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I recently dehydrated whole baby carrots. I steamed them for 8 minutes, pretreated with a little lemon juice and then dehydrated them for 12 hrs. at 125. The carrots were conditioned overnight. They're pretty dried up, slightly pliable and can break in half. Two questions – are they dehydrated enough and what would be the best method of re-hydrating. Thanks.
Hi Karen, they sound just perfect to me! Well done! For re-hydrating, just put them in a glass measuring jug and add cold water – I use the ratio of two parts water to one part food. So a cup of carrots to two cups of water. Just so long as the carrots are completely covered with water really is fine. Keep your eye on them. Seeing as you're in Florida (like I am), keep them in your refrigerator.
Also, I noticed with my baby carrots that they are a little rubbery when re-hydrated - not an exact 100% match the way mother nature made them. To me, they are still FOOD and that's my major point for dehydrating food – to have enough on hand in case the poop HTF. Thanks for writing in Karen!
Karen here again!: I'm a newbie at dehydrating and food storage but am persistent and starting to get the hang of it. I have a rather unusual question I didn't see answered in your FAQs. I have stored dehydrated food in vacuumed sealed mason jars with an oxy absorber but my jars are not full. My question is 2 part: 1. Can another batch of the same dehydrated food be added to the jar and re-vacuumed sealed? and 2. can I use the same oxy absorber or do I need a new one. Thanks for your expertise and willing to help us "drying virgins!" - LOL!
Hi Karen! You're right, I've never been asked that before regarding half-full Mason jars! I don't see much of a problem IF you're using the jars on a regular basis, like opening them once or twice a week. Mix/stir the contents but make sure these are going to be used in the next couple of weeks.
If you're only opening them on a monthly basis then I wouldn't add to existing jars.
Regarding the oxygen absorber, if there's still a "pop" when you open the jar, then that oxygen absorber is still effective. Having said that, if you are going to put that full jar away for long term, then I would add another oxygen absorber. Thanks for posting Karen!
Katherine wrote in to ask: "Can I dehydrate food in my gas oven? The lowest temperature is 170F. Thank you so much for your time and intelligence."
Hi Katherine, I'm sorry to say that the only food you can safely dehydrate at that high a temperature is meat for jerky.
If you wanted to dehydrate fruit and veggies, then the temperature needs to be much lower so that the skins on the fruit don't become hard – this is known as 'case hardening' and what that means is that the inside of the fruit remains moist and the outside would be dry. This can cause mold growth and we certainly don't want that to happen!
Thanks for writing in Katherine!
I'm wondering about temperature. We have extreme temperature swings. From freezing to to 100 in one day. Our foods are dehydrated and properly sealed. Some are in buckets and Mylar. Do we need a certain storage temp as well? – Celeste in Oregon
Hi Celeste, sorry to say that yes, every little bit helps in the preservation of food for the long-term. I would be more concerned about foods freezing and bursting vacuum-sealed packets, so at least try to keep them from freezing. Thanks for posting!
I don't have a dehydrator thingy but my son will only eat dried fruit what's the best temperature and length time to do it in an oven? – Kayleigh
Hi Kayleigh! You can try setting your oven down to 135°F and checking them/turn them over every couple of hours until the fruit is to your liking.
Follow the steps on our individual fruit pages as to what to do for prep etc. Sounds like you have a great son who will eat fruit! YAY!
Dehydrators are not overly expensive; I think I paid about $60 for my Nesco and I don't think the price has risen much since then - may to $75.
It's still running five years later!
Gigi posted on our "Chicken Chow Dog Food" page: This was just the recipe I've been looking for. We currently use pet food that we have to rehydrate for our sheltie's meals. But it's been getting too expensive. Wondering about how much this recipe costs to make every month?
Hi Gigi! The main cost is the chicken breasts – yes, I use real chicken breasts that you and I would eat! The vitamins do cost about $30 - $40 to "get started" but that cost is spent about twice a year. Carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes aren't expensive. BTW, I have stopped using butternut squash and use an extra sweet potato. My dog loves it! The millet and quinoa ARE expensive and that's about a $60 YEARLY outlay – I buy big bags - do a search for "millet" and "quinoa" in bulk. The chicken stock I use doesn't have pepper or onion in it – so keep that in mind. Over all, to many folk it's a LOT of work BUT I LOVE MY DOG and every time I make it I know my dog loves me for it!
Love your site. I was wondering if you have ever dehydrated canned corn, and if so how did it turn out. I have some that is going to expire before I can use it. I figured it would keep longer if it was dehydrated. Thanks, Rose.
Hi Rose! Yes, you can dehydrate canned corn and all I would do is to rinse the salty water off it first. Keep your eye on it while dehydrating and rotate your trays! Thanks for posting Rose!
Done' Young · Commented on Dehydrating Melons - So You Can Enjoy All Year!
Dehydrating melons? Amazing!
Just one question... how will I know when my melon slices are done and ready for storage? What consistency will they be? Can't wait to give this a try!
Sorry, I missed this info. off the page - I'll go add it right after I type this to you: dehydrate your melons until they are crisp - or pliable - it's up to you! But, for long-term storage the dryer the better! Cheers, Susan
My son wants the gooey dried strawberries. They are moist but dried and full of flavor. How do I do it?
Hi Susan, I suspect that the gooey part was added to the package after dehydrating ... is the gooey stuff anything like the strawberry tart/pie filling? Could you mix some of that sort of filling with the dehydrated strawberries? If you do, let us know how it turns out! Thanks for posting!