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Slow Roasted Juicy Tomatoes: Maximizing Flavor with Convection Mode

Updated: Jan 4

There are many ways to enjoy tomatoes when they are at their peak, and one of the most delicious ways is to slow roast them. The slow roasting process caramelizes the natural sugar in tomatoes giving them greater depth of flavor that can be enhanced by adding good olive oil, fresh herbs and of course garlic.

Once roasted the tomatoes make an excellent condiment for simple grilled fish, poultry and some meats or they can be served over grilled summer vegetables or pasta. The tomatoes are also delicious slathered on grilled bread or served with scrambled eggs.

Convection: The Best Oven Mode for Slow Roasting Tomatoes

When determining which oven mode is best for slow roasting tomatoes remember that convection cooks food by circulating heated air around the oven which helps preserve the natural moisture in the food. When food is cooked in radiant heat, the heat is directed from the top and bottom heating elements, and this direct heat has a more drying effect upon food.

Convection (also called True Convection) is also used for dehydrating fruits and vegetables because the slightly heated air circulating around the food for long periods of time helps maintain a good level of moisture during the slow drying process. To dehydrate in your oven the best mode is Convection because in this mode the heat is only coming from the heating elements around the fan.

Which is Best Slow Roasting or Dehydrating Tomatoes?

Slow roasted tomatoes can be prepared in 2 - 3 hours, and should be consumed within 4 days; however, they can also be frozen in ½ cup or 1 cup portions and added to your cooking as needed. Dehydrated tomatoes can be oil packed and stored in the refrigerator for several months.

Best Tomatoes for Slow Roasting

Small tomatoes are ideal for slow roasting such as small San Marzano tomatoes, also grape and cherry tomatoes work well or petite heirloom varieties. Using a variety of colors certainly adds to the appeal of the finished dish.

Cherry tomatoes is one of the ideal tomatoes for slow roasting in the convection or true convection
Cherry tomatoes is one of the ideal tomatoes for slow roasting

To ensure the best flavor be sure to use a good quality olive oil and add a little dried mixed Italian seasoning and finely minced garlic. To preserve the flavor of fresh herbs only add them once the tomatoes are cooked.

Most recipes advise cooking the tomatoes cut side up. This is important if you cook the tomatoes in radiant heat because the direct heat from the bottom heating element will cause the tomatoes to stick to the pan as the natural sugars caramelize. I haven’t found the same to be true when slowly roasting the tomatoes in convection, however lining the pan with foil placed shiny side down will make clean-up easier.

Along with guiding us to the many wonderful ways to enjoy tomatoes Italian chefs created one of the most popular foods on the planet, pizza. Whether you make your pizza from scratch or bake store bought pizza, check out my next post to learn about the modes best suited to baking pizza in Convection.

Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

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