Making sun-dried tomatoes

As I understand it sun drying tomatoes (or any fruit) is a race to get them dehydrated before the mould and fungus take over.
Has anybody sun-dried their own tomatoes or worked where they do it? What conditions of sunshine and humidity are required and how long does it take?
Conversely, has anybody tried it and the mould won? What were your conditions?
David
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snipped-for-privacy@empty.com writes:

the dehydrator racks and set them outside on a hot day (in the sun) to lose the bulk of the moisture. Even covering them with a lightweight towel (to protect them from bugs, dust, etc.) doesn't seem to overly hinder them though some type of screening would be much better. Late in the day, in come the racks to the dehydrator to finish. They could also finish in the oven on a low heat if you don't have a dehydrator. The first year I was here, I invested in a good dehydrator and have never been sorry. One of my future projects will be to build a much larger dehydrator with the love we have for the dried tomatoes! (Just like candy, only healthy!)
And, no, never had any mold. I doubt there would be any if they never went into the dehydrator if they really are dried in the sun on hot (translate: low-humid) days. They dry out remarkably quickly.
Glenna
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Please let me step in, about a 1/4 inch, maybe a little less. I have used better boy, and celebrity. I don't know why you couldn't use any tomato. they do taste good, really concentrated. Len
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I do it every year with my Romas. I slice them and put them on a plate in the microwave and nuke them on very low (1 or 2) for a long time (half hour or more) until they look like sundried tomatoes. Check on them every five minutes towards the end so they don't get overcooked. Then I store them in olive oil in the fridge. Yummy!! -Peg
David Hare-Scott wrote:

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Thanks for the idea. I was particularly interested in trying to do it by sunshine. I will be starting up a new garden in a new district and (over) planting many varieties to test which ones do the best there. Unless I have several outright failures the chances are I will have far more than we (or the neighbours) can eat fresh. We will bottle lots but the supply of bottles is always limited.
My problem with sun-drying is that in the late summer when you have a glut of tomatoes the weather tends to be quite humid here, which will slow down drying and increase the chance of moulds growing.
I may have to use an oven anyway.
I wonder if the method of drying affects the flavour? Any thoughts?
David

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David Hare-Scott said:

I use a dehydrator to dry my tomatoes. They taste better than the fancy imported sun-dried tomatoes I've bought, IMO. (Maybe it's because I start with better tomatoes, and mine would be even better if only I could sun dry them.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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