does not have firmly established procedures and there are different
methods, the guidelines remain the same.
If you have never tried drying food before, it's a good idea to
experiment first by drying a small quantity of food. Use a
approach to find what suits you best.
you dry foods,
remember the following:
is very important to know that drying process must not be interrupted.
Once you start drying the food, don't let it cool down in order to
drying again later because mold and other spoilage organisms can grow
quickly on partly dried food.
screens or racks need to be safe for contact with food. Do not use
made from copper because copper destroys vitamin C and increases
Avoid screens made from aluminum because they tends to corrode and
and vegetables must be prepared for drying as soon as possible after
and safety are very important throughout the drying process.
is very important to cut food into uniformly-sized pieces for the best
you are drying juicy fruits such as apricots, cut them in half, remove
the pits and set the pieces on the racks with the cut side up. This way
the flavorful juices will not drain out and be lost.
the climate in your country is humid use an oven or food dehydrator.
in mind that heat is not the same in all parts of the oven or dryer and
stirring the pieces of food frequently and shifting the racks in the
or dryer are essential for uniform drying.
speed the drying process you can increase only the air flow (not
that lighter load dries faster than a full load.
the first part of the drying process, the air temperature can be
high (because food is cold), that is about 150° to 160° F
70° C), so that moisture can evaporate quickly from the food.
the process very carefully, and as soon as surface moisture is lost
outside begins to feel dry), the air temperature must then be reduced
about 140° F (60 °C).
a thermometer to check the oven temperature to make sure it stays at
the temperature about every half hour, because it is very important to
keep the oven temperature at 140 degrees F.
you use higher temperatures to long the food will cook instead of
If the food cooks on the outside and the moisture cannot escape the
may harden on the surface and the food will eventually mold.
the temperature is too low at the beginning, the food may undergo
micro biological changes before it dries adequately.
food needs to be turned over occasionally for successful drying.
occasionally prevent foods from sticking to the trays and also helps
food to dry evenly.
is very important to watch whole drying process carefully, because
the end of the drying process the food can scorch easily (each fruit
vegetable has a critical temperature above which a scorched taste
not keep adding fresh produce to the dehydrator as the food is drying.
This common practice increases the time required to reach an acceptable
degree of dryness and will produce a poor quality product.
use the broiler unit of an electric oven because the food on the top
will dry too quickly. The best solution for oven drying is a proper
of convection oven that has a timer and controllable temperature
at 120 degrees F.
- If you
have only two oven racks and want to stack more trays in the oven you
use blocks of wood and put them in the corners of the racks to hold the
trays at least 2 inches apart. Dry no more than four trays of food at a
|Did You Know?
|One of the oldest
methods of food preservation is by drying, which reduces water activity
sufficiently to prevent or delay bacterial growth.
micro-organisms within the food and from the air need the
water in the food to grow. Drying effectively prevents them from
surviving in the food. It also creates a hard outer-layer, helping to
stop micro-organisms from entering the food.
The drying process is simply not
as precise as canning and freezing because it involves so many
Drying also reduces weight, making food more portable.
Most types of meat can be dried; a good example is beef jerky.
Many fruits can also be dried; for example, the process is often
applied to apples, pears, bananas, mangoes, papaya, apricot, and
coconut. Zante currants, sultanas and raisins are all forms of dried
Drying is also the normal means of preservation for cereal grains such
as wheat, maize, oats, barley, rice, millet and rye.
is rarely used for vegetables for use in the household, however
dehydrated vegetables are often found in commercially packaged meals as
well as meals made for backpackers, hunters, military, etc. The
exception to this rule are bulbs, such as garlic and onion, which are
often dried. Also chilis are frequently dried. Edible and psilocybin
mushrooms, as well as other fungi, are also sometimes dried for
preservation purposes, to affect the potency of chemical components, or
so they can be used as seasonings.