So, you’ve got your first dehydrator and don’t know where to start, or you need to jumpstart your creative juices to find new things to dehydrate. Well, don’t worry! I’ve got 101+ dehydrating recipes and techniques for you right here!
Dehydrating or drying foods is a perfect way to preserve foods that are more easily stored than canned varieties. Moreover, this process is easy to integrate into meals or packs for hiking/camping/emergency foods. So, in this article, you will find a variety of dried and dehydrated recipes. Also, while most recipes call for a dehydrator, there are other options such as the oven or air drying.
Use your choice of foods to make a food storage inventory that allows you to build the basics of meals that don’t need cooking. In the case of an emergency, you’ve got ready-made meals that can be reconstituted with hot water heated by your fireplace, a rocket stove, a camp range, or even a fire pit or grill in the backyard.
Different Methods to Dehydrate Food
First of all, before I share food dehydrating recipes, let’s talk about how to make dehydrated food. Equally important, there are several ways you can dehydrate your food.
Make Dehydrated Food in the Oven
First, you can use an oven. Preheat the oven to 145 degrees for your ingredients to turn out crisp and tasty. But if you’re dehydrating meat – such as homemade jerky and beef – we recommend increasing the temperature to 150 degrees. You can use parchment paper for this process, it works particularly well with fruit leather recipes, too.
When using an oven to dehydrate the food, it usually takes around six to eight hours. If you’re in a rush, you can increase your oven’s temperature, although the food won’t dry as thoroughly or taste as flavorful.
Cut your ingredients into thin slices – around ¼ inch each, and add to the oven.
Use a Toaster Oven For Your Dehydrating Recipe
Alternatively, you can use a toaster. Set your toaster oven to its lowest temperature, and keep the oven door slightly ajar. During the time your ingredients are in the oven, keep a watchful eye on them. This is the best strategy to ensure you’re left with thoroughly dehydrated food.
Dehydrate Your Food in the Sun
Another option and the most energy-efficient is to dry your food on trays in the sun. Slice your ingredients, place them on parchment paper, and leave them out to dry. Depending on the temperature, this process can take several days to dry your ingredients thoroughly. Use a thin material on top of the dehydrated food to keep insects and flies away.
Use a Microwave For Dehydrating
Finally, another process to achieve dehydrated food is with a microwave. However, to dry food this way, carefully consider the foods you use, as this process can take longer than using an oven or dehydrator.
How to Dehydrate Fruits
The best dehydrator recipes produce healthy, pleasant-tasting foods that make a great snack. To improve the taste of your dehydrated food and make the process user-friendly, focus on the preparation before dehydrating.
First, rinse your fruit with cold water – not boiling water. Once cleaned, blot the food dry using parchment paper before adding it to trays. Ensure the fruit is thoroughly dry before placing it in a dehydrator.
Alternatively, soak the fruit in ¼ cup lime juice and 1 cup water. As a general rule of thumb remember that the thinner you cut your fruit, the less liquid you’ll need, and the less time the fruit will take to dehydrate. Cut the fruit into thin slices. Place parchment paper onto the trays and add the fruit on top. In an average food dehydrator, fruit takes around six hours to dehydrate completely.
How Do You Know It’s Ready?
To confirm that it’s dehydrated correctly, pinch the fruit to see if any moisture squeezes out. If moisture comes out, the fruit isn’t properly dehydrated. It’s essential that you cut your fruit evenly so that the entire batch finishes at the same time.
What Foods Can You Dehydrate?
There’s an abundance of fruits and vegetables you can dehydrate.
First, apples are a great go-to because they dry easily, and you can even achieve an added crunch if you freeze them. Strawberries will also please your taste buds, and make a great snack in front of the TV, or for children to take to school.
Keep in mind that this fruit doesn’t maintain its sweetness once dehydrated. Blackberries make a great snack or addition to your meal as well. You can even add this fruit to your dried cereal for a healthy and delicious start to the day.
Try adding some excitement to your taste buds with pineapple. This fruit dries exceptionally well, although pineapples can lose their sweetness once dry. A way to combat this is by adding sugar once the fruit is dry.
Other Dehydrated Snacks
Why not take things to another level with homemade jerky? Ensure you begin with a slice of jerky with as little fat on it as possible. Not only does this make the result healthier, but ensures that the homemade jerky properly dehydrates. Play around with a new sauce to create a homemade jerky marinade recipe the whole family will love.
Dehydrating beef and other meat is an option, too. Ensure that the beef is pre-cooked before you begin to quicken the process. You don’t have to buy fresh beef to dehydrate, because you can use any leftover food from your Sunday roast dinner. Slice up the meat and add it to a dehydrator.
Tools You’ll Need to Dehydrate
- Oven – you can dehydrate many foods with an oven set to its lowest setting with the door propped open. Most of these recipes call for a dehydrator, but many also give oven instructions too. The oven takes a little less time because it’s hotter (thus keep the door propped open)
- Hook – many herbs don’t need anything more than being gathered and hung to dry.
- Dehydrator – I use both an Excalibur Dehydrator and a Nesco FD-80 (see the information at the end). There are many varieties, so choose one that has temperature controls you can adjust the heat on.
- Knife or mandolin – cutting vegetables and fruit in equal sizes is essential for dehydrating. If you have limited food, just a knife will suffice. But if you have a ton of food or want skinny slices, a mandolin is a great tool (please be sure to use the cutting guard)
How To Store Dehydrated Products
I used to store dehydrated products in glass mason jars. They were convenient and they looked pretty in my pantry. On the other hand, there was that time when I dropped a jar full of mushroom powder. So, unfortunately, I couldn’t be sure that it was safe from glass shards, so I tossed it. What a waste! That was a lot of mushroom work gone to waste. So I’ve since come up with a better solution.
However, you can still store dehydrated foods in mason jars, just be extra careful. You don’t want to drop it and have all your hard work go to waste. Moreover, for further information on how to correctly store all your dehydrated food, take a look at National Center For Home Food Reservation article.
101+ Easy Dehydrating Recipes
While all these further pieces of information are really useful, let’s start with the list for which you are here! Firstly, I’d like to add that a lot of patience is mandatory for this one considering it contains more than one hundred links. So, with no further introductions, let’s begin!
- Chicken Jerky
- Fish Jerky
- Ground Beef Jerky
- Pork Jerky
- Venison Jerky
- Beans (cooked)
- Butternut Squash Chips
- Carrots (shredded)
- Green beans
- Green Onions
- Mixed veggies
- Potato (Hash Brown)
- Potato (instant potato flakes)
- Pumpkin (canned & pureed)
- Pumpkin 2
- Pumpkin leather
- Spaghetti Squash
- Sweet Potato
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Swiss Chard
- Tomato- Paste
- Tomato Powder – creating tomato powder from skins to use in addition to food or make a paste with.
- Tomato – Sun Dried
- Vegetable Chips (different than a snack..powerhouse packing food).
- Vegetable Powder– great for using bits of things up, and then adding to food to boost flavor and nutrition.
- Apples (Cinnamon)
- Banana Strips
- Fruit Leather
- Plums (prunes)
- Grapes (raisins)
Herbs and Spices Recipes
- General instructions for drying herbs
- Chili (Powder)
- Herbs 2
- Onion (Powder)
Other Foods Recipes
- Bean Bark
- Bread Crumbs
- Cottage Cheese
- Full meals
- Sourdough Starter
- Tomato Sauce leather
- Whole Grains
(these aren’t necessarily good for long-term storage because of the oils added to them, but they make great snacks!)
- 16 Chip Alternatives
- Apple Jerky
- Blueberry Cookies
- Carrot Pulp Crackers
- Carrot Straws (the oil is the only thing keeping these from being included in basic dehydration for long-term storage)
- Chedda Onions
- Chewy Crunchy Garlic Toast
- Curried Baked Carrot Chips (these can also be dehydrated, though won’t be as crisp)
- Flax Crackers
- Peach & Honey fruit rollups
- Peanut Butter & Banana Graham crackers
- Pumpkin Leather
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Raw Granola Bars
- Savory Quinoa Bread
- Shamrock Kale Chips
- Sour Cabbage Crisps
- Spicy Green Beans
- Sun-Dried Strawberry Fruit Leather
- Sun-Dried Tomato & Cheezy Kale Chips
- Tomato Basil & Flax Crackers
- Yogurt Leather
How to Choose a Food Dehydrator for Your Recipes?
So, are you excited to try these dehydrating recipes? If so, you’ll require a food dehydrator you can trust. I thought of giving you a piece of advice on how you choose the best food dehydrator. Therefore, these are some standard criteria to consider when you make your purchasing decision.
Consider a dehydrator with stacking trays as these include a fan mounted in the base. This feature helps to filter air through the dehydrator and out of the machine. This enables the trays to rotate for even distribution. As the food dehydrator rotates on its own, this makes the dehydration process more convenient for the user.
Another essential factor to consider is that the food dehydrator maintains a consistent temperature throughout the operation. If you set the dehydrator to 95 degrees, you want it to maintain that temperature for an even and thorough distribution. You can monitor this with an external thermometer.
Size of the Food Dehydrator
Finally, bear in mind the dehydrator’s size compared to your kitchen. If you’re happy to store it atop your units, make sure that it’s not too bulky.
My Experience with Food Dehydration & Further Advice
- First of all, you should keep in mind that there are some foodstuffs that you should not dehydrate.
- When it comes to my personal experience, I have recently invested in an Excalibur Dehydrator. However, I still love the Nesco one, and always will. I think it’s a fantastic machine that’s budget-friendly too, but the Excalibur caught my eye for different reasons. With that in mind, I think it will be interesting to review it soon. What do you think about that?
- While I love having so much available to me online, sometimes, I do prefer a hard copy of a resource. This is not only for times without electric power, but sometimes I just like to feel the pages. However, maybe it is just my secret pleasure. If not, take a look at The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook for dehydrating recipes is worth it. You can read a review of the book in one of my latest articles.
Further Reading when Dehydrating Food
- Dehydrating Tools
- The Ultimate Dehydrating Cookbook
- On using dehydrated vegetables
- On storing dehydrated foods
- Rehydrating/reconstituting chart
- What can you dehydrate?
- Dehydrate2store’s video channel
Share Your Favorite Dehydrating Recipes!
Finally, it’s your turn to share. Tell me everything about your favorite dehydrating recipes and methods. I’m sure that all the other readers will be pleased to see some other thoughts than mine. Not to mention that your opinion are really helpful for me too. I just love to be inspired by my beloved readers!
Moreover, if you have further questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section. I’m here for you as you already know. Also, if you want to find out more about these dehydrating recipes, just go to my Dehydrating Pinterest Board.
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.