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What are Food Dehydrators?

11/18/2013 8:11:34 AM | by Anonymous

Dehydrators

Food dehydrators are home appliances that are handy and small for drying fresh foods at the convenience of oneself. They help to remove moisture from food to aid in the preservation. Removing the moisture from food can restrain various bacteria from growing and spoiling the food. Furthermore, it can help to reduce the weight of the food and extend their shelf lives.

 

Food drying is one of the ways to preserve vegetables, animal proteins and fruit after harvest. It is one of the methods that have been practiced since antiquity. They come in an extensive range of capabilities and sizes to dry meats, fruits and vegetables. They function by very gently heating the air and blowing it through the food drying area. However, they may take up to a number of hours, or even days to properly dry and preserve juicier food items.

 

Avid gardeners whom always grow more produce than consumption during the summertime can actually consider investing on a good food hydrator. This way, they can stock up on the dried vegetables and ensure that they have an adequate supply of home-grown vegetable soup through out the winter season. For those who prefer hiking and camping, they can actually make their own trail mix that will appeal. However, it is advised not to buy produce to dry because this way it will probably wind up costing an individual more than purchasing the similar quantity of vegetables and dried fruits. Large food processors can also choose to buy and dry produce which is much more cost effective as compared to an individual consumer.

 

Food dehydrators can either blow air up from the bottom heating element or horizontally from a heater placed in one side. The horizontal flow however has an advantage edge over the bottom heating element. This is because you can dry a mixed batch of things without worrying about mixing their flavours. However, using the bottom heating element would cause the mix of flavours. For example, dried apples may take on the flavour of the beef jerky that is drying below them. That being said, if it isn’t too much of an issue, then the bottom heating dehydrator should serve an individual just fine.

 

The food needed to be dried in a food dehydrator is sliced very thinly for faster drying. They are then laid out in single layers of thin stacking trays that are vented to allow air to flow through them. Next, the trays are placed into the unit and left out to dry. Some items may take a longer time than others to dry. Thus, they should be removed or risk becoming brittle. Juicy foods like tomatoes and oranges can also take quite some time in the food dehydrator and should not be mixed with the faster drying foods such as potatoes and carrots.

 

In order to make personalized meat jerkies, it is important to look out for a good drying marinade recipe. Most food hydrators come with a recipe book upon purchase. In it would show recipes of what can be made using the food hydrator including marinades for meats. Also, ensure that the unit that is to be used has the ability to reach optimal temperature that is high enough to kill the bacteria and e-coli.

 

Additionally, food dehydrators consume very little amount of electricity which is much less than an oven. A single utility company estimates that the cost of operating a food hydrator continuously for 24 hours would only cost $0.49. Comparing the cost to the operation of a coffee maker at $1.63 for 24 hours, this can be seen to be quite a bargain. Do not allow the fear of high electricity bill discourage you from purchasing a food dehydrator that can dry as much of the harvest as desired.

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