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Dehydrating Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe
Using the sun to dry food has been accomplished successfully for centuries. For the longest time, it was the only way to dry foods until humans developed better technology. While there are many off-grid outdoor techniques available online, I am going to give instructions on how to accomplish dehydrating sun dried tomatoes using your dehydrator. I will also share how you may accomplish drying this recipe using your oven, pending your oven has the ability to heat at low temperatures. Some ovens nowadays, like GE and Samsung brands, have a dehydrator setting.
Which Type Tomato Do I Use to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes?
Roma tomatoes, San Marzano, or smaller grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes make the best sun dried tomatoes. With their smaller round or oblong shape, lower moisture content, and meaty dense texture, these tomatoes are the perfect concentration of sweet flavor when moisture is removed.
Larger tomatoes, like Beefsteak, can be used, however there is a bit more prep time involved to cut the tomato into smaller pieces for drying, and over, larger tomatoes will take longer to dry giving their higher moisture content. Also, their flavor is a bit more watered down and less sweet than a smaller more meaty tomato. So while using larger tomatoes to make sun dried tomatoes may be accomplished, be aware of the flavor difference and additional drying and prep time.
Dehydrating Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe
Sun dried tomatoes are full of flavor because as they dry the flavor concentrates and intensifies. Having this flavorful recipe on hand will help you create culinary masterpieces in the kitchen. For instance, you may slice sun dried tomatoes and use as pizza toppings, in pasta dishes and even in salads like caprese. You may also get creative and puree your sun dried tomatoes then mix with fresh or dried herbs and oil to spread over bread or roasted vegetables or use in any recipe that calls for tomato paste.
- 7-8 pounds tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- Clean your tomatoes in fresh water, keeping skins on the tomatoes. Cut grape and cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise; cut Roma and San Marzano tomatoes into 8 wedges. If the tomato is larger, cut into 12 wedges.
- Place cut tomatoes with the skin side down on the mesh drying tray. When doing so, place the thickest part of the tomato towards the source of the fanned air. Often it is the center, but depending on the model, the fanned air source could be the back of the dehydrator.
- Mix the salt, basil, oregano and thyme together in a small bowl. Using your fingers, pinch a small amount of herbs and sprinkle on the flesh side of the tomatoes until they are all seasoned.
- Set drying temperature to 140℉/60℃ and set timer to dry for 20 to 24 hours. Depending on your style of dehydrator, you may want to rotate your trays by moving the furthest tray closest to the fan/heat source. This will help your tomatoes dry evenly.
- After 5 hours, flip each tomato and press it flat using your fingers or large spoon. Repeat this step every 4 to 5 hours.
- After 20 hours, check for doneness. The tomatoes should feel dry, but be slightly pliable and have no sign of moisture inside when broken open. If moisture is present, return to the dehydrator and check each additional hour until done.
- Once the tomatoes are fully dry, store them in an air tight container free from direct sunlight. If you wish to store your sun dried tomatoes in oil, you may do so using a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Before putting them in oil, dip each dried tomato in lemon juice then place into olive oil and refrigerate.
If you do not own a dehydrator and wish to make sun dried tomatoes using your oven, follow these simple steps:
Dehydrating Sun Dried Tomatoes in an Oven
- Preheat your oven to 170℉/77℃.
- Prep, cut and season the tomatoes as shared above. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place cut tomatoes flesh side up, being sure they have enough space on the sheet and are not touching. You may also line a glass baking dish if that is easier for you.
- Place tomatoes in oven. After 1 hour, flip each tomato and press it flat using your fingers or large spoon. Repeat this step every hour until dried, which takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to dry in an oven.
- Cool and store as shared above.
And there you have it! Homemade dehydrated sun dried tomatoes to use in a variety of ways to suite your tastebuds!
For more dehydrating tips and recipes, be sure to join my private group on Facebook called Canning, Dehydrating and Long-Term Food Storage and meet amazing people who share their journey from across the globe.
Diane, The Canning Diva®