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Talk to me about dehydrating and "raw"

394 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  tboroson
I'm using my oven to dehydrate. Sally Fallon recommends keeping the oven below 150 F, but other resources seem to indicate you should keep it below 120. I read one reference that mentioned "dry heat" vs. "wet heat", seeming to mean air temperature vs., say, heating something in liquid. Ok, I understand that the rate of heat transfer between air and a food medium is much slower than between hot liquid or oil and the food. But, when you're talking about an item in an 150 degree oven for 12-24 hours, it's still going to hit 150 through and through. So, what's the dealio? How hot can my oven be to dehydrate things and still have them be "raw"?

I have some raw granola in there at the moment. I used some sprouted, dehyrated buckwheat that I bought, some NT crispy pecans and walnuts, dried fruit, granola, raw honey and raw butter, and cinnamon. I made the crispy nuts. I believe my oven may have gotten over 120, but nowhere near 140 - I was able to lay my hand on the baking sheet for a few seconds at any time during the process. But, out of curiousity this time, I laid my meat thermometer on the cookie sheet with the granola this time. I turned the convection off and cracked the door briefly when it hit 120. I closed the door again, and the temp continued to rise. It got up to 132, and I opened the door again.

So, is a meat thermometer an inefficient gauge of dry air temperature? I don't think the temperature of the cookie sheet was that high - I could touch it for several seconds. Now I can't figure out if I ruined the "raw" nature of what I'm making. So much confusing, conflicting information!
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I never go above 110 when dehydrating. You should always be able to comfortably touch the pans, food.

If I were dehydrating in an oven I'd only be using the pilot light. On an electric oven if you use a 60 watt bulb it generally stays below 115 degrees.
Well, I have an electric oven, but the light bulb doesn't work. Aaaargh!

hm.... maybe I'll put a little lamp in there
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