My love affair with dehydrating (funny, right?) began with my purchase of myÂ dehydrator.Â I call it the Cadillac of dehydrators; it comes with all the bells and whistles… nine large trays, temperature adjust, even a timer. I love it. This dehydrator is a staple in our kitchen. I’m so glad we had room for the monster. Or let’s just say, it’s so important to my kitchen that I made room for it.
Armed with my new dehydrator, and my Dehydrator Bible in hand, I embarked on a journeyÂ through the world of dehydrating, which I previously knew very little about. I learned that, while there are rules, they seem to be few. It is a wonderfully simple process anyone old enough to use a knife could handle.
…Although, don’t ask my hubby about my less-than-optimal knife skills; the scar is still trying to fade. 🙂
Anywho, possibly my favorite veggie (or, well, fruit, if you want to get technical) to dehydrate would be the tasty tomato. Except I don’t actually eat dried tomatoes. I’ll show you what I do with them a little later. But for now, let’s get started.
How to Dehydrate Tomatoes
You Will Need:
- Tomatoes ~ Roma are preferred, but any should work. Try not to use overripe tomatoes, however.
- Sharp knife ~ do you know how hard it is to cut a tomato with a dull knife? Might as well make tomato soup.
- Cutting board ~ self-explanatory
- Dehydrator ~ please know that you do not need the most fancy one out there to get decent dehydrated goods. Any dehydrator will do. I only recommend the higher quality ones if you are wanting to do some serious dehydrating as it is cost-prohibitive.
- Vinegar or veggie wash (learn to make your own here)Â ~ optional, for washing the tomatoes
Wash Them ‘Maters
One of the few rules of dehydrating pertains to cleanliness. Read: wash your hands. Wash them well. Dry them with a clean towel.
And wash your produce. I love to spray mine with a homemade fruit wash I came up with, but today I actually just soaked them in a big bowl of water with about a cup of vinegar thrown in. I left them to soak and let the acidity of the vinegar water clean those beautiful red babies.
Wedge Those ‘Maters
Using a sharp knife, or a special knife just for cutting tomatoes, chop the tomato in half from top (the place where the stem used to be) to bottom. Take each half and slice off wedges. Tip: don’t make them too narrow.
Set the ‘Maters
Arrange the tomatoes, skin-side down, onto the dehydrator tray. They are supposed to dry faster this way. This is why you don’t want to make them too narrow; they’ll fall over. Also, they are a great deal easier to remove if you let them dry skin-side-down, rather than having to carefully extract gobs of stuck-on tomatoes from the plastic mesh they dried on. Trust me. 🙂
With my dehydrator, I have better success if I remove every other tray, leaving more room for the height of the tomatoes.
Dry Those ‘Maters
Dehydrate those bad boys at 135-140 degrees, if you have the temperature setting. If not, just let them dehydrate until they are done.
It is very difficult to give an exact time period for them to dry, tomatoes come in different sizes, are different levels of “juicy”, the humidity of the kitchen can vary greatly, and so on. Better to just say dry them until they’re hard and you can break one in two after it’s cooled. Personally, I set the dehydrator to 140 and let them dry overnight. It won’t hurt them to go a little long.
There you have it. Tip: To easily remove the tomatoes from the mesh, pick it up and gently fold it into a wedge. The tomatoes should pop off. Slide them into a bowl or whatever you want to put them in.
Now you know how to dehydrate tomatoes. That was so easy, come on, admit it. It was so easy, you know you’re ready for the next part.
Click on over to learn how it’s done.
Pin: How to Dehydrate Tomatoes
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14 thoughts on “How to Dehydrate Tomatoes”
Hey Dandy- so glad I came upon your site! I was laying on the couch last night thinking “hmm I wonder if I can dehydrate tomatoes…especially since sundried tomatoes are hard to find and can get expensive especially with how quickly I eat them!” so I googled and found your site!
They’re in the dehydrator now and I can’t wait to taste them! Also reading up on your tomato powder post now and plan to try that too!
Thanks for the head start 🙂 I also look forward to reading more dehydrating tips and basically camping out at your blog for a while!
Awesome Stephanie! So happy to have helped you! I’d love to hear how the tomato powder goes! Hopefully I will add even more dehydrating posts in the near future. Enjoy those tomatoes!! <3
Thanks so much for the info on dehydrating tomatoes. I have them running out my ears and have given away so many to others. I love the sundried tomatoes at the store and love to cook pasta dishes with them particularly but they are extremely expensive, so I was pleased when I did a search and your information came right up for me. Thank you.
Here is a tip for you, too. If you spray a light mist of Pam cooking spray on the top and bottom of the holders of the dehydrator, they come off as quick as a wink. They have improved Pam and they no longer leave the residue they once did on surfaces. I literally just tumbled the tomatoes off of the trays.
Thanks again for teaching me exactly how to dehydrate tomatoes.
And thank you for that wonderful tip! I’m sure it will help many others as well! <3
I’m a newbie. Yum but about to get hooked. I dehydrate fruit but ready for my Roma addiction to ‘dry out’.
Hope it goes well for you!<3
Did you ever get burned tomatoes. We never did in past years but this year we are even at 125. They burn at the end.
I’m sorry to hear that – I’ve never encountered that. My advice would be to take them out a bit early and let them air dry for the rest of the drying. Hope that helps you Michelle!
My husband challenged me this year to dehydrate produce for use during camping (less weight compared to jars). I have a surplus and daikon radish to preserve. my search brought me to your site. I love that you have included the homemade vegetable wash AND how to prevent clumping.
Next year – learn how to make apple cider vinegar 🙂
Hi Nanc, thank you for your sweet comment! You are right, dried food is so much more convenient for camping!! Have you ever heard of the website, backpackingchef.com? He has a ton of great ideas! Thanks for stopping by! <3