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Old 06-12-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
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Dehydrating Problems

Me and my fiance bought a Nesco American Harvest (Amazon.com: Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun: Kitchen & Dining) and have so far only been able to dehydrate apples and jerky. We've tried dehydrating pineapples, strawberries and bananas yet they've all three turned out WAY too gummy. I don't even know if gummy is the right word.. They were REALLY chewy and gummy, if that makes sense?

The pineapples were canned, so that could be the problem with those. The strawberries, no clue what happened with those but we soaked them overnight in sugar, and yet they taste horrible; despite tasting pretty delicious straight out of the sugar. The bananas turned out chewy and gummy... We were looking for them to turn out more crisp like chips, but so far, nothing. They've been in the dehydrator now for almost 24 hours solid at 135 degrees. We soaked the bananas in a 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup water mixture for about 5 minutes before going in.

Does anyone have any idea on how to get at least the bananas to more of a chip/crunchy consistency?

Thanks

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Old 06-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Why are yoou soaking everything in sugar? Sugar attracts and holds in moisture.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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The only thing we soaked in sugar was the strawberries. Strawberries have a tart taste, and we figured if we soaked them in sugar first it would have brought some of the sweetness in when they dried out. We were thinking the honey could possibly have caused part of the problem with the bananas, but it just seemed weird that everything we're dehydrating turned into this tough, gummy, fruit roll-up type of texture.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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"We soaked the bananas in a 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup water mixture for about 5 minutes before going in." Honey is sugar and the canned pineapple was bathed in sugars.

The sugar, honey ans pineapple juice is holding in the extra water. Google the word:hygroscopic and you will see that sugar and honey absorb water.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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No soaking. When you remove the water from the fruit, you concentrate the sugars. Sweetness shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #7
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Thanks a bunch for your answers everyone! We let the banana chips sit out awhile after dehydrating them and boy did they taste HORRIBLE! The honey taste seems to have been multiplied 10-fold, and although the bananas themselves were crisp, the honey gave a MASSIVE chewy texture that we just couldn't bring ourselves to eat haha. The strawberries were probably impacted by the sugar soak as well as dehydrating them with the bananas because they tasted just as awful as the bananas did.

But oh well.. We spent about $5 for the strawberries and bananas at Walmart. A small price to pay for learning a valuable lesson. The next time we dehydrate bananas (which will hopefully be this weekend), we'll dehydrate without the extra sugars and see where we end up.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #8
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Did the Dehydrator come with an instruction manual?
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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We dehydrate fruit all the time. Just slice and put on the tray as is. No need to make it any more complicated.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
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Papaya is wonderful dehydrated, as are apricots. I dehydrate mushrooms all the time.
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