You can use a food dehydrator to preserve fruits and vegetables or to make jerky. It's practically a necessity for those following a raw food diet; it lets you create more complex recipes that resemble foods that should be cooked, such as crackers and breads. Since a dehydrator cooks at such a low temperature, it preserves the integrity of the enzymes in the food.
Prepare the food for cooking. Thoroughly wash any fruits and vegetables and slice them to the size that you want. If you're making jerky, thinly slice the meat and season it as you desire. To make fruit leathers, blend fruits until they are a smooth consistency.
Place food on the dehydrator trays. Your dehydrator should have several layers of trays, allowing you to cook many foods at once. If your food is in fairly large chunks, you can lay them right on the trays. If you'll be dehydrating purees, line the trays with waxed paper.
Set the temperature and timer. Most food dehydrators have a thermostat that you can set between 90 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Some dehydrators come equipped with a timer that will automatically shut off the unit when the food is done. Check your user's manual for the proper settings.
Wait several hours. Most foods take at least eight hours to fully dehydrate.
Check the progress and flip the food if necessary.