Tips for successful dehydrating


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.