Food Dehydrator Temp

Hi all!

I purchased a food dehydrator months ago after hearing that they are the greatest way to quickly dry your cookies when in a pinch...well, needless to say, I am pulling it out of the box for the first time tonight and I have NO CLUE what temperature to put the dehydrator on to dry a set of cookies that I have to ship out in the morning. Any advice you can give me, I appreciate!!

 

I look forward to your comments!!

Susan Dobbs

The Tailored Cookie®

Original Post

I have always  used the lowest setting on mine which is 95 degrees.  If you live in a dry area be very careful how long you leave them in there - I had a dehydrator disaster once with cookies that ended up shatteringly crunchy after too long in the dehydrator.  I live in NM and it is very dry here.

It's super humid here...approximately how long do you leave them in for?? I am concerned about them drying out as well...
 
ALSO, thank you for responding!!
 
Originally Posted by Kelly:

I have always  used the lowest setting on mine which is 95 degrees.  If you live in a dry area be very careful how long you leave them in there - I had a dehydrator disaster once with cookies that ended up shatteringly crunchy after too long in the dehydrator.  I live in NM and it is very dry here.

I don't leave mine in for more than 10 minutes - just until they are crusted over on top.  I am sure you could safely leave yours in longer due to the humidity but I don't know how much longer.  I read this post (http://www.lilaloa.com/2012/06...hat-you-need-to.html) by LilaLoa and she was in a super humid area at the time she wrote it.  I hope this helps you and I look forward to hearing about your results 

Time in the dehydrator depends on the size of the space you're trying to dry as well as ambient humidity and drying temp. I most often dry on 95F and can keep cookies in there anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 or more minutes with little to no effect on the cookie, though about 10 to 15 minutes is my norm.

 

Some exceptions: I tend to keep them in longer (closer to 15-25 or so minutes at 95F) if the areas are the types that are prone to cratering (small and angular). I also sometimes ratchet up the temp to 105F if I have very large areas/topcoats to dry (like over 5 or 6 inches). I find that they can sometimes dry with a ripple at the lower temperature, but they very consistently set faster and smoother at the higher temp. To note: with 15 to 30 minutes in the dehydrator, my icing is rarely to never dried all the way through; it's just crusted and set to the extent needed to prevent cratering. So you'll likely need to dry longer outside of the dehydrator if you're planning to heat seal/tightly package.

Kelly, Since I usually saw rippling start after the cookie had been in the dehydrator for a few minutes, I reasoned that the faster the icing set, the less likely it would be to ripple. So I cranked the heat one day, and it worked like a charm. I do this now for all of my larger cookies that are completely topcoated.

LadyGodiva2 - Good question! There is already a great forum topic on  the subject of recommended dehydrators. Please check it out: http://cookieconnection.juliau...ator-recommendations

 

Anyone else should put dehydrator recommendations in that post. Let's try to keep this one focused on temperature settings for various tasks/results. Thanks!

Asmita - I'm moving your question into a new forum topic, because it IS a new topic.  I will post the link to that forum here once I set it up so you can track answers to that question there.

 

Whenever you have a new question, please start a new thread so that the question does not get lost within another topic. Thanks.

It may help if you let the dehydrator run for a few minutes before you add cookies so the air flow & temperature are already established.  I always use 105 degree setting, the cookies are in until the first step (usually flooding) is finished, which could easily take 1-2 hours.  Each cookie goes in as soon as it's flooded.  When the 4th tray is full, the 1st tray comes out---at 105, the cookies will be warm and are moved (on the dehydrator tray) to a cooling rack.  By the time the 5th tray is full of cookies, the 1st tray is ready for the 2nd step of decorating.  Each cookie could be in the dehydrator at 105 for a total of 4-5 hours.  The cookies are still moist regardless.  I think they absorb moisture from the icing as it dries.  The cookies have never been hard or crispy.  Go figure! I'm just thrilled the decorating can be all done and the icing dry within 1 day instead of 4!

Originally Posted by Sweets on the Side:
Can you put the cookies back in the dehydrator after you've done 2nd phase of decorating? I've put cookies in dehydrator after flooding. But want sure if I could after final details.  Anyone?

Yes, but watch total drying time for all the reasons people have noted above.

I'm moving the above question from Linda to another forum topic, since it is very different than the original question at the top of the post and it's likely to get lost here. Please respond to her in the "forked" forum, link above. Thanks!

HEEEEEELP!!! I just purchased a new Excalibur Economy 9 drawer dehydrator to dry my Royal Icing on cookies. (Julia's 15-20 minute method) The temperature control says 105 (now the lowest setting on an Excaliber), but the actual air temperature is closer to 125 (according to the oven thermometer I placed inside to see if it was working properly). I looked at their online literature and they say that the air temp actually is designed to run 20 degrees hotter than the stated temp but the surface of the food will be 20 degrees cooler than than the air temp. So supposedly the icing temp will be 105 even though the air temp will be 125. So is this going to be too hot to dry RI? ARGH!

FrostFlower Sugar Arts posted:

HEEEEEELP!!! I just purchased a new Excalibur Economy 9 drawer dehydrator to dry my Royal Icing on cookies. (Julia's 15-20 minute method) The temperature control says 105 (now the lowest setting on an Excaliber), but the actual air temperature is closer to 125 (according to the oven thermometer I placed inside to see if it was working properly). I looked at their online literature and they say that the air temp actually is designed to run 20 degrees hotter than the stated temp but the surface of the food will be 20 degrees cooler than than the air temp. So supposedly the icing temp will be 105 even though the air temp will be 125. So is this going to be too hot to dry RI? ARGH!

No, I now have that same Excalibur, and I use it at the lowest setting and it is fine, though I still watch everything for reasons elaborated upon above. You can also run the thing with the door off, and that will cool it down if needed.

Thank you for answering so quickly, Julia. Whew. Do you avoid the center racks (rack 4 & 5) to set the icing? Or do all areas work well on it?

I love your artistry and creativity. I have been a member of your stencil club for a while and they are gorgeous, as is everything you do. This site is a wonderful resource for learning. Thank you.

FrostFlower Sugar Arts posted:

Thank you for answering so quickly, Julia. Whew. Do you avoid the center racks (rack 4 & 5) to set the icing? Or do all areas work well on it?

I love your artistry and creativity. I have been a member of your stencil club for a while and they are gorgeous, as is everything you do. This site is a wonderful resource for learning. Thank you.

Thanks for the kind words. The fan is in the back of the dehydrator, so it seems to hit all racks fairly evenly. Though hot air rises, so I tend to position things to the middle to lower part of the dehydrator, just in case. I rarely mass produce cookies, so I rarely have it fully filled at any one time except when teaching classes. In class, cookies have done fine on the top racks too, but I primarily use the dehydrator for quick-setting the outer surface of small cookies. I don't put very big cookies in there (the icing on them tends to wrinkle for some reason) or leave anything in much longer than 15-20 minutes.

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