Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dehydrating Onions

I spent last Saturday in tears. Seriously! I had a small bucket of onions from the garden and the word small didn't apply to the size of the bucket only. I pulled out what we would use for slicing and decided to try my hand at dehydrating the rest. I had great success at dehyrating part of my massive harvest of Roma tomatoes a few years ago and Andy's made enough jerky to almost fill up a grandkid or two, but I've never tried onions.

I love using dried onions in soups made in the crockpot and meatloaf, so I thought this would be a great way to make use of them.

I pulled up my instruction book for our Nesco dehydrator which can be found online here. This seemed simple enough. It would take 9 to 14 hours. The only do over I came across was this. The next time I will use a timer (like you use to turn your Christmas lights on/off) to stop the process! I have no idea what I was thinking when I fired up the dehydrator at 1PM in the afternoon without setting that.

Around 11PM that night, I was almost in tears again. A quick inspection revealed it was going to be a long, long, night. A jab of one of the thickest sliced onions on the top rack yielded and still had a spongy texture. The temperature was kicked up to 145 degrees for another FOUR HOURS. At 3AM, I had four trays of onions ready to store.
I sliced the onions to one quarter inch slices and tried to keep them as consistent in size as possible to allow for equal drying time. The manual called for 3/8" slices but due to the small nature of the onions, I backed off a little. Thank goodness I did!
Be sure to spread out the onions so they are not touching and will have sufficient air flow around them. I started out with 135 degrees, as was recommended, for the first ten hours. I then bumped the temp up to 145 for the last four hours.
I opted to leave my slices whole instead of crushing them. They are now bagged up in freezer bags and stored in the lowest drawer in my refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you could have smelled these when they were dehydrating!! They smelled so good!