When you start with food drying, a cutting board and a sharp knife are sufficient to get started. However, there are several kitchen tools that come in handy when preparing food for drying. Having the right kitchen equipment can significantly simplify your food drying journey!
As I began my own food drying adventure, I soon discovered the convenience of having certain kitchen utensils. One such tool is a mandolin slicer, which makes slicing fruits a breeze and ensures uniform slice sizes. Using a knife for this task can be time-consuming, but with a mandolin, it becomes quick and effortless.
Kitchen tools that are handy to have
To achieve optimal drying results for fruits and vegetables, it’s important to slice them to a consistent thickness. This ensures that all slices dry evenly during the drying process. If you have varying sizes of apple slices, for instance, they will require different drying times. Some slices may finish drying earlier, while others may need additional time. A mandolin slicer is an incredibly handy kitchen tool that allows you to grate, slice, or julienne your fruits and vegetables with ease. It ensures uniformity in slice thickness and enhances the efficiency of the drying process.
Mandolins are available in different price ranges and offer various features. The Norwegian online store Bakeren og Kokken provides a helpful buying guide to assist you in selecting the right mandolin for your needs.
Apple and pear corer
When drying apples and pears, it is useful to have an apple and pear corer to easily remove their cores. This practical and inexpensive kitchen tool makes the process more convenient.
blender with tempered glass
If you’re making fruit rolls, yogurt rolls, or soups, a blender is essential for pureeing the food into a smooth consistency. When dealing with hot ingredients, it’s crucial to use a blender with tempered glass to prevent the container from cracking under high temperatures. Of course, you can also opt for an immersion blender for this task. Having tried both options, I’ve found that using a blender yields better results.
A powerful blender is also useful for grinding dried food into powder. I use it for various purposes such as making mashed potatoes, smooth soups, or fruit powders.
teflon-coated frying pan
Instead of drying each ingredient separately, I often opt to dry an entire meal where the ingredients are mixed together. During the preparation process, it is recommended to use minimal amounts of fat, as excessive fat can affect the shelf life of the food when drying. Therefore, using a frying pan with a Teflon coating is beneficial, as it requires very little fat when cooking various types of food.
paraflexx drying sheets/silicon sheets
When drying liquid mixtures, it’s recommended to use silicone sheets or Paraflexx drying sheets. While some people use parchment paper, I have found it less effective. Yogurt rolls, soups, and fruit rolls can stick to parchment paper, making removal difficult. Silicone sheets offer easy removal of dried food and are a better option in such cases.
Silicone drying sheets are durable tools that greatly simplify the food drying process. Even after years of frequent use, my drying sheets remain in excellent condition. With a wide range of silicone sheets available, I highly recommend the Excalibur Paraflexx drying sheets shown in the picture, as they have consistently provided excellent results in my experience.
Chopping attachment immersion blender
When I purchased my immersion blender several years ago, it came with a convenient chopping attachment. And let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer! I often use it to chop chili, garlic, and ginger in various dishes. Having a chopping attachment for your immersion blender is incredibly practical. I highly recommend checking if such an attachment is compatible with your immersion blender.
various kitchen tools
The kitchen tools I’m about to describe are commonly found in most kitchens. A spatula comes in handy for evenly spreading sauces and liquid mixtures on the drying sheets. A kitchen scale is essential for portioning out the food accurately. When it comes to peeling vegetables and fruits, a vegetable peeler is a convenient tool. I use an egg slicer to quickly slice mushrooms and strawberries. A colander is necessary for rinsing food, and in certain cases, a salad spinner can be practical for drying ingredients like spinach leaves and fresh herbs. Measuring spoons of various sizes and a measuring cup are frequently used during cooking.
I hope this information proves useful and assists you in getting started with drying your homemade trail food!