Dehydrating Food

My wife bought us a dehydrater, mainly to make Jerky with, but I also intend to make some dried fruits with it.

I’ve made jerky before (using the oven), but being an otherwise noob to the whole business, wondering if anyone had some ‘quick win’ type tips or advice? (I have already ordered some ascorbic acid, to help prevent oxidation, so I got that one :smiley: )

To prevent browning of fruit I just lemon juice.

I use mason jars for storage except for my fruit stuff since I am never 100% happy that the pieces dried enough so they get chucked into a freezer bag.

Buy more racks :slight_smile: In my case I have extra racks and a second dehydrator. I’ll be using both today to dehydrate pounds upon pounds of Grifola frondosa/Maitake mushrooms. Some will be dried as jerky and some will be dried and then I use the blender to turn them into powder.

Stuff I learned:

Dehydrated mushrooms are the bomb: great snacks or crush them up for soup-base style flavoring.

You can dehydrate pineapple without using lemon juice or ascorbic acid (there’s plenty in the pineapple). I use regular old cheap canned pineapple (ingredients: pineapple, water), although I generally cut them down to raisin-size pieces for my gorp.

Ideally, don’t do different kinds of food at once.

It is possible to dehydrate tomato sauce but it takes a long time and it can quickly devolve into a messy pita.

Dehydrating cucumbers isn’t worth the effort.

Make sure your dehydrated items are completely cooled before you pack them away in an airtight container. If they are even a little warm, the heat they give off can lead to excess moisture in the container, which can accelerate mold growth.

For meats, the leaner, the better. Fat doesn’t dehydrate well. I usually buy round or london broil.

Recent thread that overlaps somewhat with this one.

Since cucumbers are already something like 99% water, what’s left when you dehydrate one?

A nice squash tasting chip that works well when ground into powder to be used in soup or as a rub on meat.

I also dehydrate “table pickles” which are sliced cukes, onions, vinegar, water, pepper and salt and a teaspoon of sugar left to pickle on the table. They end up having a hint of vinegar with that squash taste. (I only do the leftover cukes because the pickled onions get ate up completely.)