How to Peel Peaches

It's easy once you know the trick! Here's how to peel peaches quickly (and neatly).

Here’s an easy way to peel peaches: blanch in boiling water and then shock in ice water. This method works best for ripe peaches, which have an intense fragrance and give slightly to palm pressure.

How to Peel Peaches

Step 1: Soak

Silver saucepan with whole peaches in boiling waterNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Place peaches in a large pot of boiling water for 10-20 seconds or until the skin splits.

Step 2: Cool

Blanched whole peaches in a blue bowl of ice water.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Remove with a slotted spoon. Immediately place in an ice water bath to cool the peaches and stop the cooking process.

Step 3: Peel

Using a yellow paring knife to peel skin from a blanched whole peach.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Use a paring knife to peel the skin, which should easily peel off. If stubborn areas of skin won’t peel off, just return fruit to the boiling water for a few more seconds.

Does This Method Work for Other Stone Fruit?

Yes, this same method of blanching in boiling water and shocking in ice water will work to peel other stone fruits like nectarines, plums and apricots.

How to Pit Peaches

Step 1: Cut

Slicing a whole peach in half on a cutting board with a cut peach nearby.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Cut the peach in half, cutting around the pit and using the indentation as a guide.

Step 2: Twist

Hands holding a whole peach that is cut in half.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Twist halves in opposite directions to separate. Using a sharp knife, loosen and remove pit. Treat cut surfaces with lemon juice to avoid discoloration.

Two hands holding two halves of a fresh peach.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

How Do I Know When a Peach Is Ripe?

Look for peaches that have the classic reddish-yellow hue and no green on the skin. It should have a peachy scent as well. A fresh peach should give just a little when you squeeze it. Avoid peaches with mushy spots or wrinkled skin, both signs that indicate they’re overripe. And don’t make the mistake of bringing home rock-hard peaches—unlike other fruits, they won’t ripen further after picking.

Can You Eat Peach Skin?

Yes! Peach skin is perfectly safe to eat. Good thing because eating juicy, fresh peaches out of hand is a true pleasure. As with many fruits and vegetables, there are concerns that trace amounts of pesticides could be present on the skin of peaches. Always wash peaches well before eating them.

Can You Leave the Skin on Peaches for Cobbler?

Yes! Since the skins on the sliced peaches will soften during baking, they’ll be very tender in the final dish. But if you’d rather not have them in your cobbler or other peach recipes, it’s perfectly OK to peel the peaches first.

You can also leave the skin on for many savory peach recipes.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a Taste of Home Community Cook and a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.