Make Your Own Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Oven, Dehydrator, or Sun

"Found a great source for food preserving info at, very pleased with my dried tomatoes! Paraphrased notes from the site: The best tomato to use for dehydrating is the Roma tomato because it contains less water and seeds. You can use any tomatoes but they may take a little longer to dry. All drying times below are approximate. It takes about 7-8 pounds of tomatoes to yield about a pint of dried tomatoes. Herbs are optional, you may prefer pain tomatoes for greater cooking versatility. After the tomatoes are dry, store in air-tight containers, or pack in oil."
photo by IngridH photo by IngridH
photo by IngridH
Ready In:
8hrs 20mins
1 pint




  • Cut out the stem and scar and the hard portion of core lying under it.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. If the tomato is more than about 2 inches long, cut it in quarters.
  • Scrape out all of the seeds that you can without removing the pulp.
  • Mix together thoroughly basil,oregano, thyme, and salt.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of this mixture on each tomato.
  • OVEN-DRYING (approximately 12 hours).
  • Arrange the tomatoes, with the cut surface up, on non-stick cookie sheets (glass or porcelain dishes are OK.) Do not use aluminum foil or aluminum baking sheets as the acid in the tomato will react with the metal.
  • Bake in 170°F oven for about 3 hours.
  • Leave the oven door propped open about 3 inches to allow moisture to escape.
  • After 3 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a spatula.
  • Continue to dry, turning the tomatoes every few hours, and gently pressing flatter and flatter, until tomatoes are dry.
  • DEHYDRATOR (approximately 8 hours):

  • Place the tomatoes, cut side up, directly onto the dehydrator trays.
  • Set dehydrator temperature to about 140°F.
  • After 4 or 5 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a spatula.
  • After a few hours, turn the tomatoes again and flatten gently.
  • Continue drying until done.
  • SUN-DRYING (approximately 3 days):

  • Dry in hot weather, with relatively low humidity.
  • Place tomatoes, cut side down, in shallow wood-framed trays with nylon netting for the bottom of the trays.
  • Cover trays with protective netting or cheesecloth.
  • Place in direct sun, raised from the ground.
  • on blocks or anything else that allows air to circulate under the trays.
  • Turn the tomatoes over after about 1 1/2 days, to expose the cut side to the sun.
  • Place the trays in a sheltered spot after sundown, or if the weather turns bad.
  • No matter what method you choose, be aware that not all of the tomatoes will dry at the same rate. They do not all have the same amount of moisture, nor do they experience the same temperature and air circulation while they are drying.
  • They are done when they are very dry, but still pliable. Texture is about that of a dried apricot. If dried too long, they become tough and leathery. If not dried long enough, they will mold and mildew, unless packed in oil. So watch them carefully while they dry. Try to remove them on an individual basis, before they become tough.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can you cut tomatoes into smaller pieces than 1/2 tomato? seems like it would shorten the sun drying time? (and you can cut them into uniform sizes so they dry in approx same time)
  2. Can these be made with cherry tomatoes?
  3. Are you supposed to leave the oven on after 3 hours or turn it off and leave the tomatoes in?
  4. I'm going with the sun drying method and chopped up fresh herbs and sprinkled them on top of the tomato halves last night. I've only just set them out to dry a couple of hours ago and realised that the recipe calls for dried herbs. Is it safe for me to use fresh ones?
  5. Please advise us how long are they good for if in oil. How long are they good for if dried and in a jar


  1. Made a batch of these using the oven method. They turned out wonderfully! I'm going to pack 'em in oil and use them in a sun-dried tomato risotto recipe next week. I was a little concerned about anything that required a 12-hour commitment, but it was fine -- I took 'em out for an hour or two so I could roast some asparagus, and then put 'em back in -- no problem. Thanks for posting this!
  2. I used an old dehydrator, but it only took 5 hours. My question is how long these can remain in the fridge in oil? Thanks!
  3. I used a dehydrator to dry mine and I put them in ziplock freezer bags put them in the freezer, and they lasted a year! no messy oil!
  4. I used the sun method. It took a long time but the flavor was good.
  5. I used the oven method for these - they were good, but they took longer than the 12 hours. I finally had to just pull them out after 14, even though they weren't quite as dry as they should have been. I live in a very humid climate, though, so I think that was my issue, not the recipe. I think I'll wait until winter to make these again, my kitchen was a little warm all day! :) The flavor was very good, and I am excited to use them in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce over pasta.


A picture of me and my dear friend Liz. I'm on the left. <img src=""> I live in Blacksburg, Virginia with my husband and 3 young children, and one fat cat. I'm a stay at home Mom of an 8 year old girl, 5 year old boy, and 2 year old girl. They are all stinky rotten but I am terribly attached to them. Plus, they do put up with me. I guess I'll keep them. Dinner preparation can be challenging with my toddler hanging on my leg but I still try to make a really nice meal. I enjoy cooking so much and though I could turn to more convenience foods to help me out, I just don't like to. My food is a source of pride for me. Some of my best memories are of my Mom in the kitchen. So, let the laundry pile up and the dust accumulate because I am spending my time in the kitchen. I live in a close knit community and have an excellent support network of other Moms. There are a lot of good cooks in the bunch so there is a lot of recipe swapping. My MOPS group just sent a cookbook to the printer to make it back by the holidays. I helped with the editing. Blacksburg may be small but the presence of Virginia Tech ensures that we have a constant ebb and flow of folks from all over the place. Small town meets global world. I'm originally from Indiana where I was raised to love basketball but have transitioned over to Hokie football. Sometimes our town IS that football team. Certainly, I love the tailgating and I feel at home among the ever present sea of orange and maroon. I love this place. If I am eating out in Blacksburg, I'm most likely to be seen at Gillies's for breakfast, Cabo Fish Taco for lunch, and the Cellar for dinner. RecipeZaar is the cooking site I visit most. I can almost always find what I am looking for here. The reviews and ratings are so helpful. The folks here seldom let me down. I have accumulated quite a recipe collection from you all. Thank you! I find myself in the natural foods section of the grocery more and more these days. I have been gradually weaning the family off of processed foods. I can't fathom becoming a vegetarian anytime soon so we buy organic beef from a local farmer. It's great stuff and we get it at a good price. I've been cooking with whole grains and fresh produce more often lately. I am trying my hand at making my own mayo and ketchup. I went in with a friend to purchase a grain mill to mill our own grains into flour. I look forward to gaining more experience in bread making. Want to try grain soaking. My favorite cookbooks are my old Fanny Farmer and Good Housekeeping, a 1990 edition of the NY Times cookbook, and an Amish cookbook by Marcia Adams. I still love my sweets. I tell myself that if I make it from scratch and I use more organic and raw ingredients, that it's OK. Not exactly healthy but an improvement. I do find that many of the desserts I used to like are just too sweet for me anymore. This has put me on a quest to update or replace some of the recipes I've had for a long time. Other interests of mine include children's literature, cardmaking, writing, afternoon naps. the art of Charles Harper & Audrey Kawasaki, craftsman houses, and tournament-style Scrabble. Autumn is my favorite season. Few things please me more than the fall's crisp air, leaves dancing around in a cascade of colors, and my glorious friends the pumpkins. The Blue Ridge Mountains are perfect. Plenty of trails locally and in the mountains to do lots of nature walks. <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""><img src="">
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