How to Use an Oven as a Food Dehydrator

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A regular oven can make a great food dehydrator so long as you use it right. Use an oven as a food dehydrator with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

I'm Holly Hirshberg from Dinnergarden.org, and today I'm going to teach you how to use your oven as a food dehydrator. They sell dehydrators at the store, they're kind of expensive. Do they work? Absolutely, they're great but if you have an oven, don't feel like you can't dehydrate, of course you can. If you live someplace like Texas where I live, you can do a lot of this outside, but if you live someplace where it's a little more damp or cooler, then you're going to want to use your oven, easy to do, don't be intimidated. I have some tomatoes from my tomato harvest and I want to preserve them so I'm going to dehydrate them. I'm going to cut it into long thin slices. You want to try and make your slices about the same thickness so they all dehydrate at the same rate so you don't have some thin ones that are done early and some fat ones that are done later, try and make them all the same width. You can add salt, I don't because you know what, I never know what I'm going to use them in, am I going to put them into a salad which will have a dressing, well then I don't want them salted. Am I going to put them on a pizza, well you know, I can always salt them later. I don't put olive oil I don't do anything, I just put them right on my tray. I have a cookie pan and on my cookie pan I have a cookie rack. I'm putting them on the cookie rack so that I have air circulation underneath and on top. It takes a while to dehydrate in your oven. These will probably take maybe a couple of days but my oven is going to be on a low temperature, just be sure you don't leave your oven unattended. Do it on a couple of days when you know you'll be staying home and plan some other stuff to do while you're there and you should be fine. We're going to take these over to the oven. I'm over here at the oven. I'm going to turn it to the lowest temperature I can. On my oven, that's 175. One some people's ovens you can do it as low as 140, don't go any higher than 175. I'm going to put my tomatoes in the oven and I'm going to prop the door open just like that. I'm going to let some air flow through there. In a couple of days my tomatoes will be perfect. Let me show you the ones I did the other day. That's what they look like. Put them on pizzas, on sandwiches, on salads, put them on anything where you would normally use tomatoes. They're delicious. And you can see it's easy to use your oven as a food dehydrator.

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