So, you did the right thing and invested in a top-end dehydrator. This fine piece of machinery has all the trays you could ask for and is ready to put in some work! Unfortunately, it spends most of its life stuffed into a cabinet collecting dust only to retrieve it for occasional use.
It’s time to put the jerky and bananas away for a while! It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and expand your dehydrating capabilities!
In the list below, we put together a bunch of ideas that will get those creative juices flowing and put that beast to the test!
55 Weird Things to Dehydrate
Here are 55 creative ways you can use a food dehydrator. Have fun and get creative!
Onion Rings – Who doesn’t love onion rings? If they are leftover onion rings, you can dry them out in 3-4 hours. Evenly place your battered-up onion rings on the tray, and in less than 24 hours, you have a delicious snack for any time of the day.
Basil – After dehydrating the basil leaves, it’s best practice to keep them stored in a glass container with the leaves fully intact. Crush them up only when it is time for us! This will preserve the flavor and extend the shelf life until the next crop rolls through.
Yogurt – There are endless options for snacks and recipes for dehydrating yogurt. These options include yogurt chips, drops, melts, bark, or powder! Another fan favorite is to fill it with granola or berries before dehydrating for an excellent backpacking breakfast.
Kimchi – After several weeks, kimchi will begin to ripen. This is the time to bring it back to life with the dehydrator. Throw it in on full blast for 10-12 hours or until it is dry.
Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe can be great as candy or mixed into cereal. Slice it into ¼ circles and give them 18-20 hours until they are completely dehydrated.
Watermelon – Dehydrated watermelon looks like Dorito chips! The slices are packed with the sweetness and flavor of watermelon and last a lot longer.
Coleslaw – First, drain the coleslaw using a filter. Then place it on the screen tray to dry it out. Others swear by the fruit tray to preserve the flavor. But it is good either way!
Green Beans – Add a little salt and butter to frozen green beans, and you have yourself a green alternative to french fries! Put them in overnight at 125 degrees for the best results.
Tomatoes – Not only do dehydrated tomatoes taste good, but some research has shown that they can have health benefits as well. Sit them in the dehydrator for 6-8 hours until they begin to crisp.
Bread – Slice bread into cube-sized bites and dehydrate them for 20-30 minutes. Add some seasoning for flavor, and you have croutons for a salad. You can also make your breadcrumbs for baking, trail mix, or stuffing.
French Toast – Dehydrating french toast is like making your own cinnamon toast crunch cereal. Make some french toast, cut it into bite-sized slices, and place it in the dehydrator for 6-8 hours. You can even add honey or maple syrup for extra flavor. Use it in cereal or as delicious bite-sized snacks.
Broccoli – Anytime you dry garden items, it allows you to store your harvest until the following season. That is one of the main benefits: it prevents you from going grocery shopping for your veggies. Put your broccoli in the dehydrator for 8-12 hours until they are dry or stiff.
Wine – Think of it as fruit leather with a twist. Mix it up with a variety of fruits and sugar for best results.
Winter Clothing – After a long day of playing in the snow, shoveling, or skiing, a dehydrator is an excellent option for quickly drying hats, gloves, socks, and other items.
Clay Sculptures – If you are into arts and crafts, the dehydrator makes a cool DIY kiln to bring your sculptures to life.
Soup – Best way to dehydrate soup is to cook it thick. Once it is done, place it in a blender and then put it in the dehydrator.
Potpourri – Make a crafty decoration for gifts with some dry potpourri. Throw some flower petals and orange slices into the dehydrator and let them sit until they get hard.
Orange Peelings – Don’t throw away those orange peelings. Throw those peelings in the dehydrator and what comes out is a fantastic firestarter. This is especially good for hikers or campers.
Use as a Humidifier – If you put a few bowls of water into the dehydrator, it will disperse that water into the air. This makes it a great option if a room feels dry and stuffy.
Carved Apples – You can make cool ornaments or decorations by carving apples up and dehydrating them. This will make them shrink into a much smaller form. There are some fantastic examples of people making unique heads and other items online.
Apple Slices – Take some thinly sliced apples and sprinkle some cinnamon or caramel on them. They turn into delicious apple chips that taste great!
Broth – Dehydrating broth is a great way to store homemade bone broth to keep it alive longer. Place the broth in the dehydrator for around 8 hours at 150 degrees. Check it periodically to see where it’s at.
Rice – If you need some ideas for leftover rice, the dehydrator can play a role in it. Leave leftover rice in for a day and toss it in the frying pan. The rice will turn into little rice cake bites.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms are great for dehydrating because you can really extend that shelf life. You can rehydrate them on the stove with some butter when ready to eat them.
Make Paper – Sure, you can dry homemade paper in the sun or on a clothesline. But you can supercharge that process by throwing it in the dehydrator.
Lemons – Throw some lemons in the dehydrator until dry and crisp. Once they are finished, you can crush them into powder and season chicken, fish, and more.
Grapes – Dehydrate some grapes. You now have raisins!
Chips and Crackers – Dehydrating stale chips and crackers is the perfect method for bringing them back to life. Just make sure they aren’t moldy or rotten.
Cherry Tomatoes – While cherry tomatoes can take some time to dehydrate, they are worth the wait. Cut them into halves, leave them in for at least 12 hours, and enjoy the sweet treats.
Cornbred – Not sure what to do with your leftover cornbread? Throw it in the dehydrator overnight, and you have an excellent addition for making stuffing.
Pineapple – Like many other fruits, dehydrated pineapple is like candy when dried in the dehydrator.
Dandelion Root – It is important to note that dandelion root should not be mistaken for wild lettuce. This item can be great for making coffee and other hot drinks.
Sauerkraut – If you have leftover sauerkraut from New Years’ day, the dehydrator will turn them into a delicious and healthy snack. The taste is similar to salt and vinegar chips.
Peppers – If you like the taste of peppers, you can dry them out for bite-sized snacks or crush them into powder for seasoning.
Beans – Once you have your beans dried out, crush them into powder and mix them into shakes and smoothies for extra protein.
Fish Skins – Don’t waste a thing with fish skins. Turn them into fish chips after letting them crisp in the dehydrator.
Potato Skins – This one should be obvious. Add in some salt, butter, or any other seasoning you like, and you have yourself some delicious chips.
Shrimp – If you love shrimp and want to have the ability to take it with you on a hike or road trip, the dehydrator can provide it! Add some butter, egg yolk, and lemon to the mix for added flavor.
Bacon – Make some bacon powder, crumbs, or snacks with dehydrated bacon. Cooked bacon gets extra crispy, and raw bacon is more like jerky.
Marshmallows – Once you dry out your marshmallows, turn them into powder to mix with coffee, hot cocoa, or sprinkle over pancakes. There are so many options for marshmallow powder.
Pine Tips – Dehydrated pine tips can be turned into powder and used in tea or added to healthy smoothies.
Yarrow – Yarrow can be terrific for making tea.
Corn on the Cob – Dehydrated corn is a great way to make the best cornbread.
Seaweed – If you are collecting seaweed from the shore, make sure you are doing it legally. Leave it in the dehydrator, and it turns into a very good and salty snack.
Corned Beef – Dehydrating corned beef makes it turn out similar to jerky. The taste will not disappoint!
Radishes – Radishes are great after letting them sit for around 5 hours. Once they are crisp, they become an excellent option for a crunchy snack.
Corn silks – A good use for dehydrated corn silks is to make them into different soaps and scrubs.
Garlic – Slice up garlic and place it in the dehydrator. Once complete, crush it up and keep it in a jar for some homemade seasoning.
Sliced Turkey – Slice up turkey pieces and leave them in the dehydrator until crisping begins. They turn into turkey chips that are great for the whole family.
Sliced Ham – Like turkey, sliced ham is a superb option for creating a unique chip snack for the family.
Liver – Liver can be an excellent treat for your pets. However, it’s recommended you distance yourself from the process as the smell can be harsh.
Hearts – Like the liver, hearts can make for a great pet snack after being dehydrated.
BBQ Sauce – BBQ sauce or ketchup is easy and fantastic to dehydrate. Leave it in until the sauce turns into rubbery strips. You can lay them over burgers, pieces of chicken, potatoes or wrap them up in fries. You can use the same process for ketchup or mustard. Think outside the box!
Pickles – Pickles can be turned into an excellent powder to use on french fries and burgers!
Homemade Pasta – Create your own pasta recipes and use the dehydrator to dry them. Make multiple combinations to test out your best creations.
As you can see, a dehydrator is capable of many things. Use the list above to get the ideas flowing and come up with some of your own!