This appliance is a must-have if you want to preserve food without destroying the nutritional components found in it. How does it work? Simply put, a dehydrator removes the moisture from the food to preserve it. Dehydrators use heat and air flow in order to reduce food’s water content. This will keep the food from being a breeding ground for bacteria, which promotes spoilage.
Types of Dehydrators
There are two categories of food dehydrators: Vertical and horizontal airflow.
In models with vertical airflow, the fan and heating elements are found at the bottom of the machine. The trays where the food are placed are stacked up on top of its base. The temperature varies between the top and the bottom trays so you need to re-order them part way through the process of dehydrating the food to get an even effect.
On the other hand, a horizontal airflow dehydrator has its fan and heating element installed on one side of the machine. The trays are essentially ‘drawers’ instead of stacks. This model allows for a more even distribution of temperature and also prevents the juices from the food from dripping down into the heater. This design makes it easier to clean as well.
When shopping for food dehydrators, you need to assess your food preparation needs. If, for instance, you need to dry a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables, you will need large food trays to accommodate all those produce. A larger tray size will naturally call for a larger machine. If you have space concerns, make sure to get a dehydrator that will fit your tabletop or something that will not occupy a lot of space in your kitchen.
Another feature that you need to check is temperature control. This will determine how effectively you will be able to dry your food. Take note that various types of food will warrant varied optimum drying temperatures. Some dehydrators come with a fixed temperature while others will have variable controls that operate within a particular range.
It’s also a good idea to opt for a dehydrator that comes with a timer control. This enables you to walk out on your appliance without worrying that it will frazzle your food and make it over dried. It’s a feature that will come in handy particularly for those days when you really have to get out of the house for a while.