The Pastry Tool That's Perfect For Chopping Canned Whole Tomatoes

Are you an avid home cook? If so, chances are your pantry is well stocked with various types of canned tomatoes. A kitchen staple that home and professional cooks alike strive to keep on hand at all times, canned tomatoes have a shelf life of at least two years, according to StillTasty, making them a convenient — and long-lived — choice to add to long-cooking dishes such as sauces, soups, or stews. Tomatoes preserve especially well, maintaining their flavor and texture better than many other canned fruits and vegetables, and it turns out that they might be even healthier than their fresh counterparts, boasting more bioavailable lycopene, a potent antioxidant, than fresh 'maters (via Food Network).

All of this is to say, it's never a bad idea to keep canned tomatoes on hand. Overall, though, whole, peeled tomatoes are the go-to canned type preferred by chefs and cooks, according to Kitchn; That way, if you want to convert the tomatoes to purée or a dice, all you have to do is reach for your blender or a knife, respectively. And if you've set out to cut up some whole tomatoes destined for sauce, a pizza, or other delicious dishes, you might want to look into a shortcut tool that will help you create a wonderful, chunky texture in no time at all.

A pastry cutter makes efficient work of whole canned tomatoes

If it's your preference to cut whole canned tomatoes into pieces as opposed to reaching for a can of already-diced tomatoes, you wouldn't be alone: Many cooking experts agree that due to the addition of calcium chloride to diced tomatoes, which helps them retain their perfect square shape, canned diced tomatoes are quite a bit firmer than their non-calcium chloride counterparts and tend not to break down as well as they cook (via Home Cook World).

When you do decide to break down your canned whole tomatoes into smaller pieces for a soup, stew, or sauce, you can definitely reach for a sharp kitchen knife to achieve the task. But Serious Eats suggests a handy shortcut: Grabbing a pastry cutter instead. This tool of short, stiff blades attached to a sturdy handle is made for quickly cutting cold butter into flour for pastry and pie crusts. But it also makes quick work of breaking canned tomatoes down into either fine or coarse chunks for pizza sauce and any other applications you may have planned. So the next time your canned whole tomatoes need a bit of a makeover, streamline the process by grabbing this home baking essential.

Cookbook author J. Kenji López-Alt also swears by using the pastry cutter for tomatoes, saying on Instagram that it "is the best tool for breaking up peeled tomatoes."