DEHYDRATING

This is only basic information about dehydrating which should be your most important way to preserve food.

You want to start with good equipment. The best dehydrator in the market today is the 9 tray Excalibur 3900. It comes with a 5 year warranty and you can get it directly from the factory by clicking on this link.

Next piece of equipment you will need is a good slicer. There are many of them, electric for about $50. Go to ebay.

Vaccumm sealer. I have a Food Saver V3400 (about $180) which has all the features I need, it even has an accessory port in which I can add a hose to vaccumm a mason jar (Adaptor available form Amazon.com $10).

All this equipment can be purchased from www.dehydrate2store.com. Tammy runs that web site which has many youtube videos on how to dehydrate just about everything. If you don't go for videos, she also has the whole process spelled out in many pages. Visit her site if you really are into dehydrating.

Doing it!

Let's say you want to dehydrate mushrooms. Get a few boxes of sliced mushroms at the store and dump them right into the trays of your dehydrator. Make sure they are in one layer. Close the dehydrator, turn it on at about 110 degrees for a couple of hours before you turn it up to 125 degrees. Total time for mushrooms is about 10 hours. When they are leathery, you can remove them and put them in an unsealed plastic bag for 3 days. (I use a plastic tub with a lid)

When satisfied that they are dry enough, put them in a plastic bag, add an oxygen absorber pak and vaccumm seal it. Put it in a mylar bag( to keep the light out) and seal it also. Don't forget to label the bags clearly with item name and date. Food stored this way should last about 30 years.

Some of the items you dehydrate will have sharp edges when completely dry (corn kernels, beans) and they are capable of poking holes in the plastic bags as you vaccuum them, I keep my bags not too void of air, I seal the bags before they get too hard to prevent the contents from poking holes in the plastic bgs. It is ok, the oxygen absorbers will take care of that little extra air you leave in the bags.

REHYDRATING

This is when you are go use your food. There are also web sites that will give you the times and amount of water used but they are not complete. Here is a general guide:

For Vegetables use boiling water; For fruits use water at room temperature.

Now for the time to dehydrate: Corn, Okra, Peas, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, 30 minutes.

Onions, turnup greens and other greens, 45 minutes.

Beans, Beets, carrots, cabbage,, squash, zuchinni, pears, 1 hour.

Beets, peaches 1 1/2 hours.

The average amount of water used... about 2 cups for each cup of dried food.

That in a nutshell, is the whole process. Again, like I pointed out on top, this is only basic information, To fill you up completely would need several volumes. There is plenty of good information on the Internet.

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