December 31

Dried Right: How to Use the Nesco Food Dehydrator


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Preserving food when you’ve cooked too much or have an excess of summer garden vegetables is an excellent way to save money. Using a Nesco food dehydrator isn’t much different than operating similar devices, but to see the best results, there are a few things you should know. 

We’re going to take an in-depth look at how to use the Nesco food dehydrator, from start to finish. Keep reading for more information! 

Preparation of the Nesco Food Dehydrator

First, you want to place your dehydrator on a sturdy countertop or table, away from any water. Stack the needed trays into the unit, place the cover on top, and insert the blower, locking it into place.

Finally, plug the cord into an electrical socket, turn the power on, and begin dehydrating your food. 

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Prepare the Food and Utensils Needed

There are numerous recipes available for dehydrating food and the types of produce and meat are entirely up to you.

However, you should know that items marinated in alcohol should be avoided and using vegetable oil to prevent sticking is not advised. Also, cut away any bruising, defects, and wash away insects or dirt.

As you learn your machine, you can experiment with the thickness of food slices, whether you choose to pretreat them, and the techniques you prefer. 

You will need to clean all utensils and surfaces that will come into contact with food that is to be dehydrated. Do this with a mixture of bleach, detergent (dish soap works fine) and water. This prevents any contamination from occurring. 

Do This, Not That

When setting up food to be dehydrated, be sure that the slices don’t overlap. Overlapping will cause the food to take twice as long to dry. 

Allow food to dry thoroughly before removing the slices or adding more to the trays. Adding more food to a partially dried batch will increase the drying time.

If you have two Nesco food dehydrators, after the food has dried for a while, you can combine the contents into one unit and begin a third batch. Just ensure that your food is never left partially dried or that power is not turned off before the process is complete. This will ensure the safety of your food! 

Get to Drying!

The last few steps to successfully using your Nesco food dehydrator include proper labeling. Although this may seem silly, it can help you identify which foods were dried and should be consumed first which means minimal nutrient loss

Other than these basic necessary steps, you have complete creative control over which foods, treatments, seasonings, combinations and recipes you use! Get creative and enjoy seeing less food waste in your home. 

If you enjoyed this article but are now in need of recipes, take a look at a few of our favorite ways to make beef jerky

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