1. Dehydrating foods concentrates their flavor and nutrients to create healthy and delicious snacks, ingredients, and delicacies. Naturally sweet dried fruits and crispy vegetable chips are wholesome alternatives to processed and packaged candy and chips.
2. Non-stick food dehydrator screens make it easy to clean up after drying sticky fruits or jerky. The lattice-like surface of the screens is bendable, so the food will pop right off and you won't be left with crusty trays soaking in the sink.
3. Food dehydrator screens have a tighter mesh than shelves or trays, which is important when your grapes shrivel into raisins that might fall right through the slats. Make sure you have plenty of screens on hand, at least one for each shelf in your dehydrator, so you can maximize your yield in each drying session.
4. For drying flaky herbs or rolling out fruit leather, you'll need food dehydrator sheets. These solid, non-stick sheets allow for air circulation and even drying, but are non-porous to prevent even tiny crumbs or liquids from falling through.
5. Increase the capacity of your circular food dehydrator by adding extra trays. Most dehydrators are expandable, so you just have to make sure you buy the right trays for your model to double or even triple your production of dried fruits, vegetables, or jerky.
6. Most dehydrator trays are dishwasher-safe, but read the owner's manual for your model to make sure. After making sticky fruits orjerky, you might need to soak your trays in soapy water before washing.
7. Preparing fruits and vegetables for dehydrating can be a time-consuming task if you don't have the right tools. Many gadgets used in canning make quick work of future dried foods and are so much fun, your kids might even want to help!
8. There are so many food dehydrator tools available, your knife will seem obsolete. Cherry stoners and apple peelers turn tedious tasks into miraculous entertainment. Various slicers or food processor attachments create even slivers of vegetables and meat. Food strainers prepare purees for making fruit roll-ups.
9. Once you've turned a fleshy harvest into a pile of desiccated tidbits, what do you do? You can enjoy your dried foods solo, of course, but sweet and savory dishes alike benefit from the addition of these flavor-packed dried morsels. Look in a handy-dandy food dehydrator cookbook for ideas.
10. Dried fruits can be enjoyed in trail mixes, granola bars, muffins, fruit leather, and desserts. Add dried vegetables to soups, casseroles, and pizzas. Drying herbs concentrates their flavor for extra potency and robustness in recipes. A food dehydrator cookbook will guide you through this new world.