A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

How to Dehydrate Tomatoes using a Dehydrator

Now I've always been curious about dehydrators, I mean do they actually work, do they take forever and ever, to do their stuff,  and more to the point why do I, or anyone else for that matter, actually want or indeed need one?

Tomatoes; oh I do love tomatoes!  With a dehydrator you can preserve your tomatoes so they're ready to add to recipes as and when you want them.  As long as your jars are sterilised then I'm sure they can be stored in small kilner jars in olive oil.  I must say I was really impressed that the tomatoes kept their colour when dehydrated, in fact they turned to an even deeper red; no PhotoShop doctoring used in any of these photos apart to resize.  So yes dehydrators do work!
Nice and Quiet:
This dehydrator by Vida Appliances is a bargain (you can pay all manor of money for dehydrators) and yes I'm sure some are more fancy looking and may have more space etc, but this one does the job very well I think.
I had read somewhere on the net that this one is noisy but it seriously isn't so I'm not sure why the person said that it was.  I did notice they had lined the trays with greaseproof paper and since you aren't supposed to block the air from circulating perhaps that was the problem.  Who knows, I say this one is very quiet and hardly noticeable.

The Instruction Booklet:
It has to be said the instruction booklet really doesn't give you any idea on which foods need to be on which temperatures and nor does it tell you for how long!  So you're pretty much on your own with that one; Thankfully with Google to the rescue I was able to find out these things. 

The machine has a timer that counts down and is easy to set by pressing the plus or minus buttons.  Once you see the time you require displayed it will flash then after a second or two it start.

Preserving Food:
This Vida dehydrator has 5 racks which allows adjustable levels of drying.  You can select up to 72 hours of continuous drying per session.  You can use a dehydrator to create healthy dried fruit and vegetable snacks.

Food does need to be 'prepared' before dehydrating for example to dehydrate tomatoes you do need to make sure they are scrumptiously clean and so after washing them you need to soak them in a bowl of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar.  It doesn't affect the taste as the skin is still on the tomatoes and they haven't been cut at this point so no worries there.
Other foods such as carrots, kale or raspberries need to be sprayed with lemon juice to keep their colour.  More on that in future posts.

How to Dehydrate Tomatoes: 
Remove the stalks, rinse well and then into a mixture of water and vinegar and leave to soak for 5 minutes or so.  Dry on kitchen paper and cut each tomato into 6 pieces.
Arrange your tomatoes as shown in the picture making sure they don't touch each other.  Stack the shelves on top of each other.  I had 10 tomatoes and used 4 of the 5 shelves supplied.

Pop the lid on and turn the temperature dial to 55C and set to 18 hours.  Now I left the seeds in my tomatoes, if you decide you want to remove them they will not take as long. You will need to check on them after 12 hours and move the shelves around since the bottom ones seem to dehydrate quicker than those at the top.

Since I had no idea as to how long my tomatoes were going to take, I set mine to 12 hours and then turned off over night and carried on with another 6 hours the next day - yes tomatoes really do take that long.  But I say they are worth it especially if you grow your own produce.
Gorgeous, beautiful, bright red tomatoes - and next up is Tomato Powder!

All in all I say this is a great dehydrator and a bargain price too at £29.99 from ebuyer.com

Disclaimer:  I was sent the Vida Dehydrator. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.


  1. Lovely idea Jan. I have a dehydrator and need to get it out and do this the next time I have a glut of tomatoes.

  2. Lovely idea Jan. I have a dehydrator and need to get it out and do this the next time I have a glut of tomatoes.

  3. Trying Kale as my first attempt. Awaiting results...☺


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