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Frequently Asked Drying Questions

How can I tell when fruit leather is dry?
My banana chips don't taste like the ones in the stores. What can I do?
Where can I buy sodium bisulfite?
The fruit sticks to the trays. How can I prevent this?
What are other uses of a food dehydrator?
Will heating the meat to 160°F before or after I dry jerky guarantee me that I will not get sick?


How can I tell when fruit leather is dry?
Touch it; it should not be sticky. If it peels from the plastic and maintains its shape, it is dry.

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My banana chips don't taste like the ones in the stores. What can I do?
There are a variety of banana chips available. Read the ingredients on the label. Some bananas are dipped in honey; some are dipped in granulated sugar, brown sugar or flavored gelatin. Be sure bananas are ripe. Some commercial banana chips have been treated to make them crisp. This cannot be done in the home.

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Where can I buy sodium bisulfite?
Food grade sodium bisulfite is available from drugstores or hobby stores that have wine making ingredients. If you are unable to find a source, ask your county Extension agent.

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The fruit sticks to the trays. How can I prevent this?
Fruits or thinly sliced vegetables may stick to plastic trays. To help prevent this, spray trays with vegetable cooking spray. Also, gently lift food with a spatula after one hour of drying.

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What are other uses of a food dehydrator?
Besides being used during peak season to preserve food, a food dehydrator can be used for proofing breads, making yogurt or cheese, drying seeds, curing nuts, and de-crystallizing honey.

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Will heating the meat to 160°F before or after I dry jerky guarantee me that I will not get sick?
It is never possible to guarantee 100% safety in any situation. However, heating the meat to 160°F will certainly decrease the risk of getting a foodborne illness from the product.

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