Gardening

What percent of a tomato is water?

What percent of a tomato is water?  thumbnail

Ever wonder what percent of a tomato is water? So have we!

As we’ve written about before in this recipe, we dehydrate lots of tomatoes each summer to use as sun-dried tomatoes throughout the year. Our favorite way to use dried tomatoes is on homemade wood-fired pizzas in our cob oven.

Wood-fired pizza in cob oven.

There’s no better way to honor the life of a tomato than to use it as a sun-dried tomato on homemade, wood-fired pizza! Yes, dried tomatoes are buried there under all that cheesy goodness.

This time of year, our Excalibur dehydrator is running nearly 24-7 to keep up with all the fresh produce.

A bowl of chopped tomatoes ready for the dehydrator. What percent of a tomato is water weight?

A bowl of chopped tomatoes ready for the dehydrator.

Our Excalibur is well over 10 years old, and we can’t recommend them enough to anyone with a big garden or who wants to dehydrate lots of fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, and gourmet mushrooms.

It’s fairly obvious when we put juicy tomato chunks into our Excalibur and then take them out 36-48 hours later that tomatoes are comprised almost entirely of water, but exactly what percent of a tomato is water?

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Break out the scale: what percent of a tomato is water?

To find out, we broke out our Dymo digital scale that measures accurately down to fractions of an ounce.

Bowl of chopped tomatoes on the Dymo scale. The bowl weighed 2lb 1.56oz and I forgot to TARE it before measuring, which would have made it easier to weigh only the tomatoes, not the bowl too. What percent of a tomato is water weight?

Bowl of chopped tomatoes on the Dymo scale. The bowl weighed 2lb 1.56oz and I forgot to TARE it before measuring, which would have made it easier to weigh only the tomatoes, not the bowl too.

First, we started with a bowl of chopped tomatoes:

  • weight of just the tomatoes minus bowl: 6lb 8.44oz (or 104.44 oz)
  • (*total weight in picture is 8lb 10oz but the bowl weight was 2lb 1.56oz)

Then we put the tomatoes in our Excalibur dehydrator.

One rack of tomatoes before dehydration. What percent of a tomato is water weight?

One rack of tomatoes before dehydration.

Two days later, you can see how drastically they shrank in size once the water was removed from them:

The same rack of tomatoes after dehydration. Pretty big difference!

The same rack of tomatoes after dehydration. Pretty big difference!

Total weight of the now-dehydrated tomatoes? 5.8 oz.

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Hard to believe, but all those fresh tomatoes only yielded 5.8 ounces of dehydrated tomatoes.

Hard to believe, but all those fresh tomatoes only yielded 5.8 ounces of dehydrated tomatoes.

 So what percent of a tomato is water? The answer: 94.46%. 

There may be some variability to this equation depending on how much rain you’ve had, what variety of tomato you’re using, etc. However, we did use a mix of tomato varieties (beefsteaks, paste tomatoes, etc), so we feel like we’ve provided an accurate average here.

Given the high percent of tomato that is comprised of water (and most other fruits and veggies as well), it’s no wonder that they’re so hydrating when eaten fresh! This is also why reducing or removing water from tomatoes during cooking or dehydrating concentrates their flavors.

KIGI,

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