Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600532


  Judging when food is dry requires experience.   Check food
to  be  sure  enough moisture has been removed  to  make  it
impossible  for  mold and bacteria to grow and cause  decay.
It  is better to overdry than to underdry.   When in  doubt,
continue  drying  for additional  time.   Dehydrator  drying
generally  takes  less time than  oven  drying.   Allow  the
product to cool before testing.                             

  Vegetables  are sufficiently dried when they are hard  and
brittle  or tough and leathery,  depending on the vegetable.
Edges will be sharp.  Beans, corn and peas are hard and will
shatter  when  hit with a  hammer.   Leafy  thin  vegetables
should  be brittle.   Larger chunks or slices of  vegetables
should be leather.                                          

  Fruits  are  adequately  dried  when  moisture  cannot  be
squeezed  from  them.   Most fruits will feel  leathery  and
pliable when properly dried.                                

FRUIT LEATHERS                                              
  Fruit  leathers  may be slightly sticky to the  touch  but
separate  easily  from  the plastic  wrap.   For  long  term
storage, dry leathers until they are no longer sticky.      

  Herbs  are brittle when dried.  Leaves shatter when rubbed

  Meats  and  all  protein  foods   should   be   VERY   dry
unless      refrigerated or frozen  for  long-term  storage.
Meat  is  sufficiently  dried  when it is dark in  color and

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