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Tag: Dehydration

Shopping Tips for Food Dehydrators

A food dehydrator is a small electrical appliance for drying foods indoors. It has an electric element for heat and a fan and vents for air circulation. Dehydrators are efficiently dry foods fast at 140ºF.

Costs vary depending on features. Some models are expandable and additional trays can be purchased later. Twelve square feet of drying space dries about a half-bushel of produce. The major disadvantage of  is its limited capacity.

Features to Look For

  • Double wall construction of metal or high grade plastic. Wood is not recommended, because it is a fire hazard and is difficult to clean.
  • Enclosed heating elements.
  • Counter top design.
  • An enclosed thermostat from 85ºF to 160ºF.
  • Fan or blower.
  • Four to 10 open mesh trays made of sturdy, lightweight plastic for easy washing.
  • UL seal of approval.
  • A one-year guarantee.
  • Convenient service.
  • A dial for regulating temperature.
  • A timer. Often the completed drying time may occur during the night and a timer could turn the dehydrator off and prevent scorching.


How to make Cherry Raisins

Photo: Utah State University

Wash and pit pie cherries. Heat 2 cups of cherries and 1/2 cup of sugar until the liquid boils for 1 minute. (Cherry-sugar mixture will form own juice.) With a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a dehydrator. Dry at 140-150°F until moisture decreases to 80% solids. Cherries will be firm and rubbery to the touch. For best results, base the drying on the final solids content of 80%. Freeze or vacuum package to avoid mold growth.

To calculate desired final cherry weight for 80% solids:

  1. Weigh a container for fresh and dried cherries on a scale. Note weight.
  2. Add fresh cherries to the container. Weigh. Subtract container weight.
  3. Calculate desired final weight. (Fresh cherry weight) times (.175) = desired weight of dried cherries.
  4. Add calculated desired final weight (#3 above) and weight of container (#1). When dried cherries reach this point, they are ready.

Source: Utah State University Extension


Drying Meat Safely

As fall hunting season approaches, there are many ways to preserve the meat. One of those is dehydrating meat jerky.

Optimum drying temperature is 140°F. But, meat must be heated to 160°F to eliminate possible E. coli bacteria. Pick one of these methods for safe jerky.

  • Prior to drying, heat the strips of meat in the marinade by boiling them for 5 minutes, drain, and pat dry. Proceed with dehydrating the meat.
  • After dehydrating the meat, place the jerky on a baking sheet and put into a 275°F oven for 10 minutes.

Learn more at


Commercial Jerky Recall

Learn more about jerky at

A Clarkson, WA establishment has recalled beef jerky products due to under processing and potential survival of pathogens in the meat. This recall is a reminder to those who dehydrate jerky at home to heat the meat to 160°F to eliminate potential E. coli bacteria. There are two methods to heat the meat. Choose one of the following:

  1. Boil the meat strips in the marinade prior to dehydrating for five minutes.
  2. After dehydrating, place the jerky on a cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven at 275°F for 10 minutes.

Jerky recall details can be found at:

For more information see: