State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600532
Judging when food is dry requires experience. Check food
to be sure enough moisture has been removed to make it
impossible for mold and bacteria to grow and cause decay.
It is better to overdry than to underdry. When in doubt,
continue drying for additional time. Dehydrator drying
generally takes less time than oven drying. Allow the
product to cool before testing.
Vegetables are sufficiently dried when they are hard and
brittle or tough and leathery, depending on the vegetable.
Edges will be sharp. Beans, corn and peas are hard and will
shatter when hit with a hammer. Leafy thin vegetables
should be brittle. Larger chunks or slices of vegetables
should be leather.
Fruits are adequately dried when moisture cannot be
squeezed from them. Most fruits will feel leathery and
pliable when properly dried.
Fruit leathers may be slightly sticky to the touch but
separate easily from the plastic wrap. For long term
storage, dry leathers until they are no longer sticky.
Herbs are brittle when dried. Leaves shatter when rubbed
Meats and all protein foods should be VERY dry
unless refrigerated or frozen for long-term storage.
Meat is sufficiently dried when it is dark in color and