3

I chopped some onion and put it in an old gas oven. It had 3 issues:

  1. Some pieces or parts of pieces are burned while other pieces are still not dehydrated.
  2. It sticks with the bottom of the aluminum plate.
  3. It has a bitter taste.

How can I solve the 3 issues to produce high quality onion powder at home?

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  • 4
    An oven isn't a very good dehydrator: it's too hot and not enough air circulation. Dehydrators are pretty cheap, and it's not hard to make your own with something like a space heater and a fan. – Lee Daniel Crocker Apr 12 at 1:39
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It's likely that your oven, even on the coolest setting, is too hot. That's why the onion burnt, and the bitterness comes from the burnt bits.

I occasionally use my electric oven for dehydrating fruit and veg but mine goes down to 50°C. I tend to preheat it to about 100°C and turn it down when the food had been in for a few minutes, at which point I open the door as well.

A gas oven has another problem - burning gas produces water vapour, which makes drying harder even with ventilation (you really do need the door ajar to let the steam out). Drying on a rack (borrowed from a grill pan, or a cake cooling rack) makes a huge difference.

I also have a dehydrator, but it's not all that much better than the oven for a small batch in winter, so I leave it stored away except when I've got a lot to dry. It wins on capacity and the fact I can run it outside - worthwhile for chillies and presumably onions.

  • 2
    All very well put. Drying chilies indoors is absolutely awful. – GdD Apr 12 at 8:39
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    @GdD A mistake you should only make once, but I made it twice: first in the oven then in the dehydrator. Now I run it ouside on a nice the sun helps with the drying. – Chris H Apr 12 at 8:41

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