how to peel a peach

An hour after walking in the door from vacation, I dragged myself to the grocery store and rolled down the aisles tossing unappealing items into my grocery cart for the coming week. Nothing sounded good, and my mind was void of all inspiration. Post-vacation blues were kicking in strong, but this task had to be done. Blech. Just then, I spotted August peaches. And because I know how to peel a peach easily, this was how I’d get us all to Monday.

three ready-to-peel ripe peaches sitting on a marble counter top

Although August might be the Sunday to your weekend or summer vacation (as my teacher friends used to say), it’s also the month we get a taste of peach season from Colorado to our stores here in Minnesota. Thank the heavens.

As soon as you can, get yourself some fuzzy seasonal peaches right this minute. Of course, you can bake peaches, make crumbles, and try a peach tart in the week to come, yes. But first things first. Learn how to peel a peach without losing the fruit, and scroll down for my favorite and fast way to eat sliced peaches.

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Follow these three easy steps for how to peel a peach successfully.

  • First, bring water to a boil. When ready, gently set your fresh peaches into the pot of boiling water for one minute. If your peach is slightly firm, make a shallow x-shaped slice through just the skin layer at the top of each peach so you can peel it back after boiling. This step can be helpful if peaches aren’t quite ripe, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
two peaches being dropped into boiling water
  • Second, remove the peaches from the water and submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
whole peaches floating in an bowl of water with ice
  • Third, remove a slightly chilled peach and gently rub your fingers over the peeling, or pull back a piece from the top marked with an X. Consequently, the fuzzy skin should peel right off. Submerge in the cold water bath, only as needed, to loosen skin or rinse off the pieces.
peeling the skin off a peach with hands

Ripe summer peaches are my all-time favorite summer treat, and there is nothing like them when they are at their peak. Let’s slice them up!

half a dozen peeled peaches on a marble counter

Best way to eat a freshly peeled peach, and so easy!

While I love anything with fresh seasonal peaches, including this gluten-free peach crumble we’ll be having soon, a bowl of freshly sliced peaches is a dessert waiting to happen. I usually go for a drizzle of organic heavy whipping cream, but coconut cream stirred, shaken, or whipped is a dairy-free delight too. Want to use peaches for a topping? Try them on your favorite vanilla ice cream, shortcakes, granola, oatmeal, or pancakes! Yum!

Here’s how you slice freshly peeled peaches

  1. With a good grip on a quality and sharp paring knife, cut your peach as if cutting it in half. When you hit the pit with your knife, turn your peach against the blade, not moving your knife for safety, but turning the peach one round rotation instead. (See the video below for a visual of this step!)
  2. Pull the two halves apart at the top and pry the pit out of the half the peach is still holding.
  3. Cut pitted halves into 4-8 slices each into a bowl. Serve as is, or go to the next step for extra juicy peaches.
  4. Optional: You can macerate peaches by sprinkling them with granulated sugar, which will melt on the fruit, and draw out the juice into a peachy syrup at the bottom of the bowl. Simply sprinkle freshly cut fruit with sugar, stir, and let the juices start to puddle. This is extra and absolutely divine, and yes, you should try it sometime. I think less sugar is more here. I want to taste peaches, not sugar! See FAQ below for recommendations on time and sugar.

Want to watch how to peel a peach?

Need more reasons to eat sliced peaches and reminders on seasonal foods? Sign-up for my occasional newsletter for updates, + I’ll send you my Top 3 Meal Preps + 9 Ways to Eat Them.

white bowl with sliced peaches and cream with spoon and cream and peaches in the background

Sliced peaches are my August antidote to post-vacation blues, back-to-school shopping, or my inevitable end-of-summer dread. Get them while you can!

Fresh Peaches: Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if my peaches aren’t ripe yet?

The age-old trick is putting your unripe fruit into a brown paper bag rolled down tight at the top. The process traps the ethylene gas that peaches give off and helps them to ripen in 1-2 days. It works!

What if the peach won’t release the pit from the center?

This happens when peaches are not quite ripe but don’t give up. Cut off peach slices around the peach and keep going until you get to the pit. You won’t have uniform-shaped slices, but it will probably taste great if the peach is in season!

How much sugar should I add to macerate (to make soft and juicy) sliced peaches?

I start here, and you can always add more.
1 peach = sprinkle of granulated sugar
4 peaches = 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar

To get juicy macerated peaches, how long should I let them sit?

I think 20-30 minutes for a minimum. The longer they will start to brown. If you are doing an hour ahead, squeeze a little lemon juice and up the sugar by half to limit the browning. While not as pretty, brown peaches still taste good.

Can I peel and slice peaches ahead of time?

Freshly sliced peaches start to brown quickly, and I usually serve them within an hour. That said, peaches taste good the next day, even if discolored. You can try the lemon juice mentioned above and wrap them tight to the surface with plastic wrap for a little less browning.

how to peel a peach

Peeling summer peaches is easy! Follow these easy steps and the fuzzy peach skin will slip right off.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • Water
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 4 fresh and ripe unpeeled peaches


  • Fill a pot with water. Leave at least 2 inches of space at the top, so the water doesn't overflow when you add your peaches.
  • Put a lid on your pot of water and bring water to a boil.
  • Remove the lid on the boiling water and gently set peaches in water, one at a time.
    two peaches being dropped into boiling water
  • Fill a large bowl half full with water and add 2 cups of ice.
  • Set the timer for 1 minute.
  • With a slotted spoon, lift out each peach and put it straight into ice water to stop any cooking. Repeat with each peach.
  • Let all peaches cool in ice water while you peel one peach at a time.
  • Starting at the top near the stem, gently pull down on the skin of the peach with our fingers to get the peeling started. The peels should come right off! If an area is stuck, use a paring knife to remove it.
    peeling the skin off a peach with hands

This post contains affiliate links to products I know and love. I recommend any of them for this recipe!


See post notes above for our favorite way to eat freshly peeled and sliced peaches! 
Author: Heather Bursch
cost: 2.60 per lb
Keywords: easy dessert, how-to, peach season, peaches, seasonal
Did you make it? Mention @heatherbursch or tag #shemadeit so we can admire your work!
young girl dishing up a sliced peeled peach with some cream in a bowl with her hands and a spoon


Last updated in August of 2022.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by Heather Bursch

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