You can preserve various foods by dehydrating them. If done properly, dehydration will not alter the flavor of the food, so it is a great method for keeping your foods fresh and healthy. In this article, we will see the pros and cons of dehydration using oven vs dehydrator to help you choose the best solution for preserving your foods.
Continue reading below to learn more about
– How to dehydrate foods using an oven
– How a dehydrator works
– The pros and cons of oven vs dehydrator
– And which kitchen appliance that is better for the money
Dehydrating in an Oven
An oven is perhaps the most accessible method for dehydrating food. Virtually everyone has an oven. You can use a gas oven or electric oven (see the differences between gas oven vs electric oven here!). In addition, dehydrating food in an oven is actually quite simple, although there are some things that you need to control carefully.
In most cases, you want to use the lowest temperature available in the oven. The suitable temperature range for drying food is between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (50 – 70 degrees Celsius). However, most gas ovens and electric ovens are designed to work at higher temperatures, so maintaining a suitable temperature is often tricky.
In order to monitor the internal oven temperature, you need a dedicated oven thermometer. If your oven can’t maintain a temperature below 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius), you can prop open the oven door. This will ensure that the temperature will not get too high.
You also need to ensure good airflow in order to let the moisture out. This can be achieved by opening the oven door as well. However, opening the door is not necessary if your oven has an exhaust system. Without releasing the moisture out, your food will not properly dehydrate.
Using an oven for dehydrating food occasionally is great. Ovens are indeed more versatile. Also, you don’t need to spend more money for another kitchen appliance. However, dehydrating food with an oven is less efficient than a dehydrator. The oven takes a longer time and consumes more energy.
Using a Dehydrator
According to Wikipedia, a dehydrator is a device which removes moisture from food to promote the preservation. Getting a dehydrator is a wise decision if you are going to dehydrate food more than just a few times a year. Dehydrators work more quickly and more efficiently than ovens in drying food. In addition, dehydrators are specifically designed for the purpose, so they can maintain the suitable temperature properly.
Most dehydrators allow you to control the temperature and airflow, both of which are very important for getting the best results. However, they maintain the set temperature and airflow properly, so they don’t really need much supervision. In addition, most dehydrators are equipped with 10 – 12 trays, so you can dry a lot more food at once. This is very convenient when you want to preserve lots of food.
Obviously, with a dehydrator, you need to dedicate some space on your countertop for another kitchen appliance. Another disadvantage of a dehydrator is that its fan will run continuously and create some noise.
Oven vs Dehydrator
|- You probably already have an oven, so you don’t need to spend more money||- You need to spend more money to buy a dehydrator|
|- Requires supervision on the temperature and airflow||- Maintains temperature and airflow properly|
|- Has fewer racks||- Has 10 – 12 racks, so you can dry lots of food at once|
|- Takes longer||- Dries more quickly|
|- Consumes more power||- Consumes less power|
If you only dehydrate food a few times in a year, and you don’t want to spend money or countertop space for another kitchen appliance, using an oven is fine. However, if you want to be able to dry lots of food at once, getting a dehydrator is better. Using a dehydrator is also much more convenient, as it has precise control over temperature and airflow.