Dehydrator Cookbook Digest

Selecting food to dry

Select the best quality produce at the peak of ripeness and flavor. Wash carefully to remove debris, dust, and insects. Cut away any bruised or damaged sections.


Loading Trays

Lay food pieces evenly on trays. Don’t overlap food pieces as this will inhibit drying. As each tray is loaded, place it on the dehydrator to begin drying.


General Drying Guidelines

There are no absolutes and quite a few variables in food dehydration. The only way to become proficient is to dry, dry, and dry some more! Certain varieties of produce, the humidity in the air, and even methods of food handling make a difference in the drying time and quality of dried product.


• Experiment with different drying temperatures, thicknesses of produce, pre-treatment versus no pre-treatment and different rehydration methods. You will determine what works best for your particular needs and preferences.


• To save nutrients and produce a quality product, it is necessary to work fast preparing foods to dry. When placed in your dehydrator, they need to dry continuously at the recommended temperatures and times. Do not turn off your dehydrator and leave partially dried foods sitting on the trays. The food may spoil or develop off flavors.


• Spread all foods evenly to dry in single layers. If slices overlap, the areas that are overlapping will take twice as long to dry.


• Do not add fresh produce to a partially dried batch. It will slow the rate of drying for both products. It is possible however, to combine partially dried foods on to fewer trays.


• Many people have more than one American Harvest® dehydrator. If you have two, it’s easy to combine a load from both dehydrators after a few hours and start a new batch in your second dehydrator using the remaining trays.


Download PDF