How to choose a dryer for vegetables and fruits?
The speed of food processing, ease of use and energy consumption depend on the model of the dryer for vegetables and fruits and hand dryers uk. If you want to save time and money or are looking for a device for creating blanks in large volumes, it is irrational to buy the first option that comes across. We tell you what 10 criteria you should pay attention to before paying, and how to choose a dryer for vegetables and fruits, so as not to miscalculate.
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No. 1. Type of dryer
One of 2 types of design is responsible for the operation of the food dryer.
- Infrared evaporates moisture from vegetables and fruits with infrared radiation. Slices dry quickly, retain a maximum of useful substances, taste and appearance. Chips come out almost as bright as fresh produce. The main disadvantage of the design is that infrared models are more expensive than simple heating-type options. The dryer with IR rays does not work well with nuts and thick slices.
- convective. The models use temperature and air to dry fruits and vegetables. The heaters of the device heat the space inside the dryer to the set temperature, the convection system provides air circulation, and the moisture gradually evaporates. Food processing in convective models takes more time than in infrared ones. But the devices are cheaper and, according to the principle of operation, are more similar to natural drying in the sun.
Convective according to the type of air circulation are divided into forced and natural. The latter are the simplest: air enters the device and is blown out through the holes in the structure without additional help. In forced circulation dryers, air is moved by fans. The second type is better – fruits and vegetables dry faster and retain more beneficial properties. However, models with forced circulation are more expensive than those with natural circulation.
No. 2. Material
In the production of fruit and vegetable dryers , 2 types of materials are mainly used: metal and plastic. Cheaper to choose a plastic product. The material does not heat up, gives a large selection of colors and prints, is easy to clean and transport. Models made of plastic are light, you can bring home from the dacha in a bag.
Of the minuses of the material – fragility and insecurity. Plastic cracks from temperature changes, easily breaks and deforms from hot air.
If you buy a plastic model, do not save at least on the manufacturer. Cheap products from unknown brands often use poor quality plastic. The material not only deteriorates quickly, but also releases toxic compounds when heated. It is better to look for a budget model from trusted manufacturers, study certificates and markings indicating the use of food-grade plastic.
Metal vegetable dryers are expensive, heavy and unsafe in apartments with children. The walls of the appliance often get hot, accidental contact can cause burns. It is inconvenient to transport a metal model, it will not pay off when used exclusively for personal purposes – it is more profitable to buy dried fruits.
But if you are looking for a dryer that will last forever or be used on an industrial scale, choose metal. The material does not deform from temperature and does not crack, the device will last a long time.
No. 3. Power
The speed of drying products and energy consumption depend on the power. The higher the indicator, the less time it will take to prepare fruit and vegetable chips and the more you will have to pay for the light.
If you use the dryer rarely and exclusively for personal purposes, focus on 360 watts. For a large family, a 350-450 watt device is enough. If you are making fruit and vegetable chips for sale or just in large quantities, pay attention to powerful models from at least 450 watts. The indicators are relevant for options with a lower air supply; for lateral convection, power at the level of 500-1000 W is better.
No. 4. Location of heating elements and fans
Another indicator that affects the speed of drying products is the location of the main structural elements. TEN is located:
- on the side – the designs look more bulky, but vegetables and fruits with a side heating element dry faster and more evenly;
- bottom – the design is more common, can be found among budget models. Moisture from the products flows down, the heating element can quickly fail;
- on top – products dry longer than with side heating elements, and heat may not reach the lower trays. But it is safe to use the design, moisture does not get on the heating element.
If you do not plan to save money, look for models with a top or side arrangement.
The location of the fan is chosen according to the same principle. Better and more expensive top or side. The lower airflow is cheaper, but can quickly fail due to flowing juices.
No. 5. Volume
When choosing the optimal volume, be guided by the amount of products that you plan to process at a time. When calculating, keep in mind that one drying stretches for 3-10 hours. For home use, a device for 5-10 liters is enough. If you dry a lot and often, take models up to 20 liters.
No. 6. Number of tiers
It is also not worth focusing only on volume – it is unlikely that it will be possible to process 10 kg of apples at a time in a dryer with a maximum load of 10 kg. The parameter should be guided by the usable area of the device, the number and size of pallets. The more tiers in the model, the more products can be dried at a time. But if there are too many trays, the middle, bottom or top, depending on the location of the heating elements, may remain wet. In high dryers with low power, the trays will periodically have to be rearranged manually.
For a small family, 3-5 tiers are enough. You can dry up to 3 kg of apples at a time. The option is ideal if dried fruits are made for yourself.
If you process a lot of fruits and vegetables at a time or make preparations for sale, take a closer look at models with 6-9 tiers. Make sure the appliance has adequate, high power and forced convection. Only in this way will the slices dry evenly, without overdried trays near the heating element and wet ones in the middle of the structure.
No. 7. Pallet construction
It is best to take trays without holes, with sides of 1-5 cm. In such trays, you can dry chips, make dried fruits or marshmallows; process berries and nuts.
Lattices and straight sheets without boards are less functional. With this design, you can take only large pieces of vegetables and fruits; not too wet so that the juice does not flow into the bottom of the appliance.
If the trays are made of plastic, look for food and hot air compatibility labels. Metal must be made of stainless steel or have a coating that protects against corrosion. Not only water harms the leaves, but also the acidic environment of fruits. If necessary, make sure that the trays can be easily removed and are suitable for washing in the dishwasher.
It will not be superfluous to read reviews on selected models. Some trays are rather inconvenient to use, fruits and vegetables stick to such trays and cannot be washed without a metal sponge. It is impossible to predict such moments, it is better to find out the shortcomings of the product from the experience of other people before buying.
In terms of management, vegetable and fruit dryers are divided into 2 types.
- Electronic. They have more autonomy. The operation parameters of the dryer can be set in advance, after switching on it is not required to follow the process – only towards the end, if you are afraid to overexpose the slices. Electronic devices allow you to more accurately adjust the time and temperature, select preset modes that make drying easier and more convenient. Among the shortcomings – models with this type of control are expensive and fail faster.
- Mechanical. There are mechanical dryers more often, they are cheaper than electronic ones. The devices last longer, but the parameters are set approximate, the process will have to be monitored periodically.
If you are buying your first dryer, look for a suitable electronic dryer. The display and preset modes will help you understand the work with fruits and vegetables before you transfer a few kilograms of food. Take a mechanical one if you plan to use the model for many years and do not trust electronics. So, choose the best dryer that you can use even while playing online games.
No. 9. Auto power off function
For the safety of the device, it is important to take care of the presence of an auto-off function or protection against overheating. If the device starts to work at the limit, the protection will stop drying, save from short circuit and fire. The function is also convenient if it is not possible to constantly monitor the process. The dryer with auto-off can be left unattended, the device will shut down when the time on the timer or in the selected mode expires.
No. 10. Extra options
If you are looking for a simple and budget model, just look at the main parameters. But if you rely primarily on convenience and functionality, look for dryers with 5 additional functions and features.
- Adjustable thermostat. Types of vegetables and fruits require different temperature treatment. To properly and quickly cook chips, marshmallows or dried fruits, you need to set the appropriate 30-70 ° C. The thermostat will help in this, which maintains the set temperature and does not allow the products to dry out or soften due to a failure in the process.
- Timer. In combination with auto-off, the timer allows you to make the process of preparing dried fruits and marshmallows more autonomous. It is enough to load the blanks into the dryer, set the temperature and processing time, and after a specified period the device will turn off on its own.
- Air flow regulator. The function allows you to adjust the airflow rate to get the intended result. The regulator will not allow fruits and vegetables to soften or dry out to an inedible state.
- Tray height adjuster. The standard pallet spacing is suitable for drying thin slices, but rarely handles large pieces. Trays can be set at a comfortable height with the adjuster.
- Light or sound indicators. Indicators are needed to understand the process. By the lights and sound signals, you can determine whether the dryer is working, at what stage it is and how much more time it will take to process fruits and vegetables.
If you plan to leave the device unattended, take care of the presence of protection against power surges. The function will help to stop work in hazardous conditions and save the dryer.
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