Why Should I Dry?

Frequently asked questions about the Ezidri range of home food dehydrators:

Why should I dry?

Drying is an alternative form of preservation.  Because of the process of gentle drying with the Ezidri, an extremely high percentage of nutrients is retained compared to other forms of preserving.  It is a natural process involving no additives, such as preservatives, sugars or salts. Stored in ideal conditions (i.e., in a cool, dark, dry place) it has a long shelf-life and has the advantage of reducing the produce by up to 90% of its original volume.  It should be remembered that dried food can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer with no detrimental effect if the electricity is turned off for any length of time.

How do the driers work?

There is a fan in the base of the unit which both sucks and blows air.  It sucks the air in through the base and the air is then blown across the element which heats the air to the temperature you have selected.  The warm air is blown up the sides of the tray and is then forced across each tray (when the lid is on) before being blown up through the middle of the unit and out through the top.  The design is such that the air that goes across any one tray is clean air thus avoiding any tainting or cross-flavoring onto the other trays. All trays and sheets are made of ABS food-safe plastic which emits no harmful fumes.  Safety is a major consideration in the design. It is impossible to put fingers into any of the working parts in the base and the unit never gets hot enough to burn.

What models are available?

There are two models:  the Ezidri Ultra FD1000 and Ezidri Snackmaker driers. For more details please visit each model's respective information page.

How long does drying take?

There are many factors involved with drying times that it is difficult to give anything but an estimate.  It depends very much on the products that you are drying, the thickness of the slices, the moisture content of the food and the humidity of the air, but the majority of produce takes approximately 10 to 14 hours. Some products (e.g., apricot halves, grapes or blueberries) will require longer.

How much does it cost to operate?

In New Zealand: approximately 5 cents per hour for the Ezidri Ultra FD1000 (depending on local electricity charges) regardless of the number of trays you have on the unit, and approximately 3 cents per hour for the Ezidri Snackmaker.

What is the wattage of the element?

The Ezidri Ultra FD1000 has a 1000 watt element but remember it is operating less than 50% of the drying cycle as the unit is thermostatically controlled.  The Ezidri Snackmaker element wattage is 500 watts and also operates less than 50% of the drying cycle.

How do I clean the units?

The top and trays should be washed with warm soapy water with a soft brush being used for suborn parts on the trays.The base must not be immersed in water, but instead wiped with a soft damp cloth.

What happens if I have to go out?

Leave the unit running as it is wired for complete safety and should a malfunction occur will automatically turn off.  If you are concerned that the length of drying time may be too long, simply lower the temperature by 5 to 10º on the Ezidri Ultra FD1000 or lower the Ezidri Snackmaker one setting before you leave, as the unit should not be turned off until the drying cycle is complete.

What happens if the power goes out?

When the electricity comes on again the Ezidri Snackmaker should be reset to the temperature required.

Where do I use the unit?

You can use it anywhere inside so long as there is a reasonable flow of air.  The laundry with the window open or the garage are ideal spots – not a closed kitchen where humidity is likely.

How much produce can I fit on a tray?

Approximately half a kilo depending on the produce and how it is prepared.

Can I dry all produce together?

Recommended drying temperatures are outlined in the Instruction/Recipe book and on the temperature controls. Herbs and spices are dried from 35-45ºC (Low), vegetables and flowers 50ºC (Medium), fruit 55ºC (Medium), meat and meals 60ºC (High). Strong, pungent vegetables such as onions or garlic should be done in the laundry or garage.

How thick should I cut fruit or vegetables?

Maximum 5mm (quarter inch) — the thinner the slice, the quicker the drying time.

How do I use the mesh sheets?

It is used for small produce such as peas, herbs and flowers and where produce tends to stick to the tray, like bananas, tomatoes and beef jerky, as the mesh sheet is pliable.

How do I use the solid sheet?

This accessory is used when drying fruit and vegetable puree’s for fruit roll-ups and for drying meals and soup.  It should be lightly coasted with vegetable oil so that the roll-ups can be easily removed and then wiped over with a paper towel or washed with warm water after use. – Do not use detergent.

What are roll-ups, or fruit leather?

Pureed produce which is poured onto a solid sheet and dried to leathery consistency.

How do I know when food is dry?

Various products will have different characteristics in their feel and pliability.  The usual test is to bend the product in half and squeeze it at the facture.  Should beads of moisture appear, the product is not sufficiently dry.  However after only a few sessions of drying you will be able to judge the dryness quite easily.  Trays can be lifted apart during the cycle to monitor drying progress but do not turn the unit off during the cycle as the partly dried produce will begin to re-hydrate.

What do you do when the produce is dry?

You let it cool and pack it in air-tight, moisture proof containers, such as an old preserving jar or coffee jar.  The ideal storage place should be cool, dark and dry.  If stored incorrectly, the produce will go brown, particularly herbs.

What is the storage life of dried goods?

This depends to a certain extent on the produce that you have dried.  However, experience has shown that normal shelf-life where it is not too warm or exposed to light is approximately 12 months, although under ideal conditions this time can be extended to two to three years.

What can I dry?

Most vegetables and fruits, certain types of meat and fish, flowers, herbs and spices, meals and soup.  Avocado, raw pork, chicken, raw eggs and shell-fish are not recommended.

How do I rehydrate/reconstitute dried foods?

Normally, reconstituting is for cooking purposes and depending on the produce, a measurement of one cup of dried goods to the minimum of one cup of hot water soaked for 5-20 minutes is all that is required before cooking the produce in the normal manner.  We refer you to the Instruction/Recipe book for more details.

What is pre-dip treatment?

Pre-dip treatment makes fruit look better, increases shelf life of some foods and prevents browning. Citrus or pineapple juice, ascorbic or citric acid are preferred alternatives to sodium metabisulfite and help to preserve vitamins A and C.

Where can I purchase an Ezidri Ultra FD1000 or the Ezidri Snackmaker ?

In New Zealand:
Contact us directly — Hydraflow Industries, 26 Goodshed Road, Upper Hutt. Phone (04) 526 4415, fax (04) 526 4416 or e-mail sales.information@hydraflow.co.nz. You may also purchase online

Rest of world:
Please view our International Distributors page to locate your nearest Ezidri stockist.

Why are Ezidri driers the best on the market?

Because they incorporate the following essential features:

1.     Air is forced horizontally across each individual tray, resulting in fast, even drying.
2.     They are truly expandable to meet your growing needs.
3.     An adjustable thermostat gives you the flexibility to dry a wide range of products with nutritious results.
4.     No tray rotation
5.     Very low hourly electricity cost.
6.     Multiple roll-up drying capability – not just one at a time.