I have always liked food dehydrators and I have been constantly finding other functions to allow them to be more flexible. As a result, I became thrilled after reading through a University of Missouri Extension Office feature about creating a homemade yogurt.
The feature, ‘incubator agnostic’, also included a recipe. Basically they were not concerned on the method of maintaining the warmth of the concoction as the yogurt was created by the cultures. Maintaining a temperature range of 108 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit was the only important condition to be maintained to allow the culture to develop.
Even as uncomplicated as it sounds, it is not that easy. A number of dehydrators do not have room for the yogurt containers since the loading trays are not that adjustable. The temperature settings of a number of cheaper versions are not adjustable. Prior to starting, check if the dehydrator that you have complies with the standards. You can read more about choosing a food dehydrator before buying one.
Take out your preferred yogurt recipe or you can find one at the University of Missouri Extension Office site to utilize your dehydrator. As you are getting the mixture ready, let the dehydrator heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When the recipe will call for you to put the full cup inside the incubator or the yogurt maker, put the container into the dehydrator in place of the incubator or yogurt maker. The time it should stay inside the dehydrator should be just about the same time it is supposed to stay inside the incubator, taking into consideration on how solid and sharp you want the end product to be.
It will also be important for you to think about is the efficiency level of the food dehydrator in producing yogurt. The dehydrator may not be the most efficient device in making yogurt. Since yogurt makers are normally just a bit bigger than the cups that they are supposed to incubate, they would not need too much energy to maintain the heat, making them more efficient in making yogurt. On the other hand, food dehydrators normally utilize a fan and a warmer and there is also the possibility that it will have a good amount of unused space surrounding the cups which would be warmed up needlessly.
But, the efficiency lost due to the large space that it has for storage can be recouped by allowing the incubation of a bigger number of yogurt containers. A dehydrator which has several removable trays has the capability of holding numerous groups of containers for each tray, just as long as the tray is solid enough to hold them. Its efficiency will be enhanced when it will be able to culture numerous trays at one time. Just make sure that the trays are strong enough to hold the containers.
I have faith that dehydrators will have just about the same degree of efficiency as the other devices as an incubator for the yogurt cultures and producing the yogurt itself. By avoiding the purchase of additional yogurt machines, you will easily make up whatever efficiency your dehydrator has lost when incubating the yogurt culture since you will be producing these in bigger groups. I would love to get feedback from you on the other functions that you may have for your food dehydrator aside from the usual drying of food.