How to Use a Convection Oven As a Food Dehydrator

Susan Cutler Recipe

By Susan Cutler suak


I happen to have 2 convection ovens and I use them over my regular oven to dehydrate foods. Convection cooking takes less time than your regular oven.

I always prop oven door open just a little so more air gets into it to help circulate and dry. I use a very large rubber spatula, the kind that is heat proof to prop door open.


cookie sheets
wooden spoon
fruits and vegetables
meats for jerky

Directions Step-By-Step

"You do not necessarily need a food dehydrator to dry food. A convection oven works well as a food dehydrator because its fan and convection cycle speed up the food drying process. Drying food in this way prevents the formation of bacteria, yeast and molds by removing the moisture from the food. It also slows the enzymes that will eventually break down the components of the food." by Mary McNally, eHow Contributor
1. Heat your convection oven to between 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the food to be dried on a cookie sheet so that the food edges are not touching and there is plenty of air circulation around the food
3. Put the loaded cookie sheet into the convection oven.

4. Close the oven door or experiment with propping it open with a wood spoon for more air circulation.
5. Remove a piece of dried food from the convection oven, and let it cool before you taste it to determine its level of dryness.
READ MORE: How to Use a Convection Oven As a Food Dehydrator |

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Snacks

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Marsha Gardner mrdick1950
Nov 11, 2012
Sue I have vacuum sealer and I never thought about using bags to pack my dried tomatoes in oil in bags with it. I do use the lid sealer for the jars though. I just keep them in a cool place. I have never had a problem with them. I do have an extra refrigerator and maybe I should begin storing them in there. Have to think about that.
Susan Cutler suak
Nov 10, 2012
Hi Ladies!
I have been under the weather, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I see you all are having fun and I agree with everything. LOL
Marsha, I guess I haven't looked at what convection ovens come with lately. It's wonderful they have proofing settings along with a dehydrating setting, but, I am not surprised. So many of us dehydrate and bake bread, hey! I do...wish I had that setting also. :)

Yes Deb, I am going to follow Marsha's suggestions also next summer. I love tomatoes packed in oil. Marsha, do you store your tomatoes packed in oil in your refrigerator or do you have an extra refrigerator for bulk storage? Maybe not if you also process by dehydrating and also use your vacuum sealer and freeze them. I also have a vacuum sealer. I do use it for just about everything. It is wise however, as you, to use a variety of different methods. Sounds good! Thank you Ladies! Sue

One question while you are/we talking tomatoes--when can you process with oil and vacuum seal them (meaning-can oil be added after dyhydrating) and then seal plus before freezing can you add oil and spice before freezing)?
Thank you Marsha and Deb for all your comments and ideas. Love them...Sue
Deb Crane songchef
Nov 10, 2012
Thank you Marsha! Will try that for sure. :)
Marsha Gardner mrdick1950
Nov 9, 2012
Deb, I just dry them until they are dry but still pliable. I then put them in jars and add olive oil. I don't process them and I have never had a problem. I read that they should be kept refrigerated. I also dry some and put them into freezer bags and freeze them. I like the oil packed the best because the oil is flavored with the tomato.
Deb Crane songchef
Nov 9, 2012
Marsha, do you have a recipe for the dried tomatoes in olive oil? I have been reading and many say it isnt safe to can them in oil. I would love to know how! I did roasted red peppers but didnt use oil. I can add oil when I open the jars. They are ok, but lack the flavor that the oil gives.
As a gift I received a dehydrator. Really, the oven is just as good.