It is easy to make Sun Dried tomatoes, even if you don’t live in a hot or sunny location.

Okay, I guess technically, they aren’t actually ‘sun dried’. However, by following the below instructions, you can make your own dried tomatoes that taste exactly like sun dried tomatoes.

sun dried tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes ready to be stored or used in a recipe.

And best of all, it won’t take several days to do so!

I have always loved the taste of sun-dried tomatoes. Especially when they are added to sauces and recipes.

For instance, we absolutely love to add them to our favorite Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe.

But I also like to eat a few of them when I get that sweet tooth after dinner. It serves a fantastic alternative when I don’t want to indulge in something unhealthy.

So when I had a few extra black cherry tomatoes (which may be the understatement of the year), I decided to make sun-dried tomatoes.

See: 5 Things To Do With Cherry Tomatoes

How To Make Sun Dried Tomatoes

Because we live in Ohio, the weather is not ideal for making true sun dried tomatoes.

tomatoes sun drying
In Ohio, sun drying tomatoes usually isn’t a viable option.

Yes, we went through an extremely hot period of about two weeks where the temperatures remained in the 90’s during the day.

However, if you have ever been to the Midwestern part of the United States, you will know that the humidity is the problem.

The amount of moisture that is in the air from sun-up to sun-down would never allow for the tomatoes to dehydrate adequately.

In fact, based on how my curly hair responded to moisture in the atmosphere, I am almost positive that the tomatoes would become moldy within a few hours of being outside.

So how can you make Sun Dried tomatoes without the sun?

Type of Tomatoes To Use

You first have to determine the type of tomatoes to use. Because our cherry tomato plants seems to produce early and often, they are an ideal candidate to become sun dried.

black cherry tomatoes
This time of the year we have an over abundance of our black cherry tomatoes to use.

However, you can also use grape, Campari, or paste tomatoes as well.

The smaller and meatier the tomato, the better it will turn out once dehydrated.

Plus, the smaller the tomato, the less preparation that is required.

Simply slice the tomato in half and remove the core and most of the seeds. However, if the tomatoes are greater than 2 inches, they will need to be sliced into smaller sections.

Now that you have the type and size of the tomatoes that are required, how do you do it?

Oven Method

First you could use your oven to dehydrate your tomatoes.

oven sun dried tomatoes
Oven dried tomatoes with herbs added for extra flavor.

Simply set your oven to a low temperature (between 200-225 degrees F). Then place your tomato halves on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up.

Then cook for 4-5 hours until the tomatoes are shriveled and dry.

Although this method is fantastic, it does require you to turn your oven on during the hot summer months.

So what is another alternative?

Dehydrator Method

Although the most common method of dehydrating tomatoes is in the oven (because everyone has an oven), we prefer to make them in a dehydrator.

First of all, we don’t have to heat up kitchen when using a dehydrator.

tomatoes on dehydrator rack
A dehydrator is another way to make sun dried tomatoes.

Although you can use your dehydrator on your kitchen counter, we often plug it into an outdoor outlet and let them dehydrate on our back deck.

We also use our dehydrator outside when we are making out Hot Pepper Powder from our garden peppers. The fumes of the hot peppers are able to escape without filling up the house with noxious aromas.

And the process to make sun dried tomatoes in the oven or the dehydrator is basically the same.

Only the temperature changes. Dehydrators require a lower temperature because they are designed to release moisture much quicker than the oven.

Storing Sun Dried Tomatoes

So now that you know how to make Sun Dried Tomatoes, how do you store them?

As soon as they cool, store them in an air-tight container. Then place them in the fridge and use within a week.

sun dried tomatoes in oil
Putting sun dried tomatoes in oil will help them last longer in the fridge.

If you want them to last a little longer in the fridge, submerge them in extra virgin olive oil. They should last up to 3-4 weeks when stored this way.

Finally, our preferred method of storing homemade sun dried tomatoes: Freeze them!

Frozen sun dried tomatoes will last over a year when stored in an air-tight container in the freezer.

Just be sure to freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before adding them to the freezer container. This avoids them sticking together in one large clump.

Then whenever you need a few for a recipe or snack, just pull them out the the freezer and Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The easiest and quickest methods to making sun-dried tomatoes. Check out how to dehydrate in an oven or dehydrator.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grape cherry, or Campari tomatoes
  • olive oil optional
  • Italian seasoning optional

Instructions

OVEN METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half. Cut out the core and remove the majority of the seeds.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and Italian seasoning if desired.

  4. Bake for 4-5 hours or until the tomatoes are dry and shriveled.

DEHYDRATOR METHOD

  1. Slice tomatoes in half. Cut out the core and remove the majority of the seeds.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on the racks of the dehydrator. Drizzle with olive oil and Italian seasoning if desired.

  3. Dehydrate for 4-5 hours or until the tomatoes are dry and shriveled.

Recipe Notes

Because all tomatoes and appliances vary, begin checking your tomatoes at the 3 hour mark.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or store in olive oil in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Or freeze them on a parchment lined baking sheet until frozen and then transfer them to an air-tight container and store in the freezer.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

How To Make Sun Dried Tomatoes
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