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Food drying and storage

Food drying is the oldest method of preservation preventing the development of undesirable microorganisms in food which is the leading cause of food going bad. This gentle method is used for long term food storage. Drying is a simple and suitable form for processing almost all types of fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and meat. Vitamins, however, are sensitive to high temperature, light and atmospheric oxygen.

For each type of raw food there should be an individual approach and attention given to the correct length of processing at a certain temperature regime. Therefore drying in domestic conditions such as the attic, a space under a hot roof, on a radiator or a sheet of newspaper does not lead to efficient dehydration. Quite the opposite - very slow and uncontrollable drying occurs in such conditions. This mainly applies to produce that contain both a large amount of water and fiber, such as pears or plums. Drying for too long periods of time with temperature fluctuations can start the formation of mold and thus completely devalue the food. For high-quality drying of food and preservation of vitamins, minerals and trace elements a good quality food dehydrator is essential.

Drying enables to preserve surplus harvest from your own garden or cheaply bought seasonal produce. Dried foods can be a readily available source of vitamins and protein during the winter season.

You can achieve high-quality dehydration of food ready for consumption or safe storage under the following conditions:
  • Dehydration temperature between 30 – 70 °C.
  • With the help of a stream of warm air and without the presence of light.
  • The drying time should not be too long. The drying time depends on the amount of water locked in fiber, thickness and also the room temperature and atmospheric humidity in the drying place.
  • The temperature and time must be chosen individually with regard to the amount of water and fiber contained in the raw material. The more water locked in fiber the food contains, the longer the drying time.
  • The concentration of natural sugars increases with drying, ripe fruit does not need to be sweetened.
  • Always dry fresh foods, never rotten or moldy.
  • Cut fruit into slices, chips or pieces 5 mm thick. Slice vegetables.
  • Use a fine mesh sheet for drying small pieces.
  • Place slices of raw foods on the sheets in one layer, right next to each other so that the entire surface of the sheet is used.
  • Under these conditions, fruits and vegetables retain a large amount of vitamins, color and aroma.


Popular products of drying has long been more than just apple schnits. Basically, any fruit can be dried, whether it is apricots, peaches, pears, pineapple, watermelon, or even small fruits like raspberries, strawberries, currants or blueberries. Fruit as such can be dried without any treatment, or it can also be dried in a liquid state into the form of fruit rolls. Dried fruit is intended for direct consumption as a healthy treat that contains good, i.e. natural sugars.

Dried fruit can be stored for later use throughout the year in the form of:

  • tea blends
  • fruit rolls
  • fruit chips
  • base for muesli and granola
  • raw ingredients for baking and decorating
  • fruit treats and snacks for children

Fruit/vegetable rolls and larger pieces of fruit are dried at a temperature of 55-60 °C. Well dried fruit is supple and flexible without wet spots. It contains less than 5% water.

Allow a slice of dried fruit to cool, cut it open and squeeze. There should be no traces of moisture in the cut.
When drying fruit puree for rolls, coat your solid sheet with a drop of vegetable oil. The roll will come off easily.
Never pour your puree directly over the dryer. Instead, set your tray next to the dryer, place a solid sheet on it and pour your puree. Carefully place the tray on the dryer. This way you can prevent spilling the contents into the dryer’s vent or engine.
When drying thin slices of fruit or small fruits, use a fine mesh sheet. The slices come off easily without getting stuck and the small balls of fruit do not fall through the tray.


You can dry your veggies the same way as your fruits.

Dried vegetables do not lose any of their nutritional value. You can use it for:

  • vegetable seasoning
  • root veggie base for soup
  • veggie chips
  • dried vegetables (tomatoes) pickled in oil
If you are not sure whether the food is sufficiently dried, try this simple yet effective trick. Seal one piece in a microtene bag - if droplets of humidity appear on the inside of the bag, let the batch dry a bit longer.
If you forget to store your veggie chips and they go stale and soggy, you can put them in the dryer for a while. This will restore their crispness.


Many countries share their passion for a good mushroom harvest. Traditionally, drying is the best way of preserving these gifts of wild nature. Dried mushrooms are mainly used for preparing classic or oriental dishes. Mushrooms are 90% water. Dehydration reduces the content to 5%, which completely eliminates the conditions for the formation of mold.

Well-dried and stored mushrooms can be used for several years without any loss of quality. Mushrooms are dried at a temperature of 50-55 °C.

If you own an EZIDRI1000 Ultra Digital, set the temperature to 55°C with for 6 hours, after which the dryer will switch to tempering mode (30°C). Your food does not draw back any moisture.
When drying, try to fill all trays of your dryer completely. With EZIDRI dryers you can dry all sorts of food at once without the flavors and aromas mixing. This means that you can dry mushrooms, apples, peppers, fruit rolls, etc. altogether.


Dried meat, otherwise called JERKY, is low in fat and calories while high in protein. The most common types of meat used for jerky include beef and turkey. This delicacy is not reserved for hikers and fitness enthusiasts only. Your pets can feast on it, too.

Always pick lean meat and try to cut off as much excess fat as possible. Fatty tissue is difficult to dry and store safely. The drying temperature depends on the particular choice of meat with the minimum temperature of 60°C.

Freezing your meat slightly beforehand makes it easier to slice it. At the same time, it helps reducing the risk of parasite danger. Salting the meat gives it a more pronounced natural flavor. You can also experiment with various types of marinades.
For safe and enjoyable consumption, be sure to choose meat of the highest quality or from verified sources. Always cut the meat across the fibers and aim for thin slices or strips.
When preparing jerky for your pets, try cutting the meat into larger pieces. You can leave some fat on the meat, provided they have no dietary restrictions. We recommend not salting the meat.

Herbs & Plants

The possibilities of use are practically unlimited here. Dried herbs and flower petals do not have to be used only in the form of medicinal teas and spice mixes. It is possible to use them for decoration and creating natural DYI cosmetics, such as relaxing salts, natural soaps or ointments.

You can find more detailed drying times and temperatures of individual foods and plants in the Ezidri dryer manual.

Does food need any treatment before drying?

Fruits and vegetables can be dried fresh or processed in various ways. You can choose from selected:

  • Sweetening into candied fruit, otherwise called “glacé fruit”. Various syrups and flavors can be used before drying.
  • Immersion in water with vinegar or lemon juice prevents unwanted browning of the cut fruit (oxidation of the surface).
  • Blanching vegetables prevents loss of flavor. Blanching is a short heat treatment that reduces the number of microorganisms that cause spoilage of vegetables. This process helps to dry faster and preserve color and fragrance.
  • Quick steaming and immediate cooling in icy water speeds up the drying process in blueberries or plums.

Additional accessories

Mesh sheets and solid sheets facilitate the process of even drying. The fine net of the mesh sheet prevents small food particles from falling through or getting stuck in the tray. It is intended for drying delicate pieces, herbs, mushrooms and other raw foods cut very small.

The solid sheet is used for drying blended or mashed fruit. On top of that, you can use it for preparing homemade muesli, various types of crackers, seasoned salts or homemade teas. Whole meals can even be dried this way. Ideal for camping or a budget vacation.

How to store dried food?

Dried foods retain one-third to one-half of their original weight. Not even dried food have an unlimited shelf life, so it is necessary to store it well and protect it above all from moisture. The most suitable containers for storage are those that ensure vacuum. They can be jars with screw caps or airtight jars from which unwanted air can be sucked out. Alternatively, you can store your dried snacks and meals in a special foil using a vacuum sealer. Food stored in this way can last for several months up to years.

  • Store your dried food in a cool, dry and dark place between 5 - 20 °C.
  • Protect herbs and spices from direct sunlight, this is the only way to preserve their color, taste and aroma.
  • Mark the storage containers with the storage/drying date.