How to Peel Peaches

Love peaches but hate their fuzzy skins? This is for you.

It's hard to find anything to dislike about fresh summer peaches—their heavenly aroma, their sunset-like orange-to-pink color, the honeyed sweetness when you bite into one, the fuzzy, chewy skin…

Oh, wait. No one likes eating peach skin. Peach skin is gross. Sure, it's nice to touch, but eating it feels like chomping on a slippery, hairy piece of gum—I always want to fish it out of my mouth as quickly as possible. And I am a bonafide peach fanatic.

Thankfully, it's not that difficult to peel a peach, and there are several ways to do it.

Fresh Georgia peaches


Ivan / Getty Images 

How to Peel a Peach Using the Blanching Method

If your peaches are ripe and soft to the touch, the best way to remove the skin is by blanching them.

Step 1. Boil water and prepare the ice bath

Put a large stockpot of water on the stovetop to boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Set the bowl aside.

Step 2. Prep the peaches

As the water comes to a boil, cut a shallow 'X' with a paring knife at the bottom of each peach.

making x on peach skin
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Victoria Cox; Prop Stylist: Caroline Cunningham

Step 3. Blanch the peaches

Once the water is boiling, use a large slotted spoon to place the peaches in the water for 30 seconds.

blanching peaches
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Victoria Cox; Prop Stylist: Caroline Cunningham

Using the spoon, remove the peaches from the boiling water and immediately transfer the peaches into the ice water.

peaches in an ice bath
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Victoria Cox; Prop Stylist: Caroline Cunningham

Step 4. Peel the peaches

When the peaches are cool enough to handle, the peel will slip right off. This method is great for recipes that call for pretty peach slices, like tarts, shortcakes, or fruit salads.

peeling peaches
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Victoria Cox; Prop Stylist: Caroline Cunningham

How to Peel a Peach Without Blanching

Certain varieties, when really ripe, can be peeled with your fingers. Cut the fruit into wedges and peel back the skin gently, then discard it. Easy!

If your peaches are ripe but still firm to the touch, use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to remove the skin, but don't cut off too much fruit. This method is ideal for recipes where the fruit is cooked and their appearance doesn't matter as much, like peach pies or preserves.

Man peeling a peach with a knife seen up close
Victor Manuel Mulero Ramirez/Getty Images

Can You Microwave Peaches to Peel Them?

Cobbler for one? If you're looking for a fast fix for peeling a small serving of peaches, the microwave is a quick shortcut. Wash a peach and cut an X in the bottom with a paring knife. Pop it in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish for 30 seconds, and then proceed with peeling. It's that easy! But if you're trying to peel a whole batch of peaches, blanching will save you time and energy.

Can You Store Peeled Peaches?

You sure can! There are a few ways to make the most of your summer peach bounty, but these two methods are the most effective.

Store sliced peaches with lemon juice

After removing the peach skins, slice the peaches and put them in an airtight container. Cover them with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and, optionally, water. Exposed peaches are prone to oxidation, which will turn them brown; the lemon juice will help combat this to keep your slices fresh and ready to eat or use. Keep the container covered in the fridge for up to 5 days for peach slices on demand.

Peaches with lemon
Becky Stayner

Freeze whole or sliced blanched peaches

After blanching your peaches, peel and either leave them whole or slice them up. If you don't want your slices to stick to each other in the freezer bag, organize the slices on a baking sheet and freeze them for 30 minutes, or until they are firm, before putting them in an airtight bag. A note on this method: When you thaw your frozen blanched peaches, they will be a bit soggy and extra juicy, so plan to use these peaches for a recipe where the fruit need not look pretty, like this Peach Crumble Pie.

Recipes Using Peeled Peaches

Try one of these summery recipes to use up your peeled peaches:

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