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nickel plate July 21, 2017 12:27 PM

Truck dried tomatoes "F-250" style!
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This has been my best tomato producing year in quite some time so I have been drying the overage for the past several weeks-yes, in my truck. Here in the Central Valley we have triple digit temperature runs that go on for several weeks at a time.
The larger the tomato, the easier the process. I like to use ones that are fully orange in color, not quite yet red as I like more acidic flavors.
Cut full size 1/2" slices perpendicular to the stem.
Clean out all of the seeds and gelatinous material, you now have what resembles a "wagon wheel".
Cut out any internal green stem shafts.
Place newspaper on the dashboard to catch any initial dripping.
Place tomato rounds on 1/4" wire screen trays, I made mine but also easy to improvise by blocking up the screen to allow for underneath air flow.
Crack the windows just enough to allow air circulation.
Turn the tomatoes halfway through the heat of the day.
This time of the year my truck in direct sunlight will get up to around 125 degrees. It's white in color so a darker colored vehicle will be warmer. The whole drying time takes two days in triple digit outside ambient temperature.
Add a day if the temperature is in the mid/high 90s.
I want them to be a little drier than fruit leather so I check them at the end of the first day, removing any that have achieved that texture as I don't care for them to be full on brittle crispy.
Bag them up and put in the freezer-break out as needed.
Yes it's "pounds to ounces" and at the time of preparation seems like a lot of effort for so little in return but come winter, those little red wheels turn into a warm remembrance of this past summer.

Salsacharley July 21, 2017 01:46 PM

Nice use of natural heat. I wonder if this method would work in an F-150.:lol:

MadCow333 July 21, 2017 02:09 PM

I have used my Ford Crown Vic as a dessicator or oven to drive moisture out of damp objects. More than once. Numerous times, actually. Some of the more stubborn cases logged quite a few highway miles with me. My ex-MIL raised bread in her Lincoln Town Car. So, heck-yeah! F-150 ought to be right suitable. LOL

Worth1 July 21, 2017 04:59 PM

You can cook a roast in one.


clkeiper July 21, 2017 05:47 PM

I have seen cookies being baked in one, too.

nickel plate July 21, 2017 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by Salsacharley (Post 656001)
Nice use of natural heat. I wonder if this method would work in an F-150.:lol:

I'm sure it will-just cut the tomatoes a little thinner and dry longer!

AuntJane21 July 22, 2017 01:50 AM

In our family are very popular dried tomatoes. I prefer to dry them out in the sun. I dry mainly San Marzano oval fruit, but this year I try to dry tomatoes flesh, especialy heart. I place them in a mixture of olive and sunflower oil and a little red wine. They are excellent.

nickel plate August 4, 2017 08:57 PM

To date I've dried a little over a hundred and fifty pounds of wet tomatoes in full sun in the F-250.

Father'sDaughter August 4, 2017 11:38 PM

I remember reading a garden blog post a few years back written by a woman who used her old Subaru wagon as her tomato dehydrator.

Worth1 August 5, 2017 12:21 AM

What were they thinking?/puke

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