1. START BY LEARNING ABOUT YOUR MODEL
The food dehydrators are split into three categories
, according to the placement of their fans – the bottom fan, the top fan, and the back fan ones. Find out which one of these
you’ve got and carefully read the instructions
, in order to get the most out of it.
2. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A DEHYDRATOR, TRY THE AIR DRYING
If you’re still not sure about buying this machine, try the air drying. Some sorts of food, like the herbs, are very easy to dry – all that one has to do is to hang them in a dry room.
3. SOME VEGETABLES CAN BE BLANCHED BEFORE THE DEHYDRATION
This process will retain the vegetables’ vitamins and keep its colors brighter. All you have to do here is to lower the vegetables into boiling water and keep them there for a few minutes, and then just move them into the ice-cold water.
4. DEHYDRATE ONLY ONE CLASS OF FOODS AT A TIME
If you dehydrate the tomatoes together with the hot peppers, the tomatoes will have a spicy taste. Never mix the fruits with the strong smelling or tasting vegetables!
5. USE THE LITTLE TRICKS TO MAKE THE DRYING PROCESS EVEN
You should always aim to have veggies and fruits sliced with the same thickness, and avoid having them overlapping each other inside the dehydrator. The greens are an exception – they’re loose and will easily dry even when stacked onto each other.
6. YOU CAN DRY ANY KIND OF VEGGIE OR FRUIT, REGARDLESS OF RIPENESS
If something turns out to be too soft and ripe, you can simply puree it and then dry that puree. Don’t be afraid to dry the overripe, bruised and slightly damaged foods – they’ll turn out great.
7. THE FRUIT PUREES ARE AWESOME
Making purees is an awesome way to eat and store funny shaped, overripe, and damaged fruits. Small apples and overripe peaches are great when turned into fruit leather. If you don’t have a dedicated tray for purees, just cover the standard one with a cello wrap.
8. IF YOU’RE DRYING ONIONS OR PEPPERS, KEEP THE DEVICE IN A WELL-VENTILATED SPACE
With peppers and onions, the oils will easily go airborne at the beginning of the process and become very irritating to the eyes. Make sure to have plenty of ventilation everywhere around the dehydrator.
9. BERRIES CAN BE PRETTY CHALLENGING
These kinds of fruits are small but contained, and can easily over-dry. You should keep an eye out on them while dehydrating, making sure that they remain supple and not crispy.
10. DIFFERENT FOODS NEED DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES
Before you try to dry fish or meat, always check the dehydrator’s thermostat and make it sure that the setting is accurate and set to the right number. This, of course, goes for all other different kinds of foods.
11. YOU CAN USE THE DEHYDRATOR TO MAKE SOME SPECIAL FOODS
A good example would be the kale chips, as they’re great as snacks and are very easy to store. Just make sure to wash the trays after making them, since the garlic doesn’t go well with fruits.
12. THERE’S NO WASTING WITH A DEHYDRATOR
You have an over-abundance of various beet greens, chard, lettuce, or carrot tops? Put them in the dehydrator, dry them, and make a powder out of them. They will be a great addition to your soups and stews in the late winter!
13. STORAGE IS VERY IMPORTANT – EVEN FOR THE DEHYDRATED FOODS
Everything that you dry in the dehydrator should be stored in a proper way – and the best options here are to use the metal containers, the heavy-duty zippered bags, and the sterile, dry, glass jars. If you’re storing various foods in the large plastic bags, keep the food groups separate.