The other day my friend Joe asked me if I had ever tried to dehydrate anything in our Electrolux oven. At first I was a bit skeptical that you could dehydrate anything in an oven, until of course he told me that our Electrolux oven has a dehydrate setting.
Now I know what you are thinking. Isn’t dehydrating food only possible when one has purchased a dehydrator off a late night infomercial? Well, depending on your oven, you might be able to dehydrate items such as meats, fruits and vegetables. If fact, our Electrolux oven has other settings I never have tried such as the Perfect Turkey and Bread Proof. Perhaps I should have paid more attention when we were buying our Electrolux oven a year ago.
For the technicians reading this article, we have an Electrolux double-wall oven and its model number is EW30EW65PS. Okay, enough of the technical, mumbo jumbo, let’s talk about dehydrating fruit. Peering through my owner’s manual, I discovered that the dehydrate feature dries with heat from the heating elements by circulated the heath throughout the oven with the convection fan. Depending on the type of items dehydrating, the temperature inside the oven would be 100 degrees Fahrenheit for herbs up to a maximum dehydration temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
For most fruits and vegetables, the owner’s manual recommended that the dehydrate setting be set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It was also suggested that you place your items on a tightly woven cooling rack in order for the air to circulate around the food items being dried. Not knowing if any of the fruit moisture would drip down into the Electrolux oven, we actually opted to place the tightly woven cooling racks on top of cookie sheets.
After a quick Google search, we discovered that fruit could take about eight hours to dehydrate in the oven, so make sure you have plenty of time in your day to start your dehydration process.
For our first attempt to dehydrate fruit in our Electrolux oven, we sliced up some bananas, apples, plums and strawberries. We also had a mango and pineapple ready to go, but we ran out of cooling racks. Oh well, at least we have something else to try next time.
After placing all of our fruit on the tightly woven cooling racks, we simply placed the fruit into the oven and went about the rest of our day.
About and hour into our dehydrating, we could start to see the effects of dehydration taking the effects on our fruit. In the kitchen air was the sweet smell of fruit and due to the bananas, almost smelled like a banana bread was baking. For the next several hours, I had to resist the urge to open up our Electrolux oven and take out a piece of fruit drying. But even if you open the oven door, that’s okay. The convection oven will simply stop and restart once the oven door has been closed.
About four hours into our dehydrating, we left the house to run some errands. We didn’t have any worries about leaving the oven on to continue to dehydrating of our fruit. After eight hours of dehydrating fruit in our Electrolux oven, we decided that our fruit was dehydrated to the level that we prefer. Not too hard, but not too soft.
Yesterday we snacked all day on our dehydrated fruit and this was an easy and inexpensive way to make a healthy snack that we all could enjoy. I can’t wait to try dehydrating pineapple, mango and perhaps make beef jerky in our Electrolux oven, our dehydrating fruit we really are loving.