There are not one set of specific drying times for various fruits, vegetables and meats. Food dehydrator drying times can vary over a range of times depending on
various factors including:
- the type of food being dried,
- the amount of food placed in the dehydrator,
- the thickness of the food slices,
- how even the slices are,
- the percentage of water in the food,
- the humidity and
temperature of the air,
- the altitude of the place where you are dehydrating and
Food dehydration removes water from food. Dehydration is a combination of heat and air flow over and around the food being dried. Thus, the size, type and water content of the food impacts its drying time.
It is best to keep a record or list as you dehydrate various foods noting the temperatures and times needed to dry the food in your particular food dehydrator. Here is an extensive list of food dehydrator drying times for various foods. Below is a general drying temperature range for fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts and herbs.
- Fruits, fruit leathers, and vegetables
should be dried between 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Drying foods in this
temperature range will minimize
the loss of vitamins
A and C. These vitamins are especially sensitive to heat.
- Meats should be dried at the
highest temperature setting of your food
dehydrator. Vitamins A or C are not present in meats, thus, the
high temperatures will not affect
nutritional value. Furthermore, high temperatures
help keep bacteria, that may be present in the meat, at bay while drying.
- Herbs, flowers nuts and seeds should be dried between 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher drying temperatures than these can cause the oils in these items to turn them rancid. Also, higher temperatures can be damaging to delicate blooms and stems.
Published 2/27/2011 12:00:00 AM