Drying Food in Oven vs. Using a Dehydrator: All You Need to Know | ultimatefoodpreservation.com

Drying Food in Oven vs. Using a Dehydrator: All You Need to Know

Food preservation is a safe and efficient way to make food last longer without losing its nutrients, and drying food in oven is a great method to do this.

Another way is with a food dehydrator that saves time and energy, but can be a bit pricey.

If You Want to Preserve Food, Then Drying Food in Oven or Using a Dehydrator is For You

Both are good options, but there are some downsides and positives to each. In this article, we’ll show you the benefits of foo dehydrating.

Let’s discuss the 5 reasons why drying food in the oven is better:

Reason #1: It’s cheap and accessible

 While a food dehydrator is considered a luxury, an oven is often a necessity. Thus, most of us have one in our kitchen and can use it without any problems.

Text area that says "Drying Food in Oven vs. Using a Dehydrator: All You Need to Know, ultimatefoodpreservation.com" followed by a photo of orange slices being dehydrated in the oven

It’s not only easy to use your oven, but it is a cheap method for dehydrating food without the added costs or tools.

Unlike a food dehydrator that can cost hundreds of dollars, you most likely already have an oven ready for use.

Reason #2: Most ovens can be adjusted to a low temperature

 Even though ovens are designed to work at higher temperatures, they can still sustain lower temperatures.

The food drying temperature is ideally between 50°C – 70°C or 120°F – 160°F, that is so food dehydrates slowly.

It may take you a bit of time to adjust your oven, but it can remain in this low-temperature setting.

Make sure you check your food often to see that the temperature remains constant, by using an accurate thermometer.

As a rule, a convection oven is better for drying food, as it can maintain the temperature constant more easily.

Reason #3: Drying food in the oven doesn’t take too many steps

Unlike what many believe, drying foods in the oven doesn’t take much work. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Slice your food into thin strips or slices
  2. Arrange them in a single layer on a rack with good airflow
  3. Arrange the racks in the oven and begin drying
  4. Move foods every couple of hours, or more often if needed
  5. Most foods will be dry within 6-12 hours, but let them cool down before storing

Reason #4: You can dry many foods at the same time

 Given the fact that an oven is more spacious than the regular food dehydrator, you can fit more than one kind of food at a time.

Instead of wasting time and energy drying foods in several batches, which can take some time, you can use your oven to dehydrate all at once.

Using many racks and/or baking sheets you can place several foods at different points in your oven to dry them simultaneously.

Reason #5: Drying foods in the oven will give free up counter and storage space

 Food dehydrators are often bulky and big, which doesn’t always fit in everyone’s kitchen, particularly if you already have limited counter space.

Because the oven is often a built-in appliance, you won’t have to worry about the extra space needed for food dehydration.

Unlike the food dehydrator, the oven is already part of your day-to-day appliances, so you won’t have to free up space at all.

Let’s discuss the 5 reasons why using a food dehydrator is better:

 Reason #1: The temperature will remain constant and you don’t have to intervene

Opposite to using an oven, a food dehydrator works on its own. All you need to do is set the temperature to the right degrees.

Also, there are some guidelines that you can follow, and using the manual for your food dehydrator, will let you simply set the food and go about your day.

There is less work to be done when you are prepping the temperature and methods in your food dehydrator, as most do everything on their own.

 Reason #2: You can reduce your waste of food and energy usage

 Food dehydration is a good method for reducing your waste, and while this can be done in an oven too, a food dehydrator uses less energy.

In the process of food dehydration, your food loses moisture, extending its shelf life by years without the loss of nutrients, and allowing you to reduce spoilage.

The food dehydrator saves energy and reduces your carbon footprint too, something that the oven doesn’t allow you to do.

Reason #3: It is safe and mostly fool-proof

 Because there is heat involved and moisture is removed, bacteria and other microorganisms can’t grow easily and are destroyed.

That’s why dehydration is a common method to keep food safe for campers, hikers, adventurers, and even astronauts.

By removing water from your food you are allowing it to last longer without removing any of the nutrients.

Using the dehydrator is relatively easy as well, all you need to do is find the correct setting, place the food, and let the machine work its magic.

Reason #4: It takes very few steps and supervision

Like drying food in the oven, a food dehydrator doesn’t require too much preparation. In fact, it requires even less.

Some of the steps will be the same, but follow the following guidelines:

  1. Slice your food into thin strips or slices
  2. Arrange them in a single layer on one of the racks
  3. Arrange the racks according to your desired levels
  4. Check the food after the timer is done and let it cool down

You don’t even need to be at home while your food dehydrator does the work, but it will let you know once it is done.

When using an oven, you need to be hyper-aware of temperature, color, and time. Not with a food dehydrator.

Reason #5: It is easy to clean and most come with a quality warranty

Because it is often considered a luxury and an added appliance, your food dehydrator is usually easy to assemble, and clean.

Some of these options even fold on themselves to reduce space or disassemble pretty quickly.

Also, since they are an investment, most brands will offer you a warranty, allowing you to feel more confident about your choices.

Make sure you check out reviews for food dehydrators, as there are many options out there.

Final Thoughts on Dehydrating Food in Oven vs. Using a Food Dehydrator

Before you run off to dehydrate food too quickly, there are a few things to know.

Using an oven can be tricky, sometimes the temperature varies and you will need to restart your oven.

You have to keep the food moving around, which means you will need to open the oven entirely and shift things around.

Finally, an oven takes longer to dry food, so you will have to leave it on for many hours at a time. This can be costly and use a lot of energy.

As for the food dehydrator, these are often expensive and some can be hard to get at times.

Also, because models vary, some are very big and bulky. Others are very small, which reduces the amount of food you can dehydrate at once.

To finish, it may be good to know that a food dehydrator has a fan that runs continuously, so it will also use up energy and make some constant noise.

Now, you’re all ready to start seeing the real benefits of drying food in oven or buying a food dehydrator. Save money, time, and effort!