Dried tomatoes are a versatile ingredient as they can be paired with many dishes such as pasta and salads.
They are available in various forms, including dried, powdered, and oil-packed varieties, each of which has a specific shelf life.
Even though dried tomatoes retain their vitality considerably longer than regular tomatoes picked straight from the tree, you can make a few errors that significantly shorten their shelf life.
Keep reading to find out how long do sun-dried tomatoes last and what is the best way to store them.
How Long Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last?
Dried tomatoes can last for a while if you store them appropriately.
If you purchased a container of dried tomatoes from the store. The dried tomatoes can last in the container for about five days after you open them.
The tomatoes will begin to go bad and expire after five days. Homemade dried tomatoes tend to last longer than commercially bought tomatoes.
Furthermore, there are techniques to extend the life of store-bought dried tomatoes, such as soaking them in oil and storing them in properly sealed containers.
Dried tomatoes may for around a year if you keep them inside a clean and properly sealed box in a location with low moisture.
If you add oil to this container, the tomatoes may last up to 24 months. They will last only a few nights if you open them, even after refrigeration.
The Shelf-Life of Several Varieties of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Did you know that dried tomatoes come in various varieties? Here is a list of the different types of dried tomatoes and their lifespan.
Oil-packed tomatoes are often preserved in oils such as extra virgin olive oil. The oil gives a distinct flavor to the tomatoes, which can then be utilized to enhance the taste of several dishes.
If you buy oil-packed dried tomatoes from the supermarket, the expiration date is usually printed on the back of the container. Furthermore, if you make your own oil-packed dried tomatoes, they typically last one to two years (1).
However, this depends on several factors.
For example, store-bought oil-packed dried tomatoes may last up to 6 months if the seal is removed. In comparison, homemade oil-packed dried tomatoes could not last as long as those from the store and might only be edible for four months.
When making dried tomatoes at home, the goal is to include components considered a preservative to ensure the dried tomatoes last long and don’t go moldy or rotten only after a few nights
Important Note: According to Better Health, you must keep your containers for food storage clean and in excellent shape and only use them to store food items (2).
So always use clean and appropriate food containers to store your homemade dried tomatoes.
Sun-dried tomatoes found in grocery stores are sold in containers and do not include added preservatives intended to extend their shelf life.
After you open the sealed container, these varieties of dried tomatoes typically only remain fresh for five days.
Moreover, most store-bought dried tomatoes have expiration dates printed on them, which is the best way to determine their shelf life.
How To Tell Your Sun-Dried Tomatoes Have Become Inedible?
If you eat expired dried tomatoes that have rotten or caught mold, you may wind yourself in the hospital with food poisoning.
Therefore, before using dried tomatoes for your dishes, ensure they are fresh. There are some methods to detect whether tomatoes are edible or not.
The most prevalent indicators of expired tomatoes are textural changes and mold growth. One of the reasons dried tomatoes go bad before their expiry date is that they are not stored properly.
If you suspect that the dried tomatoes lying in your pantry are inedible, check for the following signs:
- Mold growth: Mold is a fungal bacteria that usually grow on decaying organic matter such as fruits or vegetables (3). Mold on dried tomatoes can generally appear in a dusty texture, and its color can vary anywhere between green, black, grey or white. Some individuals think that if a small portion of dried tomatoes has mold, they can just cut that portion and consume the dried tomatoes. However, you must not do this, as once mold grows on dried tomatoes, it infects the whole fruit. Even if you cannot see it, mold may still be on other parts of the fruit. So, the wisest thing you can do to ensure you don’t get sick is to throw the moldy dried tomatoes away
- Damaged container: If the container where you stored the dried tomatoes seems rusted and has changed color, the dried tomatoes will likely expire. A damaged container may crack, exposing the tomatoes to air and allowing harmful bacteria to develop on tomatoes. Therefore, if you observe any noticeable discoloration, rusting, or cracks on the container, it is best to discard the dried tomatoes
- Color change: The easiest method to determine whether a vegetable or fruit has gone bad is if the color has changed. If dried tomatoes go bad, they get darker in color. So any evident signs of color change or dark brown patches on the tomatoes should indicate that they have expired
- Changed texture: If you notice a sudden change in our dried tomatoes’ texture, it usually means that they are beginning to decay. So if you see your dried tomatoes turning soggy and soft, it is best to dispose of them and get a new batch
- Unpleasant smell: When you purchase dried tomatoes from the store, they usually smell like any other fresh vegetable. So if your dried tomatoes begin developing a smelling unpleasant or sour smell, dispose of them immediately
What Is The Best Place To Store Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
You’ve probably noticed that most goods you buy at the store are labelled “keep in a cool and dry location.”
Similarly, if you wish your dried tomatoes last as long as possible, a cool and dry spot away from moisture and sunlight will help you achieve it.
Keep unopened dried tomato containers in the dark corner of your kitchen cupboards or pantry.
Even if the preservatives in oil-packed tomatoes are sufficient to protect them from spoiling, you can increase their shelf life by reducing the temperature change and light exposure.
When you take off the seal of the container, it is best to store it in a refrigerator to ensure it lasts longer.
How Long Will Sundried Tomatoes Stay Fresh In A Refrigerator?
If you have removed the seal on your dried tomatoes, freezing them might be an excellent method to extend their shelf life.
Furthermore, if you’ve made a large quantity of homemade dried tomatoes and don’t believe you’ll be able to use them all at once, freezing them is a terrific method to keep them fresh.
We recommend freezing your dried tomatoes by placing them inside cellophane wrappers to extend their shelf life as much as possible.
If you prepare oil-packed dried tomatoes, ensure enough area for the oil to expand after it freezes, as glass jars are prone to breaking if there isn’t enough room for liquids to expand.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
The easiest method to store any leftover tomatoes is in a properly sealed container or bag and then freeze them.
The process may be more difficult if you freeze oil-packed tomatoes because you will need to defrost the entire container to extract a single tomato.
The easiest approach is to spread the waxed paper on a baking sheet and arrange the tomatoes on it, ensuring there is room between each to ensure none of them touch.
There will be a little oil puddle inside of each tomato. Next, freeze the entire sheet until the tomatoes freeze. When the dried tomatoes have frozen, remove them from the wax paper and put them inside a high-quality sealed container or freezer bag.
Now that you know how long -dried tomatoes last, you can easily use the information mentioned above to store your dried tomatoes appropriately and ensure you use them before they go bad.
Always store dried tomatoes inside a cool and dry place, and once commercially tomatoes are open, refrigerate them for enhanced life.
1. What Is The Difference Between Dehydrated And Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
What distinguishes dried tomatoes and dehydrated tomatoes is how they are made. Dehydrated tomatoes are cleaned and kept in warm air, taking less time to make than dried tomatoes.
After being cleaned and cut into slices, tomatoes are often submerged in a Sulphur dioxide bath.
2. Is It Ok To Fry Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
Yes, you can fry dried tomatoes. Cover your dried tomatoes with batter and cook them in olive oil for one to two minutes or until golden brown.
3. Are Sun-Dried Tomatoes Healthy?
Dried tomatoes are nutritious since they are high in critical vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients.
According to studies, dried tomatoes also contain Lycopene, a potent antioxidant that has been shown to help protect skin from sun damage (4).