How to Dry Vegetables From a Garden


Canning, freezing or drying are ways to preserve vegetables after harvesting a bountiful crop. An efficient way to dry vegetables from the garden is to use a countertop home food dehydrator. While they come in several models, most are similar in operation and include trays for holding the vegetables during drying. Some vegetables will require water or steam blanching before drying. Beets require cooking before drying. Refer to the links in references for recommended blanching and drying times.

Step 1

Select ripe (not overripe) vegetables free of defects.

Step 2

Wash the vegetables in cold water to clean.

Step 3

Cut the vegetables into uniformed sized pieces if necessary. Colorado State University Extension (see link in Resources below) provides a chart on how to cut the different vegetable varieties for drying.

Step 4

Blanch the vegetables (if necessary) by submerging them in boiling water or steaming in a lidded pot without touching the water.

Step 5

Submerge the blanched vegetables immediately in a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

Step 6

Arrange the vegetable pieces on the food trays, one layer without the pieces touching each other. If drying more than one type of vegetables, do not mix vegetable types on the individual trays. By having just one vegetable type on each tray, you can remove a tray if that vegetable is finished drying, and continue drying the remaining trays.

Step 7

Place the trays in the food dehydrator and turn on, according to the manufacturer's instructions, and dry at 140 degrees F.

Step 8

Check vegetables every two hours and turn. Drying time will vary, depending on the type of vegetable.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Large saucepan or steamer
  • Bowl
  • Food dehydrator with trays


  • Virginia Tech: Using Dehydration to Preserve Fruits, Vegetables, and Meats

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University Extension: Drying Vegetables
Keywords: drying vegetables, dehydrating vegetables, drying garden vegetables

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.