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Dehydrating Cherry Tomatoes: A Guide for Great Results. The image shows a tipped jar with dehydrated cherry tomatoes spilled out and the title of the article.

Every growing season, I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes. I grow several varieties of cherry tomatoes. One year, I decided to try dehydrating some the Sweetie cherry tomatoes because of their smaller size. I was getting tired of eating tomatoes every day!

The Sweetie cherry tomatoes are between the diameter of a nickel and a quarter, the smallest of the cherry tomatoes I grow. They dehydrated great! Read on to learn about dehydrating your own cherry tomatoes.

Preparing for dehydrating cherry tomatoes

Once I harvest my cherry tomatoes, wash and sort through the cherry tomatoes. I remove any tomatoes that are cracked. Cracked tomatoes are vulnerable to bacteria, fungus or pests. As long as there is no rot or bugs, I save those cracked tomatoes for making fresh sauce or tomato soup. I don’t use cracked tomatoes for canning, either. 

Do you need to cut your cherry tomatoes?

Everyone hates to hear it, but it depends. It depends on the size of the cherry tomato and the size of your dehydrator trays. Smaller pieces will dehydrate faster, but foods will shrink as they dehydrate. I like to cut my cherry tomatoes in half.

A quick hack for cutting cherry tomatoes is to put them between two plates. While pushing down on the top plate, run the knife between the two plates to cut many at once.

Pro tip: put the skin side down on the dehydrator try to keep the cherry tomato from sticking to the dehydrator tray.

Dehydrating cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes sliced in half on a dehydrator tray.

How long will it take to dehydrate cherry tomatoes?

Tomatoes are about 95% water. At a temperature of between 125 degrees F to 135 degrees F, it will take about 8-12 hours to dehydrate cherry tomatoes. As a rule of thumb, the more water a food, the longer it will take to dehydrate. 

What else can affect the dehydration time?

  • Sugar content: cherry tomatoes have a lower sugar content. They may take a little longer than other vegetables to dehydrate, but less time than fruits.
  • Size: larger cherry tomatoes will take longer to dehydrate than smaller or halved cherry tomatoes.
  • Spacing: crowding your cherry tomatoes or stacking them limits the air flow.
  • Humidity: the higher the humidity, the longer it will take for dehydrating cherry tomatoes. 
  • Air temperature: too high of a dehydrating temperature can cause the surface areas to harden and not allow the moisture inside out.

How do you know if the tomatoes are dried enough?

Touching the cherry tomatoes is the best way to determine if they are dried or tacky. If they feel tacky or squishy, they are not dried yet. Keep in mind that they will feel softer when warm. 

Pro tip: Pull one or two pieces out of the dehydrator and let them sit for 15 minutes. If they feel dried, they are done. If they feel tacky or wet, let the cherry tomatoes dehydrate longer, checking every 15-30 minutes.

Wait! You’re not ready to store your dehydrated tomatoes just yet.

Congratulations, you’ve dehydrated your first batch of cherry tomatoes! Before storing, let the cherry tomatoes cool on the tray. 

Once cooled, put the dehydrated cherry tomatoes in a glass container, filling only ¾ full. Put a lid on the jar and place in a cool, dry, and dark place. Every day for about a week or two, shake the jar to mix up dehydrated cherry tomatoes.

Is this step really necessary?

Yes! This is a process called conditioning. Conditioning dehydrated food helps spread any moisture left in food to prevent mold. 

If you dehydrate several batches of cherry tomatoes, you can add them to your jar of cherry tomatoes. Remember to leave space in the jar so the dehydrated cherry tomatoes can move around when you shake the jar. Continue to shake the jar every day for a week or two when new batches are added.

How should you store your the dried tomatoes?

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes should be stored in a cool, dry and dark area. Dehydrated cherry tomatoes can take on moisture if stored in high humidity. You don’t want to lose all those precious dehydrated cherry tomatoes to mold when you worked so hard to dehydrate them.

Store your dehydrated cherry tomatoes for up to a year…if they last that long. As time goes on, they will oxidize and lose some of that bright color. You may not notice a flavor difference immediately. Eventually the oxidization will affect the flavor.

Dehydrating Cherry Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes that were dried a year ago are on the left and newly dehydrated cherry tomatoes are on the right. The newly dehydrated cherry tomatoes are brighter in color; this is because of oxidation of the older dehydrated cherry tomatoes.

What can you do with dehydrated cherry tomatoes?

  • Add them to salads
  • Use them when cooking with store bought tomatoes to amp up the flavor
  • Add them to light weight dehydrated meals for the trails
  • Just snack on them straight from the jar

What do they taste like? They are like little bursts of tangy sweetness that you may want to keep snacking on! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes

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