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Dehydrating Food at Home:
The Sweet & Savory Answer to Food Wastage!

It's time. Time to start dehydrating food at home. It's a sweet (or savory) answer to food wastage!

Rotting vegetables with a disgusted female frowning (from inside a refrigerator)

Are your fresh fruits and vegetables turning brown in your fridge? Keep reading this page on dehydrating food at home to avoid food wastage.

You may wonder, "Isn't there a better way?" as you dodge the side-eye disapproving glances from your kids as you toss the rotten potatoes in the garbage (that is, if you can stand the stench of them).

Why, Yes, There is (a Better Way)

You yearn to provide fresh, nutritious food for your family without dealing with the constant race against waste. Your kitchen probably seems more like a pit stop for spoilage rather than a hub for nourishment, right?

Here's where I introduce you to the fascinating art of dehydrating food—a tried and tested method for preserving the food and flavor longer.

Actually, dehydrated food has a more concentrated taste. Why? Because the water (which bulks up the food) is evaporated during the dehydrating process. Makes sense, right?

The Good Old(en) Days

Drying food on racks

Dehydrating food at home not only offers satisfying food preservation but also symbolizes a nostalgic charm that brings in inner peace of mind and sparks inner pioneer woman feelings. OK, that's my trip down memory lane. Not that I'm anywhere near being a pioneer woman!

Having dried food on hand means you don't need to rely on boxed preservative-laden grocery store goodies... and that's a good thing.

And making dried food is NOT hard to do. Keep reading.




Dried sliced apples and dried sliced mushrooms

The Charm of Dehydrating Food at Home

The Charm of
Dehydrating Food at Home

The magic of dehydration lies in its simplicity. Though dehydrating foods at home might test your patience, witnessing that first batch of tangy apple chips or savory mushroom slices come off the dehydrator trays is well worth it.

From beef jerky - brimming with intense flavors - to a sweet, chewy fruit leather, dehydrating food is a creative and practical solution to halt food wastage.

Plus, the energy consumption concerns you might have regarding running a dehydrator for hours at a time, is offset by the savings in food cost (or rather, less waste) and the extra space gained in your refrigerator and freezer so you can organize those appliances better.

Hey, sell the spare refrigerator that is in the garage.

Getting Started

The first step in making deliciously dry food safely is to understand what the process entails. Good news—it's simple - yes, as in my free "Six Simple Steps."

The act of drying food slowly removes the water from it, helping prevent future microorganisms from spoiling it.

My free email course teaches you the six steps, which includes adding oxygen absorbers (what size to get), and the best storage methods for long-term storage.

Remember: It's a balance of time, temperature, and air circulation.

Easy Food Dehydrating - free 6 simple steps and 7-part mini-course

It's not just an efficient way of prolonging the life of your food—it's also scientifically fascinating. It's amazing to see celery shrink down. Read my tips on dehydrating celery here and watch the time-lapse video below!

Easy Food Dehydrating - free 6 simple steps and 7-part mini-course

The first step in making deliciously dry food safely is to understand what the process entails. Good news—it's simple - yes, as in my free "Six Simple Steps."

The act of drying food slowly removes the water from it, helping prevent future microorganisms from spoiling it.

My free email course teaches you the six steps, which includes adding oxygen absorbers (what size to get), and the best storage methods for long-term storage.

Remember: It's a balance of time, temperature, and air circulation. It's not just an efficient way of prolonging the life of your food—it's also scientifically fascinating. It's amazing to see celery shrink down. Read my tips on dehydrating celery here and watch the time-lapse video below!

Watch this FUN Time-Lapse Video of Food Drying!

How to Dehydrate Food

But how do you get started? While you can invest in a food dehydrator, your standard oven will likely do the trick. Spread your chosen food on a baking sheet, set the oven to its lowest setting, and crack the door slightly for air circulation... but having an oven door open doesn't sound so great, right?

What if you don't want to heat up the house in mid-summer? Would be cozy in winter, though! Yep, I'm biased and I know that an electric dehydrator is the better option.

And while the timings vary greatly between the two methods (oven vs dehydrator), the process might take between six to twelve hours, depending on the type of food you're drying. I bet you're thinking that doesn't sound stress-free - and you're right! Read on...

Put Dehydrating Food at Home "On Auto"

If you prefer to "set it and forget it," invest in a dehydrator. The starter models are surprisingly affordable and last for years. I began my dehydrating journey with a Nesco (I still have it and use it!) along with my starter Excalibur (I still have that beauty, too!).

Check out this page about Nesco and Excalibur dehydrator models (overiew).

To learn more individual deets about Nesco Dehydrators click here, or for Excalibur Dehydrators click here.

Heed Our Safety Measures While Dehydrating Food at Home

When it comes to dehydrating food, safety is paramount. Make sure the foods are adequately dried and stored properly to avoid bacterial growth. The food needs to be 95% dehydrated for safe long-term storage. It's the removal of water that makes it all work.

When we store our dehydrated foods in airtight containers in a dark space, we take care of the "three enemies"... namely:

  1. AIR
  2. LIGHT
  3. WATER/MOISTURE

On each of my how to dehydrate fruit and vegetable pages, you'll see the average length of time it takes to fully dehydrate vegetables and fruits - and what the expected texture is like when dried properly.

The Book Includes Dehydrating Meat Too!

Cooked chicken, salmon, and beef

I also cover meats such as chicken, turkey, and beef, inside Easy Food Dehydrating & Safe Food Storage book (eBook, or Paperback).

And you can learn about pork and seafood directly on our site (click those links to read about those items as they were added to this site after the book was released).

Use Oxygen Absorbers to Keep Your Dried Foods Fresh

To aid in storing your dehydrating goodies, we use Oxygen Absorbers. These little oxygen packs absorb oxygen, as their name implies.

REMINDER: We add an oxygen absorber inside our vacuum sealer bag BEFORE vacuuming out the air. Learn all you need to know about the different sizes of oxygen absorbers here.

Savoring and Storing Your Homemade Dehydrated Delights

Gain peace of mind in the neatly arranged containers of your dehydrated foods in your pantry or on your kitchen cupboad shelves like I have.. Rehydrate your dried ingredients to create hearty stews, comforting soups, or refreshing smoothies, or simply enjoy them as a healthy snack straight from the container!

Preserved and properly packed, dried foods require less space - reducing freezer and refrigerator clutter. Read more on how to store food here.

And There You Have It

Whether you're a full-time working mom, a retiree with time, or someone who simply loves throwing on a domestic goddess apron and creating something marvelous—dehydrating food at home is your secret ally against food wastage, impulse grocery shopping, and a cluttered refrigerator.

Homemade dehydrated meals are not just convenient and healthy; they also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Get Your Copy of 20 Taste-Tested Easy Recipes

Drying food entails think-ahead planning, yes, but the result is very rewarding. It means having efficient control over food wastage, alongside having handy meals in your pantry for "those days" when you can't be bothered starting from scratch.

So why not give dehydrating food a try? It could be the smart, cost-efficient solution you've been seeking.

Embrace dehydrating food at home and join thousands of people - just like you - who have found satisfaction in doing so. It’s easier than you might think!

Don't forget to get your free "Six Simple Steps" eBook where I share how to dehydrate food safely!