Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Techniques: Using a Weston Dehydrator

 How to Use The Weston 6- and 10-Tray Dehydrators

1. Operate the Dehydrator on a clean, dry surface.
2. Plug the Dehydrator into a standard 120 Volt, 60 Hz wall outlet.
3. Position the Dehydrator at least 6” (15 cm) from any wall during operation to allow for proper air circulation. DO NOT block the air vents at the rear of the dehydrator.
5. Turn the Dehydrator “On” (-). When “On”, the light should illuminate the Power Switch.
6. Preheat the dehydrator for 5-10 minutes before loading food onto the dehydrator Trays.
7. Remove any excess water from the food. (This can be done by patting the food with a paper towel or napkin.) Excess moisture may cause the dehydrator temperature to drop.
8. Load the dehydrator trays with the items to be dried. Position the pieces
so that they do not touch each other. Do not overlap or allow the product to
touch. Allow ample space between the product for proper air circulation.
9. Water droplets may form on the surface of some products while dehydrating.
These can be removed by blotting the product with a clean towel or paper
towel.
10. Drying times may vary depending on several factors including relative
humidity, air temperature and product thickness, temperature and fat content.

CHOOSING FOODS
• Use the best quality foods. Fruits and vegetables in peak season have more
nutrients and more flavor. Meats, fish and poultry should be lean and fresh.
• Do not use food with bruises or blemishes. Bad fruits and vegetables may spoil the entire batch.
• Always use lean meats. Remove as much fat as possible before dehydrating.
NOTE: Use a paper towel under meat when dehydrating to absorb fat
• Do not overlap foods. Lay foods flat on the dehydrating trays.
• Check dryness after 6 hours, then check every 2 hours until crisp, pliable or
leathery depending on the product.
• Check foods to make sure they are completely dry before removing. Open or
cut down the middle of a few samples to check internal dryness. If the food is still moist, dehydrate longer.
• Label each container with the food name, date of drying and the original weight. Keep a journal to help improve drying techniques.
• Proper storage is essential to maintain quality food. Package the food when
cool. Foods can be kept longer if stored in a cool, dark, dry place. The ideal
storage temperature is 60oF (16oC) or lower.
• Place dried foods in plastic freezer bags before storing in metal or glass
containers. Remove as much air as possible before sealing.
• Vacuum sealing is ideal for keeping dried foods.
• Remember, foods will shrink approximately 1/4 to 1/2 their original size and
weight during the dehydration process, so pieces should not be cut too small.
One pound of raw meat will yield approximately 1/3 lb. (0.2 kg) to 1/2 lb. (0.2 kg) of jerky.

2 comments:

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  2. I am using the food dehydrator. I found some benefits of food dehydrator - The food is considerably resistant to yeast, mold and bacteria more flavor in food items less interference with food content or structure Dehydrated food items are less harmful since there are no chemical additives.

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