Just bought a dehydrator and looking for the best foods to dehydrate? or are you simply bored of drying the same foods over, and over again?
I’ve put together this ultimate list of the best foods to dehydrate to help bring a new lease of life to your dehydrator and dried snack life.
As always, if you can think of any other foods that should be on this list, let me know in the comments below!
Perhaps the most popular food to dehydrate is beef for beef jerky. The recipe is relatively easy to follow for beginners and can be achieved in a dehydrator in between 3 or 4 hours when on low heat.
Potatoes aren’t the first food you think of when it comes to dehydrating, however, they are a great food to dehydrate.
You can quickly and easily turn potatoes into dried potato flakes using a dehydrator. These can be used for instant mash potato, to help mould the meat into structures such as meatballs and meatloaf or even as an alternative to breadcrumbs on chicken.
Bananas are one of my favourite things to dehydrate and are often a common dehydrated snack which can be bought in stores.
Making banana chips in a dehydrator is perfect for beginners as it’s super easy and takes just three hours on the lowest temperature to dry out in a dehydrator.
Strawberries are another fantastic fruit to dehydrate they take significantly longer than other fruits such as bananas and apples but it’s totally worth it.
I use my dehydrated strawberries to jazz up granola or when baking muffins and other sweet treats.
Yoghurt is another food you may have not thought to dehydrate, but again it’s a great one. To dehydrate yoghurt you simply want to lay it out in a thin layer on a fruit leather or jelly roll tray.
Then pop it into your dehydrator for around 8 hours on low. Once finished you’ll be able to break up the dried yoghurt into yoghurt flakes. These can be used as an alternative to protein powder or when cooking and baking meals such as curries and pasta.
Mango is another popular fruit that many dehydrator veterans love, however, it’s one of the foods which takes the longest to fully dehydrate in the appliance (around 7 to 15 hours depending on your machines capabilities).
Apples are another popular fruit that many people love to dehydrate and rightly so. They take around four hours in the dehydrator and can be seasoned with a variety of spices depending on the flavour you’re looking to achieve.
You can then eat them as a snack like crisps, use them in baking or on top of granola.
Pineapple is another fruit which takes a long time to dehydrate (between 10 and 18 hours depending on the settings) however, the results are often worth it.
Again, eat the dried pineapple as a snack, to add to sweet treats when baking or on the top of a granola breakfast for added nutrition.
Eggs are a great food to dehydrate – although one you may not have thought of. The process is slightly more complex than the majority of dehydrator recipes but the end result is unsurprisingly worthwhile.
Once the dehydration process is complete the powdered eggs can be used in a variety of different recipes.
Sweet peppers are a fantastic vegetable to dehydrate and is great for cooking with afterwards – we add ours to omelettes and breakfast burritos.
Sweet potatoes aren’t the quickest ingredient to dehydrate and can take anything from 15 to 24 hours.
I’ll admit I don’t actually like celery, so I don’t dehydrate it. That said, it’s another popular vegetable that many people love to dehydrate it. Again it’s an ingredient that even in its dehydrated state can be used in a variety of different meals.
Celery is also a relatively easy food to dehydrate, simply chop it up and spread it evenly on your dehydrator sheets before popping it inside the appliance for around 6 hours on 135 degrees.
Figs might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you consider dehydrating. However, it’s a fantastic ingredient and one I believe everyone should dehydrate.
Figs take between 12 and 24 hours depending on the settings of your dehydrator. Once fully dehydrated these figs can be used in a host of recipes.
Everyone knows the dehydrated form of grapes is the wonderfully delicious snack, raisins. Sadly the process gets from the state of grapes to raisins takes between 24 and 48 hours.
Raisins are a fantastic snack but also a great addition to meals such as curry and granola.
Tomatoes are one of my favourite vegetables to dehydrate. Again tomatoes have a high water volume and therefore take between 8 – 12 hours to fully dehydrate.
Once fully dehydrated they can be used in a variety of delicious meals or to create other condiments such as pesto.
Dried mushrooms have been a common ingredient in both medicine and food for hundreds of thousands of years.
Mushrooms can be successfully dehydrated in around five hours and used in a range of different dishes when cooking.
Rosemary is just one of the leafy herbs that can be dehydrated and stored to use in a range of different dishes.
It takes between four to eight hours to fully dehydrate rosemary and doing so can save you around $2 compared to buying the dried herb from the grocery store.
Ginger does require some preparation before being dehydrated, luckily however once in the dehydrator it only requires around 3 or 4 hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Again dried ginger can be used to flavour to a variety of dishes and again save you around $2 compared to buying ginger dried from the grocery store.
Oranges are a great citrus fruit to dehydrate. The dehydration process takes between 5 and 12 hours depending on the temperature and thickness of the fruit. Once the slices are hard and brittle they are fully dehydrated and can be sealed into an airtight container.
These dried oranges can then be used as snacks, to make orange tea or to garnish or grind into different dishes.
Eggplant does require some preparation prior to dehydration, blanching is just one of the preparation methods which is required.
The process of dehydration takes between 12 and 14 hours in an electric dehydrator. Once fully dried the eggplant can be used in a variety of different meals especially Turkish inspired dishes.
Chicken is another great meat which can be successfully dehydrated and used in a number of dishes. It takes around eight hours to dehydrate chicken at around 140 degrees, once fully dried the meat can be used in a number of dishes.
If you’re a fan of dishes with leeks (such as leek and potato soup – yum!) then dehydrating leeks is a great way to bulk up your pantry.
It takes around eight to ten hours to dehydrate leeks. Once fully dehydrated store them in an airtight container until your ready to use them.
Dehydrating honey ensures an indefinite shelf life, regardless of where it is stored. A dehydrator takes the moisture out of honey and ensures there will be no discolouration or crystallization. Dehydration also prevents yeast from growing on the honey, which can spoil the sweet taste.
I actually didn’t know until recently that you can dehydrate asparagus. The vegetable requires blanching prior to dehydration for the best results and can be added to a range of different meals or rehydrated individually as required.
I always pick up broccoli when reduced in the grocery store, it’s a great vegetable which we add to a number of meals. When short on space in the freezer I opt to dehydrate it. This process takes between 8 and 12 hours, once fully dehydrated the vegetable can be stored for up to 25 years!
Arugula is another herb which can be quickly and easily dehydrated to preserve for later use. Depending on the heat and power of your dehydrator the greens will require between 8 and 24 hours to fully dehydrate.
I love onions. In fact, I grow a variety of different types in my garden which means I’m often left with a vast quantity at one time when harvesting comes. While I aim to chop and freeze as many as possible, I also look to dehydrate some into onion powder to add flavour to meat, soups and stews.
Onions take between 4 and 10 hours to dehydrate. I’ve found that you can significantly speed up the process by cutting them into smaller pieces before moving them to the dehydrator.
Kale is a great leafy green to dehydrate for chips snacks. I’ve used this recipe in the past, however, I suggest adjusting the seasoning based on your personal taste preference.
You can also dehydrate kale for kale powder which is perfect to add to smoothies and other juices. Kale takes around six hours to fully dehydrate in a dehydrator, from there you simply grind it up, and store it until you’re ready to use.
While many of us may have bought dehydrated milk (also known as powdered milk) we don’t often think to make it at home. Despite the fact it’s a convenient resource to have on hand for various situations.
I followed this recipe when I first made dehydrated milk a couple of years ago now, and I continue to refer to this website when repeating the dehydration process with a new batch of milk every couple of months.
Another household staple you could consider dehydrating is bread. This process takes around four hours in a dehydrator and can turn your stale or otherwise expiring bread into breadcrumbs suitable for a wide variety of meals.
Breadcrumbs are commonly sold in grocery stores and can be relatively expensive considering they are simply dehydrated bread so this is a great way to save some money.
I don’t know why it took me so long to consider dehydrating fish. The process is relatively straight-forward and the dehydrating principles can be applied to the vast majority of seafood. This is ideal if you’re someone who fishes regularly and is looking for ways to preserve your catch.
Dandelion is a flower which can be grown and foraged, before being dehydrated for use when cooking, making teas or even creating homemade candles and soaps.
Given the low liquid content dehydrating dandelions is a relatively quick process. I’ve found at low heat it takes between one and three hours.
A citrus fruit which could be used for both cooking, baking or homemade goods purposes is grapefruit. Dehydrating takes around 12 hours on medium heat (around 135 degrees).
Once dehydrated grapefruit is suitable for consumption for up to five years.
I know we mentioned potatoes earlier in the post, however, you can also dehydrate sweet potatoes with relative ease.
It takes between 18 and 24 hours to fully dehydrate sweet potatoes, you can then consume them as crisp snacks or grind them down into bread crumbs to add protein to different meals.
Cucumber is another fantastic vegetable which can easily be dehydrated in an electrical dehydrator. However, there is a high volume of water concentrated inside slices of cucumber so the dehydration process can be time consuming.
Once fully dried, the cucumber should be stored in an airtight container from which it’s safe for consumption for up to ten years.
I LOVE Chives!
It takes around six hours to dehydrate the herb in an electric dehydrator, however, once fully dehydrated the herb is safe for consumption for up to 25 years.
Again, this is a dried herb which often costs between $2 and $5 in the grocery store so you can save a significant amount of money by making your own at home.
Again, I’m not sure why I never thought about dehydrating pasta until recently. While the process requires you to cook the pasta before dehydrating it can be a great way to preserve this versatile ingredient for years to come.
Dehydrated cauliflower can be a fantastic snack or ingredient for use at a later date. Luckily the process is relatively straight forward with an electric dehydrator and the ingredient can be dried out in just a couple of hours.
Blueberries are another fruit I love to dehydrate in my electric dehydrator. The process takes anything from 16 to 24 hours depending on the power and heat you set your dehydrator too.
Once complete the fruit can be stored safely for up to five years and used in a variety of different baking recipes.
We have a raspberry bush in our garden so I’ve been dehydrating raspberries since I first bought my electric dehydrator.
At around 135 degrees the dehydration process takes between 12 and 18 hours, and once dehydrated the fruit can be safely consumed for up to ten years. I use my dehydrated raspberries in a variety of different baked goods.
Kiwi is another great fruit for dehydration not just used in a dried form for baking but also as a snack. Depending on the thickness of the sliced kiwi the dehydration process can take anything from 6 to 10 hours in an electric dehydrator set to 135 degrees.
Hi all! I’m Cora Benson, and I’ve been blogging about food, recipes and things that happen in my kitchen since 2019.