I borrowed my friend’s dehydrator, but upon realizing there was a big hole in the bottom where the motor and the fan is housed, so everything from the air that floats into it dies there, you would be surprised what floats around us, and then it gets circulated around the drying food… I got in the car, drove across the bridge to London Drugs and bought myself a model with the motor on top. This one is not open to the elements, it is totally enclosed by the drying trays so nothing whatsoever has access to the fan or to the inner workings of the machine ever, clearly this was the machine for me.
I’ve been drying apricots – tried it in various ways, the best one turned out to be what the recipe booklet that came with my dehydrator suggested.
Cleanliness is very important as well as minimal handling of the fruits, basically avoid touching the fruit with your hands. And speaking of too much handling…
Always place the fruit with the skin down and cut side up, otherwise the fruit will stick to the racks. Don’t crowd the fruit, leave space around each peace; it will take less time than drying fruit on overcrowded trays.
Pre-treat the fruit with lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixtures, pre-treated fruit will retain both its looks and vitamin content better.
Keep the trays pristine clean. I put my trays [including the bottom catch tray] through the “fast wash” in the dishwasher. [Fast wash doesn’t have a dry cycle] If your dishwasher doesn’t have this feature, put the trays through two rinses, one with detergent and one without. The instructional booklet says it is essential to keep your trays away from the dishwasher’s drying cycle. And of course the part that houses the motor must never be submerged in water; it has to be wiped off. This does not pose a problem with dehydrators that have the motor on top.
Select high quality, tender and crisp fruits and vegetables for drying. Do not use overripe fruit.
• Wash the fruit well.
• Remove the stone, blemishes and bruised parts and discard.
• Cut each apricot into 4 quarters.
• Place the slices in lemon water for 15 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour.
• Arrange apricot slices with the cut part up for drying on the trays. Do not overlap food.
• Stack the trays and put them on the dryer base.
• Put the lid on the top.
• Turn on the dehydrator. Check the food every half hour near the end of the recommended drying time. Fruits that are cut into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slices take six to ten hours to dry at 135F.
• When everything is dried, turn off the machine.
• Unplug and wash all the pieces thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before you store it away for the next use.
- It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.
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