Essential Tips and Tricks for Using a Food Dehydrator

These guidelines are useful to make sure that you can get great results from a food dehydrator for commercial food dehydration without any difficulties.

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A food dehydrator is a useful appliance in the kitchen tool that reduces the water content in foods for longer storage. With a food dehydrator you can prepare delicious dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat and fish as well as various other treats at home. 

Despite being very helpful tools, not everyone knows how to use a dehydrator properly and prepare tasty dried products. Below are the most important guidelines for correctly applying a food dehydrator and useful tips on that.

1. Prepare Ingredients Properly

When preparing a food dehydrator for jerky drying it is equally important to prepare all the ingredients in a proper manner in order to achieve uniform drying. Prepare and clean foods as necessary which may include washing, peeling, cutting, and removing the core from fruits and vegetables. Reduce portions particularly to smaller sizes or slice them thinly so that they may dry more quickly. To avoid browning, wash the higher moisture contents with lemon water before the actual washing process. Wipe the wet ingredients before placing them in trays.

2. Arrange Evenly on Trays

Spread pieces out in layers without over-stacking to allow for proper air flow around them. This increases the possibility of air to circulate round the food allowing moisture to escape from all directions. Flip the trays halfway through to let the dough dry evenly.

3. Set the Right Temperature

It is quite important to get the best temperature to dry various items using a dehydrator as the ideal temperature varies between 95°F and 155°F. If still unsure about the amount to give, read the guidelines of the appliance and begin with lesser amounts. Meats request heat of approximately 155°F while fruits and veggies take a lower temperature of approximately 130°F.

4. Check Drying Progress

It is important to observe the advancement of food dehydrating every once in a while. It normally takes 6-12 hours to dry most fruits and vegetables, although at lower temperatures. Meats may take 4-8 hours depending on the density of the cut. Food should be dry to the extent that it should not stick together or crunchy but not to the extent that it is rigid and stiff.

5. Allow Proper Cooling

Avoid using hot dried food to be placed directly on storage containers as this may lead to development of moisture. First, employ the open trays to warm the items to room temperature for about 30-60 minutes. Then, store properly when completely cooled.

6. Condition Dried Goods

Conditioning assists in creating balance of moisture in the foods that are to be stored in a dried form. Transfer all the dried foods to air-tight containers and leave them to dry for about one to two weeks in the presence of sunlight with slight shaking to ensure that the moisture settles at the bottom of the container. Then go back to storage containers and if necessary, put them in the freezer or refrigerator.

7. Practice Food Safety

It is important to observe proper measures of hygiene and food preparation when using a dehydrator. Wash hands before handling. The process of dehydration should be done at the correct high temperatures in order to kill bacterial growth in the meat. Ask to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature if needed. It is important before investing in a food dehydrator, you must read about all the safety measures for a correct use of a dehydrator.

8. Control Fruit Browning

If dehydrating cut fruit that has been left for some time avoids it turning brown through lemon, pineapple or citrus juice soaks before dehydrating. Another method is the blanching done in boiling water for one minute or you can use an antioxidant powder first. Fruits should be turned over from the face upwards to the face downwards to achieve equal browning on both the surfaces.

9. Boost Herb Flavor

For an even more enhanced taste of dried herbs, start with fresh and clean herbs that have been dried thoroughly. Chop your herbs and place them in a food dehydrator for 2-4 hours until crispy. Before storage, it is recommended that the dried herbs be ground to fine powder to enhance effectiveness.

10. Label and Store Properly

It is suitable to always put down the dehydrated foods with the name of the item and the dry date on the container. Arrange neatly depending on the item. Instead of plastic bags, you should use glass jars or vacuum seal bags because they seal extremely tightly. It is best stored in a dry and shaded area, and / or refrigerated or freezing depending on the desired shelf life.

Benefits of Food Dehydration

As a result, the application of a food dehydrator is financially advantageous in addition to extending the shelf life of foods, maintaining their nutrition, taste, and texture intact without employing any form of processing. Home dehydrating enables healthy food retention and supplements fresh meal variety using excess fresh produce to make palatable camping meals and nutritious trail foods. Shelves, which are typically small and designed to accommodate small items, provide neat arrangements for the lightweight dried foods. 

For individuals who are at times required to cook for people with special dietary needs or for those who would like to minimize the use of additives, dehydrators offer healthy ingredients throughout the year. Taking all these qualities into consideration, it is clear that food dehydrators represent great value for kitchens, gardens and any other active, healthy lifestyles.


These guidelines are useful to make sure that you can get great results from a large food dehydrator for commercial food dehydration without any difficulties. By implementing all these guidelines, make sure to prepare food items appropriately, spread on the trays, and place them at the right temperature, and ensure proper cooling and storage after baking them. In no time at all you will be coming up with delicious and healthy dried fruits vegetables, jerky herb and much more from your food dehydrator.

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