Introduction: 3 Easy Ways to Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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This year I up-scaled my outdoor garden a bit. I have 20 giant tomatoes plants instead of several plants in previous years. Almost every other day, I have a basket of ripen tomatoes. Besides eating them fresh as much as I like, making tomato fried eggs, giving them away, neither do I have home canning kit, nor am I a fan of canned tomato sauce. But I remember my family fairly liked the store bought sun-dried tomatoes before. So I decided to make sun-dried tomatoes. In this Instructable, I show you all 3 ways I tried to make sun-dried tomatoes. I tried my sun-dried tomatoes in a few stir fry dishes. It goes well with many other vegetables and meat. My family fought over the sun-dried tomatoes in our dishes which is an indicator of worth sharing. So got tomatoes? Follow along!

THINGS YOU NEED:

An oven or a food dehydrator or an automobile on two hot sunny days!

Vacuum sealer (optional but your sun-dried tomatoes stay fresh longer if vacuum-packaged)

Spices (optional but optimal with spices): sea salt, four peppercorn blend (freshly ground with a peppercorn mill), crushed sweet basil leaves.

Note: This article may contain affiliate links as references for the same or similar products used in this project. If you click on the links and make purchases I could receive a small percentage of commission from the advertising company with no extra cost to you.

Step 1: Wash and Dry Your Tomatoes

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Needless to say, wash and dry the tomatoes.

Step 2: Remove Blemishes

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Remove the stem spot, tough parts or any skin blemishes. I used a potato peeler to do that.

Step 3: Cut the Tomatoes, Arrange Them on Trays, Sprinkle Them With Spices

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Cut the tomatoes into about 1/4'' thick slices, wedges or whatever shapes you like. Depending on the size, I remove 4-6 slices around the tomato, left with a cuboid of the center which is sliced to 2 or 3 slices. So one tomato is cut into any number of 6-9 pieces or even more.

Place the cut pieces on dehydrator trays or wire racks and place the racks over a brimmed baking sheet to collect the juice that may drip.

Sprinkle the tomatoes with spices..

Step 4: Dry the Tomatoes

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Start the food dehydrator according to its instruction. It'll take 10-12 hours to be done depending on the water content of the tomatoes, the thickness of the slices, and how well the air is able to circulate around them. When done, the tomatoes should be flexible, like a raisin from a fresh bag; not brittle. they are leathery with a deep red color, without free water or a tacky feeling.

If you dry them in your oven, set it at the lowest baking temperature. Mine is 170F degrees. It will take about the same time as drying in dehydrator, but you'll need to watch them much more closely at the end as they can actually get over dried to brittle or even burned.

If you want to try to dry them in your car, you'll need to park your car facing direct sun with the tray on dashboard for two consecutive days and make sure there is no flies or bugs in the car. (I skipped spices for the tomatoes dried in the car to avoid the smell of spices lingering in the car.)

Step 5: Pack, Store, and Enjoy

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I used food vacuum sealer to package them in individual portion sizes I use in cooking. Store the packages in fridge or freezer.

Enjoy!

Please vote this Instructable project for Solar Contest, Canning and pickling challenge, and outdoor cooking contest if you like it. Thanks.

Note: This article may contain affiliate links as references for the same or similar products used in this project. If you click on the links and make purchases I could receive a small percentage of commission from the advertising company with no extra cost to you.

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Bio: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow ...
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