10 alternative uses for Dehydrators
Dehydrators are a nifty bit of kit to have in the kitchen for a variety of applications other than simply dehydrating fruit and vegetables. Despite its name, a dehydrator is not simply restricted to the drying of food alone, and can be just as essential for recipes which require a constant low temperature. Whilst simple in design, dehydrators offer complete versatility to assist you with an array of culinary techniques, from culturing yoghurt to tempering chocolate!
Below are our top 10 favourite ways to use your dehydrator which you may not have thought of:
Credit: The Safe Healthy Home
Maintaining a constant temperature of 40°C to 45°C is crucial for successful yoghurt making. With its excellent thermostat and temperature control, a dehydrator is the perfect environment for culturing yoghurt that will last in the fridge for around 2 weeks.
Credit: Against All Grain
Many chefs and bakers claim that meringues actually work better in a dehydrator than they do in the oven. Whacking your meringues in a dehydrator for 4-5 hours on a low temperature can help to achieve a crunchier product that stays fresher for longer.
Credit: The Black Pepper Corn
3. Fruit Leather
Taking anywhere from 4-12 hours, fruit leather is a simple and healthy way of using up otherwise unwanted fruit that you’ve got lying around in the fridge. Simply blend a selection of fruit, sugar and lemon juice and dehydrate for a tasty snack.
4. Iced Biscuits and Cookies
Placing freshly iced biscuits and cookies in a dehydrator on the lowest heat setting helps the icing dry quicker, avoiding any cracking or colour bleeding. A moving air source over the top of the icing also ensures that the icing dries with a shiny finish to ensure a perfectly finished biscuit.
5. Herbs & Spices
Drying fresh herbs and spices in a dehydrator allows you to carefully control the temperature and drying time of your herbs. Not only does drying herbs and spices in a dehydrator require less space than hanging herbs or laying them out on racks, but a lower temperature makes for a better colour and aroma.
Dehydrating marshmallows is one of the easiest recipes for a beginner who is just learning to use their dehydrator. Dehydrating mini marshmallows until they are crispy enables them to be used in cereals, trail mix and simply for the humble hot chocolate.
Credit: Leaf TV
7. Vegetable Crisps
A simple yet tasty way of using leftover veg is to dehydrate them. By slicing as thin as possible and adding seasoning such as garlic salt, chilli flakes or simple salt and pepper, vegetable crisps make for a healthy and delicious snack or garnish.
8. Tempering Chocolate
Dehydrators come in handy for the delicate process that is tempering chocolate. By placing chopped chocolate in a dehydrator on a low heat, the chocolate will melt and hold at a consistent temperature until it is ready to use.
9. Broths and Stocks
Think you can’t reuse your broths and stocks? Think again. By simply dehydrating any leftover broth on a dehydrator sheet and blending or grinding it into a powder, this can be easily rehydrated as and when you need it for stews, soups, risotto etc.
Credit: Connoisseurus Veg
Tempeh is a cake-like substance made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. As it has a high protein content, it is a popular meat substitute in many dishes as it can be cut into chunks to replace chicken or crumbled to resemble minced beef. Similar to yoghurt, the culturing process involves a constant low temperature to achieve perfectly set tempeh.
Now that you know a few new and interesting ways to utilise your dehydrator, how do you know which one is best for you and your kitchen? We’ve given you a run-down of our Excalibur range to help the decision-making process a little easier:
• HotmixPRO Dry
DRY is a professional dehydrator and warm storing cabinet. Equipped with 8 stainless steel 1/1 Gastronorm trays + 1 separator, HotmixPRO DRY transforms your recipes in unique and inimitable creations, with strong flavours and surprising textures.
• Excalibur 5 Tray Dehydrator
The 5 Tray Excalibur Dehydrator features a Parallexx airflow system which uses a temperature controlled, fan forced, horizontal drying system mounted in the rear. Cool air is drawn in the back and heated and distributed evenly across each tray, thus eliminating the need for tray rotation.
• Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator
This dehydrator features nine trays, allowing you to dehydrate a lot of food at once. Also featuring the Parallexx horizontal air-flow drying system, the Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator ensures that every tray gets the same amount of heating and drying power. The adjustable thermostat, ranging from 40°C to 74°C, is low enough to preserve active enzymes in fruits and vegetables.
• Excalibur 10 Tray Digital Dehydrator
For those looking to dehydrate foods in bulk, the Excalibur 10 Tray Digital Dehydrator reigns supreme. Offering the ability to stage the drying process with two temperature settings for two timer periods up to an impressive 99 hours, this dehydrator allows a higher start up temperature and a lower temperature for the second stage. This innovative technology helps food to dry faster, retain more nutrients, and look and taste better without any rotation.