Ways to Dehydrate Food

Categories: Cooking

Dehydrating food is a great way to be able to preserve your garden bounty or great find at the produce stand. You simply remove the moisture from your produce or meat to give it a much longer shelf life. This is not the same thing as freeze-drying which is a more mechanical process. This is simply allowing nature or low heat to dry out food. Dehydrating  takes up less space than traditional canning if canning is not something you want to tackle. It’s also much less hands-on than canning, simply prepare your slices, and walk away. Then store (through canning jars with silica packets, zip top bags for quick use, dry canning or using a vacuum sealer) to keep your bounty fresh, but dry, until you are ready to use it in your cooking or snacking. Dehydrated foods typically can last up to a year, though meat jerkies should be consumed within 3 months.

Off-Grid Dehydrating on racks


Solar powered


or in your car


Electrical Dehydrator


Choosing a Dehydrator: this is really a personal choice. If using an electrical dehydrator, you can go with the top of the consumer market line with an Excalibur, a mid-market L’Equip, or a more affordable brand like one of the  American Harvest versions (THIS is the one that I use). The Exaclibur really allows you to process a lot of product at one time, has an off-switch when the timer is done and allows for great control. My American Harvest does not have an automatic off switch, but otherwise has served me very well. I cannot dehydrate as much as if I had an Excalibur, but that’s only because I haven’t purchased extra racks, yet.  I can make it as large as will sit safely on the counter! I only purchased it because of the price and not having the money to fully invest in an Excalibur at the time, and frankly, don’t plan on switching at this point.

Great Dehydrating Resources:

via MomWithAPrep

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