Tomato paste in a tube

Nancy zone 6October 11, 2013

I have been seeing a lot about how great tomato paste in a tube is, just use what you need & put the rest in the fridge. Our store just started carrying it, so I thought I would try it out. My question is, how long is it good after it is opened? There is a use by date on the package, but does that mean I can open it now & it is good til then?

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I don't use tomato paste in a tube, so I can't advise you.

All i know is you can keep ketchup un-refrigerated for months and months.


This post was edited by dcarch on Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 11:53

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:44AM
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I've switched to using tubed tomato paste and find it lasts a long (months) in the fridge. It's a much more economical and simple way to add a teaspoon of paste to flavor a recipe. I've never had one turn color or appear spoiled.
Don't worry about it. The cap seems to do the job of keeping it fresh!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I quit buying tomato paste in a tube and now use tomato powder, which has an indefinite storage life. You can make as little, or as much, tomato paste as you want - when you want. When I make extra tomato paste, I freeze it.

I also use tomato powder to make tomato sauce, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, ketchup and bbq sauce, tomato juice..... In the world of home food storage, tomato powder eliminated a large number of cans/jars in storage, which makes it a winning storage item.

The link below has small amounts of tomato powder if you'd like to give it a try. I purchase tomato powder in #10 cans, divide it into small canning jars and vacuum-seal them shut and store them in my food storage room until needed. The jar I use from I keep in the dry environment of the refrigerator. Since tomato powder doesn't have any anti-caking ingredients, it will clump if exposed to humidity. I also place some moisture absorbing packets in the top of the jar to keep it free-flowing.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Spice House - Tomato Powder

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Tomato paste refrigerated in a tube keeps more or less forever!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:06PM
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I do have tomato paste in a tube for a long, long time.

I used to open a little can of tom paste and plop 2 tblespns portions on waxed paper, freeze and then store individual plops in the freezer. Trouble with that is I could never find the frozen plops in the freezer.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I have also switched to tomato powder and like it much better than tomato paste, although I have also tried the tomato paste in a tube. The tomato powder has a better flavor than the paste, which surprised me, but you do have to keep dessicant packets in the container or else it will harden. Next time I think I will put it in a bell jar so that I can remove the air.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:09PM
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I've never heard of tomato powder. I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the tip about the dessicant, Lars.

I had a tube of TJ tomato paste once, and it was very convenient, but TJ stopped selling it, and the imported brands at the supermarket are just too expensive.

I open a can, use what I need, and freeze the rest in 1 tablespoon portions. You can do it on wax paper or in an ice cube tray. When they've frozen, put them in a bag and store in the freezer. I can almost always use them without even defrosting, because they are usually going into a hot pan or pot of food, but if not they do thaw quickly. Very handy and very little trouble, and a LOT cheaper than the tube.

I would imagine, though, that putting the unused portion of the can into a jar and storing it in the refrigerator would work, too. If the paste in an opened tube keeps, why wouldn't a jar of paste, too?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Keep a sharpie in your kitchen drawer and mark the date when opened. The tubes are great for a tbsp here and there. 5-6 months is my limit. But i usually freeze. I do not have a mysterious fridge of creepy things hanging around, (like my MIL). Nor have i used or bought tom paste in years...i use my harvest roasted toms or oven dried toms that are frozen for that need.
To answer your question, 5-6 months is pushing it. It is not an ingredient that lasts forever.
Anything once opened does not maintain the sealed 'use by' date.

Here is a link that might be useful: shelf life advice

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Ideally i freeze leftovers like Gellchom suggests, but honestly they tend to get lost or forgotten about. Regardless, I've found that opening up a can and throwing out what I don't use is cheaper than buying a tube. I suppose if you use very small amounts over an extended period of time then tubes could be cost effective.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:07PM
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"All i know is you can keep ketchup un-refrigerated for months and months.


LOL! I have never refrigerated ketchup because I HATE cold ketchup on my food. My hubby argues with me about this all the time, but I always win. :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:11PM
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I had the tomato paste in a tube once a long time ago and then could never find it again so I just started substituting a squirt of ketchup whenever just a dab of tomato paste is specified in a recipe. Accomplishes the same thing and is a lot more convenient.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 8:03PM
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mainecoonkitty, catsup keeps for a long time, but it will eventually ferment. I didn't believe it until we owned the bar and grille and customers complained. We had been leaving catsup bottles on the tables, but we quit doing that when the catsup became fizzy!

I like the tomato paste in a tube. I tried drying my own tomatoes for tomato powder but even after a couple of days in the dehydrator they were still flexible, never dried crisp enough to successfully turn into powder. I did buy a bottle of tomato powder some time ago but as Lars mentioned, it will turn into a big hard lump if you don't use it promptly or place a dessicant in the container.

I used to freeze the "plops" of tomato paste but now I just buy the tubes, they do keep nearly forever.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:44PM
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I like tomato paste in a tube...we always used it before it went least 3-4 months. It was hard to find locally, so I started simmering my tomato sauce down to paste and dehydrating tablespoon-sized flattened 'plops'. Works great for most things, although it does take a bit for the paste to instant gratification like the tube paste.

I've had some success making tomato powder, but it lost its color and flavor faster than it was used. I've never tried 'storebought'.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:47AM
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Dehydrating tomato skins is the quickest way to make tomato powder at home. They dry very quickly. Store the crispy dry skins in a jar until you are ready to use them. If you make it into a powder and store it, it will clump because there isn't an anti-clumping ingredient in it, so make it into powder as you need it. Give the crispy-dry tomato skins a whirr in a coffee/spice mill. Use a 1:1 ratio of powder to water for tomato paste and a 1:2 ratio of powder to water for tomato sauce - or any thickness you like.

Note the difference in ratios if using commercially prepared tomato powder, such as the one from The Spice House:
For thick tomato paste mix 3 parts water with 1 part powder. For sauce mix 4:1.

You will also get better results by making a puree from cooked tomatoes rather than using sliced tomatoes, then making "leather" like you would fruit roll-ups. Dehydrate them until it is crispy dry to make tomato powder. You can also make tomato leather (pliable, not crispy) and cut it into squares to use for sauce or paste, added to soup, etc. I make packets of "instant" soup with dehydrated veggies and squares of tomato leather. To make sauce or paste: Add the tomato puree squares to boiling water, mix occasionally, until you get the thickness you want.

How to make tomato puree:
Remove peel, core and cut up ripe tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes in a pan, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly and force cooked pulp through a food mill, colander, or strainer. In a shallow pan over low heat or in an electric skillet set at 260-degrees, cook juice down to a thick puree. Spread puree as thin as possible on plastic sheets. Dehydrate until dry enough to peel off of sheets. Place back on drying trays and dry until completely dry and crisp. It takes 1/2-3/4 c. of homemade tomato powder per cup of boiling water to make tomato sauce or paste.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Growing up, ketchup was never in fridge but mustard always was. Nobody ever got sick from ketchup and don't recall it ever going bad?? Now they're both in fridge... pretty sure both say refridge after opening??

Tomato paste in a tube has pretty much an indefinite shelf life IMO... but significantly more money than a typical little can of the stuff. When I open a can, for the typical T or so, I use a SMALL scoop and put it on a sheet of waxed paper and into freezer till hard. Then into a freezer container and usually on door so it doesn't get LOST!?!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Nancy zone 6

Thanks everyone! I'll keep that link & may try the powder when I finish this off. I will probably use this up before it would go bad then, since it is good for months, not weeks as I thought might be the case. I tend to be pretty economical usually & freeze leftover tomato paste in usable blobs. I store the blobs in a bag & put it in the freezer door so I can find it easily. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it when I need it, only when I'm rummaging around for something else I seem to find several baggies of it. Somehow it always gets moved out of the door. DH likes to store stuff in the door, so that is who I blame it on :) I thought I had heard this tubed tastes better than the canned, & more convenient too, but definitely need to try the powder. I need to write down how to dehydrate tomato skins for the powder. Hopefully, my tomato plants will do better next year than they did this year.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 7:12PM
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My tube of tom paste is from Trader Joe'a and is marked, "Best by 04//05/2015" and that's BEST by. TJ rules....again.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:11PM
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