I wanted to give you all some good, reliable information on drying foods so instead of typing up a big article of my own, I am giving you a section from an article from the NCHFP. I have links at the bottom of the post where you will find a great list of foods and their drying times as well as a lot of good information on food dehydration.
Drying Vegetables no. 9.308
by P. Kendall, P. DiPersio and J. Sofos1
Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Drying
preserves foods by removing enough moisture from food to prevent decay
and spoilage. Water content of properly dried food varies from 5 to 25 percent
depending on the food. Successful drying depends on:
• enough heat to draw out moisture, without cooking the food;
• dry air to absorb the released moisture; and
• adequate air circulation to carry off the moisture.
When drying foods, the key is to remove moisture as quickly as possible
at a temperature that does not seriously affect the flavor, texture and color of the
food. If the temperature is too low in the beginning, microorganisms may survive
and even grow before the food is adequately dried. If the temperature is too high
and the humidity too low, the food may harden on the surface. This makes it
more difficult for moisture to escape and the food does not dry properly.
Although drying is a relatively simple method of food preservation, the
procedure is not exact. A “trial and error” approach often is needed to decide
which techniques work best.
Reference: Drying Vegetables Drying Fruits Drying Fruits and Vegetables
How do I dry?
Packaging and Storing Dried Foods