Dehydrating Tomatoes

This year has been amazing for tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest. I am really sad for those of you who haven’t had a great season, but here we certainly have. Come visit and I’ll share with you. 🙂 One thing that I love to do with my tomatoes when they are coming in faster than I can process them for canned goods is to dehydrate them. This is great for tomatoes that are getting pretty ripe and you won’t be able to can, and I really love doing grape or cherry tomatoes. They require very little preparation and make a delicious and nutritious snack.

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To dehydrate your tomatoes, you are welcome to blanch and peel them if you like, but I really don’t see it being worth the time and effort. Peels are delicious too. My favourites to dehydrate are romas and cherry tomatoes. For the cherry tomatoes all I do is wash them, cut a tiny sliver off the core end, then cut them in half. I like to place them cut side up, peel side down, so that they make less of a mess on the trays. For romas I wash them, core them, and cut them in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and place them on the tray. And again, if you don’t have a dehydrator, this one is the one I have, and I really have enjoyed it so far.

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Tomatoes should be done at 135 – 140 F in the dehydrator, and will take between 10 -18 hours to dehydrate. I have been cutting them up a few hours before bed and letting them go over night, which is working out quite well. In about 14 hours they are about where I like them, with 4 full trays. They should be a bit leathery but not moist at all.

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Four full trays when dehydrated will make a little less than a quart of delicious little snackies! I find the best way to store them is in a mason jar with a reusable lid. They don’t last long, so I’ll be making a few more batches! mmm mmm good.

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2 thoughts on “Dehydrating Tomatoes

  1. I do something similar, but I also dehydrate slices of my heirlooms (kind of like the slices you’d use for a BLT). I rehydrate them briefly in hot water to use them. And I take odd chunks from damaged tomatoes and dry them as well, then vacuum pack them and label them as “soup chunks”.

    Since some of the tomatoes I grow are very low acid, and I’ve had trouble with some discoloring as they dehydrate, I tend to mix up a solution of 1 tsp citric acid to 1 quart water and drop the cut/sliced/chunked tomatoes into it for about 10 minutes before I put them into the dehydrator. It doesn’t add much time to the dehydrating process, but the yellows *stay* yellow!

    • I like to put anything dehydrated into the freezer for 3-4 days – or until I use it. I prefer my food be unsprayed and my favorite place for the dehydrator is outdoors. The freezer kills all the eggs – since no matter how closely I looked, I was surprised couple of times by things hatching and ruining my food. ;<

      I've noticed that some tomatoes are so high in natural sugars, they will caramelize and blacken if they get as dry as I usually like. They taste ok – just look like I roasted them.

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