Drying food in a dehydrator is faster than sun-drying and more economical than buying dried fruits or vegetables at a supermarket. The Durabrand food dehydrator is a round home food dehydrator with stackable drying trays. The Durabrand food dehydrator allows you to preserve and store a large quantity of fresh produce from the garden for months after the garden is harvested in about five to 38 hours. Be sure to harvest or select produce at its peak ripeness and flavor for the best results when dehydrating.
Things You'll Need
- Durabrand food dehydrator
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- Fruit or vegetables
- Cutting board
- Vegetable knife
- Large bowl
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Cooking spray
- Plastic storage containers
Wash the food dehydrator trays and top lid in warm, soapy water, or wash in the top rack of a dishwasher; air dry the trays. Wipe the base clean with a damp cloth and do not immerse in water.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry well.
Rinse the fruits or vegetables under cool water and shake off any excess water. Place the fruit in a bowl for two minutes with 4 cups of water and lemon juice to lessen discoloration during dehydration.
Boil water in a stockpot on the stove, then blanch, or parboil, vegetables in the boiling water for three to five minutes to retain the vegetables' color.
Place the fruits or vegetables on a cutting board and cut off any stems or blemishes with a vegetable knife; slice into small, uniform pieces or rounds.
Spray the dehydrator trays with cooking spray, then place the sliced fruits or vegetables onto the trays without overlapping the edges of the food.
Stack the five filled trays then the top lid onto the dehydrator base. Plug in the Durabrand food dehydrator and turn on the power switch.
Dry fruit from five to 38 hours according to the fruit "time table" in the Owner's Manual. Use the vegetable "time table" in the Owner's Manual to determine the approximate vegetable drying time required, from six to 24 hours.
Check the drying food every few hours to prevent over-drying, and rotate the trays if the food is drying unevenly. Turn off the Durabrand dehydrator power switch and unplug the base once the food is completely dried.
Remove the cooled, dehydrated food off the trays, then place into covered plastic storage containers. Label each container with the type of dehydrated food and the date processed.
Store containers of dehydrated fruits and vegetables in a cool, dry place out of direct light for up to one year.
Tips & Warnings
- Dehydrate food on up to five filled trays at a time, or stack a single filled tray on top of four empty trays.
- Lift and rotate the adjustable dehydrator trays one-fourth turn to raise the tray height for drying thicker foods.
- Use the Durabrand food dehydrator on a heat resistant surface only.
- Never submerge the food dehydrator base in water to clean.
- Do not use the food dehydrator for more than 40 hours in one session. After 40 hours, turn the power switch to the "off" position and cool the dehydrator for at least two hours.
- Photo Credit Food image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com