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How to Dehydrate Tomatoes

Article By: Suraiya Fardous - November 28, 2023 , Last updated on : December 7, 2023
How_to_Dehydrate_Tomatoes

Dehydration is a type of food processing that extracts the food moisture and inhibits the growth of microorganisms. This dehydration procedure can keep the tomatoes preserved for a long time and ensure the availability of rare kinds of tomatoes throughout the year. People have been following this food preservation process since ancient times. As time passes, modern dehydration techniques have made the method easier. In this article, we will discuss how to dehydrate tomatoes following different procedures.

Dehydrated tomatoes affect positively in terms of strengthening the nerves, heart, and circulatory system. The highest fiber content of these tomatoes helps you to control the weight and protects your skin from sun rays. Sun-dried tomatoes offer rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which keep the body fit. Moreover, the intense flavor of dehydrated tomatoes can enrich the taste of various dishes. To gain all these benefits, let’s know about the dehydration procedure in detail.

Ways of Preparing Tomatoes for Dehydrating

Before starting the procedure of dehydrating tomatoes, you must ensure the cleanliness of everything. There is no alternative to using sanitized counters, equipment, and hands to avoid contamination.

Here are some other ways of preparing tomatoes for dehydration-

Preparing Tomatoes for Dehydrating

 

  • First, wash the tomatoes regardless of whether they are organic or not. As tomatoes have smooth and thin skin, it is better to avoid scrubbing them. A 50/50 vinegar-water solution works best for cleaning the tomatoes. You just need to soak all the tomatoes in it for a few minutes.
  • Sliced tomatoes dried properly. For this, if you are using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. You can go for quartered slicing for larger ones. Finally, cutting the slice not thicker than 1 ⁄ 4 inch will be appropriate for the bigger ones.
  • If you don’t want to dry tomatoes with seeds and the gel inside them, remove them before initiating the dehydrating process. You can also leave them inside the tomatoes if you want.

Before knowing the answer to how to dehydrate tomatoes, making proper preparations will give you the best result. So, do follow all of this to get the appropriate texture on dried tomatoes.

How to Dehydrate Tomatoes – Different ways

You can follow both natural and technical ways of dehydrating tomatoes. If one can afford a dehydrator or oven, the whole process can be finished under control. On the other hand, weather plays a vital role in natural dehydration. So you have to depend on the sunlight in this case. Undoubtedly, each of these ways is individual and distinct. Let’s explore how to dry tomatoes in a dehydrator, oven, and sun!

Dehydrate Tomatoes in Food Dehydrator

You can directly use a food dehydrator for this. Dehydrating tomatoes in a dehydrator is one of the most user-friendly ways.

Let’s learn how to dehydrate tomatoes in a dehydrator-

Dehydrate Tomatoes in Food Dehydrator

  • Take a tray with large holes. Then, put a parchment paper or a mesh liner on it that is cut to the size of the tray. Place the sliced tomatoes one by one and keep enough space between the tomatoes for air circulation.
  • Place the tomatoes in such a way that the skin side remains down, touching the tray directly. If you keep the sugar-rich juicy side down, the tomatoes can stick to the try after dehydration.
  • Keep the try at 125°F (52° C)for roughly 8-12 hours, and make sure the tomatoes are dried and leathery completely.
  • It may require rotating the tray to promote the drying process of tomatoes in a dehydrator.

Dehydrate Tomatoes in the Oven

Using Oven for dehydrating tomato slices is a convenient process. You can dehydrate tomatoes at any time, regardless of the weather.

Here are the steps for how to dehydrate tomatoes in the oven.

  • Set the lowest possible temperature in an oven to complete the dehydration process. Usually, 160°F is appropriate for this.
  • Take the wire baking rack of the oven and spread the sliced tomatoes on it in a single layer. Finally, set the rack inside the rimmed baking sheet.
  • Turn on the oven and bake the tomatoes for several hours. Keep checking the oven if the temperature is higher than 160° F as there is a possibility of burning. It is also necessary to rotate the pans regularly.
  • Turn off the oven when the tomatoes are dry and pliable.

Dehydrate Tomatoes in the Sun

Sun dehydration gives the tomatoes rich flavor and texture, but having the right weather is most important for that. Relatively dry and warm air should be your priority.

Here is how to dehydrate tomatoes in the sun-

  • First, slice the tomatoes into evenly sized pieces and place them in a single layer on a baking rack or clean tray.
  • Find a place where the tomatoes will get adequate sunlight and air circulation. Place the tray there and cover it with insect netting to keep away the bugs.
  • It can take several hours up to several days to achieve the dry and pliable texture of the tomatoes.

Though the sun-dried method is the most eco-friendly way to find out how to dehydrate tomatoes, the whole method is time-consuming.

Disadvantages associated with this method-

  • You have to consider a lot of things like the humidity of the air, weather conditions, and finding the right spot for fulfilling this process.
  • The tomatoes must be appropriately sliced for this.
  • If you do not keep track of the time, the tomatoes under the sun can be over-dried and taste brittle.
  • On the other hand, if you don’t dry the tomatoes for a certain time under the sun, they can get extremely moist and spoil quickly.

For these reasons, this method is not recommended for dehydrating tomatoes. When the question arises, can you dehydrate tomatoes, prioritizing dehydrator or oven over sundry will be a wise decision?

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What are the Best Tomatoes for Dehydration?

Tomatoes that you are dehydrating have to be fresh. It is possible to use different kinds of tomatoes for dehydration, like firm paste tomatoes, juicy beefsteak tomatoes, or sweet cherry tomatoes. All of these tomatoes can be dehydrated and contain distinct characteristics.

The similarity among cherry, grape, and beefsteak tomatoes is their watery texture and abundance of seed. For this reason, canned and frozen preservation methods are not followed for them often. So, dehydration can make the preservation easier for these tomatoes.

For sauces and canning recipes, plum tomatoes like Romas must be your first choice. Moreover, the meaty flesh of Roma tomatoes accelerates the dehydration process compared to cherry and slicing tomatoes.

How to Tell if Your Tomatoes Have Dehydrated?

When you feel the dry texture of tomatoes along with flexibility, the drying process is completed. It won’t be either tough or moist. There would be a balance between toughness and softness. Moreover, the tomatoes have to be dried for a certain amount of time so that they won’t spoil quickly. On the other hand, over-dried tomatoes contain tough and brittle characteristics. After matching all these attributes, you can finally tell your tomatoes have dehydrated.

How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Tomatoes?

For getting the proper dehydrated tomatoes, knowing how long it takes to dehydrate tomatoes is important. Drying the tomatoes in a dehydrator and oven is the most common and least time-consuming method. If you give tomatoes heat 250°F in the oven, it will take approximately 2.5 hours for partial dehydration and 3.5 hours for full dehydration. In the temperature of 150°F, it may take 6 to 8 hours. Set the temperature as low as possible in the oven. But you have to check the tomatoes in the oven more often to avoid any type of burning.

Drying tomatoes in a food dehydrator is one of the most efficient ways to complete the process. The temperature of 125° F works perfectly for dehydration in a dehydrator. It takes 8-14 hours to have a dry and leathery texture on tomatoes.

The final way is sun-dried tomatoes. Many people love this natural way of dehydration. But you cannot control the weather, and for this, it may take days to finish the process. If the tomatoes get the sunlight properly, the procedure can be finished in four days. On the other hand, it can take weeks to finish the process.

How to Store Dehydrate Tomatoes?

After the dehydration, there would be a possibility of moisture inside the tomatoes. For long-term storage, you have to make sure the tomatoes have dehydrated properly. You can condition them first and then go for final storing.

Here are the steps you can follow to store dehydrated tomatoes-

Prepare the dehydrated tomatoes for storage

  • First, cool the dehydrated tomatoes at room temperature.
  • Take a Mason jar and transfer the tomatoes into it, and the lid should be screwed properly.
  • Observe the jar for one week and keep checking every day if any moisture is visible inside of the jar. You can often shake the jar to ensure the tomatoes do not stick to the jar.
  • If you see the moist, dehydrate the tomatoes once again.
  • It is expected that, after following all the mentioned methods, there will be no moisture present, and the tomatoes will be ready for long-term storage.

Now, the final storing procedure comes.

Here is how to store dehydrated tomatoes-

  • Follow the mentioned conditioning steps first.
  • Choose a clean and air-tight container with a vacuum seal. Put the dehydrated tomatoes in it. You can also use a vacuum-sealed jar.
  • You can also use a moisture-absorbing desiccant package to store the tomatoes for regular use. Moreover, follow this method if the surroundings contain high humidity.
  • Put a labeling sticker on it and write the date of preservation along with other details.
  • Finally, keep the container in a cool, dark, and dry place and out of direct light.

How Long Do Dehydrated Tomatoes Last?

The dehydration process helps to preserve the tomatoes for a long time. It ensures the availability of the tomatoes for at least six months at room temperature. Moreover, the time can be stretched to a year when you use a freezer.

Check if there is any mold before eating the tomatoes. A dehydrated tomato is not edible with mold. Moreover, if any of the dehydrated tomatoes are stale, they will contain an unpleasant smell. Avoid eating that as well.

How to Use Dehydrate Tomatoes?

Dehydrated tomatoes can give a different dimension and flavor to several food recipes. You can use these tomatoes directly with a lot of meals. Here are some of the ways to do that-

  • Using dehydrated tomatoes in soups, stews, sauces, and braises can make it more delicious.
  • After chopping them in certain fancy shapes, use them to top salads.
  • It enriches the taste of lightweight backpacking meals like- Pasta Primavera, Red Lentil Marinara, and Cold Soak Pasta Salad.
  • You can use dehydrated tomatoes as a pizza topping.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes can be used in recipes like tomato powder.

How to Rehydrate Tomatoes?

You can rehydrate the tomatoes for use. To make them rehydrate and soft, soak them in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Olive can also be used instead of water for rehydration purposes.

Conclusion

Dehydrated tomatoes offer plenty of health benefits along with an appetizing flavor. Both ancient and modern methods will work perfectly for dehydrating the tomatoes. In this article, we’ve mentioned how to dehydrate tomatoes using a dehydrator or oven. You need to be careful about the timing and check it often while following the latest procedures. On the other hand, the sun-dried way requires more time compared to other methods, and for this, many people avoid it. Have a look at the method of how to dehydrate tomatoes and follow the comfortable one.

 

The variety of tomatoes is also discussed, along with their characteristics. You can also find out the procedure for rehydrating tomatoes and other details through this article. Adding dehydrated tomatoes to your other meals makes it more tasty! Follow the right recipes in this regard. Hope now you are aware of all the advantages of dehydrated tomatoes!