How To Use The Dehydrator
Are you wondering how to turn your favorite fruits or other items into delicious packs? Are you tired of food wastage and looking for ways to preserve it? Are you interested in cooking and want to learn how to use the dehydrator? If yes! You will learn here to use dehydrators.
Read this article thoroughly to get knowledge about how to use a dehydrator! ita an ultimate guide.
We all have tried different dehydrated items, such as fruits, chips, granola, or jerkies. But yes, there is one good chance that we don’t all clearly understand that the slice of mango in our hands can be soft, juicy, and messy to chewy and clasped in our hand grip without the need for a napkin.
After a quick or effective Google search, you will get the information about the magic or reason behind the scenes is a dehydrator, but you want to know how to use a dehydrator. In this article, you will know how dehydrators work and what are the ways to use the dehydrator.
What Is A Dehydrator?
A dehydrator is an electrical machine that is working to remove the moisture content of whatever is inside. It is designed and constructed of trays, heating elements, vents, and a fan for circulation.
The heating element of the dehydrator raises the temperature inside the machine, the fan circulates the heat and then removes the moisture at the same time trays hold the food you wish to dehydrate. Of course, most of the important details go into the actual use of the dehydrator. You can’t just cut your food up, you can throw them in the machine, close the door and say it works.
Dehydrators also consist of a scale of temperature to use, and you need to learn and know which temperatures are most appropriate and suitable for each food. Of course, there is a timetable for how to get the perfect dehydration of your specific food. There are several different dehydration machines available in the market so you need to know how to make use of them.
What Are The Functions Of A Dehydrator?
- Air circulation
- Horizontal Air movement
- Vertical Air movement
The heat of the dehydrator pulls the moisture from the ingredients or content inside. The machine has achieved this in its own unique and different way by applying the low temperature and long cooking times. This process is the ultimate moisture removal process by preserving the nutrients and flavors of the food.
2. Air circulation
Air circulation can take and eliminate the moisture and moist air as the heating elements of the dehydrator pull from the food inside and work with the vents on the dehydrator to push it outside the machine. It keeps the food away from reabsorbing the moisture.
On top of removing or eliminating the moist air through the vents, the dehydrator also pulls and eliminates the dry air from outside the machine inside. It ensures that the content is in a moisture-free environment and undergoing the same process of dehydration.
3. Horizontal Air Movement
Horizontal air movement is considered best in the case of dehydrators because it eliminates and reduces the need to stir around the trays and rotate around these trays inside. A dehydrator along with horizontal air movement shows that there is a fan present in the back side of the machine and it blows towards the door which you use to open the machine. The air blows across all the items on each tray and dries everything equally.
4. Vertical Air movement:
These dehydrators come differently, the fan can be present either at the top of the machine or it can be at the bottom of the machine. Heat rises, so typically with the top side fan, the food on the bottom will become best dry than the food on the top.
Of course, the food present on the top will have difficulty in receiving the heat which is what people rely on to pull the moisture out. If your machine is having a fan at the bottom, it means that your food will dry equally but you should make sure that the trays are drip-proof.
Step-By-Step Guidelines To Use The Dehydrator:
1. Read The User Manual:
Before using the dehydrator, the first thing you have to read the user manual. Make yourself well known about the model of the dehydrator you have or you are going to use. After buying the user manual, you will also get the user manual including all the instructions.
Read the user manual that is provided by the manufacturers, as different dehydrators will have different unique features and requirements.
Reading the user manual is one of the important steps before using the dehydrator as you will be best familiar with its different unique features and you will learn the best guidelines here.
2. Clean And Assemble The Dehydrator:
Before using a dehydrator, it is important to make sure that the dehydrator is neat and clean. Make sure that the trays and the removable parts are clean, if they are not just make sure to clean them with warm water, or soapy water and then let them dry completely.
You can assemble the dehydrator according to the instructions in the manual. Remove all the remaining food residue and the food particles. Make sure to remove all smells that are trapped inside the device. The dry space also needs to be hygienic.
By cleaning and assembling the dehydrator you will be able to use the dehydrator more effectively.
3. Prepare the Food:
The third step is to use the food you want to dehydrate. Here you have to select the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meat that are common choices. The best thing you can do here is to wash and slice the items evenly and it is to promote consistent drying.
If you want the best results you can blanch your food, vegetables, or the items you have to select to dehydrate.
Preparing the food before starting the process of dehydration, is the best thing you can do, it will save you time and you are following the professional method to use the dehydrator,
4. Arrange The Food On The Trays:
This is the next and most important step after preparing the food or dehydrating it. Ok arrangement is necessary before doing anything, it will keep you less confused and you can dehydrate the things you want easily.
To do this we recommend you place the prepared food in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. Make sure that the pieces in the trays don’t overlap each other. If the items will overlap each other then it affects the proper drying.
5. Set The Temperature And Time:
Here is another step to continue the process of dehydration. As I have mentioned above following the user manual is important. Follow the general guidelines as there are recommended temperature and time settings. The temperature and timing will depend upon the type of dehydrator you are using.
So it is highly important to follow the user manual to find out the temperature and time selected for your dehydrator. Setting the time and temperature is the most important step you have to consider.
6. Start The Dehydration Process:
Now it’s time to on the dehydrator and set it to the temperature that is mentioned in the user manual. The drying process will depend upon the type of food and the thickness of the food slices. You have to wait for the food to dry well.
All you have to do here is to check the food after some time during the dehydration process. It is important to check whether the drying is going well or not, it should be done equally. Make sure that the food is not over-dried.
7. Cool And Store The Dehydrated Food:
Once you have checked that the food is fully dehydrated; now you have to turn off the dehydrator. Turning off the dehydrator is to allow the items to cool down to room temperature. Now it’s up to you to save your food where you want. It is recommended that, store your dehydrated food in a container.
8. Clean And Store The Dehydrator:
After every use, it is important to cool the dehydrator completely. Make sure that you are cleaning the trays properly and the other removable parts with warm water, and soapy water, and then store the dehydrator in the dry place for the best future use. Scrubbing is the most important and most effective method to clean the dehydrator. It is recommended that a 20-minute soak in warm water will be effective.
Cleaning after every use is necessary but after every time you need to have a deep clean. Don’t ignore this step as it will surely ruin the quality of your dehydrator and there is a chance of bacteria growth that is harmful.
Benefits And Uses Of Dehydrator:
Food drying is used to extend the shelf life of the ingredients and help them to last longer. By reducing and minimizing the moisture contents of the food this process will prevent the growth of harmful containments for example the growth of bacteria and fungi that can make you sick.
This is surely beneficial for seasonal foods like fruits and vegetables by increasing their use throughout the year.
This effective process of preservation will reduce and eliminate the weight and bulk of the foods which will decrease the handling and transportation costs that is easy for the manufacturers.
This method will alter the taste and the texture of the food products which dries the fruits like fruits, sweets and concentrated flavor.
Dehydrating foods is an easy and effective way to prolong the shelf line of the ingredients and maximize the storage space. You can enjoy your favorite foods all year long.
Keep in mind that dehydrating food will decrease the water content from your food and makes it easier to overheat and may slightly alter the nutritional value of some foods.
Hopefully, we have provided you with the best possible methods to use the dehydrator. As we have provided you the step-by-step guidelines to use the dehydrator. After reading this article you will be able to use the dehydrator more effectively.
We have covered the best guidelines for you and it will be helpful for you to dehydrate foods easily. Make sure to take care of the cleanliness of your dehydrator as it will be harmful to you. It is not good for your health if you don’t clean your dehydrator properly.
If you do not have one look at some on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q: Is a dehydrator faster than an oven?
Ans: It is estimated that the food will dry or will be moist free quicker and sooner in the dehydrator than in an oven and this is probably considered the biggest benefit of using the dehydrator. If you are making use of the oven to dry the food you can’t use the oven for however long it takes to dehydrate or moist the food which is between 6-8 hours.
Q: How long does it take fruit to dehydrate?
Ans: The total drying time of fruit to dehydrate is approximately between four and eight hours and it will depend upon the size and the water content of your fruit pieces. You have to open the door of the oven to check the fruits periodically. You will get to know that your food is dry by checking its texture.
Q: What is the best place to use the dehydrator?
Ans: To use the dehydrator, it is recommended that high indoor humidity, air conditioning, or breezing may alter or change the time needed to dehydrate the foods. It is recommended that find a dry and warm place away from air vents and windows to set up your dehydrator.
Q: Which food is best to dehydrate?
Ans: The foods that are best to dehydrate are the following;
- Fruits: apples, bananas, apricots, cherries, grapes, mangoes, and peaches.
- Vegetables: carrots, beets, cabbage, mushrooms and broccoli
- Lean meats: beef, chicken, fish, and jerky foods.
- Sauces and syrups: jam, pizza, maple syrup, molasses, and barbecue sauce.
Q: How many hours does it take to dehydrate?
Ans: Dehydrating time will depend upon the type and thickness of food. For the fruits like apples, bananas, peaches, and nacratines the drying time will range from 6 to 16 hours.