How to: how to dry food at home

How to: how to dry food at home

Drying food is an ancient method of preservation and very useful for taking advantage of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit even after their season: the tricks.

An ancient method of preserving food, drying offers a concrete alternativeThe ancient method to preserve almost any foodcanned goods or frozen food. Drying the water from food allows you to have at home, even when out of season, vegetables and fruit that, otherwise, we would certainly have to buy with added chemicals or forced growth. And not only those: herbs, spices, meat and fish can all be subjected to the same process, following these simple tips even at home.


  1. Use the dryer. This is the easiest method . With this object, foods are dehydrated in a homogeneous way in a sufficiently reasonable time ( 24 hours ) and at controlled temperatures, usually between 40 ° C and 60 ° C : in the case of higher or lower temperatures, in fact, the enzymes or the vitamins, due to excessive oxidation of the air on food. The dryers all work in the same way, drawing air from the environment, with the difference that, depending on the model, the air flow can be vertical or horizontal.
  2. Dry the herbs in the ovenUse the oven. Similarly, in the absence of a specific object, you can use the oven, holding it in a ventilated mode at an average temperature of 50 ° C . If there is no fan option, just keep the door slightly open to dissipate the humidity. Obviously, there are longer times than those of the dryer: in fact, we are talking about almost 48 hours . The tricks, then, are two: cut food as finely as possible and definitely take breaks. Spoiler: think about it, the bill will be quite high.
  3. Use the microwave. This is, however, one of the fastest methods , especially as regards herbs. Just take a sheet of parchment paper, place the slices of the food you intend to dry on it and microwave at maximum power for about a minute . Then, turn the slices over and cook on the other side for the same amount of time. It must be said that with this method it can happen that fruits and vegetables are not really dehydrated completely, so you have to pay a little attention . Ideal, with the microwave, is the drying of aromatic herbs: with the same method it takes 30 seconds at maximum power to be able to put them, dry, in a jar. Instead of parchment paper, a useful tip is to buy a special product, designed for potato chips, in which to insert, standing, the individual slices, thus more exposed to the action of the waves produced by the magnetron.
  4. Use the sun’s rays. The cheapest and most ecological way to dry food is the oldest and it copies what our grandmothers and our ancestors did, putting them to dry in the sun. Foods are placed on metal trays or grills, protected with a cloth, while at night they are stored indoors, as external humidity could ruin the result achieved. With this technique , all types of vegetables can be dried . Obviously, the times are very long: five, ten days are almost the minimum wage.
  5. What to dry and how to store. Among the foods that lend themselves the most are fruit – apples, bananas, pears, pineapples, figs, peaches, grapes – and vegetables : so yes to pumpkins, peppers, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, green beans. Rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, aromatic herbs in general, and even flowers are also very good . Also, yes to mushrooms, meat and fish. Once dried, the products can be stored in airtight glass jars. Or, alternatively, pickled or in oil .

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