How to Oven-Dry Tomatoes

July 20, 2017
Dried Tomatoes

Dried tomatoes

Celeste Longacre

Dried tomatoes add color and flavor to salads, pizza, soups, pesto, and sauces. Paste types work best, as they have less water.

Cooking Fresh: How to Oven-Dry Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash about 5 pounds of tomatoes. Peel the skins, if desired. Remove the stems and blemishes. Cut the tomatoes in half, take out the seeds, and then cut the halves into ½- to ¾-inch slices.

Place the tomato slices on cookie sheets such that they do not touch each other. Sprinkle with seasonings or salt, as desired. Place in the oven and bake for 6 to 24 hours, depending on the variety, size, and moisture content of the tomatoes. Use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature periodically and make sure that it is correct; adjust as needed. Check the tomatoes every so often and switch sheets from top to bottom racks and back to front. Turn the tomatoes over occasionally.

The tomatoes are done when they turn dark red and are leathery and dry; they should be flexible and not hard or brittle. If they are tacky or moist, keep baking. When ready, remove the sheets from the oven and cool the tomatoes to room temperature. Place in plastic bags, squeeze out the air, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks or in the freezer for 8 to 12 months.

For more tips and over 160 delicious recipes, check out our Cooking Fresh book-agazine! These recipes help to turn nutritious, garden-fresh ingredients (from asparagus to zucchini) into delicious menus, meals, and treats for family and friends. Sprinkled throughout are hints and tips to help cooks enjoy the just-picked flavor and benefits of the ingredients.

For more fresh tips from the kitchen, get a copy of Cooking Fresh here!

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