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Drying fruit and vegetables in a wood-fired oven

Drying your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is likely to give you as much pleasure as cooking bread and other food. You’ll have seen on the curve that drying is carried out using the residual heat.

When can I begin the drying process? 

At slightly below 100°C.

But it’s mostly down to practice and experience. 

You can place fruit that has a high water content in the oven at around 100°C; because the simple fact of placing a mass of cold foodstuffs in the oven will bring down the temperature.  However, fine herbs need to be treated with care.  As they have very little water to evaporate, do not place them in the oven at over 50°C.

 

But which temperature are we talking about?  The air temperature in the oven or the temperature of the hearth? 

The hearth and dome are obviously hotter than the ambient air.  You can therefore dry things in contact with the hearth, on a baking tray covered with cooking paper for example, and leave the door slightly open. 

 

How much time is needed for drying? 

There is no precise answer to this question because there are so many variables: the size of the oven, the accumulated heat, outside temperature, volume and moisture content of the product to be dried, etc.

 

A few tips

    Tomatoes and fruit: 18 to 24 hours

    Mushrooms: 2 to 4 hours

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