How to dry fruits, vegetables, and meat

Dec 01, 2019
And what dryers can I use

Thanks to drying, vegetables, fruits and meat can be stored for a long time: moisture leaves the products, so they do not rot and do not mold. With the right technology, after drying, the products retain their nutritional properties and vitamins.

I’ll tell you how to dry fruits, vegetables and meat.

Choose a dryer

First you need to determine which dryer you need. They are convective and infrared.

In convective dehydrator dryers, the heating element blows a powerful fan. Heated air passes through the grid trays on which the products lie. Due to oxidation by oxygen, products can change color.

Convective dehydrator dryers are of horizontal, vertical type and horizontal closed blowing.

In vertical type dryers, a heating element with a fan is located below or above the pallets. The temperature on the upper and lower pallets is uneven - you will need to periodically swap the pallets in order to finish the drying process at one time.

In horizontal type dryers, a heating element with a fan is located on the side. The temperature on any pan during the drying process is the same.

In dryers with horizontal closed-type blowing, heated air rises from the side, passes through each pallet, and then leaves through the central ventilation duct. In such dryers you can install a large number of pallets.

In infrared dryers, not the air is heated, but the products themselves: infrared waves, similar to "natural" thermal ones, penetrate deep enough into the products. Food that has been dried in infrared dryers preserves the maximum amount of vitamins and amino acids. The color of the products remains close to the original.

Prepare products

Before putting in the dryer, it is better to cut fruits and vegetables into slices 4–5 mm thick. If the thickness is greater, the flesh on both sides will become an impenetrable dry crust. The middle will remain wet, and during storage, the products may rot.

Many products will need steam treatment before drying. Steam will destroy harmful microorganisms and soften the thick skin. Plums, for example, are better to blanch before drying: dip in boiling water for two to three minutes, then dip in cold water and wipe with a napkin. If the plum peel burst, then you did everything right. This blanching procedure is also suitable for preparing grapes, cherries and blueberries. Large grapes should be cut into two halves.

Almost all products can be dried, but there are those that are unprofitable to dry. For example, the flesh of a watermelon contains about 93% water - in order to dry half a watermelon, it will take a lot of time and energy.

Determine temperature

The drying temperature can only be set on convective dryers. Infrared dryers work until you find that the products are ready.

Recommended drying temperatures: fruit and pastille - 50-60 ° C, vegetables - 50–55 ° C, meat and fish - 60–65 ° C, herbs - 35–40 ° C.

In each dryer there is an instruction in which it is written how to understand how long it will take to dry different products. These data are given taking into account the power of a particular dryer, its type and temperature.

It’s worth experimenting: no manufacturer can foresee all the options. As practice has shown, even potatoes of different varieties can dry at different speeds.

Check if the products are ready, it costs about half an hour before the planned end of the process. You need to take a thick piece, wait until it cools, break it and press on both sides. If moisture is not visible - the product is dried.

Store food properly

It is better to store large stocks of the house in glass three- or five-liter jars with tight-fitting lids. A great option is vacuum packaging: the products will be stored for a long time if all the air is pumped out of the bags and containers.

I also recommend using the Vax kit - these are special covers and a hand pump for pumping air. With these devices, you can open and close the jar of dried foods many times.

Other storage options do not exclude the appearance of insects and mold in dried foods.

Camping Meat Recipe

Take the same amount of turkey and veal, carrots and onions. Boil everything until cooked. Then remove the meat and vegetables, chop, cool, drive twice through a meat grinder. Place the resulting peas of cooked minced meat in a uniform layer on a pallet. Dry for 10 hours at a temperature of +60 ° C.

How to choose the right food dryer

  1. If you need to preserve the appearance of products and their properties, it is worth choosing infrared dryers.
  2. If temperature accuracy is important, you need to pay attention to convective dryers with a thermostat.
  3. If you need to dry a few products, you can do with a three-tray dryer or an infrared dryer, which can be rolled up.
  4. If you need a roomy dryer with high power and thoughtful design, you should pay attention to the professional brands Ezidri, Walter, L'EQUIP, RawMid and Tribest.