Here’s How to Properly Store Tomato Paste, According to Alton Brown

updated Sep 6, 2019
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Credit: Jude Domski/Getty Images; Faith Durand

If you’ve got a small can of tomato paste, chances are that you’re probably not going to use it all in one recipe. You see, tomato paste is made by cooking tomatoes for several hours to get rid of the water content. You strain out the seeds and skins, and you cook the liquid again to get that thick, rich concentrate and texture. And because it’s a flavor punch, you’re going to use a little bit at once each time. 

That’s why storing it so it can last longer is key, as then it won’t go to waste. Yet, how do you go about that? In the Good Eats reboot, Alton Brown shared his magical method in his latest episode, Hittin’ the Sauce II — so viewers can have a new and simple way to store their paste without the hassle of using it up ASAP to prevent spoilage. 

Basically, you freeze the can, take off a few tablespoons of paste when you need it, and put it right back in the freezer to preserve shelf life. The whole can is frozen, so when you want it, you remove the top and bottom and push out the paste (think of those good ol’ days of the push pop lollipop — my, they were delicious and colorful…). 

You’d then slice off whatever amount of paste you’re looking for and then put the can right back in its freezer bag for proper storage until your next recipe calls for some tasty tomato paste. It’s super easy, mess-free, and practical, and it’ll keep that tomato paste in pristine condition for a substantial amount of time so you can whip up pizzas, pastas, dips, and more.

And if you’re into DIY, make your own tomato paste at home, where you can flavor it as you like and use wholesome ingredients. It’ll add a strong flavor to your dish without that watery taste. A small amount packs in a ton of flavor!