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Canology's Guide to Food Dehydrators

Canology's Guide to Food Dehydrating 

Advantages of Food Dehydration

Dehydration is perhaps the oldest food preservation method. It is a great alternative to canning. First, food dehydrating is very easy to do using a household food dehydrator. In addition, food dehdration is relatively inexpensive, as dehydration does not require a lot of supplies and equipment (such as mason jars). Another great advantage is that with food dehydration you are free to put to rest any concerns, no matter how unreasonable, regarding botulism. Finally, once you get started with food dehydration you will quickly discover that you have much more room in your canning pantry: food dehydration takes up way less space than Ball Mason Jars and every other form of food storage. 

Food Dehydration Step by Step 

A basic understanding of food dehydration is all that is required for success. As is the case with every form of food preservation, start by selecting the highest quality produce that is available. Selecting your produce during the peak season makes the most sense because you can get top notce produce at rock bottom prices. After you've selected your produce, you want to prepare it with the following things in mind. Be sure that you prepare your food so that it is convenient for consumption. For example, homemade beef jerky needs to be cut into small enough slices so that it can be easily consumed and enjoyed as you and your family would prefer. In this regard, be sure to cut your food as uniformly as possible if the food items will be going into the food dehydrator as part of the same batch. This will ensure even drying of the produce. Additionally, during preparation be sure that your produce has been cleaned appropriately. Remove all dirt and make sure there are no insects on the produce. Presentation and cleanliness are key so make sure that you treat your produce to prevent browning. 

The drying process should be accomplished with a food dehydrator, which is capable of maintaining 130F to 140F circulating air - air that uniformly drys all of the produce in each batch. This temperature range, coupled with circulating air, with ensure that your produce will not lose its texture, color or flavor. An added benefit is that any loss in nutritional value will be minimized. Once your food has dried, it will be pliable and have a leather like feel. 

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