The process of drying food products is one of the oldest ways of preparing food in reserve. The choice of all kinds of berries, fruits, mushrooms is practically unlimited, but at the same time, the vast majority of useful vitamins and minerals are preserved, and the shelf life of these delicacies increases many times. You should not wait for the fruits to dry on their own or run the oven, use a universal device – a dryer. This article will tell you how to choose a dryer for fruits and vegetables.
Principle of operation
This is a device with a heating element and a fan, which is most often located at the bottom of the device, and drives hot air. Its temperature can reach 70 degrees, which significantly accelerates the dehydration process. Products for drying are laid out on special shelves, the number of which may vary, protected from annoying insects and remain as clean as possible.
What can be dried?
In addition to standard berries and fruits, mushrooms can be dried waste left after squeezing fruit and vegetable juices, so that they can then be added to baked goods, stews, and various first courses. These are also various herbs and flowers that can be brewed into tea or used for decorative purposes.
If special trays are available, you can prepare homemade fruit paste, which, however, does not have a long shelf life. And if you don’t exceed the temperature of 40 degrees, you can prepare amazing dried meat, fish and vegetables, which will become a real hit snack.
How to choose?
- capacity – the ideal ratio is 4-5 pallets per 350 W. If the capacity is higher, then you can add a couple or three pallets at most;
- the height of the sides of the pallets – low (up to 1 cm) and high (up to 2 cm) – intended for greens and pieces of different sizes;
- power – the more tubular electric heaters built into the motor, the higher the cost, the more power, the more wet products you can dry. At a minimum, you can find 200-250 W, optimally 350-450, but there are models with more than 450 W. Be guided by your own convenience, possible drying volumes and the number of family members;
- material – plastic and metal. The first ones are cheaper, but they can give off an unpleasant smell when working, and then it is better not to use them at all, replace them, the second ones are more expensive, heavier in weight, but generally safer;
- type of control – mechanical and electronic, it is more a matter of your personal convenience;
- the type of device is convection (heating coil and fan) and infrared (they affect products more carefully, preserving useful substances, so they cost more) models;
- additional functions – thermostat for setting the optimal temperature, timer, cold air mode, automatic shutdown and protection against overheating.
- heating element – as we have already said, in most models the heating element is located at the bottom of the device, but the device will last longer if the element is in the upper part or is located at the bottom, but at a special elevation and with a special protective plate;
- the thinner the products are cut, the faster they dry;
- so that apple slices remain bright, soak them for two to three hours in water with lemon juice (3 tablespoons per liter), then wipe and dry;
- to improve the taste of sour berries, they can be placed in hot sweet syrup (1: 1 sugar and water) for 8 hours, then dried;
- if the berries fall through the hole in the trays, cover them with cooking parchment, having previously made holes for the juice to drain.
It is better for a good housewife not to use watermelons, they still have too much water. Berries with a thick rough skin dry much longer and it is better to put them in the dryer already without seeds.
It is better to dry different kinds of products separately, as the aromas may well get mixed up. But if fruits go well with each other, but vegetables with a sharp smell are not quite a good option.
At a temperature above 40 degrees, useful elements begin to break down, so it is better not to cross this threshold. But if you plan to subject them to heat treatment later anyway (cook and stew in dishes), then it is quite possible to set the temperature higher.
How to store dried?
A good housewife knows that fruits and vegetables that have passed through the dryer very quickly absorb extraneous aromas, and are afraid of water and are a delicious object for harmful insects that literally eat them and make a home in them. For dried, you should choose a dry and cool place where pests cannot reach. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids, jars for loose products, sealed food containers, packages that are then placed in cupboards and refrigerators, on the balcony or places where the temperature is always relatively constant and there is no direct sunlight are suitable. devices that create a vacuum in special packages can also be used for storage.
The MOYO online store offers an excellent selection of dryers at affordable prices and with a wide variety of functions. Choose your favorite and order delivery throughout Ukraine!