Choosing a Food Dryer

Choosing a Food Dryer

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A food dryer removes moisture from foods to extend their shelf life. It also enables food preservation by preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast and molds. It works by raising the temperature of foods and then lowering it to allow the water to move out of the food into the air. The process is controlled, unlike sun drying and the oven, which can result in unevenly dried foods.

From Fruit to Meat: Dehydrators for Every Purpose

Choosing the right food dehydrator is important, depending on the type of produce you want to dry. For example, vegetables require a pretreatment, such as blanching to help preserve their color and flavor. Most fruits do not require a pretreatment, but they should be cut into uniform pieces for even drying. Most food dehydrators have a fan that helps circulate air and speed up the drying process. The fan can be located at the top or at the bottom. A dehydrator with the fan at the bottom will distribute heat more evenly, while a model with the fan at the top takes advantage of the way heat rises to dry foods more quickly.

Ensure that you select a dehydrator with a thermostat ranging from 85 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and a dial for regulating the temperature. A timer is a good feature to help you turn the device off at the end of the drying cycle to prevent scorching, particularly if you are drying foods that require a longer period of time to dry. A UL seal of approval, a one-year guarantee and convenient service are additional features to consider.

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