|Early in the drying process.|
Good news: we were successful in the drying process. We dried some Roma tomatoes, cut in half with the cut-side up. Initially, we put them on indirect heat in the gas grill, then we moved them to the smoker for a while and smoked them using hickory chips. Our smoker, called a 'bullet smoker' on the box (we always thought it was because of its tall, cylindrical shape), has no vents. Therefore, we could not regulate the heat, which is troublesome when you need to smoke-dry the tomatoes using "cool" heat which is 130-165°F. Our smoker registered 700°F at one point!
|Smokin' chicken breasts & pork tenderloin|
while we wait for the tomatoes to dry
Meanwhile, back at the tomatoes... after 6-8 hours between the smoker and grill, our tomatoes were finished. This was our first attempt at drying tomatoes and I had never heard of smoking them until I found the Boggy Creek site. We were thrilled that our tomatoes looked just like Larry's did on the Boggy Creek website.
I wanted to taste one so I placed it in water to reconstitute it, and, when it plumped back up, I tasted it. Well, I did not like the flavor - which was strongly licorice-like - and I have to assume that the flavor is from the smoke process. It may be because we used hickory and Larry's website says they use oak for their smoke, so that could be our big boo-boo.
|Smoke-dried Roma tomatoes|
I am going to order some of Larry's smoke-dried tomatoes so I can have a benchmark to work from. In other words, I'm not closing the book on smoke-dried tomatoes, just this chapter.