The best way todrying fruit and vegetablesprovides for the use of aelectric dryer. The dryers are able to return a dehydrated product in a homogeneous way, without risk of mold or contamination.
Those who are about to dry fruit and vegetables only once a year and do not want to afford the purchase of aelectric dryer, can focus on the methods of natural drying. Between the purchase of an electric dryer (which has low costs) and natural drying in the sun or in the air, there is a life in between which involves drying fruit and vegetables in the traditional oven or in the microwave oven.
In summary, here are the ways to dry fruits and vegetables:
- Electric dryer
Pro: complete drying, homogeneous and obtained within a few hours
Cons: initial expense for the purchase of the new appliance
- Traditional oven drying
Pros: Fruits and vegetables dry within a few hours, very accessible because everyone has an oven!
Cons: high electricity consumption, high risk of burning the raw material.
- Microwave drying
Pros: short drying times
Cons: difficult to manage and risk of non-homogeneous drying
- Natural drying
Pros: zero costs and, if the procedure is followed with a brush, homogeneous drying
Cons: long times, more manpower and risk of mold. The need to have, according to the natural method chosen, a sunny space (drying in the sun, suitable for tomatoes or fruit) or a ventilated and humidity-free area (natural drying, suitable for spices, chillies, mushrooms or aromatic herbs).
How to dry fruit and vegetables in a natural way
As stated, thenatural dryingof fruit and vegetables requires rather long times and even more maintenance (it will be necessary to store the food in a covered and humidity-free place in the evening and night and in the morning it will be necessary to store fruit and vegetables in the sun).
The equipment needed for natural drying is easy to find: a narrow mesh sieve or a framed mosquito net is enough. For detailed instructions, we refer you to the various articles. The indications are valid and universal for any type of fruit or vegetable.
- How to dry fruit
- How to dry rosemary
- How to dry porcini mushrooms
- How to dry chillies
- How to dry figs
- How to dry mushrooms
- How to dry parsley
In the articles just indicated you will find instructions on how to dry fruit and vegetables in the oven or natural. Below we will focus on dryers.
How to dry fruit and vegetables, dryers
The dryers all work in the same way: a fan draws air from the environment, forces it to pass over an electrical resistance and then over the vegetable to be dried.
The main features to consider when choosing a good dryer are:
There are models with grids (round or rectangular) superimposed, stacked on top of each other. In this case the air flow is vertical. Alternatively, there are models with rectangular grids with horizontal air flow.
- The dimensions
The vertical airflow models allow you to dry 1 - 2 kg of food per cycle. The most capacious models with rectangular grids reach the capacity of 3 - 4 kg of food per cycle.
Reading the energy absorbed by the appliance is essential, there are extremely energy-intensive models on the market!
- Temperature regulation
The cheaper models have a predefined temperature, others allow you to adjust it by activating one or two resistors… alldryersmore modern ones are equipped with thermostat for a more precise regulation.
Very comfortable and recommended! Allows automatic shutdown of the appliance. Alternatively, a timer can be purchased separately (costs about 5 euros) to be applied to the electrical socket at home.
among the various models on the market we advise you to choose a versatile dryer, that is capable of drying both vegetables and fruit (more difficult to dehydrate) and above all that does not absorb more than 250 W.
Among the various products on the market we point out the Severin OD 2940 5-compartment dryer that offers 5 removable inserts and can dry fruit, vegetables and herbs. The book "Drying in the kitchen. 66 recipes. Tips and techniques for preserving and enjoying the essence of food. "
If you are looking for slightly more expensive models of dryers with the possibility of adjusting the temperature, I recommend that you read the last paragraph of the pageHow to dry chillies.
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