If you’ve ever been to the grocery store and picked up a container or bag of tomatoes, you may have noticed that they are often sold by the pound. This leaves many home cooks wondering – just how many tomatoes are actually in a pound?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. How many tomatoes are in a pound depends on a few different factors, including the size and variety of the tomato.

## Why the Number of Tomatoes Per Pound Varies

Not all tomatoes are created equal. There are hundreds of tomato varieties out there, from tiny grape tomatoes to massive beefsteak tomatoes. Larger tomatoes obviously weigh more individually than smaller tomatoes. So if you have a pound of small cherry tomatoes, you’ll end up with way more individual tomatoes than if you have a pound of larger slicing tomatoes.

Even among the same tomato variety, there is natural variation in size based on growing conditions and other factors. One beefsteak tomato might be twice the size of another beefsteak from the same plant. Farmers and grocers try to keep sizes consistent within packaging, but there will always be some natural fluctuations.

The variety and general size are the main factors, but other elements like moisture content can also cause slight weight differences between tomatoes of supposedly equal size. So an exact count can be difficult to pin down.

## Average Tomato Count Per Pound

Even with the natural variation, we can estimate the approximate number of tomatoes per pound for common commercial varieties:

- Cherry/grape tomatoes: About 20-25 tomatoes per pound
- Roma (plum) tomatoes: About 4-7 tomatoes per pound
- Beefsteak tomatoes: About 2-4 tomatoes per pound
- Medium slicing tomatoes: About 3-6 tomatoes per pound

These are rough estimates based on averages, but it illustrates how the size and variety drastically affect the count. Cocktail-sized grapes contain over 20 tomatoes in a pound, while a pound of the largest beefsteak tomatoes may only have 2-3 tomatoes.

## Weighing Your Tomatoes for an Exact Count

If you need an exact number for a recipe or other purpose, the best thing to do is weigh out a pound of tomatoes yourself and physically count them. Here is a simple procedure you can use:

- Choose the tomato variety and specific tomatoes you will be using. Try to pick specimens that are similar in size.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove any stems.
- Place a large bowl on a kitchen scale and press the “tare” or “zero” button so the scale starts at 0.
- Slowly add whole tomatoes to the bowl until the scale reads 1 pound (.45 kg).
- Count the number of tomatoes you added to reach 1 pound.
- Record this number for future reference.

Follow these steps a few times with different samples of the same tomato variety to get an accurate average tomato count per pound. Writing down the counts each time gives you a reliable number to use in recipes.

## Factors That Change Tomato Count Per Pound

While the general size of a tomato variety determines the baseline count per pound, other factors can alter the numbers slightly:

**Time of year**– Early and late season tomatoes tend to be smaller.**Growing conditions**– Ideal conditions produce larger tomatoes.**Ripeness**– Fully ripe tomatoes weigh more than underripe ones.**Moisture content**– Juicier tomatoes weigh more.**Damaged tomatoes**– Cuts, bruises and scars lower usable weight.

So even with the same variety, a tomato pound in peak season could contain a different quantity than early or late season tomatoes. For canning, cooking or other uses, periodically weigh out a sample pound to get an updated count as conditions change.

## Typical Tomato Counts for Common Varieties

To give you a better idea of tomato counts, here are some more specific estimates for common tomato types:

### Cherry Tomatoes

- Red cherry: 22-28 per pound
- Yellow cherry: 24-30 per pound
- Grape: 25-30 per pound

### Plum/Roma Tomatoes

- Roma: 5-7 per pound
- San Marzano: 4-6 per pound

### Beefsteak Tomatoes

- Classic beefsteak: 3-4 per pound
- Big beef: 2-3 per pound
- Mortgage lifter: 2-4 per pound

### Slicing Tomatoes

- Medium slicers: 4-6 per pound
- Large slicers: 3-5 per pound

These ranges demonstrate how much variety sizes can overlap. Some medium slicers may contain as many tomatoes as smaller romas. Beefsteaks and their hybrids generally have the lowest counts per pound.

## Factors That Don’t Impact Tomato Count

When estimating tomatoes per pound, these factors do NOT impact the counts:

- Seeds – Seedless vs seeded tomatoes weigh the same.
- Color – Red, yellow, green, heirloom colors weigh the same.
- Imperfections – Cracks, scars or shape defects don’t reduce weight.
- Stem – Removing stems has minimal effect on weight.

So a scarred, cracked tomato weighs essentially the same as a perfect specimen. And a yellow tomato of a certain variety holds the same number per pound as red ones of that variety. Appearance doesn’t alter density.

## Typical Weight per Tomato by Variety

The per-tomato weight provides another way to calculate the number of tomatoes per pound. Here are some averages:

- Cherry: 0.04 – 0.05 lbs (1.8 – 2.3 oz) each
- Roma: 0.13 – 0.23 lbs (2.1 – 3.7 oz) each
- Beefsteak: 0.25 – 0.5 lbs (4 – 8 oz) each
- Medium slicers: 0.16 – 0.25 lbs (2.6 – 4 oz) each

For example, if cherry tomatoes average about 0.05 lbs each, then dividing 1 lb by 0.05 lbs per tomato gives an estimated count of 20 tomatoes in 1 pound. This matches the typical range for cherries.

## Examples of Tomatoes per Pound

To make these tomato counts more concrete, here are some examples weighing out 1 pound of a few common varieties and counting the results:

### Example 1: Roma Tomatoes

6 medium roma tomatoes weighed out to 1 pound exactly. Therefore, this sample had 6 roma tomatoes per pound.

### Example 2: Red Cherry Tomatoes

28 small red cherry tomatoes weighed out to 1 pound. So this pound of cherries contained 28 tomatoes.

### Example 3: Yellow Pear Tomatoes

A mix of yellow pear tomatoes of varying sizes totalled 1 pound at 22 tomatoes. So these pears had 22 tomatoes in 1 pound.

Weighing real tomato samples yourself gives you the clearest picture of how many tomatoes make up a pound for any given variety and set of tomatoes.

## Estimating Tomatoes Needed for Recipes

Knowing approximately how many tomatoes are in a pound makes estimating amounts for recipes easier. Here are some examples:

### Tomato Sauce

A tomato sauce recipe calls for 2 pounds of roma tomatoes. Based on the estimates, 2 pounds should provide 10-14 roma tomatoes on average.

### Salsa

If making salsa with cherry tomatoes, and a recipe lists 2 pounds of tomatoes, you can expect around 45-60 cherry tomatoes for 2 pounds.

### Salad

For a salad calling for 1 pound of sliced beefsteak tomatoes, plan on around 3-4 average sized beefsteak tomatoes to reach 1 pound worth of slices.

Even though it’s not exact, you can ballpark tomato amounts using the general counts per pound for each variety.

## Comparing Tomato Counts Visually

Seeing photos of different tomato varieties weighed out can provide a visual representation of the tomato counts per pound. Here are a few examples:

Tomato Variety | Photo | Tomatoes per Pound |
---|---|---|

Cherry | 25 | |

Roma | 6 | |

Beefsteak | 3 |

These photos provide a real-world look at a sample pound of each type and how many tomatoes fit into a pound, which can be more helpful than relying solely on estimates.

## Key Takeaways on Tomatoes per Pound

- Tomato size and variety dictate how many are in a pound, with smaller types having higher counts.
- Beefsteaks average 2-4 per pound, Romas 5-7, and Cherries about 22-28 per pound.
- Time of year, growing conditions, ripeness and moisture impact weights.
- Weighing samples yourself gives the most accurate counts per pound.
- Use the tomato counts per pound to estimate amounts needed for recipes.

## The Bottom Line

While there is natural variation in tomato weights, the typical tomato counts per pound provide a useful guide for shopping, recipe planning and other uses. Smaller tomatoes unsurprisingly contain more per pound, but with hundreds of tomato types, the numbers vary widely.

For most accuracy, conduct sample weights yourself periodically to dial in the right quantities for whatever your specific tomato usage may be. And remember that conditions impact weights over the course of a season. But the benchmark tomato counts per pound give you a great starting point for your tomato purchasing and cooking needs.