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How to Tell if Dehydrated Food Is Done

by Jodi Buttarazzi

Knowing how foods should appear when done is the key to making perfect dehydrated foods.

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A dehydrator is a great appliance to have, especially if you have your own garden or you purchase food in bulk. Dehydrating is a good way to make a healthy snack or backpack meal. Almost any type of fruit or vegetable can be dehydrated easily. Beef, venison or turkey can be made into jerky in a day's time. Each type of food has its own texture when fully dehydrated. Knowing what type of texture to look for is the key to perfect dehydrated foods.

Place vegetables in the dehydrator in a single layer and dehydrate at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately two to six hours, depending on the vegetable. Mushrooms will be done when they are leathery. Broccoli, carrots, peas, potatoes and other root vegetables will snap when fully dehydrated. Tomatoes, cucumbers and other fruit-like vegetables will be pliable.

Arrange fruit in a single layer on the tray and dehydrate at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for four to 10 hours, depending on the fruit. Bananas, apples, pineapple, peaches, pears and mango will be pliable and not sticky when fully dehydrated. Cherries and grapes will be shriveled like raisins. Blueberries will have a leathery quality. Strawberries will be dry and crisp.

Line the tray with marinated beef, venison or turkey and dehydrate at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 8 to 12 hours. The meat should be dry to the touch but still pliable.

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About the Author

Jodi Buttarazzi has been writing professionally since 2008. She has contributed articles and content for online publications such as Merchant Circle, drawing on her experience of food and wine owning and operating a fine-dining restaurant in Houston. She is pursuing a career in the health-care industry and is working toward a Bachelor of Science in health-care management at the University of Phoenix.