Food Dehydrator: The Do’s and Don’ts

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When using a food dehydrator there are many things that a person must do, as well as many things that you should avoid doing. For starters, you do need to slice the food so that it allows for even drying in the dehydrator. Many people make the mistake of making slices too thick, thus the food does not get dehydrated completely which means that after being preserved the food still rots. The best recommendation is to slice the food so that it is ½ inch or ¼ inch thick. Your specific dehydrator should have a user’s manual in which a food measurement is given that ensures the best results.

When using a food dehydrator you will also want to place to slices of food evenly on the trays. However, you do not want the food to be overlapping. Overlapping can lead to food not getting completely dried which could be considered a potential health danger. By placing the food evenly on the trays the dehydrator is able to work at its fullest potential.

For those using a food dehydrator you will also want to check on the process periodically. Many times the food closest the bottom will dry faster than that food located on the top trays. If you notice this, a simple solution is move trays every few hours to make sure that all the food is getting the same amount of drying time.

Once you have removed your food from the dehydrator, you want to let the food stay out for a little while before you seal it up. This will guarantee that there will be no sweating once the food has been placed in the container. You will want to make sure that food is cool to the touch as when it comes out of the dehydrator it is very warm and can allow condensation on the storage device you are using.

You do have to clean the dehydrator from time to time. A solution of warm water and mild soap is the best way to make sure that no juices or bits of food are left behind from using the device. Be sure to check around the bottom where bits of food can collect. Most people do not clean the dehydrator after every use, but after every few uses it is recommended.

A few things that you do not want to do with your dehydrator is trying to speed up the process by increasing the temperature. Most dehydrators come with recommendations of temperature and time for specific foods. Using a higher temperature will have disastrous results. For starters, the food will be rock hard on the outside, but still moist on the inside when means that the food is ruined because it will spoil.

Secondly, do not dehydrate two different food groups at the same time. You can use a variety fruits together, or a variety of vegetables together, but never use a combination of fruits and vegetables together. These are two separate food groups and they require different temperature and times in order to be dehydrated properly. If you mix them, you run the chance of having some food that is spoiled.

Once you have completed the dehydrating process, always remember to label your containers so you know the date and all other kinds of valuable information. Many people forget to do this and end up wasting lots of dehydrated food simply because they no longer know if it is good to eat or not. There are numerous types of dehydrators to choose from, so make sure to find one that you are comfortable with using.

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