June 12, 2017 UPDATE
As we grow here at 21st Century Simple Living, we realize updating the information we provide to our readers is necessary to clarify issues and provide more clarity and direction for them. This information sheet and its accompanying Printable file has been updated with information to do just that. Thank YOU for pointing out your needs so that we may serve you better in the dehydrating and preservation field.
The following charts and information are supplied for over 100 foods you can dehydrate in your own home. These charts provide a quick reference for temperature settings as well as pretreatments needed. You will also find our suggested preparation methods for powdering, as well as any special instructions you may find helpful. This is a lot of information packed into quick reference charts for ease of use! Of course, any details you need may be found on our website or in Tammy’s book. Happy dehydrating!
Information for these charts was adapted from Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook, The: The Complete Guide to Drying Food, Plus 398 Recipes, Including Making Jerky, Fruit Leather & Just-Add-Water Meals by Tammy Gangloff, Steven Gangloff, and September Ferguson and my own research.
Food falls into several categories and an easy way to remember temperatures for the most part is by these categories. Most dehydrators don’t run at a steady temperature, but rather in a range that can vary as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit/12 degrees Celsius either side of the setting. The temperatures listed are the “optimal” standardized settings. Some manufacturers differ in their established settings. Try what your manufacturer recommends and adjust if needed. For instance, I find my fruits do better in my Nesco Dehydrator at a setting of 125°F.
If you own a dehydrator without a variable temperature control, I highly recommend testing the temperature of your machine first so you know at what ranges your food can be dried. We have provided the procedure here: Checking Your Dehydrator’s Temperature.
Fruit & Vegetable Powders. In the charts I created, I have listed which method worked for me for the various produce, but please feel free to choose whichever makes you most comfortable. I will be explaining the various methods in How to Make Fruit & Vegetable Powders.
*Pretreating. Pretreating selected produce prior to drying is highly recommended. Pretreating helps keep light-colored fruits from darkening during drying and storage and it speeds the drying of fruits with tough skins, such as grapes and cherries. Research studies have shown that pretreating with an acidic solution or sodium metabisulfite dip also enhances the destruction of potentially harmful bacteria during drying, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella species, and Listeria monocytogenes. Several methods can be used.
Drying Times. Drying time depends on several factors:
- Thick or Thin Slices – the thinner the slice of item being dried, the quicker the drying time.
- Temperature – The lower the temperature- the longer the drying time. When dehydrating fruits, vegetables and nuts, I recommend dehydrating at 125 degrees to preserve enzymes and nutrients.
- Humidity – the higher the humidity, the longer the drying time
- Water content – the higher the water (liquid) content of the item being dehydrated, the longer the drying time.
- Crispiness – some people like their dehydrated items still a bit soft, while others like it “crunchy or crispy”.. If you want it more crunchy-crispy, it will increase the time it takes to dry all the water out.
- The brand and model of your dehydrator – different models have different drying times depending on the wattage and other variables of the unit itself.
- Product – The product being dehydrated also will dictate how long it takes to dry.
Chart 1-Apples to Chili Peppers
Chart 2-Cipollini Onions to Leeks
Chart 3-Lemon Peels to Rhubarb
Chart 4-Rice to Zucchini
To print your own set of charts, click here: Dehydrator-Information-Charts.
2015-2017 ©21st Century Simple Living www.21stcenturysimpleliving.com