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How to Dry Tomatoes for Long Storage

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Learn how to dry tomatoes, store them well, and cook with them.

Learning how to dry tomatoes means you will have loads of garden flavor in your pantry. And your dehydrated tomatoes will store longer than just about any other preserving methods. So if you want to enjoy your homegrown tomatoes longer, start drying them!
An example of how to dry tomatoes

Why kind of tomatoes should I use for dehydrating?

Seek out paste varieties.. That’s because these are meatier. Slicers and salad varieties are more watery, so not much is left behind after they’re dried. Plus, they may lack the rich flavor cooks seek in a dehydrated tomato.

How many tomatoes will you need to dehydrate?

If you’re going to dry tomatoes, begin with several pounds. That’s because much of any tomato is water. And that water evaporates during dehydration. When drying paste tomatoes, I find that about 8 pounds of fresh tomatoes yields about 8 ounces dried tomatoes. And that not a lot!

Paste Tomatoes ready to be dried

How do you prepare tomatoes to dry?

Begin by washing your fruits. Inspect and remove blemishes or bad spots. Then slice them lengthwise and scoop out any seeds. And remove the stem caps.

How to dry tomatoes with some extra flavorings:

Some tomatoes I dry without any added anything. But these simple steps can really kick up the yumminess!

Place the trimmed fruits in a bowl. Then toss them with a sprinkle of sea salt, a sprinkle of sugar, a pinch of dried thyme, and a dollop of olive oil. Then move to the next step!

How do you dry the tomatoes?

If you have an electric food dehydrator, line the trays with the cut side of the tomato up. Then insert the trays into the tool. Turn it on. And if it has temperature settings for tomatoes, use the manufacturer’s recommendation for tomatoes. Still how long it will take will depend on things like the juiciness of the tomatoes, the power of the dehydrator and the environment where it is running. However, in my experience, most tomatoes are ready to store in about 24-48 hours.

This is how to dry tomatoes on dehydrator trays

If you don’t have a food dehydrator: line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Then cover with prepared tomatoes, cut side up. Turn oven to its lowest setting, around 200F. Then roast tomatoes until dried. This can take 8 hours (or much more).

How do I know that my tomatoes are ready to store?

Your tomatoes will be ready when they are leathery and tough. And once they come to room temperature, they’ll probably become crisp and snap. Keep in mind that it is very important to remove all the moisture from the tomatoes to ensure you don’t end up with spoilage (aka rotten tomatoes).

How do I store my dessicated tomatoes?

In our household, dried tomatoes are put into vacuum seal canisters and kept in a vacuum for long storage. When our canisters overflow, we may place extras in vacuum sealed bags. Or we’ll put them in a dry, sealed jar with a desiccant pack in the pantry.

13 comments on “How to Dry Tomatoes for Long Storage

  1. Rae on

    Nice pictures. I agree on using a dehydrator to prolong the harvest and avoid food waste. It is great to have dried fruit and vegetables during the winter.

  2. Felicia Rankin on

    I had a problem with Blossom End Rot last year and did some research on it. Turns out it is mainly a pollination problem. I installed a beehive this year and not had one vegetable succumb to BER. If you don’t want to get bees try planting bee-friendly flowers around your yard and garden to attract wild bees and DON’T use Round-up! It’s one of the biggest killers of pollinators. It’s better to go the extra mile and pull weeds and let your dandelions grow! They are a very important food source for many varieties of pollinators.

  3. Garden Mentors on

    Actually Felicia, blossom end rot is a problem related to lack of calcium. The calcium may be missing from the soil or it may be locked up in the soil chemistry such that the plants can’t access it properly. That being said: good on you for gardening for the bees and producing an end-rot-free garden!

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