I have seen many recipes using sun dried tomatoes.
Can you do these in an oven and achieve the same results?
Sure, you can!
If you have a convection oven, you may be in luck ~ it is possible that it has a "dehydrate" setting.
On my Kitchen Aid convection oven, all I have to do is push convection bake, hold it for 5 seconds, and "dehydrate" comes on with a temperature of 140°F.
I've had this feature for 13 years and have never used it. Hello.....
What I needed first was a drying rack. Kitchen Aid used to sell the kits, but alas, no longer. : (
The oven door needs to be open while drying, to allow any moisture to escape and shorten the drying time. This is easily solved by putting a cork on the oven light button, turning the light off and acting as a spacer, propping the door open.
What if you don't have a convection oven? You can still dry tomatoes using this method.
I found these Big Chief Drying Screens at Cabela's. It is originally intended for electric smokers, but I found it a perfect size to use in my oven. It is top-rack dishwasher safe.
Using my Oxo mandoline slicer, I was able to slice all of the tomatoes 1/8" thick. Oh yeah, baby!
Lay all the tomatoes on the dehydrating sheet, over my Silpat baking mat, making sure the tomatoes do not overlap each other.
I put the dehydrating sheet directly onto the oven rack. Looking around the Web, I found this drying process can take anywhere from 8-12 hours ... it depends on the size and thickness of the tomato.
... but these were ready in five hours! You will want these to be dry and pliable, but not mushy. Any moisture left behind will turn to mold quickly, so if you are unsure, store these in a Ziploc baggie in the freezer.
I think I will try a meatier (Roma) tomato next time ...
Side note: MUST USE oil spray on the dehydrating sheet. These dried beauties really stuck! I had to carefully pry each one by one ...
There we go. Oven dried tomatoes, ready for a new recipe!
What is YOUR favorite way to use sun dried tomatoes?