Making homemade sun-dried tomatoes is easy, something I really appreciate when the tomatoes are ripening. That’s usually the time of year when things are coming in from the garden so fast that it’s hard to keep up.
I’m usually putting corn, beans, squash, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and raspberries into the pantry or freezer in various forms as fast as I can. So, sun-drying tomatoes (see nutritional information for them HERE ) is a nice method of preservation because it requires little work, they’re a lot less expensive homemade than from the store, and there are a couple of recipes that I like to have them on hand for.
The only problem is, we live in Ohio, and sometimes there’s very little sun – so I make homemade sun-dried tomatoes IN THE OVEN. They’re still easy and provide that intense tomato taste of the real sun-dried ones.
What Type of Tomato for Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
A Roma or paste-type tomato works best – they contain less moisture than standard type (for example beefsteak) tomatoes.
Less moisture means that they dry more readily, faster and more consistently than standard type tomatoes.
How To Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Simply slice the tomatoes in half and lay them out on baking sheets skin side down (see the photo above). They shrink a lot so they can be crowded on the baking sheets to start.
After slicing them and arranging them on baking sheets, put them into a 200°F oven until dried – approximately 12 hours depending on the type and size of tomato used.
I like to start checking them after about half the time – the photo below shows what these looked like at 6 hours.
I continue checking them and removing any that are ready until they’ve all dried to my liking. Then I store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and they’re conveniently on-hand whenever I need them. Simply remove as many as needed from the ziplock and soften in a small amount of oil or water (depending on the recipe) prior to using. The photo below shows the final product before being packaged for storage.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to use your homemade sun-dried tomatoes, try this delicious Sun Dried Tomato Dip!