3 Easy Ways to Dehydrate Tomatoes: A Guide for Home Cooks

Tomatoes can be dried very easily. They actually make a great starting ingredient for beginners. The majority of the nutrients in dried tomatoes and their vibrant summer flavor are still present. However, they can be shelf-stable for up to a year if properly stored. 

Therefore, everything you need to know to dehydrate tomatoes at home is provided below if you want to capture the charm of the summer tomato season. 

What are the best tomatoes for dehydrating?

Any tomato can be dried out, whether a firm paste tomato, a juicy beefsteak, or a sweet cherry tomato. Because you may use any tomato you have on hand, dehydrating tomatoes becomes simple. Having said that, there are some minute variations between them.

Because of their watery texture and a profusion of seeds, cherry, grape, and beefsteak tomatoes aren’t frozen or canned as frequently as other varieties. Therefore, dehydrating these tomatoes makes sense if you have oversupplied them.

Your plum tomatoes, like romas, are probably used in sauces and canning recipes. However, roma tomatoes can dry slightly more quickly than cherry and sliced tomatoes due to their meaty flesh if you do decide to do so.

dehydrate tomatoes

Any tomato can be dried out

Prepping And Pre-Treating Tomatoes For Dehydration

To avoid contamination that could damage your batch later, ensure your counters, tools, and hands are clean and sterilized before you begin preparing your tomatoes.

  • Whether you have organic tomatoes or not, washing them is a good idea. The easiest approach to completely clean tomatoes is to soak them in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar for a short period. This is because tomatoes have thin skin and don’t respond well to being washed.
  • To thoroughly dry, tomatoes must be cut into pieces. Although larger cherry tomatoes should be quartered, the majority of cherry tomatoes can be cut in half. Slices of larger tomatoes should be no thicker than 14 inches.
  • Using a tiny spoon, you can [optionally] remove some or all of the seeds and gel from the inside of the tomatoes. While there is no damage in removing them now if you don’t want them, there is no harm in leaving them.
dehydrate tomatoes

Slices of larger tomatoes should be no thicker than 14 inches

Choosing the method to dehydrate tomatoes

All three techniques are effective, but not everyone will successfully use them.

Properly drying sun-dried tomatoes requires many days of warm, dry weather. Your tomatoes may begin to mold if the air is too humid. It might not be possible for you to dry tomatoes in the sun if you don’t reside in an area with arid weather.

Since we have no control over the weather, it’s also the most difficult approach to control. If you’re new to dehydrating, start by practicing with the oven or dehydrator method.

Given that you can regulate the temperature, set it, and forget it, dehydrating tomatoes in a dehydrator is the simplest way for novices. Additionally, there is a constant flow of warm air around your tomatoes, ensuring that the final slices are dried uniformly.

But not everyone has a dehydrator on hand, so if you don’t want to spend money on equipment, you can dehydrate tomatoes in your oven. The outcomes will nevertheless be excellent!

Although it’s not quite as straightforward as using a dehydrator, oven drying is still not that difficult. It’s important to remember that some ovens only go down to 160°F. If you find yourself in this circumstance, you will need to check on your tomatoes more frequently. By doing this, you can ensure that they aren’t unduly dried out, which could make them turn black and get too crispy.

How to dehydrate tomatoes?

How to dehydrate tomatoes in an oven?

How to dehydrate tomatoes without a dehydrator? The most convenient way to dehydrate tomatoes is oven drying because you don’t need specialized equipment and won’t have to worry about the weather. Using an oven to dry tomatoes

  • Step 1: Turn on the oven to 160°F. If your oven doesn’t go so low, preheat it to the lowest setting it will tolerate. Remember that you’ll need to watch your tomatoes carefully to avoid burning them.
  • Step 2: Cut tomatoes into pieces of the same size. Cut huge tomatoes into quarters. Cut cherry, tiny, or medium-sized tomatoes in half.
  • Step 3: Insert a baking rack into a baking sheet with a rim. On the oven rack, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer.
  • Step 4: Use the oven to dry the tomatoes. Turn your tomatoes over halfway through to speed up the drying process. If your oven has several trays of tomatoes, open the door a little to improve airflow.
  • Step 5: The drying process will take many hours, and the precise amount of time will vary depending on the size of your tomatoes, the air’s humidity level, and other factors.
  • Step 6: When your tomatoes are completely dry but still malleable, they are ready. Tomatoes that are over-dried will be hard and brittle. Tomatoes that are not dried for a sufficient amount of time rapidly become bad. Verify that the tomatoes don’t feel moist or soft.

How to dehydrate tomatoes using a dehydrator?

The simplest, least fussy, and most hands-off way to dry tomatoes is with a food dehydrator. You only need to:

  • Step 1: Cut tomatoes into pieces of the same size. Cut huge tomatoes in half. Cut tomatoes into halves if they are medium, tiny, or cherry.
  • Step 2: On dehydrator trays, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer
  • Step 3: Use the dehydrator to dry the tomatoes at 140°F. The amount of time will depend on the size of your tomatoes, the air’s humidity level, and other factors. How long does it take to dehydrate tomatoes in the oven? The tomatoes will take several hours to dry.
  • Step 4: Tomatoes are ready when they are dry but still malleable. Over-dried tomatoes will be hard and brittle. Tomatoes that haven’t been dried for a long enough time will shortly become bad. Verify that the tomatoes are firm and dry to the touch.
dehydrate tomatoes

Dehydrate tomatoes using a dehydrator

How do I make sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes have a beautiful, rich, nuanced flavor, but the weather needs to be just right. You need a couple of bright days on top of relatively dry, warm air. However, you can create sun-dried tomatoes if the weather is suitable.

  • Step 1: Only sun-dry tomatoes if a few days of warm, dry weather are forecast. Sun-drying may not suit you if you reside in an area with excessive humidity.
  • Step 2: Tomatoes should be cut into pieces of similar size. Make quarters of huge tomatoes. Cut cherry tomatoes, medium-sized tomatoes, and small tomatoes in half.
  • Step 3: Use a huge screen outside for ventilation or place a baking rack inside a baking sheet with a rim. Tomatoes should be arranged in a single layer on the baking rack or screens.
  • Step 4: Keep the tomatoes away from areas where animals can access them and in a bright area with sufficient airflow. Insect netting may be used to protect your tomatoes from being eaten by bugs.
  • Step 5: The drying process will take several hours to several days, depending on the size of your tomatoes, the air’s humidity, and other factors.
  • Step 6: Your tomatoes are ready when they are dry but still malleable. Tomatoes that have been over-dried will be hard and brittle. Tomatoes that aren’t dried for a sufficient amount of time quickly become bad. Make sure the tomatoes don’t feel squishy or wet.
dehydrate tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes have a beautiful, rich, nuanced flavor.

How to store dry tomatoes?

Tomatoes that have been properly dried and preserved can last for up to a year. Here are our storage recommendations:

  • Don’t omit the previously mentioned conditioning stage.
  • Keep in a spick-and-span, airtight container. Use vacuum sealing for a longer shelf life.
  • If you’re opening the container frequently or live in a humid climate, use a moisture-absorbing desiccant packet.
  • Put the date and any other significant information on the container’s label.
  • Put the container somewhere cool, dark, and dry; a pantry cupboard works nicely.


What is the best food dehydrator for tomatoes?

There are many really costly food dehydrators available that work well. Still, we’ve used the Nesco Snackmaster Food Dehydrator for years with amazing success. You can expand it to hold up to 12 trays for less than $100, which allows you to dehydrate more than 13 square feet of produce at once. A lot of tomatoes that is!

>> You may be interested: 5 Portable Mini Food Dehydrators To Purchase In 2023

How do I know when my tomatoes are done?

When your tomatoes are pliable but dry, they are ready. Tomatoes that are over-dried will be hard and brittle. Verify that the tomatoes don’t feel moist or soft. Tomatoes that are not dried for a sufficient amount of time rapidly become bad.

Can I cut my tomatoes thinner to speed up drying time?

Sorry, but the secret to successfully dehydrating tomatoes is patience. Tomato dehydration and shortcuts don’t mix well. You risk your tomatoes becoming extremely brittle, dry, and largely useless if you chop them any thinner than 12 inches.

To achieve the best results, follow the recipe’s slicing instructions and ensure each slice is around the same thickness.

Can I increase the temperature to speed up the dehydration time?

Patience is essential once more. It would be best to have patience and a consistent low-heat source to make great dehydrated tomatoes. Instead of steaming the tomatoes into a gooey mess, the water in your tomatoes must slowly evaporate.

Instead of dehydrating your tomatoes if the temperature is too high, you risk scorching or steaming them. The mold risk increases if tomatoes are dried at a temperature that keeps the interior moist while the exterior becomes hard.

How long will dehydrated tomatoes last?

Dehydrated tomatoes should keep for at least six months when stored properly in room temperature. You can extend that period to a year by storing the food in the refrigerator or freezer.

Before eating your tomatoes, make sure they are mold-free after opening them. In addition to tasting stale, bad dehydrated tomatoes frequently have an unpleasant odor.

How to rehydrate dried tomatoes?

For around ten minutes, soak tomatoes in boiling water. Before using, remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry.

How to use dehydrated tomatoes?

Topping dehydrated tomatoes on salads, pizzas, and sandwiches or adding them to spreads is terrific. They are delicious additions to stews, soups, and other foods because they will soak up the liquid in the dish, swell, and rehydrate.

For a burst of flavorful, fresh tomatoes, you may also add them to casseroles, omelets, and pasta salads. They make a decent snack all by themselves. With these small, dried tomatoes or tomato powder, the possibilities are endless!

Final thoughts

In conclusion, dehydrating tomatoes is a great way to preserve them for later use. With the three methods outlined in this blog post, you can enjoy them in various dishes all year round. Whether you prefer to use a dehydrator, oven, or sun-drying method, the key is to properly prepare and store the tomatoes to ensure they retain their flavor and texture. By following the tips and tricks shared here, you can easily create your own delicious, dried tomatoes at home. For more great recipes and cooking tips, visit our website!

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