I make a chili sauce that I want to turn in to a seasoning.

I’ve made a few batches by spreading the sauce out on silicon sheets in a thin layer and baking it at a low temperature until it dries. Then I peel the dried sauce and blend/crush it until it reaches a powder like consistency.

This works well for small batches (though still not ideal), but it doesn’t scale well. If I’m trying to make a big batch, is there a way that would allow me to make more than 2 sheets at a time? Perhaps a technique where the layer of sauce doesn’t have to be so thin? I’m open to ideas and experiments.

I tried using a Nesco dehydrator - the top layers would dry, but be very difficult/impossible to peel off. The lower levels in the dehydrator don’t get hot enough to fully dry the sauce out.

Thanks in advance!

  • I don't think there is anything you can do in a kitchen. The lab machines for such work cost thousands.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 12:23
  • Thanks for the reply rumtscho - do you know what those lab machines are called? Trying to figure out my full range of options :) Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 17:23
  • I tried to google what those would be called but all I could find were large metal dehydrators. I think the problem with the smaller compact dehydrators and drying out sauce is that there isn't enough airflow through the levels since you can't use a mesh tray and there is not as much heating of the tray as there is when you use a metal tray in the oven. Maybe get more racks and trays for the oven? Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 20:19
  • I was thinking of "rotovap", this Is a short Name for "rotary evaporator" as far as I remember. But not 100% that they will work in your case, I haven't used them personally.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 20:56
  • @DeirdraStrangio thanks, I actualy tried that and it worked up to 3 sheets, but when I added a 4th, the whole oven started leaking smoke. That was repeatable 3 times. No idea why that would happen. Its an older gas oven if that helps. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Ask around for someone who has an Excalibur or similar style tray dehydrator. One of these coupled with a silicone (or siliconized) sheet on each tray should get you where you want to be. You might want to add a thickening agent of some sort if your recipe does not have one already.

Why this style? The fan is across the back of the machine and blows evenly across all of the trays instead of the fan on top down through the middle type like the Nesco.

Good luck.

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