Monday, August 16, 2010

Sun Drying Tomatoes In My Car

The process:

Well, its summer... who wants the oven on ALL DAY?! I already bake for a living and I have been canning at least 4 nights a week, so I don't want to add to that. I make a gallon of sun tea everyday, and I've thought about making a solar oven (Mother Earth News has some great info on how to on their site). So why not use the sun to make the old fashioned sun dried tomatoes Italy is famous for!?

I do fear they will not correctly dry as I've heard mold stories. I've also been warned about bugs, and we have a ton of them this time of year. I won't put all my trust into a screen to take care of it. So why not use my car, its like a giant oven when I get in it! So this morning I have put a tray of cherry tomatoes out in my car with 2 windows cracked for ventilation. I have no idea how many hours this will take, and whether I need to bring them in and finish them in the oven tonight? We'll find out though! Learning experience! :)

 Here's what they look like around 3pm today.

Update: 11:55am 8/18/2010

Later that night when it cooled down, I popped these in the oven at 195 degrees for a few hours before bed, then took them out. In the morning I moved them back to the car. Later in the day I was baking and I decided to move the tomatoes into the oven. At this point the smallest of the cherry tomatoes were done, and I removed them from the try before putting them back into the oven. Within 2 hours they were completely done. As my time is valuable I must admit I rushed to save myself some time. Honestly, if I didn't do the oven the tomatoes would have only needed 1 more day in the car. Luckily I didn't wait, we have over cast and cooler temps today... followed by even cooler temps all week! I may not get another shot for awhile. So I packed ALL the tomatoes in an 8 oz jar and poured some great EVOO in to keep them fresh in the fridge. I will also have some great tasting olive oil to cook with this fall/winter now too. Mmmm


  1. I think its a great idea! lol Hope it works for ya, really dont see why it wouldnt, its HOT out there!

  2. So far its worked GREAT! I picked them out of the car at 8:30. They were still hot. They were reduced by almost 1/2 at this point. I just popped them in the oven at 195 degrees, I will let them reduce down until I get ready for bed, then I'll just turn the oven off. I'm thinking one more round in the car tomorrow should finish them off nicely. :D

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