Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to pick up items like the Magic Chef food dehydrator at a bargain price. The only problem is that used items are frequently missing their boxes and instruction booklets. This is troubling enough if you are purchasing old board games or action figures, but it becomes especially taxing when you purchase used appliances. Don't worry, though; Magic Chef food dehydrators are easy to use, even without the official instructions.
Wash the trays on which you will dehydrate your food. This is important even if your item is new.
Turn on the food dehydrator and allow it to preheat for five to 10 minutes. During the preheating period, prepare the food that you wish to dehydrate.
Place the food you wish to dehydrate onto the adjustable racks. Air must circulate through the vents in the racks to dry the food. To ensure air flow, allow space between the food items and do not completely cover the trays with food. Lay the food out evenly over the racks and do not overlap food. Drying time will vary depending on the thickness and moisture level of the food you are drying. Consult the instruction manual (see Resources) for further information regarding food preparation tips and drying time.
Package the dried food into storage containers or bags after they are fully dehydrated. Wash all trays except the fruit roll-ups trays in the top rack of the dishwasher. Wash the fruit roll-ups tray by hand with soap and warm water. Wipe the base of the unit with a damp cloth. However, do not submerse the base in water, because doing so can damage the electrical components.
Michael Elkins is the administrator for an adult group home in Stockton, Calif. He was been writing stories, journals, essays and articles since 1998. He is the recipient of the Sylvia Lopez-Medina award for short fiction and has also published his work in the literary magazine "Penumbra."