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How to Dry Tomatoes

Posted Sep 18 2012 10:39pm
Organic Tomatoes
If you have limited space, without air conditioning, and you want still want to put up food, consider dehydrating.  Tomatoes are plentiful right now, espeically in the Midwest so take advantage of the wealth.  Eight cups of fresh tomatoes are equal to two cups of dehydrated tomatoes.  

Now you can accomplish the drying one of two ways. Dehydrate your tomatoes in the oven or in a food dehydrator.  The oven is faster, but will heat up your house. It probably isn't worth the cost of a new dehydrator if you are only drying tomatoes. However, if you are dehydrating cherries, herbs, or other garden goodies it may be worth your while because it takes twice the time of an oven, but your house stays cool.  

Drying Tomatoes

The first step is the same for both the oven and the dehydrator. 

Prepare the tomatoes  The limiting factor is how many tomato halves fit on your cookie sheets or dehydrator rack. Start by washing the tomatoes and removing any stems. Then cut them in half.  
Oven Dry Tomatoes
Place the Tomato Halves on a Cookie Sheet
Toss the tomatoes with a teaspoon of olive oil so they don't stick to the pan. Then arrange them with the cut side up on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with sea salt. It doesn't matter if the sheet has sides or not. The tomatoes can touch. They will shrink as they dehydrate.

Dehydrate the Tomatoes in the Oven
Put the rack in the middle of the oven to allow for circulation.  Place the tomatoes in the oven on low heat, between 200 - 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on how big and juicy your tomatoes are and how dry you want them, it will take 2-4 hours.

Dehydrate Tomatoes
Place the Tomato Halves on the Dehydrator Tray 
Arrange the tomatoes with the cut side up on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with sea salt. Make sure there is plenty of room between the tomatoes so the air can circulate.  

Dehydrate the Tomatoes in the Dehydrator
Put the tomatoes on the dehydrator.  Use the vegetable setting, (130-142 degrees F). Make sure to follow the directions that came with your dehydrator.  Depending on how big and juicy your tomatoes are and how dry you want them, it will take 6-10 hours.

Dehydrator Tomatoes


Store Dried TomatoesOnce the tomatoes are dried you can store them in a Tupperware in the refrigerator. They will keep this way for a month. You can also freeze them for up to a year. My favorite is to pack them in olive oil in glass.   
Look for recipes in an upcoming blog.
Enjoy!
OC
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