Drying is one of the oldest ways to store fruits and vegetables. If earlier it was produced through exposure to sunlight, today for this purpose it is possible to use special devices - dryers, which are also called dehydrators. They are presented in a wide variety, so everyone can choose a suitable model for themselves.
- How to determine the type of dryer?
- Criterias of choice
- Additional tips
- Browse Popular Models
- Video consultation
How to determine the type of dryer?
Dehydrators for fruits and vegetables are domestic convection or infrared (electric). So, before proceeding with the selection of a specific model, it is worth deciding which type of device is most attractive.
Convection (from lat. “Convectio” - movement) is a technology in which the internal space of the device is equally heated at all points due to the flow of air through a hot stream. This allows you to significantly smooth out the difference in temperature, which is characteristic of household appliances without the use of blowing.
The design of a convection dryer includes such elements:
- heating element (TEN);
- an electric motor with an impeller (fan), which creates an air flow;
- trays (pallets) with a perforated bottom;
- case in which all nodes fit.
Some models have two heating elements. They have a large cost, but allow more precise temperature control.
A key advantage of a convection dryer is the combination of practicality and affordable prices. As for the disadvantages, we can highlight the need from time to time to interchange the trays, so that the products are dried evenly.
This is a new generation of electric dryers that use infrared technology, which allows processing products simultaneously both inside and outside. Meet much less often.
The design of such devices necessarily requires the following nodes:
- elements of infrared radiation, often supplemented by a fan - an electric motor with an impeller;
- pallets (baking sheets);
- control panels.
The design feature is that the emitters are installed under each pallet, so that the products are dried quickly and evenly. So, there is no need to change the pallets several times during drying, as in the case of convection dryers. But here it must be borne in mind that precisely due to this, electronic devices are much more expensive than their counterparts. Moreover, the more trays, the higher their cost.
What type to choose - convection or infrared? It all depends on finances. If they allow, it is worth buying an electronic dehydrator, since in such a device the products will warm up faster, which will save on electricity and drying time. If financial opportunities are small, you can choose a convection dryer of good quality.
Criterias of choice
Having decided on the type, you can start choosing the model itself. From what characteristics to proceed, consider below.
It depends on the number of heating elements that produce heat carried by the fan in the tray. The average is 300-450 watts. This is enough to dry the fruits from your own garden or vegetable garden.
Low power is considered to be 250 watts. It can be optimal if it is supposed to be used rarely, since in this case the drying process proceeds 2-3 times slower. On the market are devices with high power - from 450 W and above. They should be chosen if it is supposed to dry not only fruits, but also meat and fish.
The dryer is considered effective with a competent ratio of power and the number of trays. So, with a power of 350 W, the optimal capacity is 4 or 5 pallets. With more power, 2-3 pallets can be added.
In the case of convection dryers, please note that the products do not dry on their own evenly, therefore for this purpose it is necessary to constantly change the pallets in places, bringing them closer or closer TENA. So, the more trays, the more difficult it will be drying.
There are two types of pallets:
- Low (1 cm). Designed for drying small berries, herbs. So, in them you can not dry fruit slices or whole mushrooms.
- High(2 cm). These are universal trays in which you can dry both small and large products.
Some models suggest the ability to adjust the height of the sides. This is the best option, because it allows everyone to set the desired height based on which products are dried this time.
The case of dryers (respectively, and pallets) can have different shapes - round, oval, rectangular or octagonal. The devices of the first two types are more compact, and plastic covers are attached to the trays. But here it is worth considering important nuances:
- Fans in round dryers are often located under trays, so during drying, the electric motor can be filled with something, for example, juice of juicy fruits.
- Fans in rectangular-shaped dryers are located at the top of the structure or on the side, so getting enemies on the electric motor is almost impossible.
So, when buying, it is worth clarifying the location of the fan. If it is under the tray, it is important to find out if it has reliable protection against accidental moisture.
The dryer can be made of two materials:
- Plastic. Such devices are lightweight, so they can be easily transported. Of the disadvantages, it can be noted that they quickly heat up during the drying process. In addition, if it is a poor-quality plastic, heating the device will be accompanied by an unpleasant odor. This is unhealthy because it contains toxins. So, it is very important that the plastic is of high quality and made of food-grade synthetic material. In this case, there should be a sign on the dryer body - a glass and a fork.
- Metal. Such dryers are more durable, but this affects both weight and cost. In addition, unlike antireflection plastic, the metal has a dark color, so it will not be possible to control the drying process.
It is worth noting that round dryers are often made of plastic, but rectangular ones can be both plastic and metal. The cheaper and lighter ones are the plastic ones, but it's important to make sure they are made of food-grade synthetic material that does not contain toxins and has no unpleasant smell.
Modern dryers are often equipped with options that make them more expensive, but greatly facilitate management. Here are the most useful features:
- thermostat - it is a temperature controller that allows you to set the desired temperature (as a rule, the optimal temperature range is from 35 to 70 degrees);
- timer - allows you to set the drying time based on what products and in what quantity are dried;
- auto power off, overheat protection– These are safety functions that are triggered by power outages or power surges. fire warning (the auto-off option also works if there is a timer after completion drying time);
- cold air mode - allows you to turn off the heating element and "bring" the products to readiness without the risk of transplantation (especially useful when drying fruits).
It is worth noting that models without additional options have mechanical control, presented in the form of simple knobs or buttons protruding from the body. These are simple appliances that are easy to repair. Modern dryers with various options imply electronic control, which is carried out by means of a sensor and a liquid crystal display. Of course, this significantly affects the cost of the device, so you should choose based on your own capabilities and needs.
In addition to the quality characteristics, when buying dryers, the following recommendations should also be taken into account:
- On the market there are models of devices with a heater, but without a fan. They have a low cost, but are extremely inefficient, since without air blowing it is necessary to use heating elements of extremely low power.
- Before buying a device made of heat-resistant plastic, you should ask the seller to turn it on. If at the same time an unpleasant “chemical” odor is emitted, then this is a low-quality apparatus, and drying in it can be harmful to health.
- Each model is designed to use the exact number of trays, depending on capacity. So, you do not need to buy additional trays in order to increase the capacity of the device. He still will not be able to warm up more products in the "normal" mode.
- If the model of the dryer fits all the criteria, but involves too large holes in the pallet, you do not need to refuse to buy it. The fact is that even small berries can be dried in such a device, because it is enough to cover the tray with parchment, which you just need to pierce with a toothpick in several places.
- If you intend to choose a device with a thermostat, you should make sure that it has the possibility of smooth adjustment, which allows you to set the optimum temperature for a particular product. The fact is that the thermostat can have a fixed step adjustment, and in this case it will not always be possible to set the desired temperature.
If a model with a step thermostat attracted attention, then it should have at least 3 temperature conditions.
- If you plan to use the dryer in the country, the preference should be given to models with mechanical control. The fact is that the probability of power surges or blackouts in the country is quite high, and unreliable operation of the power supply network can cause numerous malfunctions of the device with the electronic board and display.
- A dryer is a noisy drug, so a separate room will have to be allocated for it. If space is limited, preference should be given to compact models with a round body.
Browse Popular Models
There are various models of dehydrators on the market that differ in capacity, number of trays, functionality and other parameters. Examples of popular dryers can be found below:
- Saturn ST-FP0112. This is a convective dryer with a round shape and a power of 350 W, which is made of transparent plastic. It has 6 pallets with a height of 2.3 cm, suggests auto shutdown and protection against overheating. There is a power indicator on the case. Among the shortcomings can be identified the lack of a timer and the ability to adjust the height of the trays.
- Vinis VFD-410 W. This is an octagonal convection-type plastic dryer in which the fan is located on top. Optimum power - 410 watts. There are 4 pallets, a temperature regulator, automatic shutdown, protection against an overheat, the inclusion indicator, but here the timer is absent.
- Hilton DH38665. This is a rectangular plastic dryer in which the fan is located at the bottom. It has 8 temperature adjustment modes (from 35 to 70 degrees), a timer, overheat protection, a display and a power indicator. Among the shortcomings can be identified low power - 200 watts.
- Gorenje FDK20MG. This is a convective type plastic dryer with a power of 240 W and mechanical control. There are 5 pallets with adjustable height, overheat protection, auto power off, power indicator. Complete with the device is a grid for drying small berries. Of the shortcomings, the absence of a timer and a temperature regulator can be noted (one temperature mode - up to 70 degrees).
- Smile FD 992. This is a plastic device with 3 trays, overheat protection, mechanical control and a temperature range from 35 to 70 degrees, and an on indicator light. Power is 240 watts.
- PolarisPfd 1205. This is a compact model weighing 1.7 kg, which can be easily transported and stored even in confined spaces. It provides protection against overheating and the ability to adjust the height of pallets. This is a good model for processing a small number of products that could not be eaten or canned.
Visually see the overview and comparison of different models of multifunctional dryers from the manufacturer MARTA proposed in the following video:
In the next video, the consultant will tell you in detail what parameters you should pay attention to when buying a dryer:
A dryer is an excellent appliance for those who wish to process fruits and vegetables with minimal loss. They can even be used in the preparation of marshmallows and energy bars of fruits and cereals. Since the market for such devices is quite wide, everyone will be able to choose a good model for themselves based on individual needs and financial capabilities.
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