Dehydrator FAQs

dehydrated fruits

What kinds of foods can I dehydrate?

There are many types of foods that can be dehydrated. These include fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, flowers for crafts, etc. You can make soup mixes, create your own trail mix, jerky and many other tasty treats. A great way to explore all the possibilities is to read some books on the subject. You’ll be surprised at all the food, and other things, you can dehydrate.

Is the food I dehydrate better than those purchased at the store?

I would say unequivocally, YES! It costs much less to dehydrate foods than to buy something similar from the grocery store. Most people justify the cost of a dehydrator, depending on how often you use it, in a few months. Also, you know what is going into your foods. There are no preservatives or other chemicals. So you’re eating much healthier and the food will taste better too!

How does the dehydration process work?

Dehydration works by raising the temperature of the food with a combination of controlled heat and air essentially moving the heated air over the food and also removing the moisture from the food. By using this controlled method, the food is able to retain most of the vital enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Will the dehydration process destroy the enzymes in the food?

There have been many studies related to this question. If the food being dehydrated gets to a temperature of 120F or above for a period of time, the enzymes will be destroyed. The recommendation to preserve the most enzymes is to set the temperature at 105F for the entire dehydration cycle.

Why can’t I dehydrate foods in my oven?

Typical ovens don’t have a temperature setting low enough to dehydrate foods properly. Most ovens also don’t heat evenly enough for effective food dehydration. The cost of heating an oven is very expensive compared to the very cheap cost of running a dehydrator which is around 5 cents per hour. Dehydrators are much more efficient. You also have many more trays and the ability to dehydrate more food at once.

Is dehydrating the best way to preserve foods?

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve foods without destroying enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Other forms of preservation, such as canning destroy some of these vital nutrients. Especially since the foods being preserved reach a temperature higher than 120F. It is also easier to store dehydrated foods.

Is dehydrating meats safe?

Dehydrating meats is safe as long as the temperature is set to at least 155F. The temperature on most dehydrators will vary during the drying cycle both above and below the setting. The USDA recommends a temperature of 160F to be safe. If you plan to dehydrate meats be sure the dehydrator you buy has a temperature setting of at least 155F otherwise it may not be safe to dehydrate meats.