Instructions for Oven Dehydrating for Food

While it is possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it is costly, as the oven needs to be on for hours during the process.

Make fruit snacks in your oven.Make fruit snacks in your oven.
Some foods take over 24 hours to adequately dry. Another issue is temperature control. The low temperature of some ovens are high for dehydrating; however, some convection ovens can maintain a temperature of 120 degrees F. If your oven doesn't go as low as 140 degrees F, your food will cook instead of dehydrate.

Place an oven thermometer on the middle of the top tray. Arrange the thermometer so you can see the reading.

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees F. During the process, keep the temperature between 140 and 160 degrees F.

Prepare between 1 to 2 lbs. of food to process. Refer to a drying cookbook, as some foods require blanching or pre-treating. The food should be clean, defects removed and uniformly cut, such as in 1/4-inch slices.

Arrange the foods on drying trays, in a single layer, without the pieces touching each other.

Place the trays in the oven, with one tray per oven rack, situating the trays in the center of the racks to allow for air circulation.

Keep the oven door slightly ajar while drying, between 2 to 4 inches.

Set a portable fan near the oven door and turn on, to provide circulation to the oven.

Rotate the trays every half hour. Refer to your dehydration recipe for how long to dry the food you are preparing.

Things You Will Need

  • Oven thermometer
  • Drying trays
  • Fan

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.