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How to dehydrate tomatoes at home | The Ultimate Guide

Learn how to dehydrate tomatoes at home with this easy guide. Preserve their flavor and enjoy delicious, long-lasting dried tomatoes for snacks, cooking, or garnishing your favorite dishes.

Dehydrating tomatoes is a great way to preserve them so that you can enjoy their sweet goodness all year long. It’s also an easy, hands-off way to prepare them for use in soups, stews, and sauces. The process is simple, but there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when dehydrating your tomatoes so they turn out perfectly every time!

In this article, I’ll explain how to dehydrate tomatoes (and my go-to technique that works every time), how to store dehydrated tomatoes, and, of course, what to do with dehydrated tomatoes so you can enjoy their amazing taste all year long! Let’s begin!

Dry tomatoes in olive oil recipe

Why you should dehydrate tomatoes?

Tomato is a vegetable that can be used in any type of cooking. You can use it for making tomato sauce, for cooking soups and stews, or even as an ingredient in your salads or burgers. But if you have a big amount of tomatoes that will not be consumed soon, then it’s better to dehydrate them so that they don’t go bad. So let’s learn how to make dried tomatoes at home!

There are many benefits of dehydrating tomatoes:

  • Dehydration will intensify the taste of any fruit and vegetable. Dried tomatoes are 20 times more flavorful than fresh tomatoes!
  • Dehydration preserves the nutritional value of the food because, if you’re using a dedicated dehydrator, there is no intense heat involved during the process;
  • Dehydrated foods last much longer than fresh fruits or vegetables because they contain less water content and, hence, won’t spoil as fast as other foods stored at room temperature conditions;
  • They are an excellent choice for camping trips or hiking expeditions when there isn’t any electricity available! And they make for excellent snacks, too!

What types of tomatoes are suitable for dehydrating?

Can you dehydrate tomatoes of all kinds? Yes, any type of tomato is suitable for dehydrating, but cherry tomatoes are a great choice! They’re also known as sun gold tomatoes and baby tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are smaller than regular tomatoes and have a higher sugar content than other types of tomatoes (which means they taste sweeter). But, all in all, you can choose any type of tomato for this process – you can even make dehydrated green tomatoes and serve them as a snack or appetizer!

MY TIP: If you want to preserve the color and freshness of your fruits, choose ripe ones at peak ripeness so that they will remain bright after being dried out.

ripe tomatoes

How to dehydrate tomatoes at home – Step by step recipe for dehydrated tomatoes

Now that you know a bit about some of the dehydrated tomatoes uses in your kitchen, it’s time to tell you all about my dried tomatoes recipe.

How to prep the tomatoes for dehydrating

  1. The first step is to wash and dry the tomatoes.
  2. Next, cut the tomatoes into slices – you can use a sharp knife for this, but I recommend a mandolin because you’ll want the same thickness for all your slices; this will ensure uniform dehydration for the entire batch. The thinner they are sliced, the faster they will dry out.
  3. Optionally, you can now remove the seeds from each slice. This will make it easier to dehydrate the tomatoes later on in this process and it will be especially useful if you’re making a dehydrated tomatoes powder.
  4. Now you can leave your tomato slices as they are or cut them into smaller pieces or cubes, wedges, or strips depending on what you’re planning to use them for.
dried tomatoes recipe

Choose your desired dehydrating method/equipment:

After you have selected and prepped your tomatoes for dehydrating, it’s time to pick the right method and equipment. In short, you can dehydrate tomatoes using a:

  • dehydrator – my preferred method!
  • oven – this method requires the longest time;
  • air fryer – this is especially good if you want to make some dried tomatoes with olive oil to use as a snack;

How long to dehydrate tomatoes? In general, dehydration times vary based on how thickly you slice your tomatoes and the temperature of the air in which they’re being dried. The general rule of thumb is that if you’re using a convection oven, it should be set at a low temperature of around 50° C this will take at least 10 hours. If you’re using a dehydrator, then check out the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended temperatures. You can also use an air fryer for this.

Now let’s discuss each of these three options in detail:

how to dehydrate tomatoes at home preparation part

Dehydrated tomatoes in dehydrator – recommended method

When it comes to making dried tomatoes at home, you have three options: the oven, the air fryer, or a dehydrator. While the oven method is simple and works well, I definitely recommend using a dehydrator. It’s more efficient and will give you better results.

Dehydrating tomatoes in a dehydrator is easy and quick. You just have to cut them into slices or cubes (if they are not already), spread them over trays lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap, put those trays inside your machine, and turn it on!

Depending on how many batches of tomatoes you want to make at once as well as their size (smaller pieces will dry faster), it can take anywhere from 6 hours to 16 hours for them to be done — but don’t worry about checking up on them too often because there won’t be much going on that could go wrong during this time. That’s the entire point of using a dehydrator – it will do its job while you can relax!

I use a Hendi Kitchen Line dehydrator with 7 evenly spaced stainless steel trays, which offers me enough space to dehydrate bigger batches of produce – and I love that! I also use it to dehydrate herbs and numerous other types of fruits and veggies. The glass door is excellent because you can watch the process at any given time!

Dehydrated tomatoes in air fryer

Did you know that if you have an air fryer, you can use it to dehydrate fruits and veggies? The air fryer is a great way to make dehydrated tomato slices because it is fast and energy efficient. Moreover, it’s the quickest method out of all three and I definitely recommend it if you want to make some dehydrated tomatoes to eat as a snack right away.

Another benefit to using an air fryer is that the tomatoes won’t taste as smoky or bitter as they would if you were roasting them in the oven without oil.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Put the tomatoes in a single layer on an air frying rack and cook at 80 degrees for about 4 hours or until the tomatoes are dried out and no longer moist – make sure you don’t burn them! If you want to make them crunchier, then leave them in a little longer.
  3. Let them cool for a minute or two before sprinkling with herbs of your choice (basil is an excellent idea).

Dehydrated tomatoes in convection oven

If you don’t have a dehydrator or an air fryer, then you can make dehydrated tomatoes in the oven, the good old way! – it works great, although it will take longer. I recommend a convection oven for this, as this type of appliance will ensure even temperature all around.

Here are the instructions:

  • Preheat the convection oven to 60 or 70° C.
  • Slice your tomatoes in half and remove the core. If you’re making dehydrated grape tomatoes, cut them in half.
  • Place them on a tray in a single layer.
  • Let the tomatoes dehydrate until they have a leathery texture.
how to dry tomatoes in dehydrator

How to use dehydrated tomatoes

Now that you have dehydrated your tomatoes, you may be wondering what to do with them. There are so many uses for dehydrated tomatoes. You can use them in recipes that call for fresh or canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and even tomato paste. They’re great in soups, sauces, and stews! If, for example, you have a recipe that calls for tomato juice, just add some of your dried tomatoes and make it more flavorful!

Dehydrated tomato sauce and paste

Did you know you can dehydrate your tomato sauce or paste in order to create tomato leathers? For example, when a recipe requires half a can of tomato sauce, you will most likely store the rest of the can in the fridge – and we all know it will go bad after a few days. But! You can make a dehydrated tomato paste instead that will last for way longer and require less storage space.

Dehydrated tomato sauce is an excellent idea when you’re making a big batch of homemade sauce and you want it to last for longer, or if you have limited storage space.

How to do it? Use a dehydrator set at 50° C for 8 to 12 hours. Just spread your tomato paste on a silicone/non-stick tray in a ~ 6mm layer. Your tomato paste layer will become leathery as it dries out; you can flip it after 8 hours to ensure uniform drying. It’s done when your leathery later of paste is pliable but not sticky.

Then, you can rip your tomato leathers into palm-sized pieces and store them in air-tight containers. Make sure you throw a desiccant pack in there too!

You can also use these sheets of dried tomato paste to make tomato powder – see instructions below.

Dehydrated tomato skins

Dehydrated tomato skins can be made from the leftovers of peeling tomatoes (after blanching, for example). Not many people know this, but you can keep the peels instead of throwing them away and dehydrate them to make a flavorful tomato powder!

Because tomato skins are so thin, you can quickly dehydrate them in your air fryer. Just place them on a silicone mat, evenly spaced (make sure they’re not touching each other). Set the air fryer to dehydrate the skins at 50° C for 4 hours. This will result in thin tomato flakes.

You can use these flakes to make dehydrated tomatoes powder – see instructions below!

Dehydrated tomato chips

This dehydrated tomatoes recipe is excellent if you want to make some chips for snacking – or to use as a healthy appetizer for your next party. Here’s how to do it using a convection oven:

  1. Slice the tomatoes thinly using a mandolin or sharp knife. Make sure not to cut them too thick – they’ll take longer to dry if they’re too wide and thick!
  2. Place a parchment paper or silicone mat on a cookie sheet and spread out your tomato slices in one layer so they aren’t overlapping at all. Optionally, you can also sprinkle some olive oil on top.
  3. Dehydrate at 65° C for about 8 hours. If you’re using cherry tomatoes, it will take around 2 hours. Make sure to check up on them from time to time.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and herbs and enjoy!

Dehydrated tomatoes in oil

When dehydrating tomatoes at home using an oven, it’s a good idea to coat them in oil. This helps preserve the color and flavor of your tomatoes. You can use any kind of oil, but olive oil is one of the best options.

You’ll need enough to coat your tomatoes evenly, but not so much that there’s excess dripping off when you remove them from their trays.

Dry tomatoes in olive oil recipe rosii uscate in ulei de masline reteta

Dried tomatoes in olive oil recipe – How to dehydrate tomatoes at home

Gourmandelle.com
Learn how to dehydrate tomatoes at home with this easy guide. Preserve their flavor and enjoy delicious, long-lasting dried tomatoes for snacks, cooking, or garnishing your favorite dishes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 jar
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 kg cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300 ml olive oil

Instructions
 

Tomatoes prep:

  • Wash the tomatoes well.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters. You can remove the seeds if you prefer.
  • Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes to help draw out the moisture.

Dehydration:

  • Arrange the tomatoes on the trays of the dehydrator, leaving space between them to allow air circulation.
  • Set the dehydrator to 55-60°C (130-140°F).
  • Dehydrate the tomatoes for 8-12 hours, until they become dry and flexible, but not brittle. The time may vary depending on the thickness of the slices and the water content of the tomatoes.

Checking the tomatoes:

  • Periodically check the tomatoes during the dehydration process. Take them out when they are completely dry.
  • Let the tomatoes cool down completely before putting them in the oil.

Preservation in olive oil:

  • Sterilize jars and lids by boiling or washing in the dishwasher.
  • In a clean jar, arrange layers of dehydrated tomatoes.
  • Optionally add spices such as oregano, basil, garlic or pepper between layers for extra flavor.
  • Pour extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes until they are completely covered. Make sure there are no air bubbles by gently shaking the jar or using a knife to remove the bubbles.

Storage:

  • Close the jars well with the sterilized lids.
  • Keep the jars in a cool and dark place. Tomatoes dehydrated and preserved in oil can be kept this way for several months.
  • After opening, keep the jars in the refrigerator and consume them within a few weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gSodium: 244mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 489IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cherry tomatoes, olive oil, tomatoes
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Dehydrated tomatoes in oil

Dehydrated tomato powder

Ah, I’ve been mentioning this for so long! In case you’ve been dehydrating tomatoes for powder, it’s time to learn how to make and how to use it.

In short, you can use dehydrated tomato leathers (explained above) and dehydrated tomato skins (also explained above) to obtain a delicious powder. All you need is a coffee or spice grinder. Place a dry tomato leather or a handful of skins in your grinder and pulse until you reach a powder consistency. Continue until all dehydrated tomatoes have been ground.

You can use this tomato powder in your next recipe. Here are some examples:

  • Rehydrate using a 1:1 powder to water ratio for tomato paste
  • Rehydrate using a 4:1 powder to water ratio for tomato sauce;
  • Add a tablespoon of powder to soups, stews, tomato risottos or casseroles to enhance their flavor;
  • Sprinkle on salads;
  • Add as a spice when making a cream cheese dip;

Dehydrated tomato slices

Making dehydrated tomato slices is exactly the same as making dehydrated tomato chips and you can use a dehydrator, oven, or air fryer for this – see my instructions above!

Dehydrated tomato soup

Here’s another recipe on my list of dried tomatoes uses! You can make a delicious tomato soup using dehydrated tomato powder, for example. Simply mix 1 cup of powder with 2 cups of water or veggie stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer for around 15-20 minutes, so the powder has enough time to rehydrate. That’s it!

If you want to take things to the next level, you can make your own homemade instant tomato soup mix using dried tomato powder, dried onion and garlic powder, dry herbs (basil and oregano work well), and sea salt. To use it, add 3 tablespoons of soup mix to 200ml boiling water for one portion.

tomatoes and basil

How to store dehydrated tomatoes

Now it’s time to talk about dehydrated tomatoes storage. Here are your options:

  • Store dehydrated tomatoes in the freezer. They’ll last up to a year if you can keep them from freezing solid.
  • Store dehydrated tomatoes in the fridge. You can keep them for up to two months at this temperature. These are especially good for making soups and stews or adding to sauces or pasta dishes when you’re cooking from scratch again.
  • Store dehydrated tomatoes in your pantry, out of direct sunlight, and away from heat sources like ovens or radiators (if there’s no fridge available).

TIP: Let your dehydrated tomatoes cool fully before storing them in an airtight container or zip lock bag and keep in a dark, cool place.

My favorite storing option is this one, though: store your dried tomatoes in a jar with olive oil! Loosely add your dehydrated tomato slices/chips to a mason jar, cover with olive oil and that’s about it. You can eat these as a snack, you can add them to the recipes and, when all your tomato pieces are used up, you can use the infused oil in cooking – so many amazing options! Make sure you store the jar in the fridge so it lasts for longer.

And if you want to take things to the next level instead, you can also add some chopped fresh garlic and chopped parsley into the jar before pouring your olive oil for extra flavor. It’s so good, you’ll be eating these out of the jar directly!

How long do dehydrated tomatoes last?

Dehydrated tomatoes last for 6 months to one year, but they’re best consumed in the first 3 months.

If you’re planning to store them at room temperature, use an airtight container and put them in a cool, dark place. If you want to store your dehydrated tomatoes in the refrigerator or freezer, they should keep even longer when properly stored!

Now you know everything there is to know about dehydrated tomatoes! So if you want to make your own dehydrated tomatoes at home, follow the above steps and recipes I explained above. Dehydration is an easy method that only requires less than 5 minutes of preparation time! Looking for more useful tomato guides? You’ll want to check my saving tomato seeds guide especially if you grow your own tomatoes.

Recipe Rating




Liam

Sunday 7th of July 2024

Great guide!