Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600527


NOTE: Drying fruits in the oven is NOT recommended.         

  1.  Trays must be at least 1 1/2 inches narrower than  the
inside  of the oven to allow for air circulation.  Allow  at
least 2 1/2 inches between trays and 3 inches of free  space
at the top of the oven.  Cheesecloth may be spread over  the
trays  (under the food to prevent small pieces from  falling
between the slats).                                         

  2. Load two to four trays with no more than 4 to 6  pounds
of  prepared  fruits distributed among them.   Fruit  pieces
should  be in a single layer.  More than one kind  of  fruit
can  be  dried  at the same  time.   Strong-smelling  fruits
should be dried separately.                                 

  3.  Place an accurate and easily read thermometer  on  the
top tray toward the back.                                   

  4. Preheat  the oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees
Celsius), and then add the loaded trays.  Prop the door open
at  least  4 inches.                                        

  5.  Place a fan outside the oven in such a  position  that
air  is  directed through the opening and across  the  oven.
Change  the position of the fan frequently during drying  to
vary the circulation of air.                                

  6.  Maintain the temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60
degrees   Celsius).   It  takes  less   heat  to  keep   the
temperature at 140 degrees  Fahrenheit as drying progresses,
so watch the temperature carefully toward the end of drying.

  7.   Examine  the  fruits  often,  and  turn   the   trays
frequently.  At  the start of the drying  process  there  is
little danger of scorching, but when nearly dry, the product
may  scorch  easily.   Even slight  scorching  destroys  the
flavor and may lower the nutritive value, so be careful  not
to  allow  the  temperature  to  rise  above   140   degrees
Fahrenheit, especially during the latter stage of drying.   

  NOTE:  Tests for dryness will come with  experience.   The
approximate  drying  times  are merely a  guide  to  judging
proper  dryness.  Fruits should contain from 2 to 6  percent
moisture after drying.                                      

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