Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
Low carb diets (or any diet) can make it difficult to satisfy your cravings for crunchy, salty snacks. But this step-by-step guide will show you how to make salted cucumber snack chips with vinegar (or any other vegetable chips) using a dehydrator or oven on a low heat setting.
Dehydrated vs Oven-Baked
A dehydrator is essentially a low-temperature oven that circulates air throughout, drying the food evenly from top to bottom and side to side (like a convection oven). It is designed to “slowly” remove moisture and crisp the food rather than “cook it.”
It has the advantage of being easier to achieve consistency. You don’t have to worry about them burning or having the edges turning brown like in an oven.
However, a dehydrator is slower than an oven. It takes 12 hours to dry chips, while it takes 3 to 4 hours in the oven. This means you need to plan ahead when using a dehydrator. You don’t want it to stay until 3 am.
You can also adjust the temperature in a dehydrator to your liking. Dry almost everything at 135°, which seems to be the ideal temperature for crisp dried produce. This will depend on how thick the slices are, however, and how much water they have.
So, the dehydrator has a lot more advantages as it gives you more control over the end product. The main problem is the time it takes.
Which is the Best Dehydrator for Vegetables?
You may try the American Harvest dehydrator (aka Nesco brand, American Harvest). You may use them to dry tomatoes and chile peppers on the farm for your spice blends.
Some are less expensive, however. While many of these are fine, they can’t control the temperature or allow you to add trays. If you do choose a cheaper one, make sure you have a temperature setting that you can adjust, and consider how many trays you need someday.
You can easily find used ones on local marketplace apps.
Using a Mandolin vs a Knife
Consistency in thickness is key to successful salt and vinegar cucumber chips. You may be able to get consistent, thin slices if you have a lot of skill with a knife.
The thickness of the chip slices will affect how long they dry and how crisp they will become. You can adjust the thickness of your slices with a mandolin, which is faster than a knife once you have it down.
Mandolins come in many different brands, some of which are quite affordable. It is also safe. It is sturdy on the counter and has a knob to keep your fingers from the sharp blades.
A mandolin’s disadvantage is its high price. You don’t need a mandolin if you already own a knife. Just make sure that your knife is sharp and be careful with your fingers when you are slicing thinly.
Salted Cucumber Snack Recipe Card
- Mandolin (optional)
- 2 Medium Cucumbers
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tsp Vinegar Apple cider vinegar or your favorite
- To ensure that they dry evenly, slice cucumbers thinly. If you have a mandolin slicer, use it to get better results. A very sharp knife is a good alternative if you don’t own a mandolin.
- Use a paper towel to dry the cucumber slices to get rid of as much moisture as you can. Then, add the cucumbers and the other ingredients to a large bowl. Toss everything gently, but thoroughly to combine.
- For a dehydrator: put the cucumber slices on the trays, then dry them at 135°F for 12 hours. Or, until they reach the desired crispiness. Begin to check your cucumbers after 10 hours.
- For an oven: put the slices on a baking tray lined with a baking tray. Let them dry at 175°F for 3-4 hours. Check every hour to make sure they don’t burn or brown around the edges. Turn them upside down halfway through.
- Let slices cool completely before you serve.