Refrigerator or Counter? Shoulders Up or Down?
Don't give tomatoes the cold shoulder. Store them at room temperature (above 55 °F) until they have fully ripened. This will allow them to ripen properly and develop good flavor and aroma. A ripe tomato is red or reddish orange, depending on variety, and yields to slight pressure.
The Florida Tomato Committee recommends storing tomatoes with their stem end up. According to the Tomato Committee, "The shoulders are the softest part of the tomato; leaving them stem-side down will almost always result in bruising of the product."
"Try to store tomatoes out of direct sunlight, because sunlight will cause them to ripen unevenly," advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "If you must store them for a longer period of time, place them in the refrigerator. Serve tomatoes at room temperature."
FoodKeeper App, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Handling Tips, Florida Tomato Commission
This article was reviewed in 2022.