Do slice food into 1/4 inch slices or strips prior to placing them in the food dehydrator. This will make sure that the maximum amount of food surface is exposed to the dehydrator’s heat and air flows.
Do spread the food slices as evenly and thoroughly as possible on the dehydrator sheets. Again this will help make the dehydrating process as complete and efficient as possible.
Do dry foods thoroughly and then allow them to cool at room temperature before sealing them in an air tight container. This will ensure that moisture within the food is totally dehydrated.
Do occasionally clean the food dehydrator with warm water, especially the bottom of the dehydrator where bits of food may gather.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods, recipes and food preparations.
Don’t try and speed up the food drying process by raising the dehydrator thermostat and temperature above the recommended level for the food that is dehydrating. This can cause case hardening; an incomplete dehydration that can result in premature food spoilage.
Don’t immediately transfer dehydrated food from the food dehydrator into airtight storage containers. As it cools, dried food will give off some moisture which could be trapped inside the sealed container.
Don’t dehydrate different food categories together, dehydrate fruits with fruits and vegetables with vegetables. Dehydrating onions or asparagus along with bananas or other fruit is not advised.
Don’t dehydrate food in a microwave oven.
Published 7/18/2009 12:00:00 AM