Dehydrating food is an excellent way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables for later use. You can also dehydrate meats. While using an actual dehydrator is a faster approach to dehydration, you can also use your oven, including those made by the Bosch company. While foods are dehydrated differently, some general procedures are typically part of the drying process when using an oven.
Prepare the foods for dehydration. Fruits and vegetables should be ripe, rinsed and sliced. Remove seeds, pits, stems and bruised areas. Blanch them, if necessary. For example, steam peas, apples and bananas for 3 minutes prior to dehydration. Prepare meats for dehydration by cutting them into strips and marinating them in a marinade of choice overnight.
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Some Bosch models have a "Dehydrate" mode. For some models, you touch "Cooking Mode," turn the selection knob right or left, and select "Dehydrate" when it appears. The oven then automatically sets to the default temperature of 140 degrees. It will also circulate the air with its built-in fans to remove moisture from the oven, a must for dehydrating foods properly.
Place the foods in a single layer on cookie sheets or trays. Set the sheets in the oven. You can use all the racks, but be sure the sheets are at least 3 inches away from the front and back of the oven for even drying.
Close the oven door. However, if your Bosch is not a convection oven with built-in fans, open the oven door 2 to 3 inches and set up a fan next to the oven to blow across the top of the door. Good air flow is essential to the dehydration process.
Check the food to be sure it is crisp. How long the foods need to dehydrate varies. Cherries, for example, require 24 to 36 hours to dehydrate in the oven. Corn, on the other hand, only needs six to eight hours to dehydrate. Break or try a few pieces to see if they snap and crunch. Note that after drying, dehydrated meats should be cooked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional 30 minutes to ensure they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally.