When you buy a Nesco Dehydrator, you’re likely anticipating quick and easy food preps. That is until you find out food dehydration isn’t one-size-fits-all.
The good news is, you don’t have to guess your way through dehydrating like those who came before you. Here, you can read about the factors that make up the delicate art of food dehydration.
What are the Factors That Go into Dehydrating?
See, food dehydration works through different factors that make up the whole. You can’t have perfect dehydrated food without these.
1. The Perfect Slice
Dehydration time depends a great deal on the thickness of your slice.
If you slice a piece of protein or fruit too thick, you’ll reset the timer several times. It won’t ever dry according to the time you thought it would. An example of the perfect thickness for drying a tomato is 17 millimeters (or half an inch).
2. The Right Temperature
There are many benefits to dehydrating fruits and vegetables. It can stop bacteria and mold in its tracks, saving your food. But drying also preserves important enzymes, unlike cooking.
The most critical factor in keeping these enzymes is temperature. The ideal temperature for fruits and vegetable enzymes is between 104 – 110 degrees.
The right Nesco dehydrator temperature can also make a difference. I usually set the it around 135 for jerky since it seems to turn out better.
Remember that temperature also dictates dry time. The higher the temperature, the faster the process. Though, faster doesn’t always mean quality.
What is the Nesco Dehydrator Dry Times?
When you have the best food dehydrator, like Nesco, you want to know the ins and outs. Without the know-how, you aren’t using its full potential. So, here are the dry times for different kinds of food you want to dehydrate.
1. Dry Times for Fruits
All fruits are going to stay on temperatures between 104 and 110.
Below are the Nesco dehydrator fruit drying times.
- Apples: 7-10 hours
- Banana’s: 7-10 hours
- Pears: 25 hours
- Pineapple: 25-30 hours
- Strawberries: 8-10 hours
The time of drying depends on the water content in the fruit.
When it comes to vegetables, the general rule is no less than seven hours, and no more than 18. As with fruits, vegetables should always stay at a lower heat level.
2. Dry Times for Proteins
I’m always scanning for new ideas to make jerky using my Nesco electric dehydrator. I was given this as a gift, and it’s been one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It’s so much easier than having the oven on for hours to dry meat.
I recently tried making Nesco dehydrated jerky for the first time, and it turned out great.
The Nesco dehydrator jerky time can be different depending on many factors, such as how thick your slice is and the humidity.
Jerky’s made from beef, poultry, or fish need to dry on a higher temperature. Proteins have a much lesser water content than fruits and vegetables.
- Beef jerky: 4-7 hours
- Chicken/turkey jerky: 4-7 hours
- Salmon jerky: 12-15 hours
For most proteins, a temperature setting of 165 should do the trick.
3. Drying Times for Herbs
If you have a Nesco food dehydrator, why not dry herbs? They can come in handy and its cheaper than buying them from the store.
- Most herbs: 1-4 hours
- Roots: 5-11 hours
When it comes to drying herbs, you can scatter them onto the tray. You’ll know when to take them off when they’re dry and brittle.
To prepare roots for dehydration, cut thin slices and dry them first. They’ll be hard to the touch when they’re ready.
More Dehydration Tips
Are you a camper or hiker looking for easy meals? Do you like to pack easy snacks for on-the-go? With the Nesco Dehydrator, the food prep possibilities are endless.
If you’re in the market for the best dehydrator you can find, look no further. Check out this list of great dehydrators and buy yours today.