18 September 2016

A slow process

I finished one batch of small tomatoes in the dehydrator a couple of days ago. Three and a half trays of tomatoes gave me just two small jars of dried tomatoes.

When I took the small tomatoes out, I immediately started cutting and trimming another batch of tomatoes — larger ones, this time. I decided to set the temperature in the dehydrator at its highest level — 70ºC, which is about 160ºF.

I was glad the big tomato pieces fit as well as they did. I only put them on three trays, the lowest, the middle one, and the top tray, leaving the other two empty to ensure good air flow.

Dehydrating is a very slow process. You don't really have to watch it, so I guess it doesn't matter too much. But I do wonder how much electricity the machine is using. I've let it run for 30 hours straight, but the tomatoes are still not sufficiently dry. I'm letting it run for a few more hours this morning. We'll see.


  1. As I've mentioned before Ken...
    the drying times seem to bear no relation to the times given in the books!
    It always takes far, far longer.
    As for electricity, far less than in an oven....
    dehydrators use "light bulb" quantities...
    the 5-tray Excalibur uses 150W at full heat....
    and we never have used that, here....
    it is for beef jerky and other preserved meats.

    I've currently got blitzed courgettes spread out on the silicon mats...
    this is an experiment...
    the idea is to crumble the result up and store it in bottles....
    it can then be added to soups, etc. during the cold season...
    and, more probably, the "hungry gap"!

    1. My dehydrator is listed at 250 watts. That's a big light bulb, especially these days. But I do want to preserve all these nice tomatoes, despite the freezer being full.

  2. I have an Excalibur, 9 tray, which is very low in electricity useage. I have been doing masses of figs and at 57C/135F The book says 22 to 30 hours and I have found cut into quarters 12 hours is perfect. They are not gigantic figs but big enough. We have had quite a lot of tomatoes but they have been going into ratatouille ready for winter so I have not dried them. Think I must have dried over 100 courgettes this year as well!! Pumpkins, leeks and chillies dried well last year as did the mirabelles this year. The fruit is great for snacking on! Keep well Diane

    1. P.S.I see there is moisture in the tomato jar above, Take care any moisture after drying and they will rot! I take my fruit/veg out and put in plastic bags sealed for several days. If any moisture appears I put them back in the dehydrator for a few more hours. Then bottle them. Diane

    2. I sterilize the jars in the oven after I fill them. I think the tomatoes will keep that way. If they show signs of mold or mildew, I'll have to throw them out. I've never had that problem before.

  3. It is such fun to watch you do all of this good kitchen stuff :)


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