So, after experimenting a couple of times I thought I would share some of my findings:
Should be dried to the point of almost being crisp, somewhat “leathery.” Leave them too juicy and they won’t keep. The point of the dehydrator is to remove the moisture so the food will last longer! They taste AWESOME, though. The Nectarines are like candy.
Turn browner than the ones you buy at the store but taste GREAT. They should be dried until they are rubbery/stiff. If they “squish” then they are not ready to be out. They take longer to process because they are hard to get off of the racks. It’s not a very fun process, but DON’T use cooking spray or oil – this will make them become rancid much faster.
Because of my couponing, I had a LOT of canned (Dole) pineapples for super cheap. They dry GREAT. They are super good and easy to do. Dry until they are hard and rubbery. I usually use the “Pineapple Chunks” so they are easy to just spread out on the tray, and of course in 100% juice that can be used to keep other fruits from browning (bananas, apples).
Taste pretty good, but for some reason it takes us forever to get through them. I guess when I have little kids I will probably be making more of these. Oh, and put a couple of paper towels under your dehydrator when you make these – I think I filled mine a little too full and it spilled over while it was drying.
I’m so glad I’ve kept my dehydrator in the garage. All the different smells (garlic, fruit, onions, meats) would have driven me CRAZY in the house… Plus it does make noise (not that much, but still). I just have to be mindful when it’s on to go check it. I find myself setting fewer and fewer timers and going by “feel” – not sure if that’s a good thing..but it’s served me fine so far!
Also, I’m a newbie, but the cheaper dehydrator (Nesco) has served me very well. I found a second Nesco at a garage sale (for $10!) and so now I have 8 trays and 2 fruit roll sheets (SO awesome). I don’t see any reason why I would want to pay more for the Excalibur model (these were the two brands I saw good reviews on when I was researching models). I also picked up a FoodSaver on Ebay so my dehydrated items would last even longer!