Dehydrating tomatoes is such a delicious and simple way to preserve this tasty summer crop! Learn how to dehydrate tomatoes in a food dehydrator or in the oven.
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The end of the summer brings a delicious abundance of tomatoes. When you can’t can one more, your freezer is already full of frozen tomatoes, and you’ve already made endless batches of Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce, it’s time to bring out the dehydrator!
I have owned this dehydrator for at least a dozen years, and it has held up beautifully. The price has been fluctuating wildly in the last few weeks, but expect to pay $60(ish).
I’ve added additional trays over the years and it is a workhorse in summer and fall, meaning I can dry tomatoes, dry pears, and make dried apples at the same time. That’s what is called a nerd win. I also use it for drying basil and dehydrate garlic!
Which Tomates Are Best For Dried Tomatoes?
It depends on what you want to do with them! Paste-style (like Roma) tomatoes have an amazingly deep and complex flavor that works great in so many dishes. They also contain fewer seeds than slicing tomatoes, making them easier to work with.
With paste tomatoes, you’ll want to cut them in half and place them cut side up in the dehydrator. This will allow all the amazing natural sugars to concentrate in the “belly” of the tomato as it dries.
For snacks, cherry or plum tomatoes work great. Cut these in half.
If you want the “wow” factor of gorgeous dried sliced tomatoes on something like homemade pizza, use large tomatoes (like what you’d put on a sandwich). Cut each slice about 3/4 inch thick. Do your best to make the slices consistent in size.
How Long Do Dehydrated Tomatoes Last?
It all depends on your climate. If you’re in a dry place, you can store them for up to three or four months. If you live in a humid climate, it’s best to store them in the fridge or freezer. They’ll last for six months in cold storage.
How Do You Store Dried Tomatoes?
You can store them in glass jars or reusable silicone bags (these are our favorite). Pro tip: if you’re storing at room temperature, check the jar/bag in the first 72 hours to see if there is any condensation. If so, pop that jar into the fridge or the tomatoes will mold.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- Serrated/bread knives, as well as cheese knives, work best for cutting through the soft skin of tomatoes without crushing them.
- If you plan to use the tomatoes for sauces, removing the seeds can help reduce a potentially bitter aftertaste.
- It’s optional to remove the skins, but it’s very easy if you choose to do so. Simply place tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and blanch in ice water. The skins will slip right off! Dry the skins alongside the tomatoes for making tomato powder.
- You can season the tomatoes while they dry. Sprinkle with fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, and parsley) and dry together. You can also marinate them in olive oil, garlic, and herbs before drying but they will take 12-18 hours to dry.
More Delicious Preserving Recipes You’ll Love
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- What to Can, Preserve, and Eat in Summer
- Canning Pears
- How to Freeze Pesto
- Canning Beets
- How to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget
- Freezing Corn on the Cob
- How to Can Green Beans
- Canning Potatoes
- Cut Roma, cherry or plum tomatoes in half.
- For larger slicing tomatoes, cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Do your best to make the slices consistent in size.
- Lay your tomatoes on the dehydrator trays. Don't let them touch and try not to overcrowd.
- Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F.
- Allow them to dehydrated for 4 hours and then check on progress. If your trays are moveable, rotate them so that the trays on the bottom are now on top.
- Dry another 4-6 hours, or until the tomatoes are dry and chewy without any moisture when you touch them.
- Store in a jar or zipper bag at room temperature for 3-4 months (dry climates) or in the fridge/freezer for up to 6 months (humid climates).
Place tomatoes on baking drying racks set inside baking sheets. Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (usually 140-170 degrees F) and prop open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon. This allows condensation to escape instead of just settle back onto the tomatoes. Bake for 5-8 hours.