Dehydrating is a long-time process, but you can preserve and extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables by doing this. It’s also not a costly or hard-working process to dry food. That’s why now everyone is showing their interest in drying food.
There are multiple ways to dry foods, but people mostly use the sun, conventional Oven, and electric dehydrator. The most effective and impressive way you can dry foods on the best quality dehydrator. That’s why let me show you how a dehydrator works.
How Does Dehydrator Work?
The dehydrator is simple but a great functional machine that works in two departments or, you can say, two ways of heating and air circulating. It heats foods and raises the temperature at that time. The air circulates heat in every corner with the fan, removes the moisture from food, and dries it perfectly.
I use lots of time to find the single details, so let me elaborate on how these two departments work together.
1. Heating Pulls Out The Moisture
In a dehydrator, heat pulls out the moisture from the food you arrange inside on the tray. Mostly low heat temperature applies inside the dehydrator, and it takes quite a long cooking time to dry food.
Low temperature removes the moisture that enhances the flavor and preserves the nutrients of the food. But if you apply high heat, it will dry the surface fast and won’t dry the inside water or moisture of the food.
Heat is used for another reason: heat makes it difficult for bacteria, molds, and yeasts to grow or survive and keeps them far from food. Because these need moisture to survive, and in a dehydrator, heat removes moisture.
2. Air Circulation Into The Tray
Air circulation can be done in two ways in the dehydrator, horizontally and vertically. Let’s know them clearly to know which one is the best.
In horizontal airflow, the fan is attached to the back, and the trays rotate inside. In this, the heated air goes on each tray and dries each container.
In vertical airflow, the fan could be attached to the top or bottom. I recommend choosing the bottom fan for the vertical airflow dehydrator because the bottom fan dries the food more efficiently.
In a dehydrator, horizontally and vertically, both circulate the air inside and outside. When heat elements pull moist air from the food, the gaps on the dehydrator work like a ventilator; it pushes the moist air outside and ensures that the food won’t absorb it again.
It also pulls the dry air inside the dehydrator to ensure that the food gets a moisture-free environment. The continuous airflow inside the machine ensures that the heat goes equally to every corner and every food in the machine.
What You Should Check Before Dehydrating?
Dehydrator keeps your food moisture free so that you can store it for long. Dehydrator plays its role but you have to know a certain thing to dehydrate food in a proper way. The following steps will lead you to a proper way of dehydrating.
Cut Foods Into The Slice
Try to slice the food as much as you can. The more you slice or thin the food it will dry fast and crisp. A thick slice will take more time to dehydrate.
Arrange Food In a Single Layer
Don’t double or triple the layer on the single tray. Keep it single and maintain quite a bit of distance from the food slice to slice while arranging the food on the tray.
When To Put Out
Drying is a long-time process, for that when the food gets dry is tough to guess. For that, watch the tray carefully if there are any moisture drops. If there are any, keep the food for cooking, or if there aren’t any, without a doubt, you can put that out.
Types Of Food You Can Dry On The Dehydrator
You can dry almost all types of food on a dehydrator. Those can be fruits, vegetables, or even herbs and spices. All you have to do is arrange those foods in a single layer and keep them drying for an exact time.
You can dry fruits such as apple, mango, pineapple, watermelon, blueberries, pears, grapes, cranberries, plums, and much more.
Vegetables you can dry, such as potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.
The exciting thing is that you can not only dry food on a dehydrator, but also you can use flowers or leaves to dry to decorate your room.
How to Maintain Temperatures?
For different types of food, you have to maintain different temperatures. Neither overheating nor less heat can cause a problem with the food taste. For getting better crisps and texture, flip the food a few hours in a row.
Dehydrating Temperature for Fruits
Fruits are the most water-dense ingredients. You need a little bit of high temperature to dehydrate fruits. You need to maintain around 140 degrees Fahrenheit so that it crisps well.
Dehydrating Temperature for Vegetables
This should be dry at a low temperature so that vegetables take a long time to dry and keep their nutrition. Dehydrate it at around 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dehydrating Temperature for Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices should dry at an even lower temperature. It should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dehydrating Temperature for Meat
Raw meat may carry many harmful bacteria and heating at 140 degrees temperature on the dehydrator those bacteria won’t get killed before drying. Cook it around at an internal 160 to 170degree temperature and then dry it on the dehydrator for better results.
Is a Dehydrator Better Than an Oven?
In an oven, there is a timer after several periods of time, it will shut down, and again you have to tie uptime. Also, ovens use a lot of energy, and modern ovens are rare to operate at low temperatures. But in a dehydrator, there is nothing like this. A dehydrator is mainly made for drying at low temperatures; that’s why it will work more efficiently. In this way, a dehydrator is better than an oven.
A food dehydrator’s main advantage is that it enables you to dry food without keeping your oven busy for long periods of time. Additionally, a dehydrator uses less energy than an oven to do the same task.
A dehydrator is better than an oven on the basis of the electricity it consumes. Most large dehydrators use about one kWh per hour or less. On the other hand, most electric ovens draw between 2KWh and 5 KWh per hour, with the average electric stove costing around 3KWh electricity per hour.
How Long Does the Dehydrator Take to Work?
Dehydrator mostly takes 5 to 14 hours to work. But due to the difference in food sometimes it takes a lot of time. Other things depend on it, such as the amount of tray space, slice thickness, amount of food, and a number of features.
Is it Cheaper to Dehydrate Your Own Foods?
Ans: It obviously costs you cheaper buying dried foods from the market. First, you have to invest a little bit in purchasing a dehydrate, but after this one-time investment, you can dry fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, and by doing this on your own, you can easily save your money.
The process the dehydrator uses to dry food is not very complex. You can dry food in other ways, but you only get the efficient and nutrient dry food in a dehydrator.
I hope you understand the process of how dehydrators work and the other details I provide you in this article. Thank you for reading.
Read Next: Best food dehydrator by consumer reports.
Love Writing. Love Cooking. Love Eating.
Vivian is working in the kitchen niche since 2001. She is one of the best recipe makers. Vivian is really good at analyzing, and understanding the food quality. You will be amazed to read her writing skill on food.