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How to Dehydrate Food -
The Best Form of Food Preservation
By Laura Colley


Methods for dehydrating food have progressed quite a bit since ancient times. Once upon a time, people used to just dry their food out in the sunshine for many days. Today, people use their oven or a food dehydrating appliance which completes the task much more quickly and more safely.

Food dehydration as a method for preserving food is one of the safest when compared to pickling, smoking, canning or freezing. It prevents contamination and the growth of mold or other bacteria. And, you can dehydrate almost any food you wish including fruits, vegetables and meats.

So which method of drying food makes the most sense? I doubt that many people have the patience to dehydrate food outdoors in the sun and because you need to dry it for several days, you run the risk of having animals and bugs getting into it. Using an oven to dry food is a better option although certainly not energy efficient. That leaves using a food dehydrating machine - by far the best option.

You should know that you will still need several hours to dehydrate food using this last method. However, the machines that are on the market today make it really easy for you. To start, make sure that your food is washed peeled and cut into thin slices - the thinner the better because you'll be able to reduce your drying time considerably. But, it depends on what you're looking to achieve. For example, are you looking to make crispy banana chips or chewy apricot treats? If the later then you'll want thicker slices.

After you've finished your prep work, all you need to do is place the food slices on the drying trays inside the machine. You can then set the timer and walk away. Although the recipe guide that comes with most of these machines is helpful and will provide you with some guidance, you will probably need to experiment a few times with drying times.

What about jerky? If you're planning on making jerky in your dehydrator, make sure you get the right spices so that you can get the result you're looking for. If you don't find the jerky spices in your local grocery store, you can try a specialty shop or buy them off the internet.


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