorite for tomatoes. Second is with a a Heiji semi stainless that’s awesome for anything with a waxy skin. I think the tomato in the first vid was a bit riper, but neither were full on mushy. Second vid is a bit shorter, but I think both methods are similar speed wise if you’re trying. If you’re using the second method, I think you could fan out the slices to make it easier on ripe tomatoes. Now I can maybe justify buying a laser to try this out with. :D


Thanks. I originally did it the way you did it in the first video. Then my wife walked by and told me I am a moron and told me to do it the way you did it in the second video. Second way works better for riper tomatoes, but was a bit slower for me, but I can see how I can speed it up.
 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
Here's my two main methods. The first is for hot dog dice. The second is for brunoise tomato garnish.

Thank you, first I've tried it works. Need to try the second, this is similar to what @McMan described. Thanks for showing both methods.
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
12,232
Reaction score
4,274
Depends on the tomato and intended use.

Round (usually flavorless) tomatoes I'll slice then dice the slices. Had a tomato shooter at one job that I would load in the mater, slide it forward and commence the dice. Gotta confess i have used the veg whacker above - it works.

Plum tomatoes I'll seed then dice. There is more flavor in the flesh so will use them in "important" dishes.
 
Last edited:

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
Depends on the tomato and intended use.

Round (usually flavorless) tomatoes I'll slice then dice the slices. Had a tomato shooter at one job that I would load in the mater, slide it forward and commence the dice. Gotta confess i have used the veg whacker above - it works.

Plum tomatoes I'll seed then dice. There is more flavor in the flesh so will use them in "important" dishes.
I was dicing kumato tomatoes which are really good. They are basically round.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

panda

O.G.
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
8,186
Reaction score
2,789
Location
south florida
take the core out, then tilt it on its side to make slices, set aside the top and bottom layer. leave them stacked and flip back standing up. very carefully make vertical cuts, rotate 90 degrees and proceed to final cuts. just takes a bit of finese.
 

stringer

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
916
Reaction score
1,739
Location
Richmond, VA
Let's back this up... diced tomatoes on a hot dog?!
A Chicago Red Hot has yellow mustard, chopped onions and tomatoes, pickle relish, sport peppers and celery salt. Plus we had ketchup available for people under the age of 5. People over the age of 5 who ask for ketchup get pushed into Lake Michigan.
 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
3,129
Location
USA
I was going to say it was a Chicago thing....
 

McMan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
1,664
A Chicago Red Hot has yellow mustard, chopped onions and tomatoes, pickle relish, sport peppers and celery salt. Plus we had ketchup available for people under the age of 5. People over the age of 5 who ask for ketchup get pushed into Lake Michigan.
Don't forget the pickle spear. It's the roof--where the index finger goes to keep all the other stuff tucked in.
Agreed--the ketchup waiver expires at the end of kindergarten!
Now, as to diced tomatoes on a chi dog... this is where we part ways.
Either a slice (or a thin wedge) but never a dice! :pullinghair:

Ahhh, the third rail of hot dog politics...
I'm still trying to figure out how a "coney" got to Detroit, how a half-smoke cures 99% of hangovers, and why wieners in RI are part of a "system" and only 4" long...
 

stringer

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
916
Reaction score
1,739
Location
Richmond, VA
Don't forget the pickle spear. It's the roof--where the index finger goes to keep all the other stuff tucked in.
Agreed--the ketchup waiver expires at the end of kindergarten!
Now, as to diced tomatoes on a chi dog... this is where we part ways.
Either a slice (or a thin wedge) but never a dice! :pullinghair:

Ahhh, the third rail of hot dog politics...
I'm still trying to figure out how a "coney" got to Detroit, how a half-smoke cures 99% of hangovers, and why wieners in RI are part of a "system" and only 4" long...
We did diced tomatoes and pickle relish instead of tomato wedges or pickle spears due to logistics. Our largest regattas had more than 5,000 people on property for several days. I can't imagine what this kind of thing will look like post-covid.
 

Delat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
248
Location
Phoenix

a sharper laser will be more efficient cutting this way
I suddenly feel a whole lot better about my nascent sharpening skills. I might suck, but at least my knives are a whole lot sharper than this guy’s.
 

DavidPF

Likes Boring Knives
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
559
Location
Vancouver
why wieners in RI are part of a "system"
Every wiener is part of a system. Different systems may be more suitable for different wieners, so the hope is that each wiener finds its proper niche.

If you find a particular problem with Rhode Island, I suggest you simply call some of them and ask why theirs are so short.
 
Top