Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600528
1. Distribute fruits on trays in a single layer. Cheesecloth may be spread over the slats for drying small pieces. Different kinds of fruits may be dried at the same time. Strong-smelling fruits should be dried separately.
2. Preheat the dehydrator to between 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Place an accurate, easily read thermometer on the bottom tray.
4. After the trays are placed in the dehydrator, the temperature will drop. Bring the temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to complete the drying.
5. Examine the fruits from time to time (1 1/2 - 2-hour intervals, depending on the fruit.) To get uniform drying, rotate the trays; if necessary, turn the product.
6. At the start of the drying process there is little danger of scorching, but when nearly dry, the fruits 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.
7. Be sure to place the dehydrator in a well- ventilated room, so that the water vapor will be carried away.
8. The time for drying varies according to type of fruit, size of pieces and load on the tray. The time at 140 degrees Fahrenheit usually ranges from 6 to 16 hours.
9. Be sure to cool the material before testing for dryness.
10. After food has finished drying, and dehydrator has cooled, trays may be cleaned with hot, soapy water, then rinsed, and dried.