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Is it ok to dip watermelons and melons into orange juice or lemon juice as a preservative?
Hi James, first, thank you for your service to this country. Now then, about your melons ... I don't regard lemon juice (or orange juice) as a preservative - I do regard lemon juice as an oxidation-preventer (that's why lemon juice on bananas stops the bananas from going really brown while dehydrating).
James, I'm not sure from your question how you intend to store the melons after you have dipped them in OJ or lemon juice? What are you going to do next? To be honest, I see no need to dip the melons at all for long-term storage.
If I've answered your question - great. If I haven't, please post back or use the contact-us link on the website and I'll get right back to you!
In 2010 I dehydrated frozen vegetables (onions, hashbrowns, carrots, broccoli, etc.). I vacuum sealed the dehydrated veggies with an oxygen absorber, then wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in Mylar bags in a closet under my staircase, darker and cooler than any other place in the house. I have been testing the food and find that it does not rehydrate well. I have tried boiled water and refrigeration to rehydrate but the veggies remain discolored and appear not to have absorbed any water. I would appreciate your thoughts on why this is happening and suggestions.
Hi Dana, thanks so much for contacting us. You seem to have followed the instructions to a "T" and I know it can be frustrating when things don't seem to be as good as expected. Please bear in mind that the whole premise of our website is to teach those who want to learn how to dehydrate food for long-term food storage. I know you were pretty much expecting to have it look like "fresh" when re-hydrated, but sometimes it doesn't happen. Sorry.
I know this is not what you needed to hear, but bear in mind that if the poop does hit the fan, you will have food on hand to get you through the crisis until the crisis is resolved, or has lessened to somewhat of a normal state.
Regarding re-hydrating: it can take from half an hour to eight hours for some veggies to re-hydrate. I've also stated on the site in the meats section that I didn't enjoy re-hydrated meats – so you're not alone Dana in being a tad disappointed. Wish I had better news – but I believe in being truthful and not making it seem like "you did something wrong". You didn't. Don't give up. Just remember – you'll have food for you and your family and you'll be better able to help others in a time of crisis too.
Susan for Easy Food Dehydrating
Lenny wrote in to ask: Does using lemon juice, for oxidation prevention, leave a lemon juice flavor on the product?
Hi Lenny! Regarding lemon juice leaving a lemony-taste - to be honest, there isn't really a lemony taste as most of the flavor evaporates during the drying process. Thanks for taking time to write in Lenny!
I dehydrate lemons without slicing by flourishing the lemon on open ground exposing them under the sun but sadly it takes a long time. Could you please tell me another way to dehydrate easily? Mohamed in Somalia.
Thanks so much for taking time to write to us. Unless you can get a hold of an electric dehydrator that runs off your country's power source, I think the best thing you could do is to simply slice your lemons and continue with your sun-drying method. The sun-drying method works well for tomatoes (as in sun dried tomatoes that do sell well).
Sorry that is all I have to offer as a solution ... Susan, for Easy Food Dehydrating
Karen posted this on our homepage via Facebook:
Hi Susan, I have a quick question. I recently purchased several bags of frozen diced hash browns on sale and wanted to dehydrate for long term storage. Can they be dehydrated and is there any preparation? Thanks for your great info.
Hi Karen, you can simply put the frozen hash browns on your dehydrator trays "as is" (as in frozen peas). There's no prep because the manufacturer already has done that for you!
One reason for dehydrating the frozen hash browns would be to save electricity (over the long run) and to have them in food bins for long-term food storage in my humble opinion. Thanks for writing in Karen!
Cyndy wrote in to ask this question: "How do you dehydrate chicken in the oven?"
Hi Cyndy - Thanks for taking the time to write in!
You mention 'oven' and by that I'm assuming you mean a regular oven? If so, I don't really recommend it. Meat needs to be dehydrated at a higher temperature (160°F), so if your oven will 'run' that low, then you can try to dehydrate it. Find a tray (ovenproof) for your chicken that allows good air circulation. As for how long it will take to dehydrate - I don't know - as I don't know how big your slices of meat will be or where you live (elevation).
I must say here that I never personally dehydrate RAW meats of any kind - I'm too nervous for that - but I do dehydrate cooked (as in left over) meats. For more on dehydrating cooked meats, see this Cooked Meats page.
Allan from Canada wrote in to say "Great Site" ... and I needed to check on dehydrating carrots. I bought 50 pounds because of the huge savings. That is another good reason for prepping. Thanks and just an FYI.
Hi Allan, thanks so much for taking time to send us your message – I really appreciate that!
Good luck with all your carrots: slice some lengthwise, some in coins, some diced, some diagonal - and some shredded. You never know which carrot shape your recipe might call for!
Does the re-hydrated celery regain some of its original crunchiness? – Dana
Hi Dana – yes, I'm happy to say that the dehydrated celery does have the same crunchiness when re-hydrated.
It's only when we cook it that the celery softens. When we dehydrate it, we're only taking out the water.
Thanks so much for taking time to post, and have a super day!
Alvina in Texas wrote in to ask: How do you dehydrate okra ... and for how long?
Hi Alvina! Thanks for taking time to contact us regarding dehydrating okra. Just wash it first, slice it, and place it on your dehydrator. Depending on how moist your okra is (and where you live - altitude - high in the Texas hills?) then okra can take quite a while - 24 hrs!
Simply follow the Dehydrating Zucchini instructions on our site (it's the same prep as okra) and you'll be good to go!