How to Peel Peaches

Peach season peaks in the early summer and there is often an excess of local harvest, making it relatively cheap to purchase these flavorful, nutritious fruits in quantity. And, peeling them is often the first step to making bright, flavorful cobblers, pies, and jams. Peeling peaches isn't hard if you know the right way to go about it!


  1. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 1
    Select ripe peaches. Peaches that are at their ripest are much easier to peel. When peaches are ripe, the skin tends to fall off without taking any of the fruit with it. Choose those peaches that are highly fragrant and indent only slightly when pressed with your thumb.
    • If a peach feels hard as a rock, it's not yet ripe, so it is best to avoid those that are still a little green.
    • If you easily break the skin when you press it with a finger, it's overripe. Overripe peaches are still good for making cobblers and other dishes.
    Just make sure the peaches you're using aren't rotten:[1]
    • On an unripe peach, avoid small circular spots that get bigger or join.
    • On a mature peach, avoid deepish lesions. These may grow rapidly.
    • Avoid tannish-gray spore masses that are sometimes found upon close examination. (These are sometimes found all over the skin and sometimes in localized patches.)
    • Avoid shriveled brown, black, or brownish-black fruits.
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    Rinse the peaches. Give the peaches a quick rinse under cool water before proceeding, especially if they have visible dirt or other debris. You don't want dirt (or bacteria) ending up in your finished dishes.
  3. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 3
    Boil a big pot of water. The vessel should be large enough to comfortably fit three or four peaches. Don't try to blanch more than four medium-sized peaches (or three large ones) at a time.—Putting a larger mass of peaches into the water will lower its temperature and disrupt the blanching, making the process less effective.
    • Choose a Dutch oven or large pot (or saucepan) and fill it three-fourths the way with water, then bring the water to a rolling boil.
  4. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 4
    Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl three-fourths full of ice cubes in water. This ice bath will be used to quickly cool the peaches after blanching.
    • Quenching in the ice bath, arrests the cooking process and assures that the peaches don't end up mushy.
  5. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 5
    Score the peaches with an X. Use a sharp knife to make an "X" shape at the pointy tip of each peach (not at the stem cavity). When the peaches are being blanched the fruit expands, stretching the skin, then, when the fruit is iced, the fruit shrinks leaving loose, easy-to-peel skin.
    • Don't score the peaches too deeply, or make the Xs too big or the peaches may fall apart in the hot water. Medium length incisions 1-2" (3-5cm) long which just break the skin are all you need.
  6. 6
    Blanch the peaches. Place three or four peaches into the boiling water. Allow them to cook for 30 to 40 seconds (depending on how ripe they were to begin with). During this time, the skin on the peaches will loosen quite quickly.
    • The riper peaches won't need to stay in as long - take them out after 30 seconds.
    • Don't leave any of the peaches in for longer than 40 seconds, or they'll get mushy.
  7. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 7
    Transfer the peaches to the ice bath. Use a slotted spoon to lift the peaches (one by one) from the boiling water and immerse them in the ice bath. Keep them in the ice bath for about one minute, then put them on your work surface.
    • In the meantime, you can start the blanching process with another mini-batch of three or four of the remaining peaches.
    • Don't over-ice the peaches.—You want to cool them for just a minute. Icing them for a longer period of time can affect the texture and flavor of the peaches.
  8. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 8
    Peel the peaches. Take a cooled peach and grasp the skin at one of the corners formed by the "X" you made. Pull the skin lightly - it should easily peel off. Keep peeling until all the skin is gone, then discard it.
    • Peel carefully and steadily, so you don't pull off fruit with the skin.
  9. Image titled Peel Peaches Step 9
    Process the peaches according to your recipe. Now they're ready to be sliced, diced, or pureed. The peeled peaches will be easy to pit, too. Here are a few delicious ways you can use up your peeled peaches:
    • Peach cobbler. This classic summer dessert is wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
    • Peach pie. If you're up for a challenge, this homemade dessert is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
    • Peach jam. Make jars of peach jam so you can enjoy the taste of summer during the months when peaches aren't in season.
    • Peach chutney. This delicious condiment goes well with fish and pork.
    • Peach salsa. Try something a little different next time you have a bag of tortilla chips to use up.
    • Peach smoothie. This healthy drink is perfect for breakfast or a light dessert.


  • It's fine to use your regular vegetable peeler, a peeling knife, or other peeling device if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot or saucepan (or a Dutch oven)
  • Large mixing bowl of ice water
  • Slotted spoon (or large tongs)
  • Paring knife

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