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Choosing a food dehydrator

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Research your investment

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Lynn Blanchard, Test Kitchen director, Better Homes and Gardens

I love dried fruit, especially apricots and cranberries. I'll usually pop a bag in my grocery cart and nibble as I shop.

Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen Director Lynn Blanchard says it's not hard to make dried fruit, herbs, and even jerky at home with a good food dehydrator. But, before you run out and buy one, research your options.

"The best thing to think about is how you will use it and how much you will use it, because you can spend anywhere from about $50 on up on food dehydrators," Blanchard says. "So if it's something that you're really interested in, it's probably worth investing a little more money in something that's got a little higher wattage power, something that where you can actually control the amount of heat that goes to the different drying trays."

Units need about 1,000 watts for every 10 to 15 trays in the dehydrator. If the food inside doesn't get enough dehydration, it won't be completely dry in the middle, which may cause bacteria growth.

This is an important tip, depending on where you live.

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