I’m confused. Can anyone recommend a good instruction book to dehydrating? The ones I’ve read are all different. Pretreat or not. Blanch or not. What veggie or fruit varieties have you had the most success with?
Prunes and apricots - I split them in half and remove the pits first, Cherries likewise - I pit them first, they dry quickly
I’ve also done hot peppers, splitting those, too, lengthwise
Are you blanching them or pretreating with anything first?
After I dry them, I freeze the dried fruit - doesn’t get moldy
I’ve dried apples, pears, tomatoes etc. just about anything will dry. Depending on how much fruit you have in the dryer aka how any trays depends on how long you dry it. As an example these very sugary, high moisture pears take 17 hours at 135 degrees to dry. If you look closely my dehydrator has the temperatures on the top.
Thanks. I was hoping not to have to stick all of the dehydrated stuff in the freezer since I have been filling it with other veggies but that sounds like the easiest option.
If you don’t want your fruit to turn as brown dip it in lemon juice diluted with water or if In a pinch I use a vitamin c tablet in water.
Mine looks similar but is the Nesco that @scottfsmith recommended. I thought I would start with the 4 trays that come with this model until I actually have enough fruit to need more trays.. Are you pretreating or freezing?
I don’t, I’m very happy with results.
How do you store it?
Clark, My new dehydrator looks exactly like yours. I have 600 plants worth of tomatoes and need expert help on drying, especially post drying storage. I’m sure many here would love to have your wisdom. You cut your fruit thinner than I do, learning already.
Well I’m new to drying stone fruit, in a jar like I do everything else I dry. I really don’t have enough experience with all fruits. I do have whole dried peppers, stems and all, not cut, two years old with no mold. The key is drying them just right. Only practice gets you there. You don’t want them crisp as can be. I like whole dried peppers as you can leave more moisture in. Pliable when bent.The Nesco does a good job. Although right now it is so humid, I’m adding a lot of hours to the drying process to get there this year.
If I want powder I usually dry a little more before use, and use a coffee grinder to powder. The powder is fresh that way. So I usually dry in halfs.
For stone fruit, I’m still fooling around with how I like them, and when best,
Most people freeze their dried fruits. Make sure it’s actually dry when your done drying it. Things like these pears if you freeze them keep great. I frequently don’t freeze things but be careful with that it takes practice. Thai hot dragon peppers I hang up in my house and about 2 months into winter I bag them in bags and keep them there the next 4- 5 years and never lose any. The Thai hot dragons I never put in the dehydrator. High sugar and moisture foods like pears can mold in a hurry so it’s safer to freeze them. I dehydrate things like zucchini and they have kept in bags not in the freezer for years. If I want to make soup dried veggies and herbs can be added and I don’t freeze either. I can’t recommend you do it but that’s what I do. Some foods will mold in short order if not put in the freezer. Herbs I dry on a table and do not use a dryer such as thyme, basil, oregano, Marjoram, sage, lemon balm, peppermint, cilantro, rosemary etc… Once the herbs are completely dry I put them in gallon pickle jars and use them within 5 years or so but never refrigerate them. That’s what works for me but I wouldn’t recommend anyone else do it rather follow directions given. Many tricks I use were passed down to me and used prior to refrigeration or freezing were available.
Anne, I freeze my prunes and dried tomatoes. They are fantastic!
Thanks, @mrsg47. I am drying tomatoes right now or at least experimenting at drying them. Next on my list is to try summer squash.
No, not freezing at all.Just on the shelf at room temp.
@clarkinks, can you tell me which foods mold if not frozen after drying? Is the amount of water in the food the determining factor?
We service a couple of Mexican restaurants. Can’t seem to grow enough bells and jalapenos though. Have 400 of them and BLS a big problem with any rain.