• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown tomatoes for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh tomatoes are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

  • If this is your first time drying or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Drying Information before beginning. 

1. Selection & Ingredients

  • Select vegetables at peak quality and flavor. Do not use vegetables that show signs of decay, mold, or bruising. These defects may affect all pieces being dried.
  • 14 lbs of tomatoes will yield ½ lb of dried tomatoes (appx 2 ½ -3 pints).
  • Citric acid (optional)- 1 teaspoon in 1 quart water as an anti-darkening and anti-microbial agent

2. Equipment

  • Use clean, food-grade dehydration equipment or oven with drying trays or racks that allow for good air circulation.
    • Many types of food dehydrators can be used and are explained in detail in Food Dehydrators.
  • Storage containers
    • Clean, dry home canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight-fitting lids or plastic freezer bags
    • Vacuum packaging is also a good storage option
  • Large covered cooking pot (for boiling water to remove skins)
  • Colander, strainer or slotted spoon 
  • Large bowl (for ice water)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Timer or clock

3. Prepare Ingredients

  • Thoroughly wash tomatoes.
  • If desired, remove skins by dipping for 30 seconds in boiling water.
    • Cool in ice water.
    • Drain well.
  • Peel, core, and slice 1/4 - 3/8-inch thick.
    • (Optional) Dip in solution of 1 tsp. citric acid + 1 quart of water for 3-5 minutes.
    • Slices may also be sprinkled with dried herbs prior to drying.

4. Dry

  • Arrange tomato slices in single layers on drying trays.
  • Dry at 140 degrees F (60°C) in an oven or dehydrator.
  • If necessary, turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period.
    • Vegetables can scorch easily toward the end of drying, so monitor more closely as drying nears completion.
    • Dried tomatoes should be crisp.
  • Total Drying Time: 6-12 hours in a dehydrator (may take up to twice as long in a conventional oven) 

5. Store

  • Store small amounts of cooled, dried vegetables in moisture-vapor-proof containers or bags.
  • Label packages with name of product, date and method of pretreatment and drying.
  • Store in a cool, dry, dark place or in the refrigerator or freezer.
    • Properly stored, dried vegetables keep well for 6 to 12 months.
    • Discard foods that have off odors or show signs of mold.

6. Using Dried Vegetables

  • Dried vegetables can be eaten ‘as is’ as a snack or part of a meal.
  • Adding dried vegetables directly to soups and stews is the simplest way to rehydrate vegetables.