Some dehydrating advice from Deanna DeLong, author of “How to Dry Foods”:
c When choosing a dehydrator, look for a fan, a thermostat, and multiple heating elements. Removable, dishwasher-safe racks are great, too.
c Don’t buy a mini dehydrator. They are not practical, not even for one person.
c Use the dehydrator smartly. Small batches are best for high humidity. To keep from slowing it down, run it in the coolest part of the house.
c Never mix fresh with a batch of partially dry; it slows down the process, and overall quality will suffer.
c Whether using the sun, oven, or dehydrator, you’re finished when produce is leathery and pliable with no pockets of moisture. “Squishy” produce will mold unless it goes in the freezer.
c Store dry foods sealed in a cool, dry place. There’s no rush to rehydrate; home-dried vegetables can last up to six months and home-dried fruits are good for one year. If you see signs of mold or smell fermenting, discard.
c If drying meats, make sure to fully cook them before drying, and set dehydrator to at least 140 degrees.