How do folks make sun dried tomatoes without bacteria or bugs ruining the tomatoes?

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That’s pretty much the post, I have always eaten them without knowing how they are safe to eat.

In: 869

Dry them in a oven. I don’t think commercial company’s dry them outside, it’s just one of those things with a confusing name.

They’re treated with salt before being laid out to dry. Then since they’re losing vast amounts of their water during the process, they’re less hospitable environments for bacteria to grow. Between losing so much water and containing a bunch of salt, bacteria really don’t have a chance.

They need sun and air. That’s mostly it. Lightly salting will inhibit bacterial growth.

If you can, use a drying box with window screen over it to keep bugs from laying egs without inhibiting airflow.

I have made sun-dried tomato paste once the traditional way. The amount of salt does not let bugs to approach

I have made them outside (very hot in AZ).

You get some new window screen from home depot.

Lay the tomatoes on a vented sheet (I have a couple pizza pans that work really well, one is like just mesh, the other is like a big round cookie sheet but full of holes). Top with the screen. I pop them on a chaise lounge or somewhere elevated, not right on the ground. Direct sun. Sometimes I turn them over one by one, if it’s not that hot, that seems to speed them up – but I often do this with cherry tomatoes and it can take a long time so sometimes I just leave them until they’re dry. Never had a bug get to them, and they keep forever. No mold and they taste great even a few years later. I don’t know if this work work as well in a humid area though.

The tomatoes themselves are a little acidic so I think that helps keep any cooties from sprouting.