How to Dehydrate Tomatoes
As I’ve said in many articles before this one, dehydration is one of the best ways to make food last longer. What’s the benefit to longer-lasting food? Well, after a catastrophic event- natural or manmade- there’s no guarantee that you’ll have access to a grocery store. For this reason, it’s best to stock up on foods with long shelf lives beforehand. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to dehydrate tomatoes using a food dehydrator. Even if you don’t have much experience with food dehydrators or dehydrating food, you shouldn’t have much trouble following these steps. Let’s get started!
How to Dehydrate Tomatoes – What You Need
Here are the things that you’ll need when learning how to dehydrate tomatoes:
- Tomatoes: Try not to use tomatoes that are overripe.
- Knife: Make sure the knife is sharp (a dull knife will make the process much harder).
- Cutting Board: Pretty self-explanatory.
- Food Dehydrator: Almost any model will work, although higher-quality ones work better.
- Vinegar: You’ll see why you need this later.
Once you’ve gathered all your necessary tools, it’s time to start dehydrating.
Step #1: Wash the Tomatoes
To thoroughly wash your tomatoes, place them in a bowl of water with a cup of vinegar thrown in. This will make them nice and clean. Make sure you wash and dry your own hands as well. You don’t want to contaminate anything. Let them soak in there for a few minutes.
Step #2: Cut the Tomatoes
Using your knife (make sure it’s sharp!), begin cutting your tomatoes into “wedge” shapes. Refer to the image below to see what they should look like. When learning how to dehydrate tomatoes, don’t make your cuts too narrow- it will negatively affect the final product. Once you’ve cut your tomatoes into the proper shape, you’re ready to place them in your food dehydrator.
Step #3: Set on Dehydrator Tray
Take your tomatoes (well, actually your tomato wedges) and place them onto your dehydrator tray. This is why I told you not to cut them too narrow- because they’ll fall over and won’t dry evenly. Use the image below to get a feel for how your tomatoes should be sitting as well as how far apart they should be from one another. Now we’re ready for step four.
Step #4: Begin Dehydrating
Dehydrate your tomatoes at 135 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (this is where having a temperature setting on your food dehydrator comes in handy). If you don’t have a temperature setting, then simply allow them to dehydrate until they’re done. When learning how to dehydrate tomatoes, know that there’s no exact time for when they’ll be ready. It really depends on the size of the tomatoes, their “juiciness”, the humidity in your kitchen, and a whole range of other factors. Based on my own experiences, allowing them to dry a little longer than needed won’t hurt the final product much.
Here’s a video that will walk you through the exact steps. As you can see, the lady doesn’t cut her tomatoes into wedges but they still come out fine:
How to Dehydrate Tomatoes – Bottom Line
As you can see, there’s not much to it- just wash, cut, a dehydrate using the recommended temperature of 135 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. While some people might see learning how to dehydrate tomatoes as a form of entertainment, I do it for prepping purposes. By dehydrating tomatoes (or any food for that matter), you allow them to go way longer without spoiling. So if and when grocery store shelves ever do empty, at least you’ll have a food supply to rely on. If you’re a beginner, I recommend reading our article A Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food. Thanks for reading.