Here is the full guide to dehydrating cherry tomatoes at home.
People of all types love the flavor, texture, and taste of cherry tomatoes. Many of these fans might not realize, however, that there is also an easy and fun method for dehydrating cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are versatile, nutritious, and especially fun to eat after they have been properly dried. Simply follow the easy guide below to create a new spin on a favorite veggie (or fruit, if you prefer).
How to Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes
How to Select the Cherry Tomatoes
Whether they come from a home garden, a farmer’s market, or the grocery store, it is easy to find fresh cherry tomatoes almost all year round. When choosing the right ones for the dehydration process, however, it is important to consider a few factors.
Be sure that the tomatoes have a rich color and are fairly firm to the touch. While this article is about dehydrating cherry tomatoes, the same process can work well with almost any type of small tomato. Among the other popular options are Roma, grape, and Sun Gold varieties.
Since the natural flavor of the tomatoes will translate into the taste of the dried variety, be sure to select those with the right tastes to please everyone who will be enjoying them:
- Yellow and orange tomatoes might be a bit more tart.
- The deep red color indicates a perfect mix of sweet and savory.
The best months to find the freshest crops are between May and October. Although it is easy to find cherry tomatoes throughout the rest of the year, the best ones will probably be found during the summer.
How to Prepare the Cherry Tomatoes for Drying
After selecting the best tomatoes available, it is time to begin getting them ready for the dehydration process. All it takes is a few simple steps to ensure that everything is set for maximum taste and freshness.
Whether using the oven or dehydrator method, it all starts with giving the tomatoes a thorough washing. After a complete rinse, be sure to remove as much water as possible. This will not only allow them to dry quickly during the dehydration process, but it also makes them much easier to slice when getting them ready.
- In most cases, it is sufficient to simply cut each tomato in half. Some larger varieties might require slicing them into quarters, though.
- If using an oven for dehydrating cherry tomatoes, place each segment with the skin facing down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- When preparing them for a dehydrator, be sure to leave space between the pieces and put them skin side down on the tray. Adding some parchment paper can help minimize the possibility that they will stick to the machine.
Dehydrating Cherry Tomatoes in the Oven
- Once the tomatoes are arranged appropriately on the baking sheet, simply insert them into an oven set at about 170 degrees Fahrenheit or whatever the lowest setting is on your particular model. In order to prevent burning, it is also a good idea to prop open the oven door slightly by placing a heat-resistant pad or utensil in the crack.
- Depending on the temperature and size of the tomatoes, it should take anywhere between 4 and 8 hours to complete the dehydration process.
The next step is known as conditioning, which basically means ensuring that the humidity level is even before placing the tomatoes into an airtight container. Since larger pieces will dry at a slower rate than smaller ones, be sure to check each slice to determine if they all appear to have the same amount of moisture or humidity.
In most cases, dehydrating cherry tomatoes will remove about 80 percent of the moisture from them. At this point, they are considered properly conditioned and are ready to eat or keep in storage for a later date.
Dehydrating Cherry Tomatoes in a Dehydrator
Those who have a dehydrator and are comfortable using it might find that it provides a more uniform finished product. After the tomatoes are properly prepared and arranged inside of the appliance, set the temperature to about 125 degrees.
This method takes longer than in the oven, with a batch reaching the optimal level of dehydration somewhere between ten hours and an entire day after the process begins. Just as when dehydrating cherry tomatoes in the oven, it is important to condition them upon removing them from the dehydrator to ensure high quality and exquisite taste.
How to Store Dried Cherry Tomatoes
The primary objective when choosing how to store them involves choosing a container that will keep as much air and moisture away from the tomatoes as possible. It is easy to achieve this objective by using a tightly sealed jar, though plastic containers or even heavy-duty resealable bags can also provide the same level of protection.
Upon finding the appropriate container, be sure to store the dried tomatoes in a cool and dry location. Furthermore, if there are multiple batches in storage at the same time, be sure to include a date on each container to make sure that they are consumed in reverse order from when they were dehydrated. This will allow for the best taste and freshest experience for all of the tomatoes.
SEE ALSO: How to Store Dried Vegetables