How To Perfectly Slice Any Tomato

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Maybe instructions for slicing a tomato seem silly, especially since no matter how you slice a ripe tomato, it will still be meaty, juicy, and mouthwatering with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt. If you’ve ever had a luscious tomato fall apart before you could get it on that BLT, though, you understand that just one important trick means the difference between a sliced tomato and a perfectly sliced tomato.

Some Tomato Anatomy

Cutting against the core is the key to keeping slices intact. Each slice should have the “spokes” of tomato flesh holding it together. Tomatoes grow down from the stem, creating a series of cavities around a soft core. This core holds the cavities together, which keeps the seeds and juicy pulp in place. A tomato cut into slices parallel to the core will burst open; large sections of pulp will fall out of the tomato slices once cut.

Serrated Knives Do It Better

The best knife for slicing tomatoes is a serrated knife that can easily slice through the tomato skin. Bread knives or even a steak knife with teeth can also do the job. A very sharp chef’s knife will also work for cutting fresh tomatoes.

How To Perfectly Slice Any Tomato

Makes 1 perfectly sliced tomato

What You Need

1 ripe medium or large tomato

Cutting board
Serrated or very sharp chef’s knife


  1. Prep the tomato: Rinse the tomato and pat dry. Place the tomato stem-side up on a cutting board and remove any green stem and leaves.
  2. Stand the tomato on its side: Place the tomato on its side so that the stem end faces to the left or right — right if you’re right-handed; left for lefties.
  3. Trim off the top: At the stem end, trim off a thin slice so that you remove the top.
  4. Keep slicing: Keep making even, parallel cuts along the tomato toward the bottom of the tomato.