Thanks for joining us today. There are a ton of dehydrating questions so I’m just going to jump in and start answering them.
Note: with some of these questions I go into greater detail on the show but these show notes will answer the questions if you’re reading this in a place where you can’t get video or video might not be appropriate.
From Lyn: I want to get a dehydrator as my next appliance. You talk about the Excalibur dehydrator. In your opinion, is that the best on the market?
Excalibur is the best dehydrator on the market in my opinion. It does, like everything else have its lists of pros and cons but the pros outweigh the cons, and there are more pros for the Excalibur than other dehydrators. That being said it is an investment and if you are totally new to dehydrating I recommend starting off with a smaller less expensive dehydrator and see if dehydrating become your preserving method of choice. Then of course if it does then you’ll be ready to invest in an Excalibur.
From Susan: Is there anything that cannot be dehydrated?
There are definitely things that should not be dehydrated. Food with a high-fat content should not be dehydrated or food with a lot of oil. You can dehydrate eggs and milk but there are safety considerations. In episode 003 of The Self Reliant Living Show, I go over all the foods that are not safe to dehydrate.
From Justin: What temperature do I garlic at?
You can go ahead and cook garlic before you dehydrate but I usually don’t. I usually dehydrate it raw. If you’re not worried about keeping your food raw or a living food, meaning that the enzymes in the food are kept in tack, then you can go ahead and dehydrate at 125 °F to 135 °F. That’s the range that I dehydrate garlic at. However, if you are going to use it for medicinal purposes then you would want to keep those enzymes intact and alive so you would want to dehydrate it at 118°F or below. However, keep in mind that it’s going to take longer to dehydrate at the lower temperatures. I make my own garlic powder to cook with so I usually choose the higher temperature.
From Carol: Is there any trick to dehydrating corn so that it’s similar to freeze-dried corn?
If you are referring to the look of freeze-dried corn in that it keeps its shape. Then the answer is–no. Freeze drying is a different process so the food is going to look different. You can dehydrate corn raw, but I can’t think of a recipe where the corn would be served raw so you’re best bet is to steam it and then cut off the cob and dehydrate. I did a taste test between fresh, frozen and canned corn and the fresh corn was absolutely the best tasting. Now, I would not dehydrate anything but fresh corn.
From Debra: Do I have to cook my potatoes before I dehydrate them?
No, you don’t but they will turn black or brown. I would recommend cooking your potatoes before you dehydrate them. You always want to keep the end in mind when you’re dehydrating and since you probably won’t use the potatoes raw, in a dish where they are served raw, then cooking them first is the best option. My favorite way to dehydrate potatoes is to cook them and then grate them.
From Vicki: Is dehydrated Mango sweet when it’s finished?
If it’s sweet, to begin with it will be even sweeter when it’s finished. If it’s not sweet, to begin with then it might be a tiny bit sweeter when it’s dehydrated but it won’t be that much sweeter. When food is dehydrated the moisture is removed the sugars remain and become concentrated, but if the sugars are not there, to begin with then you won’t have sweet dehydrated fruit. Dehydrated mango is one of my family’s favorite food.
From Marrilou: Is there a trick to dehydrating mushrooms? When I re-hydrated mine they were rubbery.
I have not had this problem. I would recommend making sure that you mushroom pieces are pretty small or thin and be sure they are completely dehydrated. Sometimes we think something is completely dehydrated because it feels dry on the outside but it’s still moist on the inside. Of course, cutting everything thin and small will help prevent this problem.
Stay Tuned For Part 2
I can tell that I’m going to have to do a part 2 to this show because I had 22 questions written out and I only got to about 3 or 4. I love answering questions from viewers who are watching live. So be sure to try and catch shows about your favorite subjects live. However, if you can’t be sure to send me your dehydrating questions and I’ll try to answer them on The Self Reliant Living Show.
My Big Announcement!
I am happy to announce that I’ve written a new dehydrating ebook. It’s called Dehydrating Charts and Basic Methods. In this book, I have created a chart that will give you the fresh equivalent to dried. Then I’ve created a time and temperature chart that takes humidity into account. I’ve also included labels and worksheets and then we’ve included all of our blog tutorials in an easy to print out format. This can be easily printed out and taken with you into the kitchen. We are releasing this on September 12, 2016. If you’re reading this before that date go here to sign up to be notified about it or if you’re reading this after you can go here to learn more.