How Many Calories Are There in French Toast?

If you're wondering about the calories in French toast, then it could mean that you're trying to maintain a healthy weight through dieting. French toast is an American delicacy made of bread soaked in a dairy and egg mixture with spices.

You can cook french toast using different methods, including grilling, frying, or baking, depending on the kitchen appliances you have in hand. French toast ranks high up in the list of comfort foods, but comfort food really pushes the boundaries of what we consider healthy food.

Calories have been demonized, especially among some nutritionists and dieticians, but calories are a necessary part of how our body produces energy. The secret is finding a good balance between a delicious, healthy diet and eating enough calories to provide you with enough energy to tide you over during your day. 

French Toast Nutrition Facts

Nutritionists don't recommend french toast because of how it is cooked traditionally. 

Brioche is the most commonly used bread to make french toast, and this bread is dipped in an egg and milk mixture which can have a lot of cholesterol. When eating french toast, you're essentially eating a double intake of these ingredients which can be quite unhealthy. 

These ingredients aren't the only things that can go on someone’s french toast. Some people add sugar to the milk mixture and then add toppings like maple syrup, fresh berries, honey, and more butter to their French toast.

How Many Calories Are There in Traditional French Toast?

Traditional French toast uses whole milk, butter, and eggs. Each piece of french toast contains 150 calories, 7.1 g of carbs, 3.1 g fat, and 2.2 g protein.

Each piece of toast also contains different quantities of saturated and unsaturated fats and a whopping 33 mg of cholesterol. The average person takes at least two slices of French toast which means that these numbers are doubled.

French toast can also nourish you with the nutrients from its ingredients. Milk and eggs, for instance, are both rich in calcium and iron. You'll also get nutrients like Vitamin A, several variants of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and D. You can also get potassium, zinc, and copper.

How Many Calories Are There in French Toast with Maple Syrup?

Some people prefer to drizzle their French toast in either maple syrup or honey, which adds to their daily sugar intake and their calorie intake. On average, you will be consuming 550 calories when you eat French toast with maple syrup.

How Many Calories Are There in French Toast

How Long Would It Take You to Burn 150 Calories?

On average, it would take a middle-aged adult approximately 15 minutes to burn 150 calories from one slice when swimming or jogging. It would take you around 25 minutes of cycling and 41 minutes of walking.

How Many Calories Should I Take in a Day?

According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), your calorie intake depends on your age and physical health. On average, women should eat around 2000 calories a day, and men should consume about 2500 calories. 

The US Department of Health and Human Service recommends that women take between 1600 and 2400 calories and men somewhere between 2000 and 3000 calories in their daily diet.

Calories are not the enemy. Maintaining a healthy diet is the best way to manage your weight and a healthy body. Generally, your calorie intake is also affected by your hormones and the medications you take.

Making Low-Calorie French Toast

Are you trying out a low-calorie diet but don’t want to give up this tasty meal? You can make low-calorie French toast without compromising on the taste. 

First, brioche is white bread which contains a lot of sugar and calories. We can go with whole-wheat bread which has fewer calories per slice. Wheat bread also contains a higher fiber content.

Whole wheat bread is also a great choice because it's usually already dry making it easy for them to absorb the milk-egg mixture. Brioche has to be dried a bit before making French toast, and fresh bread doesn't mix well with the egg mixture because it's already moist.

We can also substitute the butter used to fry the toast with a little bit of vegetable oil spray, or better yet, bake the French toast instead of frying. 

The next step would be to substitute whole milk with either skim milk or milk with 2% reduced fat. You can also use plant-based milk as a substitute like oat milk or almond milk.

Chicken eggs are a rich source of protein, but they are also high in cholesterol. The good thing is that most of the cholesterol is concentrated in the egg yolk, so we can still use the egg whites to make the dairy and egg soaking mixture.

Low-calorie French Toast Recipe

You will need:

  • Egg whites from 3 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1 cup milk (of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • Fresh berries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons Powdered sugar
  • Honey (optional)

Directions

  • Mix your eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and leave to rest.
  • Dip your bread slices alternating between the two sides, and then let soak for about 5 minutes.
  • Spray your skillet with cooking spray and place it over medium heat and place your bread slices for about 3 minutes on both sides.
  • Top with fresh berries and banana slices sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can also use dehydrated fruit pieces drizzled with honey.

Nutrition facts (per serving):

  • 75 calories 
  • 5.4 g protein 
  • 24 g sugar 
  • 10 g carbohydrates 
  • 1.5 g fat 
  • 2 mg cholesterol 
  • 150 mg sodium 
  • 5 g fiber

Conclusion

The number of calories in french toast will depend on how you make it and what you put on it. On average, French toast can contain 150 to 600 calories depending on the ingredients you use and the toppings you choose.

Because eating french toast often can lead to a high-calorie diet, finding a recipe that works for your diet is important. Hopefully the recipe we provided above helps you lower the calorie content without sacrificing the taste of your favorite breakfast treat!

How to Use a Pop-up Toaster

The toaster has become an essential kitchen appliance in the world today. Most households eat bread pretty often, if not every morning, and toasting bread has been known to lower its glycemic index and slightly lower its fat content. 

Besides, who doesn't enjoy the taste of crispy, slightly crunchy bread? Toasted bread makes it easy to slather butter on the warm crisp surface.

Aside from bread, people use bread as a side to many meals, especially in Italian, Greek and Mediterranean food. The toaster is an easy appliance to use because all you need is to place the bread slices inside, set the browning mode, and you're good to go. Want to understand how to use a pop-up toaster better? Keep reading to find out.

How Does a Pop-up Toaster Work?

An electric toaster uses infrared radiation to heat your slices of bread. Infrared radiation is similar to the heat we get from the sun. The inside has a mica sheet wrapped up in nichrome wire that is used to cook the bread. Nichrome wire is a good heat conductor because it has a high electrical resistance compared to other metals.

Nichrome is an alloy of nickel and chromium, and the combination doesn't oxidize when heated, meaning it doesn't rust. The electric current passes through the chromium wire when you turn on your pop-up toaster. Still, unlike copper, chromium doesn't conduct electricity well, and some of the energy changes to heat are evident in the red flames you see on a toaster.

When you place the bread slices into the toaster, the heat cooks it. Each toaster contains a lever that you can push down so that the slices can have better contact with the infrared heat. After the toast has cooked for your desired amount of time, the toaster's release mechanism triggers the latch to release the toasted slices which makes the infamous popping sound.

How to Use a Pop-up Toaster

Place the Bread Into the Toaster

A pop-up toaster usually has two toaster slots. Insert one slice of bread into each slot. You can insert the slices anyhow you'd like, but most people place it starting from the bottom.

Adjust the Toasting Level

Toasters come with knobs to adjust things like temperature and time. Usually the knob for heating has five options depending on what you're toasting. One is slight heat all the way up to five which is the highest heat setting. Choose one of the middle numbers, so you don’t burn your bread.  

Toast Your Bread

The toasting process takes a short time, and you may need to be close by so that you don't eat burnt toast. Lower the lever for complete coverage and wait. You'll hear the pop-up sound after each slice is done cooking.

Sometimes your heat setting backfires, and you end up with burnt toast. You need to rely on your sense of smell. If your slices get burnt prematurely, you will have to remove them manually, and you'll have to use the lever to remove the burnt substances.

The toaster is hot at this point. If you burn anything, use an oven mitt to hold the top of the toaster before lifting the lever. Lifting the lever pops the burnt food up, and you can now remove the piece of toast.

If you're just getting the hang of using a toaster, first, you need to understand that toasting isn't all or nothing. You can start toasting your bread on the lowest setting, and if the bread isn't cooked enough for you, replace the same bread slices and set the heat setting higher.

FAQs

What Do I Do if My Pop-up Toaster Is Not Working?

Like any appliance, your pop-up toaster can decide not to work that day. These are the steps you need to follow.

Check the Power Supply

Your electric toaster will need to be plugged into a power source before it will work. Check whether you have electricity and whether your toaster is connected to a working outlet. Check the toaster's power cable for any exposed wires, rips, or burn marks as well.

What Are the Best Practices for Using a Toaster?

Remember that the toaster will be hot whenever you're toasting slices of bread, and you may burn or hurt yourself if you touch it with your bare hands. If you're forgetful, use oven mitts when cooking with your toaster.

Don't try removing any food items in the toaster with metal objects such as forks and spoons. You may get burnt or, worse, electrocuted. 

Remember to clean the toaster frequently. Don't clean your toaster if it's on or still hot.

What Can I Use a Pop-up Toaster for?

Pop-up toasters are well-known for toasting bread, but did you know that you can use it for cooking other things? You can grill a cheese sandwich in a toaster. If you're afraid to make a mess, use a toasting bag to hold your sandwich as it cooks.

You also don’t only have to toast white or wheat bread. Garlic bread can also be toasted in a toaster. First, find a thick slice of bread, apply your garlic butter on it, and then place it into a heated toaster. 

You can also reheat yesterday's pizza and leftovers in your toaster.

Conclusion

We hope that from reading this article you now know how easy it is to use a pop-up toaster. Remember, you need to be careful when placing the bread into and removing it from the toaster as it may be hot.

Don’t be afraid to explore the other options that come with your specific toaster as well. Happy toasting!

Can You Dehydrate Frozen Fruit? Here’s The Best Answer

If you have frozen fruits that are filling up your freezer, the time will come when you need to make room for other things. In this situation, you'll be looking for ways to remove some of the fruits out of the refrigerator.

This leads to the question, can you dehydrate frozen fruit? Fruit dehydration is best done during peak season when fruits are plentiful, and may even save you money. 

If you're trying to find out how to preserve fruits more effectively, you've probably asked yourself whether you can dehydrate them. If that's the case, this article is for you.

Can You Dehydrate Frozen Fruit?

Yes, it is possible to dehydrate frozen fruit. Blueberries, when frozen, are one of the fastest frozen fruits to dehydrate.

It's essential to keep in mind, however, that some fruits cannot be dehydrated. Avocados are one example. You need to ensure that the fruits you intend to dehydrate are suitable for this process. 

How to Dehydrate Blueberries

You might think that frozen fruits have to be defrosted and drained before being dehydrated. However, this is an additional step that isn't always required. For certain fruits, dehydrators can be used without the need to defrost.

Scatter the frozen blueberries out on dehydrator trays in a single layer. Set the dehydrator to 125-130°F or according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

Based on the blueberries’ size, the drying procedure can take between 15 to 30 hours. If you feel impatient and want to accelerate the drying process, don't raise the temperature. Although you might expect the blueberries to dry faster, it can actually cause uneven drying. 

For the best outcome from the dehydration process, employ the slow, steady method. Keep the frozen fruit stored in an airtight container in a cold, dry location and away from direct sunlight.

Blueberry Dehydration Using an Oven

Can you dehydrate frozen fruit using an oven? Absolutely! You can also use an oven to dehydrate frozen fruits if you don't have a dehydrator. 

This approach works great, but it consumes more energy than a dehydrator, so keep that in mind. It's really no different than drying fresh fruits. 

If you want to dehydrate blueberries, the first step is to cover a cookie sheet using parchment paper. Then, spread your blueberries out on the sheet. You can thaw the berries before putting them in the oven if you'd like, but it is not required.

Make sure the blueberries are free of any leaves or stems and are clean. Keep the blueberries in the oven for 10 hours, baking at 135°F. 

If your oven doesn't heat uniformly, rotate the trays to ensure that they all receive the same amount of heat. Alternatively, you can heat the blueberries for 7 hours at 200°F if you'd like to speed up the process. 

You'll need to keep an eye on them to avoid burning. A thermometer can come in handy when checking your oven temperature and making any necessary adjustments.

Rehydrating Dried Blueberries

You can quickly rehydrate dried blueberries for use in smoothies, recipes, and other applications. Fill a clean basin halfway with room temperature water and add the dried berries. 

After roughly 30 minutes, the blueberries should have absorbed the water and be ready to use. Any surplus water should be drained. Refrigerate the reconstituted blueberries until you are ready to use them. 

It's essential to use the blueberries in a few days, as they're more susceptible to spoilage.

Dried blueberries are nutrient-dense and have numerous health advantages, so you should incorporate them into as many dishes as possible.

Can Frozen Pineapple Be Dehydrated?

Dehydrating frozen pineapple is possible. You have two choices: dehydrate it immediately or defrost it beforehand. Here are the steps to follow to dehydrate frozen pineapple:

Thinly slice the pineapple into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices. Ensure the slices are all the same size. Put the slices in one layer on mesh trays. Before putting them in the dehydrator, check to confirm that they don't overlap.

Dehydrate the pineapple slices at 135°F for 30 minutes or until they are dry and leathery. The dehydration procedure will take 8-12 hours for smaller pieces.  Thicker and larger pieces will need 12-14 hours. 

Let them cool down entirely before putting them in an airtight container for storage. Keep the container somewhere that is cool and dry. Dehydrated frozen fruits can last up to a year if they are stored correctly. However, if you want to get the most out of it, consume them within six months.

Can Frozen Elderberries Be Dehydrated?

Yes, frozen elderberries can be dehydrated. The entire dehydration procedure is straightforward. You can follow these steps:

  • Arrange the frozen elderberries on a parchment paper-lined dehydrator screen. Ensure they're all in one layer and not stacked on top of one another. Check to confirm that there aren’t any stems or leaves.
  • Dehydrate the elderberries at 125-135°F in a dehydrator. It will take roughly 15-20 hours to complete this task. The moisture content in the berries will determine how long they need to dry. It's critical to check on the elderberries after several hours to ensure that everything is going smoothly.
  • Elderberries should be properly dried after roughly 15 hours. Store them in an airtight container after you’ve cooled them completely. 

Can Frozen Cherries Be Dehydrated?

Frozen cherries can be dehydrated. The dehydration method is identical to that of dehydrating frozen blueberries. Simply cut the cherry in half and lay the pieces on a parchment-lined dehydrator tray. If you prefer sweeter dried cherries, sprinkle sugar on the slices. 

Conclusion

If you have been wondering, "can you dehydrate frozen fruit,” you now know that you can. However, there is a catch. Avocados, for example, are unable to be dehydrated. Try to research your fruit before dehydrating any to ensure that it is safe and appropriate.

We have looked at several frozen fruits that can be dehydrated easily and safely in this article. Simply follow the basic steps and guidelines given, and you'll have your frozen fruit dehydrated successfully. 

Dehydrated Bread: How to Make it and Use It

Making your own dehydrated bread crumbs, stuffing, and croutons in your dehydrator is a terrific way to use up leftover bread and save on time when it comes to holiday preparations. 

There are many benefits to transforming the last few slices of bread into dehydrated bread crumbs, croutons, and stuffing mix. This allows you to use them all year round, and you can always use them to prepare other recipes.

This makes them especially useful if you're going to be using them during the holidays. It will be even easier to prepare your family's favorite holiday dishes now that you have ready bread crumbs or cubes. 

Bread Types You Can Dehydrate

You need to use non-oily bread, especially if the bread will be stored for more than a few weeks. Oily bread may go rancid fast, especially after it has been heated. Croutons are often among the first to oxidize and smell.

The distinction here is not simply in regular oil/fat usage when baking bread. Recipes that utilize a lot of fats or oils create fantastic short-term croutons, but they are not ideal for long-term storage in the cupboard or pantry.

Although sweetbreads can be used to make bread cubes or crumbs, keep in mind that you wouldn't want to use them in savory dishes.

Some of the best bread options you can use include:

  • Commercial bread
  • Sliced bread
  • Rye
  • Homemade
  • Sourdough
  • Leftover rolls

How to Make Dehydrated Bread

There are two ways you can make dehydrated bread. One is by slicing the bread, and the other is by crumbling it. Both methods will get the job done, and it all depends on your preference. 

Making Dehydrated Bread Slices

Here are the steps to follow if you want dehydrated slices of bread:

  • The bread should first be sliced into 1/4-inch (6mm) cubes or slices.
  • Spread the bread pieces on dehydrator sheets. Place a dehydrator tray covered with a baking sheet at the bottom to collect crumbs.
  • Dry the bread until it has a crumbly and dry texture at 150°F/65°C. Typically, this process takes between 1-3 hours.
  • In a food blender or processor, pulse the bread until desired consistency is achieved.
  • You can store the dehydrated bread slices for 6 to 9 months in an airtight container. However, you need to keep checking for rancidity.

Making Dehydrated Bread Crumbs

If you’d like to have dehydrated bread crumbs, here are the steps to follow:

  • Refrigerate the bread you want to dehydrate overnight or use stale bread.
  • To make bread crumbs, pulse the bread in a food processor or blender.
  • Spread the bread crumbs on parchment paper, lipped trays, or fruit leather sheets. Either of these can make suitable dehydrator trays.
  • Dry the bread crumbs for about 1 to 3 hours at 150°F/65°C. Continue drying until the bread crumbles completely and can be separated easily. 
  • Store the crumbs for 6-9 months in an airtight container, but check for rancidity frequently.

If you prefer Italian or plain bread crumbs, pulse the bread crumbs in a food processor several times. To make Italian bread crumbs, combine the extra ingredients and optional Parmesan. 

Toasted crumbs with a sprinkle of Parmesan make a fantastic topping for mac and cheese. Store your bread crumbs in a container that is airtight to make them last for months.

Making Dehydrated Croutons

Here are the steps to follow if you would like to make dehydrated croutons:

  • Cut the bread into cubes.
  • Sprinkle melted coconut oil, melted butter, or quality spray oil over the bread cubes.
  • Toss the bread cubes after adding your choice of seasonings.
  • If needed, add a little oil, but be careful not to oversaturate the bread cubes.
  • Place the bread cubes on dehydrator trays lined with parchment paper, silicone liners, or silicone-lipped trays. Cheaper fruit leather sheets might stain from the oils.
  • Dry the bread cubes until they reach a crumbly texture at 150°F/65°C.
  • Store the dehydrated bread in an airtight container. It can last up to two months, but you should continue checking for rancidity. You may also choose to store them in a compact container to lengthen the shelf life. 

What Can You Use Dehydrated Bread For?

You can use dehydrated bread croutons for making salads and stuffing bases. Instead of huge croutons, lightly toast them and use them as a salad topper.

Dehydrated bread crumbs can be used for a number of dishes, including:

  • Schnitzels, chicken nuggets, or fish breading
  • Meatball and meatloaf stuffing
  • Pasta topping

Can You Use an Oven to Make Dehydrated Bread?

Yes, you can make dehydrated bread using an oven. This is actually a slightly quicker method, which produces oven-dried bread that has a toasted flavor. 

Set your oven to the lowest setting or simply turn on the oven light to dry your bread cubes or crumbs in a matter of hours.

Dry bread crumbs baked in a low-heat oven can be used as a binder in burgers or meatloaf, as a crunchy topping for casseroles, and as a coating for crispy fish or chicken cutlets. They can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for months. 

Conclusion

Dehydrated bread crumbs are easy to make and a terrific way to utilize leftover bread. Dried bread crumbs give crispness to casseroles, aid in binding meatball ingredients, and are a must-have breading for crispy chicken fingers. 

You can make your own dehydrated bread crumbs, cubes, and slices from leftover bread that has started to dry out. This is a no-waste approach that tastes a million times better than store-bought dried bread crumbs. 

Homemade dehydrated bread also helps you avoid the toxins and unnecessary substances included in store-bought bread crumbs. The next time you have leftover bread, try dehydrating it rather than throwing it out. 

Can You Dehydrate Watermelon? Find Out Here!

Summer is undoubtedly the best time to eat watermelon. Do you ever get a case of watermelon weariness, though? When you've gotten your fill, and there's still a half watermelon in your fridge waiting to be eaten? 

During times like these, we all wish we had a recipe that uses up leftover watermelon. If the question “can you dehydrate watermelon?” has crossed your mind before, then you should know that the answer is a big YES! 

You can make the most incredible watermelon taffy or candy by dehydrating watermelon. Whether you term it watermelon candy, watermelon jerky, or dehydrated watermelon, it's all a great way to experience summer's flavor. 

We’ve found a recipe that uses only one ingredient for a nutritious snack that manages to be sweet without adding anything extra. It's a tasty treat for children of all ages!

Can You Dehydrate Watermelon? 

Now that we’ve made it clear that dehydrating watermelon is possible, your next question might be, “how?” Let’s have a look at the watermelon dehydration process and the essentials that you’ll need to carry this out: 

Essentials

  • Cutting board
  • Dehydrator
  • Serrated edge knife or bread knife
  • Parchment paper/ fruit leather trays
  • Airtight container

How to Dehydrate Watermelon

The watermelon dehydration process begins with a tasty watermelon. You'll wind up with a thick leather that doesn't taste great if it's flavorless or bland. 

Choose a watermelon that is weighty for its size and has a deep, rich color. If you see a spotty region of yellow/brownish color, do not be alarmed. This means that the fruit ripened on the ground rather than being prematurely harvested.

If possible, start with a watermelon that's at room temperature. To get rid of any dirt on the watermelon's exterior, wash it in cold water.

Cut a seedless watermelon’s base off with a very sharp knife. Then, flip the watermelon around and slice the other side. The next step is to trim the rind. To do this, run your knife around the outside of the watermelon. 

Spin the watermelon until all the rinds have been extracted. The watermelon should then be cut in half. Divide the watermelon into 1/4-inch thin slices once more. 

Watermelon should not be cut into narrow strips since it will shrink significantly. When you take the watermelon out of the dehydrator, it will shatter if it has been cut too thin. The thicker the slices, the better. 

To ensure that the slices dry uniformly, try to maintain them as equal in thickness as possible. Arrange the watermelon slices on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 12 hours at 135 degrees F. 

Arrange the slices on the tray so that they aren’t touching, which will allow them to dry properly. Make sure the trays aren't too full. Remove the dried watermelon slices as soon as possible and set them aside to cool fully. 

Tips for Dehydrating Watermelon

Here are some useful tips for dehydrating watermelon:

  • The most important part of this process is ensuring you have good knife skills. Make sure each slice is roughly 1/4-inch long.
  • If you aren’t using a dehydrator, use the lowest temperature on your oven. Just keep in mind that this will probably be warmer than a dehydrator, requiring less time. Since the sugars caramelize more in a hot oven, the final result will be a little browner.
  • The dehydrated watermelon can last up to a week if stored in an airtight container. Because the sugars will make the slices stay together, it is best to separate the layers using parchment paper or something similar.
  • If you fail to take them out right away and they end up sticking to your tray, put them back in the oven for a few minutes to loosen them up.
  • If you want to add another flavor, do so cautiously. The dehydrator will eliminate most of the water, making any additional flavor extra strong.
  • Seedless watermelon is preferable to regular watermelon since the seeds are unpleasant to eat.

How to Store Dehydrated Watermelon

When preserving watermelon taffy for more than a few days, parchment paper is ideal. The dehydrated watermelon is susceptible to excessive humidity, regardless of how dry you maintain it. 

The sugars will most likely absorb the humidity and become sticky. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can also store the watermelon in a zip-top bag or airtight container.

Can You Dehydrate Watermelon in an Oven?

The answer to this question is “maybe.” Watermelon dehydrates better in a food dehydrator because of its high moisture content. The most effective method is to use uniform heat with a fan blowing.

However, you could place your watermelon on a cookie sheet before placing it into the oven. Afterward, with the door slightly ajar, set your oven to the lowest temperature possible to allow the water to drain.

It will take several hours to completely dry. If you plan on drying food regularly, a food dehydrator is a good investment.

What Does Dehydrated Watermelon Taste Like?

Watermelon that has been dehydrated is delicious. It is dried fruit with a sweet and tangy watermelon flavor. Dehydrated watermelon is similar to the delightful taste of watermelon compacted into a nutritious chewy snack.

The best way to describe the taste of dehydrated watermelon is that it tastes similar to watermelon with more sweetness and flavor.  It tastes like watermelon jolly rancher candy and has a pleasant richness to it.

The texture is similar to that of watermelon taffy. When you bite into a dehydrated watermelon slice, it's chewy and flexible. It's more like a healthy candy that you'll enjoy sharing with your family. Dehydrated watermelon is a delicious treat made entirely of natural ingredients.

Dehydrated watermelon is great for people searching for something new to dehydrate.  It's a one-of-a-kind natural watermelon delicacy that's fun to prepare and enjoy.

Why Try Dehydrated Watermelon?

There are times when you buy a watermelon that is too large and hard to finish. This homemade dehydrated watermelon recipe is a terrific way to utilize any remaining watermelon before it spoils.

If you're attempting to limit your intake of added sugars, consider this nutritious snack, which contains no added sugar while still tasting sweet and pleasant. Watermelon is a low-cost fruit that also happens to be one of the favorite clean-eating foods for many people.

Benefits of Eating Dehydrated Watermelon

Eating watermelon in any form is not only delicious, but also comes with some advantages. According to healthline.com, there are several benefits of eating watermelon:

  1. Nourishes hair and skin

Watermelon has vitamins A and C that are beneficial for skin and hair health. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, a protein that maintains your skin and keeps your hair strong and supple.

Vitamin A is also necessary for healthy skin, as it helps to form and repair skin cells. Your skin can become dry and flaky if you don't get sufficient vitamin A. Lycopene and beta-carotene are antioxidants found in vitamin A that may help protect your skin from UV damage.

  1. Lowers oxidative stress and inflammation

Watermelon is high in the anti-inflammatory antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene, which can help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation. In a certain study, people were offered lycopene-rich tomato juice with additional vitamin C. 

Generally, the participants’ inflammatory indicators went down as their antioxidant levels moved up. Lycopene, being an antioxidant, may also be beneficial to brain health. It could, for example, slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

  1. Aids in avoiding macular degeneration

Lycopene is found in numerous regions of the eye and aids in preventing inflammation and oxidative damage. It could also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as people get older, since this is a frequent eye condition that can result in blindness in older people. 

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lycopene can help prevent AMD from forming and worsening.

  1. Helps prevent cancer

Plant chemicals such as lycopene found in watermelon have been researched for their anti-cancer properties. Although lycopene consumption is linked to a lower risk of some cancers, research findings are still under discussion. 

Recently, the strongest association appears to be between the digestive system and lycopene. It minimizes the risk of cancer by decreasing insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a cell division protein. Very high IGF levels have been connected to cancer. 

Conclusion

If you were wondering, “can you dehydrate watermelon,” we hope this article has answered your question. Dehydrating a watermelon is an easy and enjoyable process, which is more than worth it when you eat the sweet dehydrated watermelon slices. 

Watermelon pairs perfectly with a wide variety of flavors. Before putting your sliced watermelon in the dehydrator, feel free to add some flavors first. However, use caution because after dehydrating, all flavors will be more intensified.

How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last? Guide to Dehydrators

Humans have always found a way to make life easier for themselves when it comes to everything around them, and this is especially true when it comes to food. 

Dehydrated foods have a lot of great benefits, including shelf life and health benefits, to name a few. 

It’s important to know exactly how to store these foods and how long they last for you to get the best results out of them. In this article, we’ll discuss questions like how long does dehydrated food last for, what goes into storing dehydrated foods properly, and how to make sure that your food lasts longer. 

The Benefits of Dehydrating Food

Before we get into the specifics of how long dehydrated food lasts for, it’s important to know why people choose to dehydrate food in the first place. 

Shelf Life

While a slice of fresh meat can last less than a day if left unrefrigerated, dehydrated meat (jerky) can last anytime from 10 days to a more than a month at room temperature if prepared and stored properly. It’s one of the best possible forms of preservation for edible items. 

Environment Friendly

The longer shelf life means that less food goes to waste. Developed nations have a major problem when it comes to food wastage, and food with a higher shelf life would mean reduced production requirements, as well. 

Excellent Snack

Dehydrated food can be a great option for camping and road trips because it’s not messy, easy to store, and tastes great.

Storage Space

Dehydrated food has most of the moisture removed from it. This lets the amount of space taken up by it go down by several multiples, which means that you can store more food in the same space. 

Nutrition

Dehydrated foods only have water removed from them. All the essential vitamins and nutrients that are present in the original food are preserved properly, making them a very healthy option for everyday consumption.

Cost Saving

Dehydrated foods, over a certain period of time, are very economical when it comes to storage, saving flavor, and safety.

Convenience

Once an item of food has gone through a food dehydrator, the nutritional content present in it, along with the increased shelf life, means that this food can be shipped easily to any part of the world without spoilage. 

This is an important aspect both for needs (military purposes or people affected by natural disasters), and for choice (exotic jerkies). 

Safety

If you dehydrate your own food and use your own ingredients, you can be assured that dehydrated foods are safer to consume than processed or canned food. There’s a lower chance of unwanted materials like chemicals or pesticides to be present in it. 

Foods That Can Be Dehydrated

This method of food preservation is extremely popular and is applicable to a lot of different foods because of the efficiency and benefits of the dehydration process. The sheer number of options within these foods make them separate categories of their own. 

  • Meat (jerky)
  • Fruits (chewies)
  • Vegetables (chips)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Powdered soup
  • Powdered sauce
  • Powdered milk

You can learn more about this by checking out this guide to the best foods to dehydrate

How to Know if Your Dehydrated Food is Spoiled

How long does dehydrated food last? Well, it can depend on a variety of factors.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes moisture and oxygen can play its part and cause your food to have a shorter shelf life than expected. This also depends on the location and the weather around you, and you need to know what signs to look for to see if your dehydrated food has gone bad. 

Mold

The first and most obvious signs you should look for is damage that you can easily see. If there is a layer of mold on the food, this means that your dehydrated food has definitely gone bad. 

Other things you can look for are extra layers on the food, change in the color of the dehydrated food, spores, or moisture buildup in the bag. 

Bad Smells

While food dehydration causes food to lose most of its obvious smell, depending on the type of food, you should be able to get a whiff of how it’s supposed to smell. If there’s a strange smell coming from your food, it’s not a good idea to consume it.

Mouth Feel

You will have to eat the food to check it this way. If your food doesn’t feel the same in your mouth as it originally had after being dehydrated, it has probably gone bad. 

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about the occasional crispy piece of jerky. You should be able to tell from the texture of the food if there’s something wrong with it. 

Taste

This would be the final and most obvious way to understand that the food has gone bad. If the food tastes bad and different from its original taste, it’s probably gone bad. You shouldn’t take your chances if the taste is awkward, as it might lead to food poisoning. 

How to Prevent Spoiling

The shelf life of food can be improved greatly by keeping a few things in mind as you prepare and store your dehydrated food. There are different ways to ensure that your food has the longest shelf life. 

There are two broad categories on how to achieve this. The first option is to take some steps while preparing, while the other is things you can do while storing your dehydrated foods. 

Preparation

If you prepare your food properly, you should have an evenly dehydrated product with no moisture levels. 

However, no process is perfect, and some moisture might be left over even if you take all the right precautions. These are some tips and tricks you can follow to ensure better preservation of your food. 

Fruits

While fruits are one of the most commonly dehydrated items, these are only dehydrated until they’re chewable. This means that there’s a higher moisture content in them compared to other options like powdered soups or vegetable chips. 

For this reason, there’s a higher chance of them going bad quicker. To make sure that your fruit slices are evenly dehydrated, you need to take them after the dehydration process and pack them loosely in airtight jars or bags. 

For about a week, shake the containers once or twice a day to ensure that the moisture is distributed evenly among the slices. 

This can also be used to check if your fruits are dehydrated properly. If the airtight container shows signs of water droplets forming on the inside, your fruits might have to go back in the dehydrator for another round to reduce the water content. 

Meats

Meats can develop germs, bacteria, or mold easily. If you put meat at a very high or very low temperature, it will kill off the germs and give you a safer experience.

One option is to pasteurize the meat by setting it in an oven at 80 degrees Celsius for a quarter of an hour. Once they’re out of the oven and cooled down, they should be safer to pack. 

Another option is to freeze the meat. The storage time for this process will be much longer, as you will have to keep it in the freezer for a week for it to be completely safe before storing it at room temperature. 

Vegetables

The preparation part for vegetables is easy, as these are usually turned into chips. The point is that the moisture content in dehydrated vegetables is very low, which makes it more difficult for them to go bad.

Just ensure that you don’t take them out too early during the dehydration process and let them dry out properly before they’re cooled and stored. 

Storage

While taking the necessary precautions during preparation can help your food last longer, it will all be pointless if you don’t know how to store your dehydrated products properly. Keep these things in mind while storing: 

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

Even though the food is dried out, there is a tiny amount of water likely still present in your dehydrated foods. 

Direct exposure to heat and light can cause your food to get spoiled. Make sure you store in a cool, dark place. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but make sure that the place is dry and around or below room temperature.

High Quantity

Know that every time you open up a container to take out dried food, you’re making it susceptible to some damage.

For this reason, try to not have containers that are too large and contain a lot of items, as you will be prone to opening it more and exposing the contents to the air. If you have a lot of food, consider splitting it between two or more containers. 

Temperature

A general rule of thumb when it comes to storing any kind of food is that the lower the temperature, the longer the food can last. This is why foods stored in cooler temperatures (for example, in a deep freezer) can last for much longer than foods left outside. 

Make sure that the storage space is cool for a longer shelf life.

Containers

The two biggest enemies of stored dehydrated foods are moisture and oxygen. For this reason, make sure that the container you’re using for storing your food is airtight (for example, a mason jar) and is stored in a dry place. 

Regular Checks

You don’t need to have a daily routine to check up on your airtight jars, but every once in a while, even if you haven’t yet opened that container, check out the inner side of the containers of dehydrated foods.

Glass jars are excellent for this purpose, as you can easily see drops of condensation on the inner surface. 

How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last?

If you’ve followed all the steps mentioned in this article, there can still be a wide range of differences on how long your food lasts based on temperature ranges and the drying process. Besides this, the large variety of food that can be dried also has a different shelf life for each category. 

So, how long does dehydrated food last? If you look at the extreme end of the spectrum, long term storage of dehydrated foods when paired with vacuum sealed bags, as well as oxygen regulators, can last for as long as 30 years!

However, since we are talking about home dehydration methods, let’s be more realistic. Vegetables have very low moisture content and can last for up to 10 years. On the other hand, fruits, which have a slightly higher moisture content when dehydrated, will still be good for up to 5 years if stored at the correct temperature. 

Dehydrated meat has the lowest shelf life of all edible products. If the container is constantly being opened and in use, you are suggested to eat dehydrated meat within a month or two. However, in a properly sealed package, you can leave dehydrated meat in storage for up to a year. 

Final Thoughts

Dehydrated food is a healthy alternative to store bought snacks that have zero nutritional value and will only lead to unhealthy weight gain. For this reason, a lot of people are not only choosing dehydrated foods but are also investing in their own dehydrators for a complete at-home experience. 

If you’re one of these people and are interested in getting one yourself, check out this handy guide on what to look for when buying a dehydrator.

In this article, we addressed questions like how long does dehydrated food last for, how to check if it’s spoiled, and what you can do to increase its shelf life. If you’re interested in similar topics about healthy, dehydrated foods, feel free to check out our other articles, as well!

How Long to Dehydrate Jerky: User’s Guide to Dehydrators

Dehydrators are a popular option for people who enjoy healthy eating. The good thing about a dehydrator is that the food you treat in the device tastes better, lasts longer, and makes for a healthy snack. You can learn more about this by checking out this article on reasons to buy a food dehydrator

If you've just bought a dehydrator, or if you're thinking about getting one, jerky is one of the best foods that you can use it for. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about using your dehydrator for meat, including how long to dehydrate jerky for, how to store it, how to prepare it, and more. 

What is Jerky?

If you're new to the world of dehydration, jerky is probably just slices of ground meat that you've bought in grocery stores as a quick snack. Originally, jerky is lean trimmed meat that is cut into strips and then dehydrated. 

Proper jerky comes from slices of lean meat, but most store bought jerky is made out of chopped and ground meats instead. This is why it is important to learn more about this product so that making it home can be easier. 

Jerky doesn’t require any preparation before you eat it. There are some methods that go into making it, and these methods give the meat a great taste and ready-to-eat characteristics. 

Jerky doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It can last for a long time without spoiling even if stored at room temperature in an airtight container. 

Why is Jerky Popular?

Jerky started off as just a store bought snack, but has found more acceptance and popularity as a mainstream food item. This is because of a number of health and taste reasons. 

Jerky tastes better now: Dehydrated food is devoid of moisture, which means that the taste of the food gets much more concentrated. Fruits become sweeter, and jerky becomes more savory. 

Jerky is also marinated with sauce and spices that add more taste to it before being dehydrated, making its taste one of the best factors behind its popularity. 

Snacks are more popular now: Most people don’t stick to the conventional three meals a day plan, and often snack a lot between meals. As a great tasting snack that doesn’t load up too much on calories, jerky is what you can call a healthy version of junk food. 

Jerky is healthy: If you go for snacks like chips or cookies, you can quickly load up on calories that will come from fat and carbs, leading to rapid weight gain. With jerky, you not only get a low fat content, you also get the protein that comes from meat. This means that you can stay full for longer periods and enjoy a snack that’s also good for your body.

Jerky has a lot of variety: You wouldn’t believe the kind of variety you can get when it comes to different types of meats to make jerky from. While chicken, beef, and turkey are the common options, jerky is also available in exotic options like kangaroos, yaks, and alligators. 

How to Make Jerky

Now that you're probably convinced that jerky is the best snack you can munch on during your day, you are left with two options.

The first one is to stock up on jerky on your next grocery run, but store-bought jerky can be expensive and there is always a chance that there will be chemicals involved in the processing and packing steps. 

The second option is to make your own. With this, you can make sure that you get just the right jerky recipe, get the right strips of meat, and overall have much more freedom over the process and how the taste turns out. 

The next few sections outline the steps you need to take to prepare your own jerky in a dehydrator, as well as how long to dehydrate jerky. 

Items You Will Need

  • A dehydrator
  • Meat 
  • Seasoning (according to taste)
  • Meat knife
  • Ziplock bags

Preparation

The first step before your meat goes into the dehydrator is the preparation.

Step 1: Find a good slice of meat for your jerky. If you can get a top or bottom roast or a flank steak, your jerky will be easier to make and store and taste better. 

Step 2: Trim off all the fat you can see on the meat. This is not just because you want a high protein, low fat snack, but also because leaving fat on your jerky will reduce its shelf life. 

Step 3: Once the meat is cleaned up, put it in the freezer until it's hard. One hour should do the trick. If you have a pound of meat, putting it into the freezer for a while will make it easier to get thinner slices of the right thickness.

Slicing

Now that your meat is out of the freezer and ready to be sliced, place it on a kitchen board.

Step 1: There are two different ways in which you can slice the meat to make your jerky. One option is to cut with the grain of the meat. This will make the jerky easier to chew and eat. On the other hand, if you slice the meat perpendicular to the grain of the meat, it will be chewier. 

This depends completely upon your taste and does not affect the final quality of your jerky when it comes to taste or shelf life. 

Step 2: Slice the meat evenly. You can make slices up to 1/8th of an inch thin, or 1/4th of an inch if you prefer a thicker version. 

Marinade

Having a seasoning for your jerky can greatly improve its taste after dehydration. If you're completely new to this, you can check out this video on homemade jerky seasoning.

Seasoning depends completely on your taste, and you can use any homemade recipe that you think would taste best. Even a simple marinade will greatly improve the taste of your jerky. 

Make this marinade and put it in a ziplock bag. Make sure it is mixed well. 

Mixing

Once your ingredients are combined, it’s now time to coat the meat.

Step 1: Put the meat slices into the ziploc bag with the seasoning. Make sure that the marinade is enough in quantity to properly coat the meat from all sides. You will have to make the right estimates accordingly.

Step 2: When the bag is shaken and the meat has been mixed well with the marinade, put the ziplock bag in the fridge. This will help the meat soak up the flavor without going bad.

Step 3: If you're not in a hurry, you should leave the meat inside the fridge for at least 12 hours to make sure that your jerky has a rich taste. 

Drying

This is the step where your food dehydrator and how long to dehydrate jerky comes into the picture. Once your meat slices have had enough time to soak up the flavors from the marinade, we can start the drying process to create jerky slices. 

Step 1: Take the ziploc bag out of the fridge and take all the meat slices out. 

Step 2: Using a paper towel, gently pat the meat dry of any moisture. This is an activity with a broad range of choices, as you can choose how clean you want the jerky to be. For a richer taste, do not pat dry your meat too aggressively. 

Keep in mind that the lesser you pat dry your meat, the more time it will take to dehydrate it. 

Step 3: Once you have your pat dried fresh meat slices, it is time to start the dehydration process. You need to place the meat strips on the dehydrator trays at a distance of about half an inch from each other. 

This is an important part of the process. If the strips are too close together or on top of each other, the drying process will not be completely efficient. You do not want to risk the quality of your jerky because of this. 

If you have a lot of meat and it will not fit on the dehydrator trays, consider doing it in two batches. You can always leave the remaining meat in a ziplock bag in the fridge while the first batch is being made. 

Step 4: Once the trays are loaded with the meat, put them inside the dehydrator. According to the official guidelines, jerky needs to be at 160 degrees before it is considered safe for storage and consumption.

Step 5: Set the temperature of the dehydrator from 165 degrees to 170 degrees. This will ensure that the internal temperature of the jerky reaches the required 160 degrees. 

Step 6: The next thing you need to do is wait! Jerky usually takes around 5 hours to dehydrate properly, but might take slightly longer or otherwise depending upon the thickness of your meat slices and the amount of marinade present on them when the process started. 

Step 7: While the dehydration process is going on, you need to make sure that you keep checking up on the progress of your jerky after a few hours. If you let it overdry, it will become crispy instead of chewy. This will make it flake and start to break out in pieces, which can ruin the eating experience as well as the taste. 

Step 8: Check the internal temperature of the jerky, and make sure that it does not break when you try to bend it. This means that it is properly done. 

Step 9: If the jerky is done, switch off your dehydrator. You should ideally let the jerky cool for about an hour before you take it out and store it. 

Storage

The way you store your jerky can determine how long it lasts for. While you can always directly start eating it as soon as you're done, most people would want to store it for further use.

You can use ziplock bags to store your jerky, but these will only give it a shelf life of about 10 days. After this, there might be mold buildup on it, making it inedible. 

There are several professional ways to store jerky that will make it last for over a year. These include vacuum sealed, airtight containers that also include an oxygen regulator. 

However, if you're making jerky at home and you want to store it for a couple of months, your job should not be too difficult. The main problem you need to look out for is moisture, as it will ruin your product. 

This means that any airtight jar, for example a mason jar, can do the trick. A mason jar has different metal and rubber layers to its lid that prevent moisture from getting into it, thus improving the shelf life of your jerky. 

Final Thoughts

Making jerky at home is a simple process with a high return on investment. You get a healthy snack that can easily be stored for a long time, along with the peace of mind that you know exactly which ingredients have gone into the food you consume. If you've read this article, you would definitely enjoy our guide to dehydrators for beef jerky.

We hope that this article has helped you take steps in the right direction to start making your own jerky at home and answered how long to dehydrate jerky. If you're interested in similar topics about healthy meals and dehydrators, feel free to check out our other articles, as well!

A Guide to Using Parchment Paper in Dehydrator Machines

Parchment paper is a common cooking accessory, known for its non-stick properties and heat resistance. Also, parchment paper is a hot commodity on the market because it’s very affordable.

However, note that parchment paper is quite different from wax paper. The major difference is in the materials used. While wax paper, as the name implies, uses wax, parchment paper is usually coated with a heat-resistant and non-stick material like silicone.

Parchment paper is also popular because of the convenience it brings. You can walk into any kitchenware store, buy pre-cut sheets, use them, and dispose of them after use. As simple as ABC. As much as we’ll be discussing the use of parchment paper in dehydrator machines here, note that you can use it for many different things.

Read on to learn more about these uses and the differences between parchment paper and wax paper.

Differences Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper

Have you ever wondered if you can switch out your parchment dehydrator sheet for wax paper? Well, you wouldn't be the only one to consider it. However, we have to warn you, they are NOT the same. In fact, switching them out could be dangerous. 

Although both coated papers are excellent for wrapping leftovers, the similarities end there. For a quick distinction, wax paper is ideal for cold things, while parchment paper works great with the heat.

What Is Wax Paper Used For?

You should NEVER use wax paper in your oven. This paper is coated with soybean or paraffin wax which melts at low heat. It could even ignite at higher temperatures. At best, your food is ruined. At worst, your house burns down. Either way, you have a bad day.

Hazards aside, wax paper is non-stick and does not let water pass through, so its main value is for food prep or storage. You can lay down wax paper before measuring messy items to make cleaning up after easy. It is also great for rolling out dough or pounding cutlets.

Wax paper also works great for wrapping stuff up. From your sandwiches to your butter and cheese, wax paper is a great wrapper. It also helps to keep foods from getting stuck while freezing. All you have to do is put a sheet of wax paper between them.

One thing you should note though, is that you can only use a wax paper once. Unlike a parchment paper, you cannot wash, dry, or reuse wax papers and they would have to be disposed of after each use.

What Is Parchment Paper Used For?

The coating on parchment paper, as we've said earlier, makes it heat resistant. That means that while this silicone sheet may darken, it will not burn. It is also greaseproof, durable, and moisture resistant. Parchment paper recently became popular as a way to package food gifts. 

Parchment paper is great for lining your oven pan and trays when cooking. Most people butter these bake pans before using the parchment to help them stick. You can use parchment for meatloaf, fish, vegetables, and any fruit combination you wish. It'll help you clean up more easily, and you won't have to scrub out crusted remains.

When dehydrating, you can use parchment paper to line the trays of your food drier or dehydrator. This is great when making things like crackers. It is also advantageous when drying items that could slip through the holes of your food dehydrator tray. Parchment paper also helps avoid a big mess when making no-bake dried cookies and helps keep the cookies from sticking to the tray.

If your paper does not come precut, you can cut it with scissors to fit your tray. Place it on your tray and then place the food item or fruit on the paper. Then turn on your dehydrator just as you would. You can throw away this paper when done or reuse it a few times to help reduce environmental impact.

Types of Parchment Paper

There are many different brands of parchment paper available on the market. This is good, as we will often find ourselves using it to make our cooking process a little cleaner. We will discuss some great brands later.

The two major types of parchment paper are bleached and unbleached, which is the major decision you have to make prior to purchase. Here’s the difference between both and which one you should use.

Differences Between Bleached and Unbleached Parchment Paper

While these two parchment papers do not have any functional difference, they are mostly different in appearance. Just as the name suggests, bleached is white while the unbleached version is brown.

Unbleached paper is untreated and has no chlorine in it. Its bleached counterpart has that lovely white color due to chlorine treatment. You can quite easily find both of these types of parchment paper at the store. You can also find them online. However, there is a chance the unbleached parchment paper could be slightly more expensive.

Which Type of Parchment Paper Should You Use?

The best kind of parchment paper for you depends on your needs. Both types can be used interchangeably for the same kind of cooking activities. The color or treatment of the paper will not change the outcome of your recipe or activity. 

Some people have a problem with bringing too many chemicals into their home, so they might prefer the unbleached option. However, you should know there are no studies showing that bleached parchment contains chemicals that could be harmful to your health in any way.   

3 Top Brands of Parchment Paper

As we mentioned earlier, there are many brands of parchment paper available on the market, and you’ll see many options when you go to your local store. In no particular order, here are three popular brands we recommend:

1. SMARTAKE Parchment Paper Baking Sheet

People love SMARTAKE Parchment Paper because it comes pre-cut in 12” x 16” sheets. That means you don’t have to find scissors and get to slicing when it’s time to use parchment paper in your dehydrator. We love this because it cuts down on your cooking or baking time. It’s also unbleached, and the pack contains about 200 sheets.

You can use SMARTAKE Parchment Paper for baking, grilling, frying, and steaming. The sheets are non-toxic and heat resistant. Temperatures up to 450°F are no problem for SMARTAKE Parchment Paper.

People really enjoy using this brand because of the effective packaging. It is carefully packed so that your sheets come out without folding. It also shows you where to cut using perforations, and the packaging doesn’t take up too much space. SMARTAKE Parchment Paper is FDA approved, so it is safe for you to buy and use at home.

2. Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll

Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll includes three individual boxes. Each of these boxes contains 50 square feet of paper. Customers love this brand because it has marked lines that make cutting easy. It also has even spacing, and it can withstand up to 425°F of heat.

People also love this parchment paper brand because it comes with a SmartGrid for easy measuring. If you’re making cookies, this comes in very handy for spacing your dough. You can also reuse the paper up to three times before you have to throw it away.

Conservationists will love this one because it is environmentally friendly, and the paper is compostable. You can even use it in your home compost heap. It’s available to buy on Amazon.

3. IF YOU CARE FSC Certified Parchment Baking Paper

IF YOU CARE is another parchment brand that conservationists will love. The company itself is dedicated to making high-quality, environmentally friendly products. One pack contains about 70 square feet and does not require greasing.

This product is unbleached and can be used for reheating, wrapping, baking, or roasting. There is also the precut option so go for that if you need it. Sheets are sized 12.5” x 16”. IF YOU CARE FSC Certified Parchment Baking Paper can resist heat up to 428°F. For the uncut version, you can make around 50 to 70 sheets from a single roll.

How to Use a Roll of Parchment Paper in Your Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating is a cooking process where water content is removed from your food or fruit to make your food last longer than normal. The kitchen appliance used for this task is called a food dehydrator. 

Most people use the dehydration process to preserve food that comes from their garden. That’s often where parchment paper comes in. Some of these fruits are so small that they’ll slip through the holes in your tray during the drying process. Parchment paper can also help you make fruit leather. 

Sometimes, your dehydrator might come with its own traditional dehydrator sheet. But if it doesn’t, you will need to add one to line the tray. Honestly, when it comes to using parchment paper in your dehydrator, there is a simple process to follow. Here is an outline of what you’ll need to do:

  1. Tear out a piece of dehydrator paper that is larger than your tray
  2. Place it on the counter
  3. Use your dehydrator trays to trace the exact size of paper you will need
  4. Use scissors to cut your parchment paper to the correct size
  5. Place the parchment paper on your food dehydrator tray
  6. Place the food on top of the parchment paper
  7. Place the trays in the dehydrator and start your dehydrating process
  8. When done, remove the dehydrator trays
  9. Lift the parchment paper from the trays
  10. Remove your dried-out foods from the parchment paper
  11. Either dispose of the parchment paper or keep for reuse

To avoid making mistakes and wasting your roll of parchment paper, follow these tips:

  • Depending on what you are using the parchment for, you might want it slightly larger than the tray. For drying small pieces of fruits, cut your parchment paper to fit the exact size of your tray. When making a fruit leather sheet, it’s best to cut it slightly larger. That way, the fruit puree won’t leak out. 
  • If you have a lot of items to dehydrate, cut all the papers in a bunch at once. That way, you’ll have them ready for use without extra work. 
  • You can also store any unused sheets left in a plastic bag or air-tight container to keep them clean.

Reasons Why You Should Use Parchment Paper in Dehydrator

Okay, so we’ve touched a bit on this in the paragraphs above. Parchment paper has many more uses when it comes to dehydrators. Here are some of them:

1. You Don’t Have to Clean Up After

The time saved when using trays with parchment paper is a huge plus. You’ll also expend much less energy, to be honest. Without parchment paper, you may discover that a lot of your cooking has stuck to the tray. That takes time and effort to clean. You’ll have to scrape it off, and then you still need to wash your tray. Using parchment paper will save you the stress of getting your dehydrator clean.

2. Longer Lasting Trays

Parchment paper makes your trays last longer. Picture not having to constantly scrape food off your trays. This will mean less scrubbing and washing with soapy water. Your trays will last longer and maintain their good condition as a result. You also won’t have excess oil and dried sugars shortening the life span of your trays.

3. Your Food Won’t Fall Through the Cracks

Dehydrator trays come with holes because it helps the heat circulate easily through the appliance. When placing fresh fruit on the tray, you most likely won’t have any problems. The issue arises when moisture has been lost and the fruit has shrunk. They could end up falling through the holes. A thin layer of parchment paper placed on the tray will offer a safety net preventing that.

4. Parchment Paper Allows Ventilation

Unlike the other alternatives such as wax paper and aluminum foil, parchment paper lets your food breathe. The others tend to seal out the air. You need this air to pass through so that it can dehydrate your food. This also helps your drying time.

5. It Is Versatile

Whether your goal is making fruit leather or you want a fruit roll-up, parchment paper works for all types of fruit. You can also dry jerky, herbs, and many other kinds of food. All you have to do is line the tray with parchment paper and begin the drying process. 

Safety While Using Parchment Paper in Dehydrator

Sometimes, people wonder if it is safe to use parchment paper in a dehydrator. The answer is yes. It’s okay to be worried about things like this, so we’ve listed out some reasons why parchment paper is safe for your dehydrator.

1. Heat Resistance

The heat resistance of parchment paper is important. The paper’s heat resistance is due to the silicone material used as a coating. Silicone itself is highly heat resistant and has a very high melting point. Compared to the high heat resistance of the paper, dehydrators operate at very low temperatures. The temperature will never be high enough to cause combustion or melting.

2. Chemical-Free

There are also no chemicals in parchment paper. So, you can relax knowing that no strange chemical reaction will happen while you cook your food. While the creation process might involve a few chemicals, none are harmful. You can also use the unbleached version if you want to reduce the chemicals in your home even more.

3. Reusability Protects the Environment

Parchment paper can also be reused, reducing the impact on the environment. Often, people use them 3-4 times depending on how the paper feels and its overall condition. If it starts to feel brittle, it’s time to change. You can also use both sides of the paper. By getting the most out of your parchment paper, you are putting less trash in the ground.

Conclusion

Now that we are at the end of our journey, it would be great to think a bit about what we have discussed. One is that if your dehydrator does not come with a traditional dehydrator sheet, a store-bought version is excellent. We think parchment paper is the best choice for use in a dehydrator.

Parchment paper also has many other benefits besides the basic function of using it to line your dehydrator trays. One of those is that it saves you the many hours you'd have spent scrubbing grease from your kitchen appliance. It also helps avoid spilled food, helps reduce the size of your cooking prep mess, reduces the clean-up burden, can withstand high heat, and limits the impact on the environment.

Now that you know what product to use to line your dehydrator trays, nothing is stopping you from getting to work and making some fantastic homemade food!

Air Fryer vs Dehydrator: Which Should You Buy?

Recently, many people have adopted a healthier lifestyle, a big part of which involves healthy eating. A lot of healthy diets require reduced oil and fat content. So, whether you want to lose weight or just maintain your health while enjoying delicious food, it is a good idea to invest in a kitchen appliance that can reduce the oil content in your food.

Luckily, many companies have manufactured some helpful products you can use to cook plenty of healthy foods with as little hassle as possible. Two of those products that allow you to cook healthy but tasty food include the air fryer and the food dehydrator. 

However, the following debate arises: air fryer vs dehydrator. Which of these products is more suited for your cooking needs? Read on to get to the answer and more.

What Is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a small countertop appliance that works like a convection oven. It is designed to mimic deep frying without actually drenching the food in oil. An air fryer does not fry your food per se, but uses the same hot air circulation method a traditional oven uses to do the cooking.

The air fryer has a heating element that produces hot air and a fan that circulates the hot air in the cooking compartment. Depending on the model, the temperatures can go as high as 482°F (250°C). Some models also have timer and temperature setting adjustments to give you more control over the cooking. Plus, it only needs minutes to heat up, cooks faster than stoves and ovens, and uses less energy.

Conventional frying methods require you to submerge food in hot oil for cooking, heated well above the boiling point of water. On the other hand, air frying requires you to coat the food in as little oil as possible, place it in the air fryer basket which sits on an oil drip tray, then allow the circulating hot air to cook the food. As a result, the air fryer is able to brown foods using much less oil than a conventional deep fryer.

What Can You Do With an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are so versatile that you can use them to prepare several types of food, from homemade snacks to a wide variety of delicious meals. A few of them include:

Proteins

A standard air fryer can cook, fry, and bake proteins like lamb chops, steak, fish, chicken breast, and beef. Whether they are breaded or not, the air fryer cooks them evenly until they are juicy and tender.

Frozen Foods

You can also fry frozen foods that normally need to be deep-fried like french fries, frozen chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and tater tots. Plus, if you freeze foods after drenching them in wet batter, you can fry them in an air fryer without worrying about them dripping.

Vegetables

Air fryers can prepare delicious vegetables without turning them into a soggy mess. Try cooking okra, potatoes, chickpeas, mushrooms, eggplants, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, or green beans. With a tablespoon of oil or more, the air fryer softens the veggies but maintains a crunchy outer layer.

Leftovers

Everyone knows if you try to reheat leftover foods like pizza and other baked goods in a microwave, it turns into a soggy mess. If you use an air fryer, you can heat it up while also reviving the freshness.

Baking

Another great option is to use the air fryer to bake pastries such as cookies or cakes. With just a few baking accessory molds, you can also bake cakes, loaves, and muffins.

Grilling & Roasting

Some air fryer models allow you to grill and roast foods.

Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of using an air fryer for your healthy cooking.

Pros
  • Reduces health risks associated with excess grease in food
  • Enhances flavor and visual appeal of foods
  • Cooking process saves time
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Suitable for baking, grilling, frying, roasting, and steaming
  • Helps save on energy
  • Compact size allows you to effectively manage kitchen space
Cons 
  • May need additional accessories to fully enjoy an air fryer.
  • Cannot cook large food quantities

Things to Consider Before Buying an Air Fryer

Because there are different models of air fryers on the market, it is in your best interest to carefully select the ones best suited for your needs. Here are some things to consider before buying an air fryer:

Controls

While some models have temperature controls that can regulate or set temperatures up to 400°C, others have a singular temperature setting. You may also prefer a model with programmable cooking functions such as a reheat button for leftovers, or preset buttons to cook certain types of food like chicken or fish.

Ease of Use

Consider how convenient it is to use the air fryer. Can everyone in your household use it without having to consult the manual every time? How easy is it to load, disassemble, and clean? You should only consider buying one that offers you relative ease.

Storage Space

The size of the air fryer you buy depends on the amount of food you plan to cook and your available counter space. Most air fryers can cook food for 1-2 people at once. If you are cooking for more, you should consider getting a larger model, even though it will take up more counter space. If you don't have enough space, you can always buy a smaller unit.

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Some air fryers have front drawers to load food in the air fry basket, while others have a flip-top lid. The models with a front drawer are more convenient and safer to use.

What Is a Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that helps you to prepare nutritious food from the comfort of your home by removing moisture from food products without sacrificing taste and nutrients. Food dehydration makes a healthy snack of dried fruits by removing the water content in ordinary fruits. Vegans or people on a raw food diet can enjoy the many benefits of using a dehydrator.

Food dehydrating has always been a popular method of food preservation because the bacteria and other microorganisms that cause food spoilage thrive in moist foods. However, removing the moisture content of food inhibits bacteria growth, increases food shelf-life, and eliminates food waste.

A dehydrator uses warm air to remove water from food. Compared to other products that perform a similar function, the power consumption of a dehydrator is low, which is a bonus once you consider the extended periods of time required to fully dry foods. The food dehydration process takes time but the finished product is worth every minute spent.

A major benefit of using this device is that dehydrated foods maintain their nutritional value because the heat from the dehydrator is not high enough to break down important nutrients. Even the healthiest method of cooking foods (e.g., steaming) still uses temperatures high enough to break down nutrients.  

There are two major types of dehydrators, depending on their airflow: horizontal and vertical.

What Can You Do With a Dehydrator?

Dehydrators have so many uses, depending on the type of food you are cooking. Some of them include:

Fruits

Different types of fruits can be dehydrated at a high temperature of 135°F. A dehydrated fruit will have an intensified sweetness and flavor, and can stay on the shelf for an extended period. Plus, fruits that are not usually sweet end up with a better flavor. This is good news for people who have a sweet tooth but still want to eat healthy.

Vegetables

Vegetables that are sensitive to heat can be dehydrated at a lower temperature of 125°F to retain their nutrients and color. The temperature can even go as low as 95°F to accommodate herbs and other delicate types of foods. This means you can buy fresh food in bulk to be dried and stored for later.

Meat

Meat can be dehydrated to produce delicious beef jerky by dehydrating at 160°F, then at 130°F to eliminate any remaining bacteria.

Snacks

You can also make dry, homemade pasta, fruit bars, granola bars, and ferment yogurt using a dehydrator.

Baked goods

If you have stale baked foods like cookies, a food dehydrator can reheat and restore crispness.

Crafts

Some artsy people also use a dehydrator to dry molds and potpourri for DIY projects.

Pros and Cons of Using a Food Dehydrator

Now, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using a food dehydrator:

Pros
  • Increases food shelf life
  • Save money because you can buy fresh produce in bulk
  • Intensifies the flavor of dried fruits
  • Maintains nutritional value after cooking
  • Greater flexibility and monitoring of food content
Cons 
  • Can be large and bulky, taking up space in your kitchen
  • Long Dehydrating process might lead to increased electricity bills
  • Lower-quality models tend to be noisy

Things to Consider Before Buying a Dehydrator

Having a good idea of what to expect with a dehydrator will help you make more informed choices on the model that best suits your needs. The following are some of the things to consider before buying a dehydrator:

Airflow and Heat Distribution

The biggest challenge of using a dehydrator is ensuring the heat is evenly distributed, which ensures uniform drying. Make sure your dehydrator has effective airflow so it can distribute heat evenly to food items further from the heat source.

Convenience and Ease of Use

A dehydrator should be easy to clean and put together once taken apart. Also, although using a food dehydrator is a relatively easy process, you could benefit a lot from a few features that allow you to dry food without having to constantly monitor the process or switch trays. Some of these features include:

  • Adjustable thermostat to regulate and control temperature
  • Timer to alert you when food is ready to be taken out
  • Auto-shutoff that turns off the dehydrator once the food drying process is complete

Size and Capacity

The bigger the dehydrator, the larger the capacity, and the more space it takes up on your counter. Your choice depends on how much food you will be drying and how often you plan to use it. If you plan to dry a lot of food and in short intervals, then a larger-sized model will work better for you. Otherwise, get a smaller one.

Noise

Since dehydrators are equipped with a fan, you would expect them to produce some amount of noise. However, the amount of noise produced varies by model. If you want to enjoy as much quiet as you can at home, stick to higher-quality models that don’t make much noise.

Similarities: Air Fryer vs Dehydrator

Although they both serve different functions, there are still similarities between both appliances. Some air fryers can even serve the purpose of a dehydrator. Some of these similarities are:

  • Can cook nutritious foods with as little oil as possible to enjoy a healthy diet
  • Evenly cook your food using air circulation
  • Easy to use and clean, with some parts being dishwasher safe
  • Can cook a wide range of foods with both appliances to diversify your diet
  • Equipped with timers to allow stress-free cooking

Differences: Air Fryer vs Dehydrator

Working Mechanism

A dehydrator has several stainless steel trays where you place food to be dehydrated. Once you power it on and set the right temperature, the fan blows hot air to dry your food.

On the other hand, an air fryer uses fast-air technology to circulate hot air and heat up food that would have required a large amount of boiling grease to cook otherwise.

Cooking Time

An air fryer cuts down conventional cooking time, allowing you to cook even faster than traditional methods. A food dehydrator may take several hours to complete the drying process. 

Appearance

Dehydrated foods always have a different appearance from their hydrated versions. Sometimes, due to the moisture loss, they appear duller. The reverse is the case with foods cooked in an air fryer, as they become even more vibrant in color.

Food Storage

Food cooked in a dehydrator can last for months without spoiling. You can effectively manage surplus food, especially when stored in a vacuum bag. However, food cooked in an air fryer is subject to the same spoilage time as regular foods. 

Capacity

A dehydrator has a lot of storage space to dry large amounts of food at the same time. If you want to cook large quantities of food with the air fryer, you need to complete the process in several batches.

Water content

While a dehydrator completely eliminates the moisture content of food, an air fryer maintains the same relative moisture content that the food would have had in conventional cooking styles.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you can still eat healthy without sacrificing flavor. Modern technology has given us two kitchen appliances that make the food options for healthy living limitless. Your choice on which is better in the air fryer vs dehydrator debate depends solely on your needs. Once you have figured out what those are, you can invest in buying one of them or going all out to splurge on both!

The Know-It-All Guide to Dehydrators for Beef Jerky

I remember how we used to enjoy the bunches of beef jerky our aunt served during holiday gatherings.

Beef jerky is tasteful and beneficial at the same time. On top of that, the process of preparing it is an art in and of itself. Today, I’ll walk you through this art through the guide of dehydrators for beef jerky.

A Closer Look at Beef Jerky

If you’re not familiar with the authentic American snack staple, we’d like you to take a look here.

A long time ago, before inventing refrigeration, our ancestors found a way to dehydrate beef, fish, and poultry so that they can preserve them for longer times. Fast forward centuries later, other advanced food preservation techniques have evolved. Yet, we kept dehydrated beef (jerky) around as a practical food on the go for hikers and campers. Above all, it managed to stay around as a flavorsome snack.

To make beef jerky, you go through three easy steps; cut the meat into thin slices, marinate using salt and acids, then dehydrate it using the oven or a dehydrator.

Jerky tastes good, and it’s nutrition-dense at the same time, which is pretty hard to find in a snack. It’s loaded with lean protein while being low in its fat content.

What’s the Idea of Food Dehydration?

The removal of water strips food of its tendency to get affected by mold and bacteria. Thus, extending its shelf life. Yet, dehydrated food won’t lose its nutritional value. Need not worry about that.

The temperature used to dehydrate food varies according to the food’s type and its water content. For example, higher temperatures of up to 130° F are recommended for juicy fruits because of their dense water content, so drying them up pretty fast results in the delicious, crispy mango slices you enjoy, while a lower temperature of 120° F is preferred for vegetables with slightly lower water content.

When it comes to meat, a range of 130° F to 140° F is convenient. Yet, you should precook the meat at a high temperature, 165° F or so, to kill any bacteria.

How Do Food Dehydrators Work?

With the aid of heat and electricity, a dehydrator blows amounts of air for extended periods at food till the food is liberated from all its water content. Another common working mechanism is circulating air at low temperatures for long periods until the food dries out.

Most dehydrators use the low temperature, long time combo so as not to zap food of its nutritional value. The fans inside the dehydrator help distribute the low heat evenly across the food so that it’s dehydrated properly.

Try imagining yourself inside a dehydrator with a slice of beef jerky. If the low heat succeeds at absorbing moisture from the meat, that is, converting it into steam slowly, where will that moisture go?

The moisture -that comes off as steam- will stay trapped inside the dehydrator, eventually being reabsorbed by the food and ruining the whole process, unless there’s a way for this steam to get out. Here comes the role of air circulation in a food dehydrator.

Air circulation works by sucking moist air and letting it out through the vent. At the same time, the vent tries to let some fresh, dry air in and the moist air out.  This would be an excellent opportunity to discuss the two types of air movement inside an air dehydrator.

Vertical Air Movement

Electrical dehydrators with vertical air movement usually base their fans on the lower or upper sides of the appliance. Thus, heat flows vertically through the food. As you might imagine, inevitably, food will be dried on one side more than the other according to the place of the fan.

Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the heat rises up. If the fan is placed on top of the dehydrator, the food on the bottom will dry more than the food on top.

In the case of a fan that’s placed on the bottom of the dehydrator, food will dry more evenly. Yet, you risk your food dripping and messing up the dehydrator. It’s a tradeoff, after all.

To get over the shortcomings of a vertical airflow dehydrator, move the trays every two hours or so to help with heat distribution. Old school does magic sometimes!

Horizontal Air Movement

Can you imagine how directing the airflow horizontally will rid us of the previous problems?

When the air flows in a horizontal direction, the heat will be evenly distributed through the food. In this case, the fan is placed at the back of the dehydrator, moving air in your direction when you open the dehydrator.

A horizontal air flow dehydrator ensures that the heat goes through the whole beef strip without leaving any bits hydrated, unlike the vertical ones that must leave a part of the beef strip out.

Types of Food Dehydrators

With a lot of options to choose from on the market, deciding on the best food dehydrator to make beef jerky can be confusing. Here, we’ll see the main types of dehydrators so you can know how to choose the best dehydrator for your needs.

Stacked Shelves Dehydrators

Dehydrators with stacked shelves are compact and space-efficient. They have small fans that operate at the base of the appliance to circulate air upwards.

Stacked shelves dehydrators can be rectangular or circular. There are limited differences between the two, but rectangular ones are preferable because they can accommodate a wider variety of food.

One of the basic dehydration principles is that food pieces shouldn’t be touching each other while being dried out, so the rectangular architecture helps with that, especially when we’re talking about beef jerks with their thin, long shape.

Pros

  • Compact and space-efficient
  • Works well for fruits and vegetables
  • Cost-efficient

Cons

  • Heat distribution isn’t the best

Pull-Out Shelves Dehydrators

These are pro dehydrators. Pull-out shelves dehydrators incorporate larger fans at the backs of the appliance to circulate air better and more properly, allowing for overall better dehydration results.

Their shelves are mostly made of sturdy metal that improves the device’s longevity. You can find a couple of good pull-out shelf dehydrators on Amazon.

Pros

  • More convenient to meat
  • Produces better results
  • Better heat distribution

Cons

  • More expensive than stacked ones

What Factors Should You Be Looking for in a Dehydrator

Now that you’re familiar with the types of electrical dehydrators let’s take a look at the features that set them apart.

Timers

Primitive dehydrators had no timers. They operated manually by being turned off and on.

More advanced models have timers that automatically shut off the dehydrator when food is dehydrated. Yet, the best ones have programmable timers that can be preset to long intervals up to one hour. These come in especially handy for forgetful people who don’t want to go through the hassle of waiting for their food to dry out.

Heat Range

Electric dehydrators allow you to adjust heat to your liking. Usually, the range is between 100 to 150 or 160 degrees. While beef requires a 140° F temperature to dehydrate, lower temperatures would be convenient for other food categories like fruits, veggies, and herbs.

Dehydrators with smaller intervals between their temperature options are better to let you have better control over your food. Who wouldn’t like to exercise some extra control? Over a food dehydrator?

Usability

The differences in features between electric dehydrators aren’t drastic. However, the determination point is their ease of use; how straightforward and user-friendly this device is. Thus, saving you energy and time.

Size

Although an electric dehydrator won’t be the appliance that you use the most in your kitchen, you’ll be operating it for a long time per use. Because of that, it’s better to opt for bigger sized dehydrators. Especially that most dehydrated food is to be stored afterward, so you’ll likely be prepping large quantities.

Dehydrating Beef Jerky Like a Pro

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best beef jerky of your life!

  • You need to adjust the heat well. Find a heat point that’s hot enough to draw moisture from the meat but not too hot that you cook it instead of dry it.
  • Get familiar with your dehydrator’s airflow direction so you can deal with it seamlessly. As we said before, you should rotate the trays every now and then if the airflow is vertical.
  • Check the progress of your beef jerky after three hours.
  • Get mason jars or vacuum-sealed bags for storage.
  • Work in big batches. Food dehydration is time and electricity-consuming; better be smart about it.
  • Don’t put anything below, beside, or on top of the dehydrator to avoid safety hazards.
  • Sautee your beef jerky for 10 minutes in butter if it comes out over dried.
  • Get the leanest meat slices you can for your beef jerky so as not to end up with greasy jerky.

Safely Dehydrating Beef Jerky

A well-made jerky is perfectly safe and even full of nutrients. Yet, there’s a concern of bacteria growing on the surface of your jerky while dehydrating it, which might lead to adverse health consequences. You need to follow these general safety rules when making beef jerky.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before dealing with the meat.
  • Make sure that the beef was refrigerated before using it.
  • Clean all your utensils before working with meat.
  • Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator.
  • Never try to sun dry beef jerky.

Here are some methods we should follow to ensure you achieve a clean, safe beef jerky dehydration process.

Heat and Dry

Drying the jerky isn’t enough to kill bacteria. You need to pre or post-cook it to ensure it’s 100% safe. The USDA meat and poultry recommend you preheat the beef at 160°F before putting it in the dehydrator. You marinate the meat, simmer or steam it, then arrange the meat slices neatly in your dehydrator. You can also bake beef in the oven at 325°F instead of simmering it.

You can do it after the dehydration by placing the jerky slices separately on a rack and place them in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. 

Store Safely

When you’re done dehydrating the jerky, press it between some dry napkins to absorb any excess fat. Then, leave it to cool down for a few minutes.

To store it safely, put it in an airtight container and store it in a dry location, away from light. You can keep the jerky for two weeks at room temperature and up to six months in a refrigerator, all given you store it in a  vacuum-sealed container or bag.

Using the Oven as a Dehydrator

Some people suggest using ovens as alternatives for dehydrators, which is not ideal, but it can work. The main issue with using ovens as dehydrators is that you need to adjust the oven at a pretty low-temperature setting to circulate air through the food for a long time. Yet, most ovens don’t have this low temperature, to begin with.

In other words, the minimum heat option of most ovens is higher than the temperature required for beef jerky dehydration.

If you’re a dehydration newbie and you just need to dip your toes to test the water, you can try dehydrating food in an oven first. If you love the process, you can invest in a high-quality dehydrator.

Pro Tip If the lowest temperature in your oven is above 160° F, you can leave the oven’s door slightly open to cool it down. Expect the whole dehydration process to take less time than intended.

Final Thoughts,

Food dehydration is one of the healthiest ways to preserve food. Add to it the flavourful marination and texture of beef jerky, and you get one of the most enjoyable snacks ever! I’ve cleared the road for you. Now is your turn to take this info and go get yourself a robust electric dehydrator to get those beef jerkies going!

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