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how to dry tomatoes in food dehydrator


Drying Tomatoes in a Food Dehydrator: The Key to Deliciously Preserved Flavors


Preserving the delectable taste of tomatoes is an art, and one of the best methods to achieve this is by drying them in a food dehydrator. This easy and efficient technique allows you to savor the intense flavor of ripe tomatoes throughout the year. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of drying tomatoes in a food dehydrator, providing you with useful tips, expert advice, and step-by-step instructions. Let's embark on this flavorful journey towards perfectly dried tomatoes!

Why Dry Tomatoes in a Food Dehydrator?

1. Preserving the Nutritional Value:

When tomatoes are dried, their nutritional value is concentrated, making them even more beneficial for your health. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like lycopene, dried tomatoes become a perfect addition to your diet. By drying tomatoes in a food dehydrator, you retain these nutrients while reducing the water content, resulting in a highly nutritious snack or ingredient.

2. Enhancing the Flavor Profile:

Drying tomatoes intensifies their natural flavor, making them taste even better than fresh ones in some cases. Unlike sun-drying, a food dehydrator ensures a controlled environment that maintains optimal temperature and airflow, preserving the tomatoes' flavor while preventing spoilage. The end result is a product bursting with rich, tangy, and slightly sweet taste that adds depth to any dish.

Preparing Tomatoes for Drying:

1. Choosing the Right Tomatoes:

To ensure the best flavor and texture, select ripe tomatoes that are firm and free from blemishes or bruises. Varieties like Roma, San Marzano, or Plum tomatoes are ideal due to their low moisture content and meaty flesh. Consider using homegrown or locally sourced tomatoes for an authentic and organic taste.

2. Washing and Slicing:

Thoroughly wash the tomatoes under cold running water to remove any dirt or residue. After drying them, slice the tomatoes evenly to ensure consistent drying. Aim for slices that are about ¼ inch thick, as thicker slices may take longer to dry, while thinner ones can become overly crisp.

Drying Process:

1. Preheating the Food Dehydrator:

Before placing the tomato slices in the dehydrator, preheat it to the recommended temperature of around 135°F (57°C). Preheating the machine guarantees a proper drying environment and helps in preventing any potential bacterial growth during the initial stages.

2. Arranging the Tomato Slices:

Spread the sliced tomatoes in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, making sure they do not overlap. Ensure adequate spacing between the slices to allow proper air circulation for even drying. If desired, lightly season the tomatoes with a pinch of salt or herbs like basil or oregano to enhance their flavor.

3. Drying Time and Temperature:

The drying time for tomatoes in a food dehydrator can vary depending on factors such as thickness, moisture content, and humidity levels. On average, the process takes around 8 to 12 hours. Set the temperature to approximately 135°F (57°C) and monitor the drying progress periodically. Adjust the time and temperature as needed to achieve the desired texture—slightly chewy or fully crisp.

4. Rotating the Trays:

To ensure uniform drying, rotate the trays every couple of hours. This simple step prevents uneven drying and ensures that all slices are dried consistently. You may also consider exchanging the positions of the trays to promote fairness in the drying process.

Storage and Usage:

1. Cooling and Conditioning:

Once the tomatoes are dried to perfection, remove them from the dehydrator and let them cool completely at room temperature. While they cool, they tend to lose a bit of moisture, a process known as conditioning. Place the cooled dried tomatoes in an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag, leaving a bit of space to allow for air circulation.

2. Proper Storage Conditions:

To maintain the flavor and quality of dried tomatoes, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. A pantry or kitchen cupboard works well, but ensure that the storage area is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive humidity. When stored correctly, dried tomatoes can last for up to a year, showcasing their versatility as a long-lasting culinary ingredient.

3. Rehydrating Dried Tomatoes:

Dried tomatoes can be used as they are in salads, sandwiches, or as a tasty snack. However, if you prefer a softer texture, consider rehydrating them before use. To rehydrate, place the desired amount of dried tomatoes in a bowl of warm water and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Once rehydrated, they will regain some of their plumpness and can be used in a variety of cooked dishes.


Drying tomatoes in a food dehydrator is a simple and rewarding technique that preserves the intense flavor and nutritional value of this beloved fruit. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can transform ripe tomatoes into a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used year-round. Whether you are a seasoned food enthusiast or a beginner in the world of food preservation, drying tomatoes in a food dehydrator will undoubtedly elevate your culinary creations to new heights without compromising on taste or quality. So, embark on this tomato-drying adventure and enjoy the vibrant flavors that nature offers!


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