Share this article: Share on Facebook15Tweet about this on Twitter3Pin on Pinterest5Share on Google+1Share on Reddit1Share on StumbleUpon1Email this to someonePrint this page

Dehydrate Food In OvenMany survivalists overlook this method of food storage because they’ve already stocked up on plenty of canned foods, MRE’s, and freeze-dried foods. The main problem with this is the high levels of sodium in these types of food. Eating nothing but canned foods or MRE’s can be hazardous to your health, especially if you’re older or have high blood pressure. Plus, it increases your need for water after eating it. To balance things out, you should learn how to make your own dehydrated food.

You could dehydrate food in the sun. It’s one of the oldest methods of food storage. However, it takes several days of temperatures over 100 degrees and low humidity, so it’s not very practical. The easiest way is to purchase a food dehydrator such as an Excalibur food dehydrator. These are great because they have multiple trays so you can get a lot done at once. The downside is they cost at least a couple hundred dollars, so for those of you who don’t want to make that type of investment right now, I suggest using an oven. Can food be dehydrated in the oven? Well, it’s not ideal as it takes a bit of energy and the foods don’t always taste as good in the end, but it definitely works.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An oven that can stay under 200 degrees (most have  a “Warm” setting).
  • A small fan to help with air circulation.
  • Vinyl gloves so you don’t get your germs on the food.
  • Knives for chopping up your food.
  • Lemon juice to pre-treat fruits.
  • A large pot so you can blanch your food first.
  • Pans or cookie sheets.

Some fruits and veggies that are good for dehydrating:

Apples
Apricots
Bananas
Beets
Carrots
Cherries

Corn
Dates
Figs
Garlic
Grapes
Green Beans

Mushrooms
Onions
Oranges
Peaches
Pears
Peas

Peppers
Pineapples
Plums
Potatoes
Pumpkin
Tomatoes



Here’s what you do:

  1. Put on your gloves and sort, wash and slice up your food. Be sure to cut off any “bad spots” and remove seeds and cores. Make sure the inner parts of the fruits are exposed to air.
  2. Blanch your vegetables. This is the process of boiling foods then cooling them in ice water. This helps preserve the taste and texture. Most foods only need to be boiled for a few minutes. They’re done when they’re tender but still just barely cooked. For blanching times, see the chart below.
  3. Leave the veggies in the ice water until they’re no longer warm, then spread them out in a single layer on a pan or cookie sheet.
  4. Fruits need to be pre-treated if you want to keep the color and flavor. Instead of blanching them, simply dip them in a mixture of lemon juice and water for no more than a minute before putting them on the cookie sheet. This process is known as dipping and is labeled “dip” in the chart below.
  5. Put your food in the oven. Ideally you want a temperature hot enough to dry the food but not so hot it will cook it. 140 degrees is about right. However, most ovens don’t have a setting that low so you’ll have to use the “Warm” setting.
  6. Keep the door open several inches and have a fan blowing toward the oven to help circulate the air. See the chart below for drying times.
  7. When you’re done, store the food in some airtight jars or mylar bags in a cool, dark place.

Some more tips:

  • Since your oven will be on several hours a day for several days, please be sure an adult is there to keep an eye it. You don’t want to start a fire or allow curious children or pets to get burned.
  • Dehydrating food this way takes a lot of practice, especially because of variables like oven temperature, humidity and other factors. Start out with a small amount of food and check it after several weeks to be sure it hasn’t spoiled.

Blanching and drying times:


Food
Apple
Apricots
Bananas
Carrots
Cherries
Corn
Figs
Garlic
Grapes (seedless)
Mushrooms
Okra
Onions
Peaches
Pears
Peas
Peppers
Pineapples
Potatoes
Pumpkin


Blanching (minutes)
Dip
Dip
Dip
3 – 4
Dip
Not necessary
Not necessary
Not necessary
Not necessary
Not necessary
Not necessary
Not necessary
Dip
Dip
2
Not necessary
Not necessary
5 – 6
1

Drying (hours)
6 – 12
24 – 36
8 – 10
3.5 – 5
24 – 36
6 – 8
6 – 12
6 – 8
12 – 20
8 – 10
8 – 10
3 – 6
36 – 48
24 – 36
8 – 10
2.5 – 5
24 – 36
8 – 12
10 – 16



One Year Urban Survival Plan

Overwhelmed

Related posts:

Facebook Comments

comments

  • http://www.stockingup.net Nick

    Instead of using your oven to dehydrate food, put down $40 for a Nesco dehydrator. I’ve got a couple of those that I bought used on eBay a few years ago and they are continuing to serve me well. Nescos are the best of the lower-priced brands of dehydrators, in my opinion. I’d recommend them to anyone.

One Year Urban Survival Plan

Overwhelmed









×