Saturday, October 8, 2011

A few tips for dehydrating with an old fashioned food dehydrator

Hi all!  I have owned a basic dehydrator for almost 20 years and (fingers crossed) it keeps on going.  These old fashioned dehydrators are not as sleek and stylish as the new ones like the Excalibur models and removing small or thin items can be tricky so I have a few tips that may help you make your dehydrating run smoother.

1. For sticky items like tomato slices, I cut parchment circles to line my trays with, all but the bottom tray which I leave empty.  (I watch very carefully while there's parchment paper in it because I am concerned about fire.  I've never had a problem, but to stay on the safe side, I watch it.)  I place things like tomatoes and strawberry fruit leather on the parchment until they are dry to touch and are no longer sticky.

At that point, I remove parchment and place the slices directly on trays.  It does add a little more time to the process, but they do not stick and tear apart.

2. When removing dehydrated items, I like to place a few rows of wax paper on my counter and turn the trays over to remove the dehydrated food.  That way, I waste nothing because the wax paper catches it all and I can pick up the wax paper and use it like a funnel to get everything into the jar or bag.

3. Sometimes, I  use a skewer or some other slim object to gently push items off of the tray cells as in this case with these cabbage grates:

4. Things don't stick to the wax paper.

Here's that cabbage all bagged up now.

What tips or tricks have you learned along the way?

Please share them by leaving a comment.
Thank you.


  1. I have learned that I need to get my dehydrator out and use it more!! LOL!!


My email address is