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Can you put raw tomatoes through a Victorio strainer?

Introduction

Tomatoes are a versatile fruit (yes, they are technically a fruit!) that are used in many dishes from sauces to salads. When cooking with tomatoes, it’s often desirable to remove the seeds and pulp to create a smoother texture. This can be done by hand, but using a tomato strainer can speed up the process considerably. Victorio is a popular brand of tomato strainer that many home cooks swear by. But can you put raw, uncooked tomatoes through a Victorio strainer? Let’s take a look at how Victorio strainers work and the best practices for straining raw tomatoes.

How Victorio Strainers Work

Victorio tomato strainers are hand-cranked food strainers that separate tomato seeds, peels and pulp from the juice and flesh. They typically have a hopper on top that you load the tomatoes into. As you turn the crank, the tomatoes are pressed onto a screened drum that allows juice and pulp to pass through small holes or slots while retaining seeds and peels. Underneath is a collecting tray or bowl to catch the strained tomato liquid.

Victorio makes strainers in both aluminum and stainless steel. The aluminum strainers have etched, perforated screens while the stainless steel models have slotted screens. The aperture size of the holes or slots ranges from extra-fine to coarse, so you can choose the amount of pulp that gets through.

Benefits of Using a Tomato Strainer

There are several advantages to using a tomato strainer like Victorio rather than straining by hand:

– Speed and efficiency – You can process a large quantity of tomatoes quickly.

– Smoother, pulp-free juice and sauce – The strainer separates out more seeds and fiber for a smoother consistency.

– Less waste – You get maximum yield from your tomatoes.

– Interchangeable screens – Allows you to control texture based on your needs.

– Durable construction – Made of aluminum or stainless steel to last for years.

For raw tomatoes, the Victorio strainer’s ability to quickly remove seeds and liquid is the most useful benefit.

Considerations for Raw Tomatoes

While Victorio strainers are ideal for processing cooked tomatoes, using them for raw tomatoes requires some special considerations:

Juiciness – Raw tomatoes have a naturally higher water content than cooked tomatoes. When very juicy tomato varieties are used, the Victorio strainer can end up producing a large volume of juice very quickly. This can make it tricky to keep up with processing the strained liquid.

Seeds – Raw tomato seeds tend to be firmer and will not pass through the strainer screen as easily compared to cooked tomatoes. This can result in more seeds remaining in your strained tomato flesh or pulp.

Skins – Raw tomato skins are also firmer and will likely not be separated out when tomato flesh is passed through the strainer. If you want skin-free tomato pulp, you may need to peel tomatoes beforehand.

Temperature – Victorio strainers work best with warm or room temperature tomatoes. Right out of the fridge very cold tomatoes can be difficult to pass through the screens.

Oxidation – Raw tomatoes are more prone to oxidation, so processed pulp and juice may need to be used right away before color changes occur.

With a few tips, Victorio strainers can work great for raw tomatoes too. But you may need to adjust your expectations and process compared to cooked tomatoes.

Tips for Using a Victorio Strainer for Raw Tomatoes

If you want to use your Victorio tomato strainer for raw, uncooked tomatoes, here are some tips:

– Allow raw tomatoes to come to room temperature before straining to make it easier for them to pass through the screen.

– Work in smaller batches if dealing with very juicy tomatoes to keep up with the volume of liquid produced.

– Use a coarse screen to allow some pulp and skin through if desired rather than trying to fully separate them out.

– Process any peeled tomatoes first, then do a separate batch with unpeeled tomatoes.

– Set aside seeds removed by the strainer to add back into recipes for texture if desired.

– Work quickly and use strained raw tomato pulp right away to prevent oxidation.

– Give crank an occasional backwards turn to dislodge stuck seeds or peel. Don’t force.

– Hand-crush or squeeze tomatoes before adding to strainer to help break down firmer raw seeds and skin.

– Chill strained raw tomatoes immediately if not using right away.

– Clean strainer thoroughly after each use with raw tomatoes to avoid residue build up.

With a little trial and error, you’ll find what works best for the type and ripeness of the raw tomatoes you are working with.

Recipes Using a Victorio Strainer for Raw Tomatoes

Here are some recipe ideas that work well with a Victorio tomato strainer for processing raw tomatoes:

Fresh Tomato Sauce – Run peeled, cored raw tomatoes through the strainer to remove seeds and thicken. Season strained sauce with herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Toss with pasta.

Chunky Tomato Soup – Strain seeded raw tomato halves and pieces. Add back in some pulp and suitable sized pieces to strained juice for texture. Simmer with chicken or vegetable broth.

Red Gazpacho – Strain deseeded raw tomatoes reserving juice and flesh separately. Puree part of the tomato flesh and combine with juice, cucumber, peppers and seasonings.

Bruschetta Topping – Lightly crush and strain raw cherry or grape tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and shaved parmesan over baguette slices.

Bloody Mary Mix – Use the strained juice of raw tomatoes as the base for a zesty Bloody Mary. Add vodka, lemon, Worcestershire, horseradish, and other favorite seasonings.

With a Victorio strainer and raw tomatoes, the possibilities are endless for homemade sauces, salsas, soups, and more.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about using Victorio strainers for raw tomatoes:

Do you need to cook or blanch tomatoes before straining?

No, a Victorio strainer will work on completely raw tomatoes. However, cooking tomatoes beforehand makes them easier to process.

Is a finer screen better for raw tomatoes?

Not necessarily. Finer screens can lead to more pulp and skin getting stuck. A medium or coarse screen is recommended.

How much pressure should be used when straining?

Let the strainer do the work. Don’t force tomatoes through. Turn crank at moderate, steady speed allowing tomatoes to self-feed.

Can other fruits or vegetables be strained raw?

Yes. Victorio strainers can be used for berries, stone fruits, peppers, carrots, squash and other firm produce. Screen size and batch size may need to be adjusted.

What’s the best way to clean a Victorio strainer after using?

Disassemble parts. Remove residue under running water with brush or sponge. Towel dry. Follow any instructions for your model.

Conclusion

While it requires some additional care and process adjustments, using a Victorio tomato strainer to process raw tomatoes can yield great results. Allowing tomatoes to come to room temperature first, working in smaller batches, using a coarser screen, and moving quickly are keys to success with raw tomatoes. With the right technique, you can easily create seedless raw tomato pulp and juice to use in a myriad of recipes from sauces to salsas. A Victorio strainer is a useful tool for any cook working with fresh tomatoes.

Tomato Type Best Victorio Screen Size
Cherry or grape tomatoes Medium or coarse
Plum tomatoes Medium or coarse
Beefsteak tomatoes Coarse
Watery tomatoes Coarse