How Do You Get Water Out of Tomatoes for Pizza?

Does your pizza always turn out runny and watery whenever you make it? If so, there’s a high chance there’s a problem with your pizza-making ingredients such as tomatoes being too runny, or retaining more moisture than can be evaporated during baking, making your pizza turn out soggy. So how do you get water out of tomatoes for your pizza?

strained tomatoes

For canned tomatoes or otherwise, puree the tomatoes in a food processor and strain them with a mesh strainer, which will get rid of a lot of moisture that is present in tomatoes. Alternatively, you could also cut up tomatoes into slices and place absorbent paper between each slice. 

Continue reading to find everything you need to know about the multiple ways you can get rid of moisture from your tomatoes, and how to prepare your tomatoes so that your pizza doesn’t turn out soggy.

Getting Water Out of Tomatoes for Your Pizza

1. Cook the tomatoes

Method: If you’re using fresh tomatoes, rinse them properly under cold water. If you’re using canned tomatoes, there’s no need to do that. After making sure that your tomatoes are clean, slice them up in half one by one and get rid of the waste bits (rotten parts, cores).

After this, get a bucket and squeeze some of the tomato juice out by hand, and then throw them in the pan for making the tomato sauce. Don’t squeeze too much, just enough to get some of the excess water out.

After throwing all of the tomatoes in the pan/cooker, turn the stove on, and let the tomatoes cook on low heat. Don’t cook them too much or else they’ll dry up.

After a significant amount of water has been mixed in with the tomatoes upon cooking, turn the stove off and scoop out the tomatoes onto a strainer. What this will do is simultaneously strain your tomatoes as you’re scooping them out of the pan and get rid of the excess moisture present in them, so you’re free to use them however you want for your pizza. 

Benefits: This is one of the best ways to get rid of tomato water, as it doesn’t take away from the taste of the tomatoes while simultaneously making sure the excess water is drained. The double draining method (draining by squeezing them slow-cooking) makes the water drainage more efficient, making your work significantly easier. 

2. Purée the tomatoes

Method: Another way to drain even more moisture from the tomatoes is to continue from the method given above. After cutting, cooking, and straining the tomatoes, purée the tomatoes using a grinder or a food processor. Once you’re done, put the now-ground tomato sauce in a fine mesh container so that the water drains even more but slowly. 

Let the strainer sit for an hour, and stir the sauce occasionally to get rid of all the water. Once you’re happy with the consistency of the tomato sauce is at, pick up the strainer and put the sauce in a jar or container. Mix in some herbs and you can use it immediately for your pizza or refrigerate it after to preserve it for future uses. 

Benefits: As you may have already seen, the combination of methods 1 and 2 gets rid of a lot of water volume that the tomato is carrying, making sure your pizza will not turn out soggy. 

3. Keep the slices thin and seedless

Method: If you’re using the tomato slices as a garnish along with other veggies to go on your pizza, we recommend doing the following.

Start by thinly slicing your tomatoes until they’re a quarter of an inch, or even thinner if you can do so. What this does is thin the tomatoes up so that when they’re exposed to the oven heat, 90% of the moisture in them will evaporate.

Another handy way to keep your tomatoes from getting watery on pizza is to remove the seeds as you’re preparing the tomatoes. Seeds are presumed to be the source of water in tomatoes. You’ll notice a decrease in the amount of water your tomatoes give off when seedless.

Benefits: The thinner the surface, the easier the moisture will evaporate, so thin slices work better in your pizza’s favor. That’ll get you that nice, crunchy crust that you want in a pizza. 

4. Use absorbent paper

Method: Again, if you’re using the tomatoes as a solid vegetable on pizza instead of in it, we suggest that after you cut your tomato slices, put them in a container with one sheet of absorbent paper or any other moisture absorbent. Take the tomatoes out after 1-2 hours and use them to make your pizza, but make sure to put the tomatoes on top of the pizza.

Benefits: The moisture-absorbent sheets will absorb all the water from the tomato slices, making sure they don’t give off a lot of water while in the process of baking the pizza. Putting the tomatoes on top of the pizza guarantees maximum exposure to the oven heat, getting rid of the total moisture from the tomato slice. 

5. Salt the tomatoes

Method: Salt the tomatoes after cutting them up and toss them in a pan to rest for an hour or two. Then lay them on an absorbent towel or paper for a few minutes and pat them dry before you put them on the pizza to bake. 

Benefits: Salting a tomato draws out all the moisture and adds a little kick to its flavor. This not only prevents watering but makes sure your pizza tastes even better because of the extra salt.

6. Refrigerate the tomatoes

Method: Another way to get rid of the moisture in tomatoes is to freeze or refrigerate them overnight. Take the tomatoes out the morning after, and wait for them to defrost before using. 

Benefits: Freezing or refrigerating will chill the tomatoes and get rid of the humidity present in them. Although this isn’t the most recommended method, it gets rid of a significant amount of moisture from the tomatoes and makes them suitable for use on pizza.

Andrea Arthur