Drying Food At Home

Victoria Aly Author: Victoria Aly Time for reading: ~11 minutes Last Updated: December 10, 2022
Drying Food At Home

Dried products are a great way to preserve products for a long time and to get a product that is convenient to take with you on a hike. Drying, by the way, is the oldest method of food storage known to our ancestors. This method preserves the largest amount of nutrients and vitamins in the product, compared to other preservation methods. Let's find out how we are

Dried products are a great way to preserve products for a long time and to get a product that is convenient to take with you on a hike. Drying , by the way, is the oldest method of food storage known to our ancestors 

Nowadays, of course, you can buy anything in the supermarket, including dried fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. However, this is not always included in our family budget, firstly, and secondly, one cannot be sure of the quality and naturalness of such a product : very often, during industrial drying of products , unnecessary additives are used to improve the color, taste and storage of products .

Anyway, let's find out how we can dry products at home. Which, by the way, is not such a time-consuming and impossible process.


When drying fruits, you should pay attention to the following factors

  • The temperature should be 35-60°C and be constant.

  • There must be good air circulation so that moist air is constantly replaced by dry and fresh air.

At home, you can dry products in the following ways

  • Drying in the sun and, accordingly, in the air.

  • Drying in the oven.

  • Drying in a special dryer.

Drying in the sun

This is probably the simplest and cheapest way of drying . The only necessary conditions are sunny weather with an air temperature of 25-30°C, low air humidity and stable atmospheric pressure for several days. Before drying , the products must be prepared as described below. After that, you need to put the products on a grid or grid not very tightly. The next stage of drying is to place the products in a warm, ventilated place outdoors. It is necessary that the container with the products to be dried should be on some elevation, for example, a few stones or something, so that the air also penetrates from below. All productsfood, with the exception of some herbs, can be dried in direct sunlight. Of course, drying in the shade will preserve the aroma better. It is advisable to cover the products with an anti-mosquito net so that it does not touch them - to protect against insects. During the drying process, the product to be dried must be repeatedly turned over, and in case of high humidity, it is advisable to bring it indoors.


Drying in the oven

The advantage of this method of drying is its independence from weather conditions. Products for drying are laid out on a rack. To make full use of thermal energy, put several racks with products in the oven at once . Dried productsshould not be too close to each other to ensure sufficient air circulation. The temperature in the oven should be set within 50-60°С. Also, we leave a gap in the oven door: electric — 2-3 cm, gas — 20 cm. If water drops form in the oven, this is an indicator that the temperature is very high. Temperature fluctuations should be as small as possible. It is also recommended to measure the temperature on the grill to make sure that the temperature mode is set correctly. To ensure uniform drying , it is necessary to constantly change the location of the grid and turn over the dried products . The drying process is considered complete if the product is dry and hard to the touch. If you overdo itproduct in the oven, it may become brittle or crack.


Drying in a dryer

A dryer can be made at home or purchased. It needs less energy than an oven. It is only necessary to pay attention to the fact that the heat source heats up evenly and has the possibility of adjustment with a thermostat. The easiest solution would be incandescent bulbs, but they are inefficient. The temperature should not fluctuate more than 2-3°C so that the nutritional value and taste of the product are preserved during the drying process . An additional fan ensures sufficient air circulation. The dryer should also be well insulated so that heat is not lost. Grids should be easily accessible for changing. The materials must withstand a temperature of at least 80°C, and also must not be flammable. And for painting, by itself, you need to choose only non-toxic paints.


Drying of fruits and berries

Only fresh, ripe and undamaged fruits should be used for drying fruits. First, they need to be washed, peeled and pitted, and cut. Now the fruits can be placed in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for 15-30 minutes - 1 tsp. per 1 liter of water. This procedure is optional, but it will enrich the dried products with vitamin C and prevent discoloration. Fruits and berries with a thin skin (for example: cherries, plums, etc.) dry better if the skin is cut or cut into 2 parts, which will also allow you to remove the stone. Large fruits should be peeled and cut into rings 0.5-1 cm thick so that the productdried evenly. Fruit varieties such as apples, peaches, etc., where the pulp quickly changes color and loses taste and vitamin C, should be especially treated with the above solution of ascorbic acid if you want the drying to be of high quality.

Type of fruit Pre-treatment Notes PineapplePeel off the skin. Remove the core and cut into thick rings. Suitable for a mixture of dried fruits. ApplesChoose the hardest fruits possible, peel them, remove the stones, cut into rings 0.5-1 cm thick, blanch in syrup. Fruits contain a lot of vitamin C, strongly driedapples can be ground into a powder from which, by adding water, you can make apple mousse. ApricotsWash, split in half, remove pits, blanch in syrup. Rich in vitamin C, good for a mixture of dried fruits. Pears Take the hardest fruit possible, peel and remove seeds, cut into rings with a diameter of 0.5-1 cm, blanch in syrup. Suitable for a mixture of dried fruits and baking fruit bread. CherriesWash, split in half, remove pits, briefly put in hot water. Suitable for pudding, muesli, etc. PeachesWash, after if necessary, cover the skin with boiling water and cool, cut into rings 1 cm thick, blanch in syrup. They contain a lot of iron. Wash the plums, cut in half, separate the pits, blanch in syrup. Suitable for a mixture of dried fruits and compotes, soaked in water,have a relaxing effect. RosehipWash, cut in half, remove the seeds,dry at a temperature of no more than 35°С. Contains a lot of carbohydrates and protein, as well as vitamin C. The seeds can be dried separately and used as tea. Strawberries Wash, divide in half, large berries into 4 parts. Contains 2 times more vitamin C than lemon. Raspberries. These and other similar berries are better processed into mousse or fruit pastille, they are not suitable for drying . Blueberries Wash and lightly pour boiling water. They are suitable for sweet omelets and baking. It is an effective remedy for diarrhea. Peel bananas, cut into 0.5 cm rings or strips, blanch in syrup. Driedbananas look darker, but have a richer taste. Oranges, grapefruits If possible, take fruits without seeds, wash them and cut them unpeeled into rings 0.5 cm thick. If there are seeds, take them out. You can eat them with the peel. They contain a lot of vitamin C. Grapes Take pitted grapes, wash and lightly pour boiling water over them. Raisins are rich in carbohydrates in the form of glucose and are a powerful source of energy for the body. Blanching in syrup

Water, sugar and refined molasses should be mixed in a ratio of 6:3:2 and mixed well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring the mixture to a boil. Place the prepared fruits in the syrup and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. After that, wash the fruits and start drying .

Fruit paste

This product is a mixture of chopped fruits. A low-calorie product that has a high concentration of carbohydrates. A good and light snack.

Preparation of fruit paste begins with the selection, washing, cleaning of fruits and berries and removal of stones. After that, all the fruits should be processed into mousse with a blender or mixer. To clean the product from small seeds, you need to pass the mousse through a sieve. After that, you can sweeten the mousse with honey or syrup (do not take sugar). But keep in mind that during drying , the sugar content is already concentrated. If you add lemon juice, the snack will be enriched with vitamin C and will acquire a brighter fruity taste. To taste, you can also add cinnamon, vanilla, vegetable oil, etc. After that, the fruit and berry mousse should be distributed in a layer 0.5 cm thick on a baking sheet covered with foil or baking paper, leaving enough space from the edges. Drypastille should be placed in an oven or dryer at a temperature of 45°C.



Drying vegetables

Most types of vegetables are suitable for drying and retain their nutritional properties. Before drying , they must be blanched to ensure the preservation of vitamins and taste and to extend their shelf life. Blanching vegetables is steaming vegetables with boiling water or steam. The best method is steam. First, the vegetables must be placed in boiling water, and then cooled sharply with ice water to preserve the color and vitamins. The duration of blanching depends on the size of the vegetables. For more details on the processing of vegetables before drying , see the table.

Type of vegetables Pre-processing Notes Green beans Cut into pieces 2-3 cm long and blanch for 4-6 minutes. Use for soups. Red beets Lightly cover with boiling water, cut into thin rings and divide in half. Suitable for salads, if pre-soaked in marinade . Productrich in minerals. Cabbage Cut into wide circles 0.5 cm thick and blanch for 3-4 minutes. As an additive for soups. Carrot Peel the carrot, cut into 0.5 cm thick discs, blanch for 3-4 minutes. For soups, grated — as a salad. Rich in vitamin A. Celery Cut into thick cubes 0.5 cm thick, blanch for 2-3 minutes. For soups. Rich in minerals. Red capsicum, chili pepper Cut into strips, do not blanch. Blanch the corn for 3-4 minutes, cool with ice water, separate the grains. Cut into small pieces or grind into powder - as a seasoning. Rich in vitamins A and C. Soak in milk with salt, a pinch of sugar and water, the grains should be completely immersed in the mixture. Cut cucumbers into 0.5 cm thick circles. Grind into powderdry at a temperature of 35-40°С, or in the air, separate the herbs from the stem, but not in the sun. In crushed form - for a mixture of spices. Mushrooms Wash, cut into 0.5 cm circles or strips, blanch for 3-4 minutes. For soups and sauces. OnionCut into rings and chop a little, do not blanch. For fried potatoes, omelets, soups. PotatoesWash, cut into thin plates, steam blanch until the pieces become transparent, rinse with cold water, dry . Cut cauliflower into small pieces, blanch for 3-4 minutes. For soups.   Drying of meat and fish

Meat, which we will dry , should be as fat-free as possible, since fat has the ability to become bitter over time. About 2 kg of dried product is obtained from 4 kg of meat . Beef fillet or game meat are best suited for drying . Cut the meat into thick strips 0.5 cm thick, remove the existing fat if possible. If the meat will be used as a main dish (soup, etc.), it cannot be seasoned or marinated. If the dried product will be used as a snack, you can pre-coat the meat with spices. Drying takes place in an oven or dryer at 60-70°C, while the productwill not become dark and hard. You can also put the meat on the parchment so that the fat that will be released will soak into the paper. Air drying is carried out identically to fruit drying .


The fish is divided lengthwise. Large fish is divided into fillets and cut into strips. The skin is not removed to hold the strips together and preserve the fat. The dried product is immediately ready for consumption. Dried fish can be fried, soaked in water and boiled, or added to soups.



When ready, dried products are placed in a tin box. If moisture is concentrated in the container, it means that the products were not completely dried, and it is worth repeating the drying process once more. The final dried products are stored in a dry place in an airtight container or in an opaque, hermetically sealed plastic bag. If you plan to store dried products as long as possible, then the storage place should be protected from light and cold. If all the rules of drying and storage have been observed, the shelf life of such products will be about 1 year.

Recovery of dried products

Dried fruits and vegetables can be eaten as they are. But if you want to use the products in a dish, it is better to restore the lost moisture. This process is called rehydration. The products should be poured with water in such a way that they are barely covered with it. Excess water can also be used, for example, for soups. To restore the structure, dried vegetables should be left in the marinade for 12-14 hours.


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