Posted on 26 October 2009 by

Drying Tomatoes


drying-tomatoesBy Vanessa Richins

One of my favorite possessions at the moment is my food dehydrator.

I picked it up for only $7.50 at a garage sale.

It currently features 4 trays, and someday I can expand it up to 12 high.

I’ve been mainly drying apples this season, since I picked some for free and got a really good deal on another batch. Today, however, I decided to throw in a couple of tomatoes that I had on the counter.

As Hunter Angler Gardener Cook points out, “Getting 85-90 percent of that water out, which is what you need to properly preserve tomatoes (or anything, really) without cooking the tomato is tricky.”

A dehydrator is a good choice since many have temperature controls where you can set it low enough to dry without cooking – somewhere around 100-130 degrees. (Mine, unfortunately, is devoid of that feature.) Plan on keeping the tomatoes in the dehydrator for at least 8 hours to dry them out as needed.

A good choice for drying are plum tomatoes, as this recipe advises. She also says “Store dehydrated tomatoes in a zip-top bag, squeezing out the air, in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months. If you refrigerate or freeze the bags, the shelf life will be extended to 6 to 9 months.”

Another interesting method is highlighted in the blog post from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. If you’re in a drier climate, try putting them out in the garage to dry. I should try this the next time I am in California.

How do you dry your tomatoes?

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