Food dehydration is a convenient way to ensure you have an ongoing supply of fruits and vegetables all year long. It’s one of the oldest methods for preserving food. Drying out food removes water while maintaining nutrient content. This takes away opportunity for the bacteria, yeast, and mold to grow on your food. But when it comes to actually dehydrating or drying the food, which method is better: using a food dryer or an oven?
Advantages in Using an Oven
The biggest advantage in using an oven is that you do not have to overly spend money. This is a great initial way to experiment with dehydrating foods. For no investment in special equipment, you can start making dried food anytime you want. The key is to have an oven that can maintain a temperature of under 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Advantages in Using a Food Dryer
A food dryer is designed to create the best conditions for dehydrating food. Electric dehydrators create an optimal drying environment which preserves the flavor in the food. Additionally, the design of food dryers maximize the amount of food dehydrated per session. The low energy use for a home kitchen dehydrator make this appliance cost effective for long term use. There are different styles of food dryers to choose from within a variety of price ranges; making the decision to buy one pretty easy.
Which is the Best to Use?
A food dryer may prove a better choice overall, since its design makes it easier to control the process for consistent success. Ovens are a more variable environment and there is risk of over-drying the food that leads to undesired texture and less flavor. An electric dehydrator uses less power, and gets the best texture and flavor of the dehydrated food. While an oven is a great place to start experimenting with drying foods, or for the occasional user, it also carries the risk of ruining the food in the process. An oven requires more attention, trial, error, and energy.
Since there are many food dryers available that aren’t too pricey, and dehydrating food gives you more nutrition weight-for-weight, as well as the convenience of easy to carry, "on the go" food, investing in an electric dehydrator is a good long term investment when you’re wanting to regularly dehydrate foods.