Table of Contents
- 1 Best Food Dehydrators
- 1.1 What is a Food Dehydrator?
- 1.2 Types of Food Dehydrator
- 1.2.1 Tips for Using a Food Dehydrator:
Best Food Dehydrators
Greetings to everyone! If you are planning to purchase a new and technically advanced food dehydrator for your home in order to preserve or keep your food items in good condition for a long period of time, then undoubtedly, you are at the right place. You are welcomed here, where you can find the best solution for your dehydrator research. Hailed by all the food specialists, as one of the fittest ways to keep your food healthy along with adding some fresh variety to your intake, food dehydrators are very popular.
They have been enjoying steady growth in their popularity as well as in their usefulness, in the past few years. Not only in a specific area or region but in all parts of the world, the dehydrators are welcomed and appreciated by all. No doubt, the dehydrators offer its users with a great deal of benefits. But the fact that made them so popular is that they offer a lot of health benefits to the users. One can easily avoid many types of toxins and chemicals with the use of a food dehydrator.
The toxins that are generally found in any vegetable or fruit dried by commercials can be avoided by using these dehydrators. Thus, by avoiding such harmful chemicals and toxins from coming inside your body, one can easily avoid a lot of diseases and sicknesses. Many researches, studies and analysis have confirmed that a lot of toxins is taken in during the consumption of food especially while eating vegetable and fruits. These toxins when further researched have found to be the reason for causing many medical conditions in human body. Some of the most common medical conditions include increase in blood pressure and can even lead to various kinds of cancer in human body.
Hence, a food dehydrator is a very important tool, as it can assist you in easily whipping your organic treats. It allows you to save a lot of money along with enjoying healthy eating. Everyone has tried the beef jerky or dried apricots or other dehydrated food items, sometime even without knowing about them. That is the reason why everyone do not consider a food dehydrator as a useful kitchen equipment, mainly because our parents, relatives or friends haven’t talked about it or and used it much. But with the advancement in technology and education system, people have been more cautious for their health and wellness.
With the changing times, and along with reduction in storage capacity and increase in the significance of having Au Naturel food, are some of the reasons why a food dehydrator is getting more and more popular in all parts of the world. Thousands of proud owner of food dehydrators will testify that dehydration procedure is quite easy and simple. It is a product that can offer you with enormous advantages, if you buy the right product as per your requirements after reading the unbiased reviews, posted by the previous owners.
Hence, before buying a food dehydrator, it is very important for anyone to know its uses and features. It is important to understand why one needs it and how can you buy the right one which can satisfy your maximum requirements along with making your food tastier, better and healthier. By knowing the uses and specifications of each type of food dehydrator, one can easily choose the best one for themselves. Along with researching about its features, one must do a careful study about its prices too. So, you can buy the most featured food dehydrator that fits well in your budget. Therefore, it is important to know everything about a food dehydrator before you buy one.
What is a Food Dehydrator?
Drying the food is a method to preserve or keep vegetables, fruits and animal protein after harvesting them. This procedure has been in practise since antiquity. A dehydrator is an electrical device that helps in removing the moisture content that is found in the food in order to assist its preservation process. In a dehydrator of food items, heat source along with proper flow of air is used to minimize the content of water it holds. The content of water in any food item is usually high like 90 to 95 per cent in vegetables and fruits & 50 to 80 per cent in items like meat, etc. By removing the content of water from food items restrains the growth of various types of bacteria’s and avoids wastage of food.
Furthermore, the reduction of water content from any food item will dramatically minimize the actual food weight of that item. Hence, a food dehydrator is very important equipment used for preserving any food item which helps in extends its shelf life, as well. A dehydrator is a device which requires proper heat supply from various sources of energy such as electric power or solar energy or oil or bio fuel. The amount of energy required for this purpose depends on the size of dehydration project i.e. whether it is a large scale project or a DIY project or any commercially sold machine for domestic purpose.
The basic parts of a commercial dehydrator generally comprises of a fan, an element for carrying out the heating process, air vents to allow proper circulation of air along with food trays used for placing the food over it. The dehydrator’s fans, vents and heating element simultaneously work in order to reduce the content of moisture from the product. The heating element helps in warming the product which releases the content of moisture from the interiors. The fan present inside the machine blows away the warmth, the moist air is let out of the machine throw air vents. The procedure is constantly performed for several hours until the product inside is completely dried up and the content of water in the food product gets substantially lower generally up to 20 per cent.
Most of the food products are usually dehydrated at the temperatures of 54 °C or 130 °F, whereas products like meat being transferred into jerky’s are generally dehydrated at slightly higher temperature of 68 °C or 155 °F, or are preheated at such temperature to protect the product from the growth of pathogens that might be present in meat. For a successful dehydration procedure, one must take care that the food is dehydrated at a constant temperature along with having sufficient flow of air. If the temperature is more than the required amount, it can lead to the hardening of food. The food gets dry and hard from outside but stays moist from the insides. This make the product more vulnerable for getting spoiled. Hardened food is also considered unhealthy for consumption.
Modern dehydrator equipment are made up of metal or plastic boxes which help in drying of food products by the circulation of hot air inside it. The hot air helps in the reduction of the content of moisture in the food. Water or the moisture content in the food is generally from 50 to 90 per cent. It is said that, “Water is important for survival”, but under this procedure the life that survives because of water in meat and vegies consists of several fungi and bacteria. For this reason, when the moist food items are stored, they get damaged easily and poses several health ailments.
The only solution to the problems that leads to spoiling of food items is to remove or reduce the content of water from it. Water cannot be completely removed and it should not be removed completely, but must be retained like a ratio of about 0.75: 1 according to the amount of protein in the food item. The dehydrators allow the proper circulation of hot air in order to constantly reduce the moisture content which makes the food to be storage worthy. These food products are stored well for future consumption, mainly during the seasons when they aren’t available in the markets.
Types of Food Dehydrator
Drying up of food is a method of food preservation. It is used for preservation of, animal proteins fruit, vegetables etc. A Food dehydrator refers to an equipment that removes moisture from food items and food to aid in its preservation. Clearing moisture from food controls microbes from breeding and spoiling food. Furthermore, clearing off moisture from food reduces the weight of the food. Thus, food dehydrators are used to preserve and extend the shelf life of various foods.
Some super over smart people will ask why we need an equipment like this. The answer is this very useful kitchen appliance is pretty much very simple to use and it even encourages small children to increase their consumption of green and healthy products, which as all of us know would only benefit young and old alike. In fact, one can even indulge the taste buds by dehydrating your favorite summer fruits and snacks on it for all the winter, not very much unlike an animal who stores his food for the winter. A prime example, fruits like peaches, strawberries, mangoes and prunes can be very easily dehydrated and can provide fulfilling snacks during colder days when these fruits are usually out of season and stock. Also, since these fruits have a nature to be quite expensive, it’s much better economically speaking, to buy a large stock and dehydrate them for preservation. For example, instead of sweating over at the stove all day to make large amounts of sweets for a party, you can simply put some or large produce into your dehydrator, set the timer and go on with your preparations while you wait for your selected meats, vegetables and fruits to dry out.
In fact, according to many a different research, grains, rice, corn, fruits, vegetables, pastas and wheat can be dehydrated and stored for up to 30 years, that too without losing their qualities too! And as far as milk substitutes and milk powder are concerned, they can easily last for 20 years after being dehydrated. These appliances can also be used to dry meats to provide organic treats to humans or pets.
By the same idea, these appliances are recommended to anyone who wants to lose weight, and indeed many do want to. Indeed, rather than turning to chocolate, candy, crisps or any such fattening snack, you can even dehydrate your favorite fruit, sprinkle it with some sugar substitute and have guilt-free treats all day long. That way you gain pleasure without danger. Furthermore dried sprouts and vegetables have also been shown to be quite high in fiber and low in bad cholesterol, they too can be stored. Best of all points, dehydrated food do preserve most of the important vitamins and minerals including Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and selenium.
Other than edible treats, customers can also use dehydrators to spruce up their homes and gardens. For example, several people like to use these appliances to dry out flower petals, pine cones, leaves, kitchen herbs, spices or other things.
There are two main kinds of food dehydrators
- Stacked food dehydrators – They are usually without an outer shell, the dehydrator is made up of racks, and each stack comprises of a tray for keeping foods and vents on the circumference. These stacks when placed on top each other, can be sealed such that heat does not escape the dehydrator. The fan is placed at the bottom and circulates the air in a vertical direction.
It has various benefits; they are:
- Firstly they cause less pollution that is leave a small carbon footprint
- Different sizes according to volume of foods may be found.
- Then there is a tiny disadvantage:Foods closer to heating element dry faster and periodic shuffling of racks mandatory, but it can be negotiated with care and caution.
- Box and Shelf Dehydrators.-It is structured of a box (also known as outer shell) and shelves (also called trays), these equipment’s work like electric ovens. Trays are inserted in a predetermined fashion and a fan at the back of box blows hot air through the foods on each tray.
The benefits it provides are
- It provides Better insulation.
- Then all the trays receive equal amounts of heat.
- A tiny disadvantage is It is comparatively bulky and occupy same space regardless of food volume.
Why you need a Best Food Dehydrator?
The following are some of the reasons why you need a food dehydrator:
- Keeping The Nutrients Intact: The seeds and nuts are known to inhibit enzymes. But when it comes to soaked nuts and seeds, their property is lost due to soaking. Dehydrator allows drying up these seeds and nuts at a low temperature keeping the enzymes in these enzyme exhibitors alive.
- Intelligent Investment: This is the biggest reason why anyone should buy a food dehydrator. Whether its banana chips, dried apples, dried oats or any dried food, none of them would cost this cheap as they do when prepared at home using dehydrator. The cost difference can be up to two hundred percent in some cases. So along with saving a lot of money you also keep your health intact without any chemical preservative. Many people agreed to the fact that food dehydrator is one of the best investment they made on home appliances.
- Make Herbs and Spices at Home: One doesn’t need to buy oregano, basil or herbs of such kind any more. You can use a food dehydrator to prepare all this at your home. All you need is to go to a herb farm and get fresh herbs from there. This way one can have all natural herbs and spices.
- Commitment to Healthy Food: owning a food dehydrator nudges you to have healthy eatery habits as there are so many tasty and healthy foods that you can make. For instance, if you are on a diet which requires you to have only raw food, you will have a lot of choice of it you can prepare using food dehydrator. There are some good dehydrators in the market that can maintain the temperature even lower than 115 F. so you can not only dry up things but also warm up sauces, soups, curry, and make cookies and granolas. Apart from that the best thing one can do to be on a healthy diet is go vegetarian. Not only does meat cost you a lot, it is also one of the hardest thing to digest. Vegetables on the other hand can be cost effective as well as healthy.
- Savings for the Future: there are some fruits that we just don’t feel like eating right at the moment. We want to save them for the future and that too for a very long time. Food dehydrator is probably the only appliance that gives us the facility of going with this option. Whether its banana, mango or apple, all of these can be dried ad kept in an air tight container. This way they are preserved for the future with a very long shelf life. Also there are many fruits and vegetables which taste way tastier once they are being dried and served with a tinge of salt and peppers or sometimes ground sugar. Also buying fruits and vegetables in bulk can cost you much cheaper and with food dehydrators you can preserve them. This also saves you from all the medical expenses like consultation fees, medicines and much more because the more you eat healthy the more you are going to stay healthy. Hence the probability and frequency of visiting a doctor is definitely going to decrease thereby reducing the overall expenses on medical things.
- Best for Road trips: Food dehydrator is ideal for the people who regularly go on road trips or camping for that matter. This is because these are the times when you cannot carry heavy loads and carrying a lot of food or its raw materials can be pain in the neck (not just figuratively!). Plus for these trips one needs to stay healthy and fit. So eating out or carrying a lot of packaged food is not a good option. Food dehydrators can be the ideal solutions for these circumstances. They remove most of the water content from the food which in turn reduce their weight. You can dry up your favourite fruits, vegetables or make some jerky and go on a trip without worrying about your health or appetite. For instance banana chips can be really helpful for these trips as banana is also rich in glucose and potassium.
- Asset for Fitness Freaks: People who work out on a daily basis need to have various nutrients without hampering their fitness regime. These fitness freaks generally have power bars or things like that which claim to be really nutritious but since they are commercial products, they cannot be as healthy as natural fruits. Food dehydrators give you better and way cheaper options if you are a fitness freak or athlete. Rather than going for protein bars or biscuits or any synthetic product, you can you can dehydrate nutrient rich fruits and use them as power snacks. Hence food dehydrators can be real assets to the people who care about their fitness.
- Treat and Gift People on a Very Low Budget: The season of festivities have always proven to give a hard time to our pockets. But all that can be changed and you can save a lot of money by giving your friends and relatives presents like a packet of banana or potato chips, dried berries, grapes, etc. This can also be good alternatives for candies which are unhygienic and contain high sugar content.
- Multigrain Flour can now be made easily: You can take all the nutrient rich sprouts and dry them up at low temperature using food dehydrator and later grind them with the wheat or any other grains and make your own multi grain flour. Consulting a good dietician before doing this would be an ideal thing to do.
- Making Room Freshener: with food dehydrators, one can take fresh flowers and all the natural things with good odor and dry them up and make their own potpourri which apart from looking beautiful and stylish, also acts as a room freshener to your house. You can also experiment with various flowers and combinations of fruits and essential oils. This can also be a great thing to give others as a present.
- They Can Double Up As Yogurt Makers: instead of buying organic yogurt from outside that would cost a lot one can have a yogurt maker and make customized yogurt on a daily basis. But the problem with yogurt makers is that they take up a lot of space. Investing such a kind of money and space just for yogurt might not be the best thing to do. Food dehydrators on the other hand can do a lot of things. These things also include making your customized yogurt. For this one generally has to maintain the temperature of 110F. So food dehydrators can do so many things that not buying them might not be an intelligent thing to do.
- Indulge Your Kids in Amusing Projects: Kids love to indulge in to the projects which involve some new and interesting activities. Especially when they know that doing this project will have a reward at the end, the children get even more excited. Making fruit leather using your food dehydrators can be one of such fun projects with your children. Moreover fruit leathers can also be good and healthy replacement for candies. So not only would you indulge your child into a fun activity, you would also make them eat and enjoy dried healthy fruits and other eateries.
- At Times of Disaster: When a certain natural calamity like earthquake, draught, etc. strikes, these is nothing much a human being can do. But after that humans can definitely help the people who were the victims of such calamities. Food dehydrators at such times can prove tom be boons as they can make food which can stay at a place for a very long time without rotting up. Also these foods become so light weighted that one can easily transport them. Also at such times putting a smile one a victims face by offering him/her some delicious dried up food rather than boring food offered by the government or volunteers can be one of the noblest acts you can do.
What to Consider When Buying a Best Food Dehydrator?
The above mentioned points are sufficient for you to understand the need of buying a food dehydrator and motivate you to buy one of these appliances. A food dehydrator is not a complex appliance, but it does comes in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, etc. each of the dehydrators have their own features and functions. Here are some of the important factors that must be considered well before purchasing a food dehydrator –
- The size of your countertop must be considered, whether it is huge enough to place an oven or has a limited space? If the space is limited, then go for stackable models because they have the least footprint. They are featured with 15 to 30 racks which can be easily placed over each other to cater your space requirements as the need for food increases. If you have a spacious countertop, you can read about shelf dehydrators.
- No matter, whichever shelf model you may select, it shall be a perpetual investment whereas, the stackable dehydrators take a small counter space.
- The stackable dehydrators have fans placed at bottom or top which might can cause uneven heating as the level of racks exceed from 10 to 12. Go for rotating racks in order to avoid excessive dryness of food. If you want to buy a food dehydrator that you want to use on regular basis then buying a big size shelf model can be viable as they offer even drying at all racks.
- If one does not needs a dehydrator for drying huge pieces of food, one can buy dehydrator in which the racks can be removed to allow the food to get dried, uniformly. The shelf food dehydrators have this feature but in stackable dehydrators, the racks are closely fitted to one another. Hence, it is impossible to remove them.
- If you are expecting a spike in the quantity of food to be dried, the stackable’s have a better scalability.
- The features of the dehydrators are an important consideration. It is also important to make sure that they are either made up of metal or plastics. Always check and ensure that the plastic used have passed the tests to make sure that no sort of fumes emanate out of it, if heated at a high temperature. If you are buying plastic ones, ensure that its FDA certified plastic with food grade standard along with absence of BFA. If you buy a metal one, then make sure the material is accepted and approved by the FDA. No matter whatever quality, it maybe; plastics will degrade faster as compared to the metals. So, going for metal dehydrators is a better option. It is durable and can last for a longer period of time.
- If you are a regular traveller by train or cars, you might need to carry your dehydrator with you. For such situations, stackable models that offer compact initial size, which makes it a perfect companion. These models are very light in weight and aren’t caught by the metal detectors found on the gateways. The dehydrators made up of metals are heavy and bulkier and might be against the rules of the State for a passenger to carry such huge metal equipment’s in the crafts.
- The stackable models of food dehydrators are generally priced around INR 5000/- or more. One must go for stackable dehydrators which is the cheapest and offers maximum features, if space is not what you are looking for. If you are not on a tight budget, then go for tray & box type ones with maximum features.
- It is very important to know that the model that you are willing to buy is easy to clean or not. Go for the ones which has the trays that can be replaced and removed. Buy trays that are featured with replaceable sheets and are cheaper to manage.
- Before buying a food dehydrator, always read about the benefits a dehydrator can offer. So, you can select the best one for yourself and your dehydrator shall not have to spend the maximum time in the closet.
- Always try to buy food dehydrators that are square in shape. The circular models are featured with a doughnut hole in its centre which encourages the overall circulation of air. This leads to a limited availability of space for the products. The models that are square in shape come with massive fans and huge trays which helps in better air circulation.
- Look for the listings available on eBay, etc. Many people sell off their dehydrators. You can buy a second-hand dehydrator, if you are tight on budget. If you are bored with yours, then you can sell it out, too and buy a modified one.
- If you are buying a big sized model, then always plan to keep it in an open space or in your garage as they produce massive heat, which can make your homes warmer.
- Many models come with a similar temperature setting. They are good for people who are not comfortable with adjusting temperature every now and then. But, products like gentle herbs and hard meat cannot be dehydrated at similar temperatures. The models with variable heat setting do increase your overall costs but they’re considered to be a fantastic luxury if one can afford it. If you intend to store a lot of dry products for winter eating and money is not an issue for you, then this model must be considered.
- The location of your dehydrator’s fan is another important consideration. The location is of massive importance. In some models, the fan is mounted of the sides which according to expert’s reviews is very helpful for performing multiple dehydration procedure whereas in case of a bottom or top fans, the product might have a leeching taste.
- You must also try to buy the dehydrators which are featured with timers. They are considered to be very helpful in order to avoid the risks of over drying your precious food products.
- You must also consider the advantages of buying the stainless steel model. They are bulky and costly but also help in resolving many fear which are faced by you, when you dehydrate precious food products in plastic models. The metallic models are less available in market but they are durable as compared to plastic ones.
Hence, these are some of the important considerations that one must keep in his or her mind before buying a food dehydrator. It is an expensive investment. Hence, it is advisable to perform a complete study before making any sort of purchases. Firstly, one must understand his or her requirements and then look for the models that offer those features.
Study each model carefully by looking over its specifications and reviews that are available on the web. The popularity of the brand is an important consideration. Look for the model that offers the maximum features to satisfy your requirements for a food dehydrator, in the best possible manner. Then, you can easily look for the one which can cater all your needs in minimum possible price. You can even check their resale values, if you want to. Hence, buy the best food dehydrator that can keep you happy for a long period of time.
How to use a food dehydrator?
In order to cook vegetables, below are the steps mentioned how a food dehydrator shall be used
The first step includes arranging of vegetables and sliced fruits in the dehydrator without any overlapping. The process shall be done with patience and the tray should be clean before you keep the vegetables and fruits in the dehydrator.
Step second requires temperature dealing. The dehydrator should be kept at 104 degree F. however, there are many cooks which prefer a different level of temperature ranging from 108-125 degree F. setting the temperature will allow easy dehydration of vegetables. The temperature should be kept in mind with the results obtained. The recommended temperature is always mentioned in the manual, in order to be sure about what temperature should be set and what important things should be kept in mind
Dehydration of vegetables will take as long as 9 hours. Sometimes less but, not exceeding 9 hours. The important thing that needs to be kept in mind is that one has to keep on rotating the trays which are present inside the dehydrator.
Vegetables need care while they dehydrate. Keeping them in rotation and flipping them time to time will help in better dehydration. Step 3 requires attention and patience as well. In the cooking procedure or one can say the basic procedure of using a dehydrator require all the above steps!
Checking if the dehydrator is working- this can be done with the help of vegetables present inside. Pick any one of them and cut a slice. If the slice has traces of moisture, the process is yet not completed. The final result of the dehydrating vegetables is done when the vegetables have no moisture in it.
Cool and store in a dry container
The prepared vegetables, when completely dehydrated are often left in the open. This should be avoided, in order to maintain the texture one can initiate the process again for an hour or two. The desired shade and texture can only be obtained.
Uses of a Dehydrator
(From Dehydrating Food To Preserving Apples- Know Everything Here!)
There are many uses of a dehydrator. Some people might use a dehydrator for the sole purpose of cooking beef while others use it for daily meals. Classifying the uses of dehydrator can take much long, below here are mentioned some of the meals which can be prepared with the help of a dehydrator. A dehydrator can be however, used for many purposes.
For dehydrating zucchini chips
Make the best out of the zucchini chips with the help of the dehydrator. Some popular food chains across the globe use dehydrators for making zucchini chips.
Drying them was never this easy, using tomatoes in different dishes when they are dehydrated is very common. Using a good dehydrator will not only enhance its taste but, will protect its enzymes too. So, dry as many tomatoes as you want and make the best out of your dishes.
Daily use of tomatoes can be seen in almost every household. Making them all dried is something which would take a day in ordinary methods but, when you use a dehydrator the process does not long more than 2 hours. It’s quicker than before and its better!
Used over cakes and other bakery items, making dry cherries has never been this easy as before. A dehydrator in no time can create the perfect garnish for the cupcake or the cake. Make bakery items which use dry cherries with the help of a dehydrator.
Pepper is the most common form of topping which is available everywhere. Now, one does not need to buy pepper, it can be made with much ease in a dehydrator. Often used in every hotel, pepper is very commonly used. The Italian culture of making and using pepper can be learned. The best part is that homemade Italian pepper can be made! Isn’t that awesome?
Homemade dog food
Taking care of the dog requires a lot of good diet, this can be done with the help of a dehydrator. Homemade food can be kept in the dehydrator and your dog will simply love it. The new taste and the new texture makes the dog happy! So, if in case you want to make food for the dog in a dehydrator, go ahead!
Dried flowers can be used for decorations and cooking procedures. Some popular dishes do require dried flowers. The simplified procedure of drying flowers is now available. One can dry flowers in no time and use them in the desired dishes!
Herbs, considered to be important in every meal have a special role to play! Without the use of proper herbs, food cannot be prepared with ease, using a dehydrator will help you out in drying them quickly and making work easier. One simply does not wait for hours in order to wait for the herbs to get dried.
The food which is cooked the most in a dehydrator is jerky. It has a different smell and a unique taste when cooked with the help of a dehydrator. Countries where jerky is preferred use dehydrators for daily purpose. It has become an important machine in the kitchen of many women and chefs! Dehydrator has changed the way jerky was earlier cooked. Many chefs across the globe have accepted the use of dehydrator for making jerky and even said that when cooked in a dehydrator, jerky comes out as something you would love to eat.
Quick Crispy Nuts
Making crispy nuts has never been this easy. One simply has to place the nuts over the trays and wait for the dehydrator to signal you when it is done. Enjoyed with tea or drinks, dried nuts are the perks of having a dehydrator. They are further mixed with spices and herbs to enhance the taste.
Talking about the uses of dehydrator, its sole purpose is not only to cook food or to dehydrate, a dehydrator can be used to preserve food too! Below here is mentioned in detail about what steps one has to take to preserve food and what foods can be preserved-
Want long life for the vegetables? The best part of a dehydrator is that it does not make any noise while it has the capacity to do so much. One can easily preserve vegetables inside the dehydrator. Preserving has never been this easy. Vegetables often have the tendency to lose their tightness when left in the open. Considering the fact that today refrigerators are present in every household, dehydrators can preserve your vegetables for longer time as compared to fridge!
Apples when left in the open tend to lose its firmness, this can be prevented if the apples are kept inside a dehydrator. The process is very simple and easy, opening up the trays and placing the apples is all what you need to do.
Peaches like apples, have the tendency to lose its enzymes over a period of time and it can be preserved in a dehydrator in the same way in which apples are kept.
Dehydration of mushrooms can be done with the help of a dehydrator. The process involves easy step and can be completed within a couple of hours.
Making craft material dry
Art and craft can also be done with the help of a dehydrator. In art and craft, the need to dry paper can also be full filed with the help of a dehydrator. There are papers like Mache and other crafts item which can be dried inside. Multipurpose tool box!
Homemade dairy free yoghurt can be obtained with the help of a dehydrator. Considering the uses of dehydrator, this process is the most loved among the chefs and women who lend spend time in the kitchen. The process of making yoghurt has never been this easy! Kudos to dehydrator!
Snacks which can be easily prepared
Snacks which are easily prepared with tea and coffee with the help of dehydrators cannot be left behind! Enjoy quick snacks with your loved ones and buy a dehydrator today!
Dry bread for bread rolls
One can easily dry bread to make bread crumbs. Making the bread dry can also be used for many other purpose as bread crumbs are used as a binding agent! The binding property of the bread allows it to be used for many dishes.
Chips which can be placed inside the dehydrator with toppings as suggested turn out to be crispy like never before. Even the packed chips won’t be as crispy if you take out one while it’s done dehydrating!
Drying corn seeds and capsicum
Drying of corn seeds and capsicum can be done with the help of the dehydrator, used in pizzas they are best served with Italian style pizza. Used in many chains of hotels across the globe, making dry corn seeds and other ingredients with the help of dehydrator is very popular.
The following are some of the common limitations of a food dehydrator:
Temperature Issues: The temperature at which the food dehydrators operate is much lower than that of an oven.
Not for Every Food: As far as home food dehydrators are concerned, dehydrating onions and garlic can be a bit of a problem. Though they can be dried if the desired result is rehydrating them again. Also when dehydrating onion and garlic that would create a pungent smell.
Fat Not Allowed: Food dehydrators generally are not meant for dehydrating high fat containing materials. Dehydrating fruits such as avocado may not have a result that is shelf stable. Now fat containers like jerky will result in fat deposition on the surface. Though you may not have to worry about the meat, the fat may rot.
One Type of Food at a Time: One cannot put food of different aroma or flavor since that may spoil them because of the air circulation. For instance if you put something spicy and sweet together in different trays, it is highly likely that the tastes of both the food affect each other to the extent of spoiling each other.
No Sense of Time: Mostly the food dehydrators which are meant for home do not have timers. This could be a very tricky thing since one has to carefully monitor everything. So that takes a lot of time. Although there are dehydrators in the market which have timers but they are way more short intervals since you never know the moisture content that is available in the food that is being dehydrated.
Precautions Necessary: One has to be very cautious in dehydrating the food content. This is because if there is any moisture left in the food, it could result in rotting of food at very early stages. On the other hand if the food is dried too much, the process can result in hardening of the food to such an extent that it becomes almost impossible to soften it. Also the there is a noticeable change in the texture of food. At such cases the food generally rots before softening.
Once Started, It Cannot Be Stopped: Dehydrating food using a dehydrator requires one to invest a large amount of time to get the best results. The fruits or vegetables should be as fresh as possible. Along with that they should be free from any outer moisture. This means that they should be dried before putting them into the dehydrator. Also the enzymes available in fruits react with the outer environment very easily. It is very important not to stop the process once started since that could invite mold and other microorganisms to grow.
Nutritional Value Gets Compromised: One of the biggest limitations of a dehydrator is that the proportion of Vitamin C and Vitamin A in fruits and vegetables is reduced to a very large extent. This happens during the process of dehydration and avoiding it is not possible. Although exposing the fruits to sulphur might help in counteracting the loss that occurs. But it is better to read the manual of your dehydrator or contact the customer care.
Taste is Quite Different: It might come as a big surprise to someone who would eat a dried fruit for the first time since a dried fruit tastes nothing like a fresh and raw fruits. Moreover the taste of fruits dried using a dehydrator at home is also different from that of the dried and packages fruits. Although some people do believe that the taste of a fruit dried at home is way better.
Tips for Using a Food Dehydrator:
- Choosing a Dehydrator and its Accessories: The first step obviously includes purchasing a dehydrator that would be most efficient as per your usage. The dehydrators come in various designs but one of the most important things to keep in mind is the placement of fans. Usually the fans are either placed at the back or at the top of a dehydrator. And the former placement is considered to be much better since the air flow can be more evenly distributed giving a uniform effect to the food. There are several other factors to be considered. For instance, if you own a food dehydrator it is a must for you to buy some good fruit leather trays. Some might suggest using wax papers or plastic wrap. But it is way better to use the equipment’s especially dedicated to the machines rather than some DIY stuff.
- Thickness to Be Considered: One needs to be careful about how thick the food to be put in the dehydrator is. For this it is quite necessary to read the manual carefully and cut the fruits, vegetables or any food down to the level of recommended thickness. Also the thickness of the food should be uniform so that the food is dehydrated uniformly. If cut with different thickness, some pieces will be over dried where as some will still have moisture. Both the cases can prove to be fatal for the shelf life of your food.
- Preparing Your Food for the Best Dehydration: The first thing to remember is that your food should be a hundred percent hygienic. This means that it should be properly cleaned with anti-bacterial solutions. It is always good to wear gloves and avoid skin oils contaminating the vegetables or fruits for that matter, while preparing them for dehydration. Also it is wise to steam the vegetables which have a low acid content and are being considered for dehydration. After they have been steamed, dry them off for some time before putting them into the dehydrator.
- Citrus Bath for Some Fruits: Dehydration generally causes fruits to lose some essential enzymes. To avoid this many fruits are made to undergo a citrus bath before getting dehydrated. Generally it is believed that the ideal time for apples and bananas to have a citrus bath is around 5 minutes.
- Maintaining a Log Book: Record every tiny detail of changes just like you used to do in chemistry labs when you were in school. Recording the temperature, thickness of food, time taken to dry it off, etc. will make you a pro eventually. For instance you will notice that the food dries earlier in a summer day than in a rainy day. This can especially prove to be a boon when dealing with seasonal items.
- Using Vegetable Oil: Spraying a small amount of vegetable on the trays before putting the food to dehydrate keeps some of the food from sticking to the trays due to excessive heat. Now this also depends upon the kind of food used and this is also the place where you can put your log book to use.
- Use Variety of Food Types: There is a lot one can experiment with if he/she has a food dehydrator. It is a known fact that you can also dehydrate frozen food in your food dehydrator. So next time you go to a departmental store and find something interesting in the frozen section; don’t hesitate. Just buy it off and go dehydrate it with necessary precautions of course.
- Suggestions Regarding Hotness: The temperature should always be right. For this you need to read the manual very carefully to look after the temperature your model provides or if there is a temperature setting available. The times taken to dry food are different for different dehydrators. Also different items are required to be heated in different temperatures. The more liquid content a fruit has, the more time it will take to dehydrate. Usually the manuals of these dehydrators have settings given for the food that is commonly prepared. It is always suggested to preheat your dehydrator before putting anything. This way you would be able to save a lot of time.
- Don’t Haste: Never hurry up while dehydrating your food. It is better to have your food a bit over dried than to under dry them. Also it is better to heat them with recommended temperature rather than heating with increasing the temperature setting. This is because it heats up the surface of the food leaving the moisture on the inside not removed properly. This will ultimately result in decreasing the shelf life of the food.
- Heat Properly: The food should be at least 95% to 99% dehydrated in order to have a good shelf life. One can determine this generally by sensing the hardness of the food. If the food is crunchy and brittle, it has been dehydrated properly. On the other hand, if it is soft and/or spongy, one needs to dehydrate the food for some more time.
Steps to Take Post Dehydration: Once you are done with dehydrating your food, store them nice in air tight containers. But this should only be done after cooling them off. Hot or even warm food can be the reason for moisture which ultimately would put all your endeavors in vain. Also if the food creates problems in getting off the tray, one can try putting the tray in freezer for some time (a few minutes would be enough) and the food will come out right away. Cleaning a dehydrator is another process altogether. But one precaution that must be taken is that one should always soak the racks or trays of the dehydrators in the sink of their kitchen for at least half an hour before washing or cleaning them. This makes the cleaning procedure way much easier as compared to the doing it just after the dehydration process is completed.
As our reviews say, there is no winner when it comes to finding the most appropriate food dehydrator. It is because, every food dehydrator offer different specifications. For example, some pf the models are best at dehydrating medium quantity of food products and are portable while some models can easily dehydrate large quantity but are tough to carry and store. These considerations, along with understanding various other concerns related to dehydrator’s heating uniformity, accessibility, reliability and modifiability; one can easily decide and select the best one for themselves.
A good and reliable dehydrator can improve your lifestyle and can assist you in managing your finances in a much better manner. Hence, it is very important to decide your set of needs and requirements from your food dehydrator. It will help you in finding the best food dehydrator for yourself which is the most important procedure. It is advisable to perfectly learn how to use the food dehydrator that you have bought, in order to make the most of it. Hope, this brief guide about the food dehydrators might assist the readers in making all the critical decisions and this guide can further help them in improving their as well as their loved one’s health and diet for better. Hope this will help you to choose Best Food Dehydrator.