Dehydrating Tomatoes in a Dehydrator : the Most Reliable Drying Method

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Dehydrating tomatoes is the most reliable of drying methods.

Tomatoes dried in a food dehydrator produce the most consistent results.

While there is an initial expense in buying a food dehydrator, they are available in a wide range of sizes and costs.

Dehydrators are able to maintain a consistent temperature. Air is circulated with a small blower or fan.

Most are equipped with thermostats and some are equipped with timers.

Advantages to dehydrating tomatoes in a dehydrator

  • Dehydrators produce the best quality dried food of any drying method
  • Dehydrators don’t need sunny weather
  • Dehydrators allow you to control temperature and air circulation so tomatoes dry evenly.
  • Dehydrators don’t heat up your kitchen; they can be operated on a porch, garage, or anywhere there’s an electric source

(Check out different food dehydrators).

Disadvantages to dehydrating tomatoes

  • You must purchase a dehydrator (but you can use for year after year)
  • Using a dehydrator can take up to 8-12 hours per batch of tomatoes

How to dehydrate tomatoes

Use tomatoes of uniform size for most even results.

  • Set the dehydrator temperature at 135º-140ºF. (If your dehydrator doesn’t have a thermostat, set a cooking thermometer in the bottom tray.)
  • Wash and dry tomatoes.
  • Remove skins (optional). With a knife, cut an X on the bottom of the tomato, just deep enough to penetrate the skin. Drop tomato into boiling water. Blanch for 20-30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove tomato from boiling water. Immerse tomato in ice water. Use knife to remove tomato core. Skin will slip off.
  • Core tomatoes (whether skinned or not). Remove tomato ends.
  • Cut tomatoes.

    Roma tomatoes: cut in halves or quarters
    Cherry tomatoes: cut in half
    Slicing tomatoes: cut into ¼” slices

  • Seed tomatoes (optional). With a spoon or your finger, scoop seeds from tomato, leaving pulp. Blot extra juice on tomatoes with a paper towel.
  • Spray dehydrator trays with a very light coating of vegetable spray or rub them with just a touch of olive oil to prevent tomatoes from sticking.
  • Place tomatoes cut-side up on dehydrator trays, about ½” apart. Do not allow tomatoes to touch. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, garlic powder, or fresh herbs (as desired).
  • Allow 1-2” between each dehydrator rack for good air circulation.
  • Dry tomatoes. Check them regularly. If necessary, rotate racks to allow tomatoes to dry evenly. Remove pieces that dry before others to prevent them from scorching. Average dry time in a dehydrator is 8-12 hours.
  • Dried tomatoes will be reduced in size, shriveled and leathery, but not tacky. Remove tomatoes from the dehydrator and allow them to cool thoroughly.
  • Pack tightly in freezer bags, vacuum sealed bags, plastic containers, or jars.

Special tip

It may be tempting to place cherry tomatoes whole in your dehydrator. But if you take the time to slice them in half, you will be able to monitor how well they dry. Otherwise, you’ll have to guess if their interiors are still moist or if they are ready to be removed from the dehydrator.

(Check out available food dehydrators.)

Get more tips on our Drying Tomatoes Pinterest board.

More about drying tomatoes 

Drying tomatoes: basics to get started ...

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Making sun dried tomatoes: step-by-step directions ..

How to dry tomatoes in a microwave ...

How to rehydrate dried tomatoes ... 

Storing dried tomatoes in the pantry, refrigerator, freezer ...

Food dehydrators explained ...

Drying tomatoes FAQs: answers to your questions ...

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