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Damien has this question too about an oven! Hello Susan, Great site! A question: Can I use an oven as a dehydrator?
Hi Damien, yes you can use a regular oven, and someone asked me that very same question earlier today! Must be an 'oven question' day! LOL. Keep it low, around 125F and 135F. Thing is, ovens are meant for baking, and dehydrators have great trays built for drying, so that your food doesn't drop through! I'm thinking that a dehydrator would be less costly to run though. Thanks for posting! Susan :-)
Jean laments: I had a hard time with my dehydrated celery. No matter how long I cooked it, it was ... odd. Same with my dehydrated green beans. I did the beans fresh. Should I have blanched them first?
Hi there Jean! Yes to the blanching for fresh beans ... Regarding the celery, patience is the key, as with all veg/fruit being re-hydrated! The cooking of the veggies also will make them feel/taste 'more like the veg. in their original state'. Don't give up, and bear in mind, my efforts of dehydrating food is for long-term food storage, in the event of world-wide food shortages or other catastrophes, so to have 'some food' is better than having 'no food'. I hope you agree. Cheers, Susan :-)
Rebecca wants to know this: I dehydrated banana peppers yesterday and have read about storing dried foods but still have questions. Can I package them all together and then open the package to take out the amount I need and then reseal the bag or jar? I have not been able to find an answer to this question. Thanks so much! Rebecca
is the answer! The only downside to opening and resealing, and then
opening and resealing again, is that you lose the effectiveness of the
oxy-pack. Have you thought of using small bags each with their own
oxypack, so that you don't have to open a large bag and keep having to
When using mason jars, listen for the lack of a 'pop' when you open the jar. That tells you to change out the oxypack for a new one. Use mason jars for dehydrated items you use a lot, such as vegetables for soups etc. Use bags for foods that you don't use on a regular basis.
Maudelle wrote in to ask: Can you dehydrate Beets? Thank you.
Yes Maudelle, treat the beets like potatoes. Cook them first, then let them chill overnight in the fridge. Follow the directions for the potatoes: here's the link to that page. Thanks for writing in.
Peggy posted at Facebook: I have a Ronco dehydrator. It doesn't have a fan or heat settings.
Should I trust this to do a safe job dehydrating or look for a better model? It has just the heating coil at bottom.
Hi Peggy, thanks for posting! I have had no personal experience with Ronco dehydrators so I can't say one way or the other.
Have you used it much before? If so, did it 'work'?
If you want to be on the safe side, then go ahead and purchase a Nesco (they're not overly expensive) and then you will have your fan and heat selector for the higher temp for dehydrating fruit leathers and meat, and the lower setting for dehydrating mushrooms, and the mid-range temperatures for the rest of the fruits and veggies.
Sunny posted on Facebook: I have canned potatoes, can I dehydrate
them instead? You did say you can dehydrate cooked potatoes so could I
dehydrate my canned ones?
Hi Sunny – one word: Yes! Make sure you let them air dry a bit (in a sieve), or roll them on some paper towel to mop up excess water from the can. Slice them evenly ... Happy dehydrating!
Sue wrote in to ask: I thin sliced and dried my garlic and it
snaps dry brittle but is yellowish in color not white as you can buy it
in the store. I dried the small kind of garlic. Is this normal color?
Hi Sue! Thanks for writing in! Don't worry about the color of the garlic, it's 'oxidation' at work! You know how brown apples get when the cut side is left open to the air ... Your garlic will be just fine! Cheers, Susan
Sharon in NSW, Australia asks: I bought Mylar Bags size 11.75 inch
x 13.5 inch or: 30cm x 34.5cm. Would the 300cc Oxygen Absorbers be
suitable to use for this size?
Hi Sharon! Thanks for writing in, all the way from Australia :-) Yes, your 300cc oxypacks are just fine for the size of Mylar bags you have bought. The 100cc oxypacks are for the small(er) food-vacuum sealer bags that actually hold the food. The b-i-g 2000cc oxypacks are for the buckets and bins.
Enid posted a question at FB: Have you ever dried husk cherries? Would it be the same as drying grapes?
Hi Enid, thanks for posting! Yes, you can dehydrate husk/ground cherries just like drying grapes as they do resemble the texture of raisins. If you cut them in half first, it will shorten the drying time.
Anastacia wrote in to ask: What are the best veggies to dehydrate as snacks? I would like to take some to work in my lunch to have as snacks (like dried apples and dried bananas). What other fruits would be great as snacks, too? These must be good to eat dried without requiring re-hydration. Thanks!
Thanks for writing in! First of all "good for you!" for eating such healthy snacks ... wish more people would understand the value of fresh fruits and vegetables, with dehydrated veggies and fruit snacks a 'close second'.
Here's some obvious fruits: apples and bananas as you mentioned, along with plums (which turn to prunes), grapes (which turn to raisins), and apricots, pineapples, and berries.
Some veggie ideas: blanch carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and sweet potatoes - these vegetables dehydrated make great snack chips!