Dehydrator Sheets – Everything You Need To Know

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If you’ve been looking at purchasing a dehydrator then you may have noticed some of the accessories that can be purchased alongside the appliance.

One of the most popular, and in my opinion the most important accessories you can purchase alongside your dehydrator is dehydrator sheets.

Dehydrator sheets are made of either silicone or parchment paper and sit on the trays of a dehydrator. They are used for less concentrated foods which may otherwise slip through the dehydrator trays and can help increase the rate in which water is removed from the food.

As a new dehydrator user it can be hard to determine whether dehydrator sheets are a worthwhile investment. Even if you’ve decided they are deciding on the size and type of dehydrator sheets that are best for your needs can be difficult.

In this post, I’ll be sharing EVERYTHING you need to know about dehydrator sheets to help you make an informed decision.

If you get to the end and find that I’ve not answered your question then feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you within 72 hours.

Are Dehydrator Sheets Safe?

One of the most common misconceptions about dehydrator sheets is that they are not safe. However, this simply isn’t the case. Dehydrator Sheets are completely safe to use inside a dehydrator.

That’s because dehydrator sheets have been specifically designed to be used in a controlled environment where the temperature will regularly rise and fall. As such, you can be sure that it has been designed to be heated, and therefore it will be safe.

Despite being subject to heat for a long period of time dehydrator sheets won’t gain or lose properties as their inert nature is what makes them a useful component in a dehydrator.

Side Note: This is the dehydrator I’m currently using. I’ve owned it for around three years and it works great.

Furthermore, as they heat up they may actually have to do less work. Rather than liquids leaking out onto the surface of the sheets and then having to dehydrate thereafter, at higher temperatures liquids are more likely to evaporate directly from the fruit.

The ability of something to lose or gain heat is based entirely around how dense it is. In the case of dehydrator sheets, they are not very dense at all and also have a high surface area.

This means that they will be able to easily and quickly lose or gain heat, depending upon the environment they’re in.

This is useful when you’re dehydrating food as it will allow you to remove your dehydrated food from your dehydrator without worrying about it burning on – for example, a baking sheet which is still very hot.

Are Silicone Dehydrator Sheets Safe?

Alongside traditional dehydrator sheets, new silicone-based dehydrator sheets have become readily available.

On the surface, silicone dehydrator sheets may not seem like the safest option – after all, don’t plastics start to melt at high temperatures?

This isn’t the case with silicone dehydrator sheets. The silicone which is used in the process of making these sheets is completely safe up to 180C and 180C is a temperature which is far above what you’ll operate a dehydrator at.

As silicone is designed to lose heat at a steady rate, when silicone dehydrator sheets are removed from the dehydrator, they should be safe to store directly on kitchen surfaces and handle with bare hands after just five or ten minutes.

Silicone dehydrator sheets have a number of additional benefits compared to traditional dehydrator sheets. Most notably they have the added benefit of being non-stick.

If you’ve ever cooked or baked with silicone-based implements, you’ll know how convenient they can be. For example, a silicone cake mould allows you to simply flex the silicone a little and pop the cake out without damaging the structure of the cake itself.

This is incredibly convenient for dehydrating, as food is likely to shrink as it loses water molecules. This can result in them sticking to the dehydrator. However, dehydrator sheets, and specifically silicone-based dehydrator sheets prevent this.

Dehydrator Sheets Vs Parchment Paper – Which Is Better?

Many people (myself included in certain circumstances) use parchment paper instead of dehydrator sheets. The main difference between the two is that dehydrator sheets are reusable, after being washed and dried.

Side note: This is the parchment paper I use in my dehydrator and for all my baking/cooking needs.

Meanwhile, parchment paper is a single-use item – although you can minimise your impact on the environment by reusing the same piece a couple of times before disposing of it.

If you’re dehydrating something that’s particularly sticky which is likely to leak all over your sheets during the dehydration process. Then in that situation, it may simply be easier to use parchment paper once and then throw it away.

This will minimise the time you have to spend cleaning up, and, from a lazy point of view, it will almost certainly be easier. After dehydrating sticky foods, you would need to remove and store the individual pieces of food, and then clean the sticky residue left on the sheets.

Best Dehydrator Sheets

Here are some of the best dehydrator sheets currently available to purchase;

Homey 10-pack: 14″ x 14″

This pack of ten dehydrator sheets is perfect for the vast majority of dehydrators.

This should allow you to even have a handful of sheets spare to rotate as and when you need.

They can be cut and adjusted in shape and size easily using some kitchen scissors.

Each sheet is 14″ x 14″ which is the perfect size for the majority of dehydrators.

Chuzy Chef 9-pack: 14″ x 14″

This pack of nine dehydrator sheets is perfect for the vast majority of dehydrators.

Made from Teflon.

They can be cut and adjusted in shape and size easily using some kitchen scissors.

Each sheet is 14″ x 14″ which is the perfect size for the majority of dehydrators.

Bright Kitchen 9-pack: 14″ x 14″

This pack of nine dehydrator sheets is perfect for the vast majority of dehydrators.

Made from silicone.

They can be cut and adjusted in shape and size easily using some kitchen scissors.

Each sheet is 14″ x 14″ which is the perfect size for the majority of dehydrators.

How To Use Dehydrator Sheets

Dehydrator sheets are very easy to use. All newly purchased dehydrator sheets will come with their own instructions – these can vary slightly depending on the structure of the sheets and your appliance.

However, as a general rule, the only thing you should need to do prior to using your dehydrator sheets for the first time is cut them down to the size of your dehydrator.

As a result of this, you’ll want to ensure that the dehydrator sheets you purchase are at least the same size as your dehydrator trays.

This then allows you can cut them down to size and use them in the safe knowledge that there’s no piece of your tray that isn’t covered with a sheet.

Typically dehydrator sheets last between two and five years before they need replacing. Although this number can be higher or lower depending on how many times you use them.

One way to ensure your dehydrator sheets maintain their quality and structure is by cleaning them after every use.

To do this simply run them under hot, soapy water before allowing them to naturally air dry. After that, they’ll be clean and ready to use again.

Of course, before you use your dehydrator sheets again, you’ll want to make sure that they’re completely dry. Otherwise, the dehydrator will have to work harder dehydrating the water and getting to temperature to dehydrate the food.