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Home > Food Preservation Articles, Reviews, & Buyers Guides > Drying > Methods

Methods  Item Number: methods



SUN 

Bright sun, high temperatures (around 100 degrees), and low humidity are essential for sun drying.  If one of these elements is missing, foods will not be dried adequately.  Too much humidity will cause the food to retain it's moisture even on a hot, sunny day.

Drying food in the sun takes 3-7 days.  Place foods on racks and cover with cheese-cloth or netting to protect from insects and debris.  If the temperature drops more than 20 degrees during this time, take racks indoors overnight.  Sudden temperature changes and dew can put moisture back into the food. When the drying process is almost complete, place racks in an airy shady location to prevent scorching during the final stages of drying.

OVEN 

A basic kitchen oven can also dry foods.  Maintain a temperature of 140-160 degrees.  Keep an oven thermometer on the top rack to ensure that temperature remains consistent.  Oven door should be kept open slightly to provide ventilation for moisture to escape yet keeping heat in.  Trays should be rotated every half hour and food stirred to provide circulation to all surfaces.

DEHYDRATOR

Using a food dehydrator is the ideal method for drying food.  

  • Over-cast skies and high humidity can put a halt on sun drying.   
  • Oven drying can sometimes result in flavor-mixing.  

Preheat at 125 degrees.  Once filled racks are in, gradually increase temperature to 140 degrees.  Drying in a dehydrator usually takes anywhere from 4-12 hours.




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