- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.