Posted on 13 October 2007 by

Tomato Casual Answers Reader\’s Question: Storing Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil

Tomato Casual Answers Reader's Question

By Michelle Fabio

A lucky reader has scored some sun-dried tomatoes and stored them in a jar with olive oil–now she’s wondering how to best vacuum seal the jar.

For starters, if you’re jarring only in olive oil, just be sure to pack the tomatoes in as tightly as possible leaving some headspace at the top for expansion, cover the tomatoes completely in oil, and then seal tightly. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

If you’re adding garlic and basil like my southern Italian mother-in-law does, follow the same process but then store in the refrigerator to guard against botulism.

What about sealing in particular?

Well the best idea is to use jars made for jarring, those with two-part lids (metal disk and a screw on band), as this will give you the best seal. You can read more about canning in general here, which also talks about the use of a canner–a pot and wire rack contraption essential to large scale canning.

That said, I’ll go back to the best authority I know (my southern Italian mother-in-law) who never does anything beyond screwing on the jar lids and putting them away for us to enjoy.

A final tip on sun-dried tomatoes preserved in oil: when you remove them from the jar, be sure to add more oil to cover the remaining tomatoes otherwise mold will form fairly quickly.

3 Responses to “Tomato Casual Answers Reader\’s Question: Storing Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil”

  1. Tom Says:

    I just bought a huge jar off sundried tomatoes in oil. And i Forgot to add oil when i started using it so mold developed on the pieces exposed to air. Do I have to rthrow away the whole jar or just the moly tomatoes?

  2. Jack Etsweiler Says:

    I’ve read enough warnings against storing garlic or tomatoes under oil, olive or otherwise, to set off alarm bells. The likelihood of Botulism or another anaerobic bacterium in that scenario is way too high to risk doing it. The commercial canners can do it because they have high-temperature fast cookers that will eliminate or at least reduce the danger. The way here just give me the creeps. I’d love to be able to do things so simply. I used to make garlic oil that I kept in the fridge and had no problem with it, but there’s a lot less to a garlic clove than there is to a sun-dried tomato!

  3. marisa lorick Says:

    I would like to store sweet 100 tomatoes in olive oil. I don’t have to have the garlic. I dont want to dry them in the oven. Poaching in the oil is my desire, but if there is another way to can them and store outside of the fridge i’d like to know how.Can you help?

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