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Drying Tomatoes in the Oven – The Impatient Way

Just recently I heard about drying tomatoes in the oven and when looking for a recipe to borrow, I found that everyone does it different. Most people skin the tomatoes first and cook at a really low temperature (200°) for many, many hours. This is for patient people – not for me.

I got a recipe from my friend & co-worker Barb and found it was perfect for me with a couple slight modifications. To start, I LEFT THE SKINS ON. After making BBQ sauce a couple weeks ago, I will never remove tomato skins again.

As you can see by the picture, I cut the larger tomatoes into chunks, cut smaller ones in half and left the cherry tomatoes whole.

I drizzled olive oil over the tomatoes and made sure the surface of the pan was covered as well. Then sprinkled with a little course ground sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Since I left the skins on, I made sure the skin side was down when possible. Then placed the pan in the cold oven.

Next, I turned the oven to 450° and waited until the oven was preheated. This caused a real stink in my house – literally. It got pretty smokey, so if you’re like me and don’t clean your oven, you’ve been warned.

Once your oven is preheated, turn it down to 325° for about an hour and a half. Since I like mine a little softer, I turned it down to 200° for another hour and a half (three hours total). If you like them crispy, keep it at 325° for a full two-three hours. During the last hour, I checked the tomatoes often and pulled the smaller pieces off as they were crispy and dark.

You can tell when they’re done based on if they’re crispy, dark and taste wonderful. When mine were done, I put them on a cooling rack for about an hour and then put whatever I didn’t eat in the freezer.

I love how the dried tomatoes tasted sweet, zippy and then spicy. I wasn’t expecting that. Even though I put mine in the freezer, some folks put theirs in olive oil and store in the fridge (they do spoil faster this way).

Thanks Barb for the great recipe!

— Posted from the road

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stevie #

    Great post! I just did this with grape tomatoes a few days ago: I was wondering about how to do the larger ones. I think I'll try your "smoked" method :)


    September 22, 2009
  2. flowrgirl1 #

    Sounds yummy. I hadn't heard of this method but it sounds great. thanks


    September 22, 2009
  3. Since moving my blog over – I received three new comments on this post. Here they are:

    SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 4:44 PM
    Barb said…
    Glad it worked for you. Forgot to tell you about the smoke from the hot oven. If I don’t have the windows open it’s been known to set off my smoke detector. That’s why I want and industrial oven fan when I remodel and get my super duper gas stove.

    SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 6:02 PM
    LeSan said…
    The first year of my garden someone gave me an inordinate amount of tomatoe plants which I didn’t have the guts to reject. They grew like wild fire until they were hit by tomatoe blight. They then became a black slime pit in the back yard. I vowed never to own a tomatoe plant again.
    You made this sound so tempting and easy. I may have to reconsider my tomatoe ban.

    SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 4:54 PM
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said…
    Those sound great. I think I’m going to try this next summer, we don’t have too many more tomatoes coming this year.
    Glad to see another Seattle area garden blogger!


    September 27, 2009
  4. I’ve never did this with tomatoes. And I consider myself as a tomato person. Shame on me! I usually freeze cut tomatoes and use them mostly to make a tomatoes/eggs/onion dish in winter. Thanks for the recipe!


    October 10, 2009

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