Enjoy every season's harvest all year long!

Why Dehydrate?

Everyone has at least one season's produce that they wish would be fresh twelve months of the year. Be it fresh fall apples, juicy tomatoes or sweet corn, each harvest is short-lived. Dehydrating is the easiest solution to this problem!

Dehydrating your food is much less complicated than canning, which requires special equipment and special attention to avoid food poisoning and contamination. A food dehydrator combines heat and air flow to draw moisture out of the food. You can typically remove 75-95% of water from the food, resulting in a dried product that is reduced to approximately 1/4 of its original weight. This makes storing and transporting the food easier while also preventing bacteria from developing.

The USDA supports the belief that dehydrating foods is a healthy alternative to canning. There are no additives used during dehydrating, and by preserving at a slightly lower temperature than canning you will retain many of the vital nutrients in the food, such as Vitamin C, Thiamin and Riboflavin.

What Can I Dehydrate?

Virtually any food you could imagine can be dried in a food dehydrator. Fruit and vegetables quickly come to mind, and are typically dried into fruit chips for snacking or to use as an ingredient in trail mix. However, the possibilities with fruits and vegetables are much wider than that. By mixing the produce into a puree and spreading the mixture into a thin sheet, you can make homemade fruit rollups (also known as “fruit leather”). Similarly, dried produce can be reconstituted at a later date by pouring boiling water over the food to then be used in all of your favorite recipes in the same way that the fresh produce would have been used. We must stress, though, that when reconstituting your food it is important that you soak it in the hot water for no less than 2 hours without refrigeration. If reconstitution lasts longer than this you risk the development of dangerous bacterial growth.

Reference our Food Drying Guides for specific dehydrating guidelines

View one of our favorite recipes - Fruit Leather

In addition, we suggest using your dehydrator to preserve grains and herbs as well. One of our favorite dehydrating resources, Making & Using Dried Foods by Phyllis Hobson, provides recipes for making cereal, crackers and croutons in your dehydrator using fresh wheat and other grains. Also, fresh-picked herbs can be preserved to use in cooking or be made into mixes for soup. The more creative users can even make homemade potpourri for their home or to be given has a personalized gift! We highly suggest this book to any customer purchasing a new dehydrator or wanting to get more use out of their old dehydrator.

Our favorite recipe by far is for ehydrating meat to make jerky. Lean meats, such as venison or beef, are most appropriate for making jerky. Cure and seasoning are mixed with the meat strips to help preserve the meat and impart unique flavors to your batches of jerky. The Sausage Maker offers premixed jerky seasonings, or you can prepare your own seasoning blends to reflect your own personal tastes. Dried meat can be reconstituted much in the same way as fruits and vegetables to be used in stews or soups. However, if kept in its dry state, dried meat is a delicious addition to mayonnaise to step up your boring sandwich spread!

Reference our Food Drying Guides for specific dehydrating guidelines

View one of our favorite recipes - Beef or Venison Jerky with homemade seasoning!