How To Dehydrate Food
Learning how to dehydrate food is a great way to economically and conveniently store fruits, vegetables, and meats. Even better, drying food is actually easy to do. Once you master this technique, there really are no limitations. From supermarket specials to homegrown vegetables, dehydrating food, because it uses no preservatives, is a much healthier food storage option.
- First, you will need to decide on what method you going to use to dehydrate your food. The oven is an obvious choice, but this can often cause the food to weather and alter its physical characteristics. Outdoor sun drying racks are a very inexpensive and effective solution. The only problem here is that you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. The best solution is to buy a food dehydrator. While this may require an initial financial investment, it is hassle free and will pay off in the long run.
- Experiment with different types of food. You can dehydrate many different types of food. Fruits and vegetable always dehydrate nicely, but beef, lamb, and certain types of fish are also great options. Whatever food you decide to dehydrate, make sure you experiment with a small portion first.
- Pay attention to the drying temperatures. Different types of food need to dry at different temperatures. This controls the speed of the drying time, and eliminates contamination. Meats should be dried at around 150 degrees and vegetables around 130 degrees. Remember that you are eliminating moisture, so drying times will vary.
- All ways use fresh food. When you dehydrate food, never use food that is close to the expiration date or that has been canned or frozen. This will ensure quality, taste, and enjoyment.