How Does a Food Dehydrator Work

Have you eaten those tasty banana chips? Wonder how they make chips from such a soft banana? It’s the dehydrator, doing the magic. But how does it do that? How does a food dehydrator work? Hold on. You’ll just get your answer in a few minutes.

Food is good with some moisture but only to eat instantly. If you’re planning to eat some food later, you must have to preserve it to avoid staling. For example, mango is your favorite fruit, and sadly you get it only in the summer season. For this reason, food dehydrator exists. Yes, for enjoying seasonal fruits whenever you want.

Do you know that dehydrating food preserves more nutrition content than other methods used for cooking? Yes, the food is not only fresh in appearance but from the nutrition point too. So if you’re worried about the nutritional value of your food, don’t.

What is a food dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that is used to dehydrate food. Dehydration is done either to make crispy food or to preserve the food for long term use. Besides this, there are many other purposes of dehydrating food. People also dehydrate food to improve its taste.

Wasting food is a sin! Do you know there are 795 million people in the world suffering from hunger? Is this a small value? No, absolutely not. Then why should we waste even a portion of food? For reducing wastage of food, a food dehydrator exists. It extends the shelf life of food by removing the water content and bacteria in it.

How does a food dehydrator work?

How does a food dehydrator work

So here comes the main question that how does a food dehydrator work. It consists of mainly three parts, heating element, a fan, and some trays. Some food dehydrators also come with a drip tray and aluminum sheets. Here is a brief description of its working.

The heating element generates heat and pulls out the moisture of the food placed inside the appliance. It does this process slowly yet steadily. It takes hours or even an entire day to dehydrate food. The idea of taking this long time is to preserve the nutritional value of the food. Otherwise, with high temperatures and lesser time, the nutritional value is lost. Moisture loss ensures the food free from bacteria and mold growth.

Air circulation:
The next important function of the food dehydrator is air circulation. Every food dehydrator is equipped with a fan that circulates air to take the moisture out of the appliance. But there’s a difference in the direction of airwaves in various food dehydrators. Some flow air in the horizontal direction while some flow in the vertical direction.

Vertical air flow vs horizontal air flow:

Vertical air flow vs horizontal air flow
Vertical air flow means that the air flows from top to bottom. However, horizontal air flow means that the air flows from the back side to the front side(the door side).

Now, you might be thinking of how the airflow differs? So it is because of the placement of fan in the food dehydrator. If the fan is on the top or bottom of the machine, the airflow will be in a vertical direction. If the fan is on the backside of the machine, the airflow will be in a horizontal direction.

Horizontal air flow system food dehydrator maintains a stable temperature and even heat distribution across the appliance. It can dehydrate any kind of food, from delicate to tough. Excalibur food dehydrator has a horizontal air flow system and dehydrates food evenly and efficiently than all other kinds of the food dehydrator.

Most of the vertical air flow system food dehydrators come with the fan located at the bottom. Because it dries food more efficiently and evenly than the topped fan food dehydrator. It dries out delicate things like herbs but not ideal for meats. These types of food dehydrators are budget friendly than horizontal air flow system food dehydrators.

Food dehydrator uses:

  • Make delicious jerky with the food dehydrator for deer jerky.
  • Make your own yogurt in a food dehydrator.
  • Dehydrate food to save space.
  • Make crispy roasted nuts.
  • Turn fermented soybeans into tasty Natto.
  • Make fruit leather and Pemmican.
  • Dehydrate seasonal fruits.
  • Make crispy banana chips.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take for a food dehydrator?
It depends on the brand you’re using. Some work efficiently and dehydrate food in five to twelve hours. Some take eight to fifteen hours to do its job. Dehydration time also depends on the delicacy of the food. For example, herbs take lesser time to dehydrate while meat takes longer.

Is a food dehydrator worth it?
Yes, buying a food generator is worth it. It is a versatile product that is doing several jobs in one unit. For example, it cuts your need for buying a yogurt maker. No more canned food now. Because food dehydrators can preserve food for a longer time without any invisible bacteria. It also extends the shelf life of the food and saves space by shrinking food.

What is the purpose of a food dehydrator?
Years before food dehydrator was invented, people used the sun as a dehydrator. They dehydrate many fruits to preserve them and make nuts. They earn a good livelihood through this. But now with the advent of technology, food dehydrators serve the purpose of dehydrating seasonal fruits, nuts, and meat without much effort.

Can you leave a food dehydrator on overnight?
Yes, it’s safe to leave the dehydrator on overnight until you do it right. Place it on an insulated surface and away from anything that has the risk of catching fire. Some foods like onion bread take 24 hours to get ready. So you can leave it overnight in the food dehydrator with the mentioned precautions.

Final thoughts:

Food dehydrator works on two principal methods i.e; heating and airflow. For this, it is equipped with a heating element and a fan either topped or on the backside of the appliance. So choose the best food dehydrator for you and enjoy cooking a variety of meals.

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