Sunday, May 6, 2012

This Isn't Rocket Science!

People have been dehydrating food since the stone age. It’s  the simplest form of food preservation. You do not really need any specialized equipment.  All you need is a place to put your food slices, some way to keep the bugs off, and some form of ventilation. 

Raw Apple Slices

Just to show you what I mean, here is some food I dehydrated in my FoodPantrie dehydrator. It’s nothing more than a hanging zippered screen with five racks for holding the food.  It might take a day or two longer to dry the food, depending on what you put in it. but it has no thermostats, no blowers, no timers, nuthin’. 

Three days later voila! Dried apples!

So what’s my point?  Don’t get too worried about being precise.  It isn’t that difficult.  All these fancy machines we use simply make the job faster and easier, but they are not necessarily better.

FoodPantrie Dehydrator - my birthday present two years ago!

That being said,
please remember that even stone aged people knew that
some heat source or smoking is necessary in order to preserve meat.
I do not recommend this method for anything
but fruits and veggies.

Bottom line: there are three variables to drying time.

  1. The thickness of the slices of food.
  2. Moisture content in the food pieces.
  3. Ambient humidity where you live. It takes longer to dry something in humid Florida than it does to dry the same thing in arid Arizona.  If it’s raining, it may take a little longer, too.

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