Solar Drying

Although solar drying is a popular and very inexpensive method, some countries does not have a suitable climate for it.

Solar dehydration of foods requires very low humidity (below 60 percent is best) and 4 to 5 consecutive days when the temperature is around 100 degrees F. You can buy or prepare your own solar dryers.

Solar dryers use a reflectant such as stainless steel, aluminum foil or glass to increase the sun's temperature by 20º to 30ºF. To improve air current they have air vents at each end. Cooler air enters the dryer, crosses the food, removes moisture and escapes. Frame is covered with plastic and prevents rain or condensation from dampening the food and screens over the vents keep insects off the food.

Solar dryers may need turning or tilting throughout the day to capture the direct, full sun and food on the shelves needs to be stirred and turned several times a day.

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Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Jerky is made by drying thin strips of lean meat to about one-fourth its original weight. In the past, preparation and heating recommendations for jerky have been quite general.

Recommendations have included drying in the sun, oven
or dehydrator. Sun drying is no longer recommended due to a lack of steady controlled heat source (145°F) and the potential for contamination from animals, insects, dust and bacteria. Although drying in the oven or dehydrator allows for a
safer product, illnesses in recent years due to Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in homemade jerky products have raised questions about the safety of all methods of drying jerky products at home. FREE Recipes