If you’ve lost your dehydrator owners manual then don’t despair, as in this article we’ll include temperature and preparation guides for some of the most common fruit, vegetable, and jerky foods. Many famous Dehydrate Food like the Nesco Dehydrator has done the most sensible thing and have printed a very brief temperature guide to famous recipes on top of the unit itself, so there’s no need to keep digging out your recipe guide if you want to try out a new form of food. We have a short guide below for someone else who may be bought their second hand dehydrate without a recipe guide, or for someone who has misplaced their recipe booklet.
Temperature Settings For Fruits – 135F
The fruits require a medium to a high temperature to help them dehydrate to the correct texture. At this temperature, most common fruits will take about 7 hours to fully dehydrate. Below are some of the common choices regarding fruit preparation.
- Apples: Cut core and cut into slices of 3/8′′. They are a good snack to make quickly and easily and normally take about 4-10 hours to dehydrate.
- Bananas: Peel, cut into slices of 3/8′′. These take a little longer to dehydrate than apples, sometimes taking a minimum of about 6-12 hours.
- Melons: Discard skin and cut into 1/2′′ strips. It takes some time for melons to dry out, taking a total of 9-18 hours.
- Peaches: These are sliced best and cut into eight or fourths. Dry periods range from 6-12 hours.
- Pears: If necessary, these can be peeled but they have to be cored and then cut into eight or thirds. It takes about 7-15 hours to completely dehydrate.
- Pineapple: Must be peeled and cored, then cut into slices of either 3/8′′ or 1/2′. Dry-up times range from 6 -12 hours.
- Strawberries: They are simple to cook, the only slice in half or cut into 1/2′′ slices. They will dehydrate in about 5 – 11 hours.
Temperature Settings For Vegetables – 135F
As with fruit, vegetables need a medium to a high temperature to achieve optimal results in dehydration. Most vegetables’ dense texture means they’ll take about 9/10 hours on average to dehydrate. Let’s take a look below at some common choices.
- Carrots: Can be sliced, and no thicker than 3/8′′ slices should be cut. Dehydration periods range from 7-11 hours.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are very easy to prepare, and merely need to be washed before dehydration with a thin brush. They will dehydrate for 4-9 hours.
- Onions: These must be sliced, then cut off the tops. They can be cut into 3/8′′ thickness after that. This takes 7-11 hours for the total time.
- Potatoes: We should use white potatoes for this. Many people blanch them but without that, it can be achieved. Peel, then cut slices to 3/8′′. Dehydrate for 6-12 hours.
- Tomatoes: These should be washed and then cut into quarters or eight, or 3/8′′ thick sliced. After that, they would need to dehydrate from 6-12 hours.
Temperature Settings For Jerky – 145-160F
Due to the meat texture density, Jerky requires a high temperature to completely dehydrate. Besides this, it must also be dried at a high temperature, so that at some stage bacteria can not live on the meat. Any temperature above 140F is enough to prevent this from occurring. You will try to get as much fat as possible off the meat before you dehydrate. Fat is not well dehydrated, which does not make the food very good. When you do ground beef jerky, try finding a good lean meat blend for the best results. A bit of salt is a popular way to season the meat, but you can find a variety of other options such as onion powder, garlic powder, or pepper to make some fast and flavourful choices. There are several different online powder mixes available so you’ll need to try to see which one is better for your tastes.
Drying times usually differ according to how thickly the jerky is cut. In as little as 5 hours, thin slices like 1/4′′ can be ready, while thicker slices of about 3/8′′ can take up to 10 hours.
This little guide will hopefully give you a rough idea of how to prepare and dry your food. If you’re searching for a new quality dehydrate, then you can look at our review section to help you find one.