Oven Dried Tomatoes

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Oven Dried Tomatoes

Postby edchef » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:51 am

Has anyone tried making their own 'Sun Dried Tomatoes' by drying them in a very low oven ? I am expecting a good crop of home grown this year and it occurred to me that this just might work if they were left in for maybe 24 hours - perhaps with a little olive oil and garlic?Any suggestions/
Ed
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Re: Oven Dried Tomatoes

Postby Abrwstr » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:03 am

edchef wrote:Has anyone tried making their own 'Sun Dried Tomatoes' by drying them in a very low oven ? I am expecting a good crop of home grown this year and it occurred to me that this just might work if they were left in for maybe 24 hours - perhaps with a little olive oil and garlic?Any suggestions/
Ed


Hi Ed

I dried several batches last year in one of those small fan ovens from Aldi

Cut them in half and put them on a flat trays that had been lightly oiled

They took approx 10-12 hours at 80 -100 degrees c depending on size.
They were turned over half way through.

The results were quite good especially as it was a first attempt .

I stored some in jars in olive oil with a clove or two of garlic the rest were coated in olive oil and froze, We have just finished using them.

They woud probably dry quicker with the pips and surrounding water removed, and only the flesh and skins used.
This year I might try deseeding them strain the pips off and put the pips back into the tomato shells to see if the process can be hastened any.

Hope this helps

Regard T.B.
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Postby edchef » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:41 am

Hi TB
That was quick - it appears I am not the only person in the world who think about tomatoes at six in the morning!
Thanks for your suggestions - I guess it's a matter of trial and error - I do have an oven capable of doing low temps. so I should be OK - too lazy to take the seeds and pith out but I'll try both methods
Thinking along the same lines for storage - Local 'LIDL' sometimes has really good prices on large 'on the vine' toms. - worth a look if you have a local branch
Thanks again
Ed
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Postby Oddley » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:26 am

Canning food can be a little more complicated than at first thought. There is a significant risk of botulism, especially in non acidic foods. There have I believe been cases of botulism in the USA originating from bottling garlic in oil.

Click below for a guide on canning from the USDA Called:


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Postby Mike D » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:09 am

I usually get a glut of tom's off my dad, and last year I made a load of ketchup with them and we have just finished our last jar, and 'green tomato chutney' with the unripened ones.

I think I may now do some sundried too - I seem to be acquiring various jars at an alarming rate. Great idea!
Cheers,


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Postby wheels » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:30 pm

There's an interesting piece about avoiding botulism when bottling tomatoes or garlic in oil here:

http://cefresno.ucdavis.edu/files/11202.pdf

...and what looks a good compromise solution here:

http://chezpim.typepad.com/blogs/2006/1 ... fit_o.html

It would also make good sense to store them under refrigeration.

HTH

Phil
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Postby Mike D » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:18 pm

@Oddley & Phil

I tend to do garlic oil, by crushing some garlic cloves and putting in olive oil. This does get used quite quickly in cooking and on salads, and when finished I will just make some more. Is there a risk from doing this??
Cheers,


Mike
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Postby wheels » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:31 pm

No, I don't think so, not if it's treated as a 'fresh ingredient' and used as such.

Phil

added:

Have a look around on this site Mike:

http://cefresno.ucdavis.edu/index.cfm
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Re: Oven Dried Tomatoes

Postby Ianinfrance » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:16 pm

edchef wrote:Has anyone tried making their own 'Sun Dried Tomatoes' by drying them in a very low oven ?

Yup. Works fine. I use the italian plum type:- Halve lengthways, remove seeds, salt lightly and lay on racks to dry. Remove when non sticky but still pliable., Don't go too hot or you'll cook them which isn't what you want.

I don't think that it's a good idea to add anything other than salt (and perhaps a tiniest pinch of sugar to your tomatoes when you're drying them.

Now I've got my Bradley smoker, I'm hoping to be able to use it for dehydrating as well. Should work fine.
Last edited by Ianinfrance on Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All the best - Ian
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Postby culinairezaken » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:52 pm

hi,

we used to make them in a high end restaurant.

we skinned the tomatoes (nice flavourfull plum), sliced them in 4 and put the seeds out.

put the tomatoes between towels or paper, salt them and leave overnight.

transfer them to oiled bakingsheets with fresh herbs (thyme, oregano e.a.) and put in the oven at 60C for at least 5 hours.

they are really nice but a pain in the b*tt to make. :D

greets, Pieter
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Postby Ianinfrance » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:02 pm

culinairezaken wrote:hi,
a pain in the b*tt to make. :D
Only if you faff around with skinning and pre-drying them. Doing it the way I described was childs' play, though checking when they are at the right stage can be a bit of a fiddle. I'll certainly be doing it again soon, when big plum tomatoes are available again at a good price.
All the best - Ian
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Postby Snags » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:27 am

I have an electric food dehydrator which tended to get them a little too dry.
Best way for me was I made a frame and layered them on fly wire stretched over it . hung it of my washing line.
I or 2 ,30 Degree Celsius days and they were ready
Kept for ages just dry packed in a jar I also kept some soaked in olive oil.
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Postby Ianinfrance » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:00 am

Snags wrote:I have an electric food dehydrator which tended to get them a little too dry.
Best way for me was I made a frame and layered them on fly wire stretched over it . hung it of my washing line.
I or 2 ,30 Degree Celsius days and they were ready
Kept for ages just dry packed in a jar I also kept some soaked in olive oil.

Do you happen to know what temperature the dehyrdator ran at?

Actually in a book I read where they described the technique, they do say that you have to keep an eye on them and take them out at the right stage.

30°C days are OK for you in Oz, and me in Frogland, and perfect in Arizona, but not so common in the UK - even with global warming.

What I do with mine is to vac pack them when dried to the state at which I like them and then I either use them as they are, or rehydrated, or partially rehydrated (5 mins in boiling water, then drained) and then stored under oil as you say. We love them and use them a lot.
All the best - Ian
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Postby Snags » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:06 am

Don't know the temp, it felt like a hair dryer so I would imagine high 30s to 40s.
I have seen solar dryers probably work well in a colder climate

http://www.i4at.org/surv/soldehyd.htm
or

http://ecobites.com/diy-recycling-projects/722
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Postby Ianinfrance » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:08 pm

Thanks Snags

As it happens, I tried drying some plum tomatoes in the Bradley (electronic) at its lowest setting, but it was a touch too hot, and the ends of the tomatoes went a bit too dark once they had dried. So I can either par dry them in that and then transfer to my main oven at a lower temperature, or else cobble up my sous vide thermostat to switch the Bradley heater to a more reasonable temperature. Shouldn't be too hard. It's just a matter of finding a suitable lead to take power from the (french) socket outlet of the thermostat, and feed into the (computer style) socket on the Bradley.
I have to say that I'm a little disappointed with it (the Bradley) it JUST fails on several counts. It's quite flimsy, the fused powder finish on the door scratched very easily, the usable range on the internal thermostat starts too high, and it's not very precise. In fact it's very imprecise. Apparently Bradley is aware of this last shortcoming, and will be changing it. In the meantime....

I'm really not keen on having to buy a PID and tune it to make the Bradley do what it should have been able to do from the outset. However, with the CSG, it is excellent for cold smoking.
All the best - Ian
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