How Do I Make Sure Dehydrated Food Dried Enough To Be Safe When I Store It?
Dehydrated food is one of the best healthy snacks that you can easily make at home for your family with the help of a food dehydrator. It is not only nutritious but also lightweight to carry. But do you also wonder sometimes that how do I make sure dehydrated food dried enough to be safe when I store it?
Well! It is essential to dry the food accurately before storing in the airtight container. If your food not dried enough or over dried or under dried then, this can impact the life of the food to a great extent.
There are different criteria for checking the dryness of the different types of foods. For example, over-drying the veggies can make them burn, and meats can get torn out in pieces in such a case.
Thus, while drying food adequately you have to very alert and cautious. Moreover, you should always use your judgment and skills for checking the right dryness of the food.
In the below article, we will tell you how can you check the dryness of the food before storing. Besides this, we will also share with you some additional info about the right drying of the food for storage.
Method to know that your food is dried enough
Usually, the maximum number of food drying procedures follows the below percentages for checking to be ‘done’:
- Fruits are dried sufficiently if there is around 10% content of moisture
- Meats dried enough if there is approximately 20% content of moisture or less
- Vegetables are dried sufficiently if there is about 5% content of moisture
Can dehydrator tell us that our food dried enough?
At present, there is no feature in the food dehydrators that helps you in knowing whether your food is dried enough or not. They cannot measure the amount of moisture left inside the food. But with the help of DIY (do it yourself) you can check the food’s flexibility by your hand. Once you become accustomed to the usage of the dehydrator, it becomes easy for you to know the right dryness of the food.
How to know the different types of foods dried enough while storing?
Below are the different types of foods that we dry in the food dehydrator generally:
If your fruit dried enough to be safe for storing then, it must be bendable (almost stiff), but NOT so stiff. While checking the dryness status of your fruit, you can pick the dried fruit’s piece and slice it partially. There must be no noticeable content of moisture. If you see lots of moisture in it then, it can result in the formation of mold later on. On the whole, fruit is said to be adequately dehydrated if after cutting any piece it is not possible to squeeze out any amount of water outside the slice.
They must be brittle if they’re dehydrated enough before storage. E.g., a pea must smash to smithereens while getting hit with a pin. On the other hand, some vegetables like yellow squash or tomatoes shall become leathery after drying correctly (against effortlessly breaking in partial fragile).
- Jerky (Meats)
The meats like jerky become leathery and chewy if they are dried accurately in the food dehydrator before storing. They will turn very brittle but would not break like a dehydrated cane. After cooling down the dried meat, it must snap but will not get a break once you bend them. You should not see any underdone spots or moistness in them after drying.
On the other hand, you can refrigerate the meat for overnight and later on recheck its drying doneness. If required then, you can dehydrate them.
What are the mistakes that people make while drying food that makes it unsafe while storing?
The dehydrated food is said to be dried enough if you can eat it quickly instead of throwing away. The under drying or over-drying can change the flavor and texture of the food. But be avoiding some mistakes you can dry out your food in the right way that makes it safe for storing.
Below are a few mistakes that people make while drying food:
- Too much Heat
It is one of the common mistakes that people make while drying food in the dehydrator. Dehydrating the meats, veggies, and fruits at a higher temperature can over-dry your food which makes it impossible to consume. Similarly, if you dry the food at so much loo temperature then, this will also affect the overall texture of the food.
- Drying the Food for Long time or short time
If you expose the food to higher temperatures for an elongated time then, it will turn into un-edible. You can check the time required for drying a particular food inside the manual book for getting best results.
- Overlapping of the slices of Food
You should load or place the food over the trays of the dehydrator correctly. Among the slices of the food, there should be the right space left for air circulation so that all the slices get dried evenly. The overlapping of the food will either result in under drying or over drying of the food which can harm the shelf life of the food while storing.
How to know if your food is not dried enough for storing?
While drying food inside the food dehydrator, it is essential that you use the recommended time and temperature for drying food as per the manual book. You can check the dryness of the food by tasting its flavor once. It will surely give you an idea that if your food is dried yet or not.
Moreover, you can check their texture and flexibility by bending them once. Different foods have different texture after getting dried. For example, fruits must be bendable, and veggies should be brittle.
Tips for the right drying of the food before storing
The below are a few tips that you can follow for making sure that your dehydrated food gets dried enough to be safe while storing:
- Follow the Suggested Time
Leaving the food for a long time inside the food dehydrator makes the food dehydrate more than the required. Thus, always try to follow the time recommended for the particular food and check its drying status in between the process of drying.
- Ensure that The Amount of Heat Is Correct
The dehydrator should be set at the temperature as suggested for the recipe. You should check its taste and texture in between the drying process.
- Set the time of the Timer
While drying food, utilize the machine’s timer feature for setting the right time which required for the recipe. It will keep your food safe from under drying and over drying before storing.
- Loading The dehydrator Sufficiently
While placing the food inside the trays of the dehydrator, you should keep in mind that none of the pieces should cover or overlap each other. It will make the food dried evenly from all sides.
We hope that if somebody ever asks you how to know if your food is dried enough for storing, you surely have an answer. The maximum types of food have some water content even after drying. Different kinds of foods get different textures after drying, for example, gummy, leathery, brittle, etc. Once you become used to the dehydrating process, it will become more comfortable for you to identify the right dryness of the food.
If your food is dried adequately then, you can tear them for a long time safely. The home dried food is a much healthier option than the store bought dried foods that comprise of additives and preservatives. Don’t forget to cool down your dried food before packing them in the airtight boxes or containers.
We have a simple rule in our life, learn from the mistakes and follow all the rules and instructions for preparing the dried food in the dehydrator.
So, enjoy your perfect dehydrated food meal and let us know your thoughts on the above info in the below comment box. You can also share your tips to understand the ways about the right drying of the food before storage here!