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How To: Dehydrate Celery

Dehydrating celery is easy once you know how to do it. This versatile ingredient can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and more! Dehydrated celery is a great way to add flavor without adding extra work.

Having dehydrated celery around the house really seems like a weird thing to be happy about. But I'm always happy to have it in the pantry!

But really, fresh celery is a generally unhappy vegetable - it gets wilty 2 days after it hits your fridge. Then it's just there, wilting, and judging you for not using it yet.

Then by day 3 or 4, it gets TOO wilted to really enjoy, so you toss it in the freezer to make stock with later on, without even having touched it. UGH!

Dehydrating celery fixes that flawed system.

This how to dehydrate celery guide is dedicated to fixing the system.

Dehydrated celery in a mason jar.

Recipe Snapshot

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Dehydrating Time: 6-8 hours
Best Part: Adding celery flavor to recipes without the mess!
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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> Pick the freshest, most vibrant foods you can when dehydrating. The most important reason for this is that the fresher the food that goes into the dehydrator, the fresher the flavor and texture when reconstituted.

No. 2 --> This guide includes pre-treating the celery with a quick water blanche and ice bath. While the blanching step is optional, I highly recommend it for a better finished product.

No. 3 --> Aim for consistency in your slice or dice. I say it with every dehydrator recipe I post, but it bears repeating! The more consistent the pieces you are dehydrating, the more consistent the drying time, the final result, and the reconstituted product. The faster all pieces are dried, the better as longer drying times can lead to less flavor in the dried food.

No. 4 --> It can be a bit of a pain for storage purposes, but storing the dehydrated celery in smaller jars is better - because we are removing so much volume, a lot of celery fits in one jar. Large jars mean more opening and closing the jar and exposing the celery to the air which can degrade the quality.

Dried celery in a gold measuring cup.

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Key Ingredients

Celery: Don't be alarmed! This is a one ingredient recipe! All you need is celery. When you're picking your produce, make sure it's ripe, and smells strongly of celery. The ribs should be firm and tough. Avoid wiggly, soft rib this celery should be tossed in the freezer for turkey stock or composted.

2 large bunches of celery.

How To Make:

Wash + Blanche:

  1. Prepare a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the broad whitish ends of the celery stalk and the top to remove the calloused harvest cut. Separate all of the ribs, and wash and scrub them well in cold water to remove any dirt, bugs, or contaminants. Avoid soaking your celery in water. If you're dehydrating the celery leaves, there is no need to separate them from the ribs.
  3. Cut the prepared celery into pieces that will fit into your pot, for my pot, I needed to trim into halves.
  4. Once the pot is at a rolling boil, place the trimmed celery ribs into the pot. Allow them to blanche in the boiling water for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Transfer the celery to an ice water bath to rapidly cool. After 1-2 minutes in the ice bath, remove the celery and blot dry.

Prepare:

  1. Once the celery has been blanched, cooled, and dried, it's time to chop or prepare as desired.
  2. Slice the celery into rounds or slice down the ribs lengthwise and dice. Regardless of what size or shape, attempt to make your slice or dice is uniform - this will improve drying time, and end result.

Dehydrate:

  1. Spread prepared celery pieces on dehydrator trays, it's important to keep it in a single layer, again, to improve drying time, efficiency, and consistency.
  2. Place the trays in the food dehydrator and dry at 125f for 6-8 hours or until completely dried. To test the celery, remove a few pieces, allow them to cool to room temperature, then check out the texture - they should be very hard little pellets.

Store + Condition:

  1. Once the celery pieces and leaves are completely dried, allow it to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes. This allows the heat to dissipate and reduces the chances of condensation forming in your storage container.
  2. Once the dried celery is in it's storage container, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you're good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the celery back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they've been dried the second time, you'll need to go through the conditioning process again.
A vacuum sealed mason jar in front of Avid Armor chamber vac sealer.

Storage

Dehydrated celery, properly stored in airtight, preferably glass jars, in a climate controlled location will maintain its quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.

I personally like to place my dehydrated celery into jars and vacuum seal them in my Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer! It works amazing for removing the air from mason jars, giving my dehydrated goods a longer shelf life.

Dehydrated celery in a jar beside an Avid Armor vac sealer.

To Blanche Or Not?

As mentioned previously, it is not strictly necessary but I highly recommend it. The blanching step adds a couple more minutes to the process but it has many upsides.

Blanching your celery before dehydrating can stop chemical changes within the celery associated with spoilage, preserves color, stops ripening, and although it seems counter intuitive, blanching can help improve dry time as cooking can help to break down fibrous cell walls within the celery.

Rehydrating Celery

The guidelines for rehydrating celery are the same as most dehydrated foods - add an equal amount of dehydrated celery and water - by volume - and allow to soak.

The dried celery can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the celery while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours - it can get a little gross!

If you're adding dehydrated celery to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!

You'll know the celery is rehydrated when it is nearly the same size as it was before it went into the dehydrator.

Dehydrated celery in a gold measuring cup.

Celery Salt + Celery Flakes

You can turn your dried celery leaves and pieces into homemade celery salt, much the same as you make homemade garlic salt!

Simply add 3 parts of dehydrated celery pieces, or leaves to a spice grinder or high powered blender along with 1 part of coarse kosher salt - blend until fully combined. Some people prefer this to be a powder consistency, but I like a little bit more structure to my celery salt.

For example, blend 3/4 cup dried celery and 1/4 cup kosher salt in a blender. Once it reaches your desired consistency, transfer it to an airtight container for storage.

To make dried celery flakes, simply place dehydrated celery pieces between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll over them with a heavy rolling pin!

Limitations

Listen dehydrated foods are wonderful. They're work up front but they save time and effort on the back end, but they do have limitations!

You won't be able to rehydrate a rib of celery, smear with peanut butter, sprinkle with raisins and call it ants on a log.

BUT, that doesn't mean celery isn't a valuable food to dehydrate and store. Dehydrated celery is excellent in cooked dishes that need celery, like soups, stews, stocks, sauces. Any time you need celery flavor and not the crunch or structure, you can use dehydrated celery!

More Dehydrating Guides:

DEHYDRATOR: I use this EXCALIBUR DEHYDRATOR I bought in like 2014. It's a 9 tray model, with a timer, adjustable thermostat (between 105f and 165f). I love this little machine, it works great. I've used it to proof bread, make yogurt, and dehydrate all the things.

FOOD PROCESSOR: I have a CUISINART FOOD PROCESSOR that is probably 10 years old, and it's a total workhorse! The slicing blade makes short work of the tedious job of slicing all these celery stalks!

AVID ARMOR Chamber Vacuum Sealer: This CHAMBER VACUUM SEALER works much better than a bar-style sealer. It's well built, and after months of continuous use, I am confident it will last years and years in my kitchen. If you cook, hunt, or harvest a lot, you'll definitely be interested in this unit. Use the discount code CRAVE to save on your purchase!

📖 Printable Recipe

Dehydrated celery in a mason jar.
Yield: ~

How To: Dehydrate Celery

Got extra celery? Dehydrate it! Drying celery is the best way to preserve it. Dehydrated celery is great for adding flavor to soups, stews, sauces and more easily and without the mess. The process of dehydrating celery is so easy, you'll actually enjoy it! Plus, when properly stored, it can be kept for over 12 months.

Ingredients

  • fresh celery

Instructions

Wash + Blanche:

  1. Prepare a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the broad whitish ends of the celery stalk and the top to remove the calloused harvest cut. Separate all of the ribs, and wash and scrub them well in cold water to remove any dirt, bugs, or contaminants. Avoid soaking your celery in water.
  3. If you're dehydrating the celery leaves, there is no need to separate them from the ribs. Cut the prepared celery into pieces that will fit into your pot.
  4. Once the pot is at a rolling boil, place the trimmed celery ribs into the pot. Allow them to blanche in the boiling water for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Transfer the celery to an ice water bath to rapidly cool. After 1-2 minutes in the ice bath, remove the celery and place on a clean kitchen towel.

Prepare:

  1. Once the celery has been blanched and cooled, it's time to chop or prepare as desired.
  2. Slice the celery into rounds or slice down the ribs lengthwise and dice, being mindful to keep the size consistent.

Dehydrate:

  1. Spread prepared celery pieces on dehydrator trays in a single layer.
  2. Place the trays in the food dehydrator and dry at 125f for 6-8 hours or until completely dried. To test the celery, remove a few pieces, allow them to cool to room temperature, then check out the texture - they should be very hard and brittle.

Store + Condition:

  1. Once the celery flakes and leaves are completely dried, allow them to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes. Then transfer to an airtight container or mason jar.
  2. Once the dried celery is in it's storage container, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you're good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the celery back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they've been dried the second time, you'll need to go through the conditioning process again.

Notes

to blanche or not?

Blanching your celery before dehydrating can stop chemical changes within the celery associated with spoilage, preserves color, stops ripening, and although it seems counter intuitive, blanching can help improve dry time as cooking can help to break down fibrous cell walls within the celery.

rehydrating celery

The guidelines for rehydrating celery are the same as most dehydrated foods - add an equal amount of dehydrated celery and water - by volume - and allow to soak.

The dried celery can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the celery while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours - it can get a little gross!

If you're adding dehydrated celery to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!

You'll know the celery is rehydrated when it is nearly the same size as it was before it went into the dehydrator.

celery salt

Simply add 3 parts of dehydrated celery pieces, or leaves to a spice grinder or high powered blender along with 1 part of coarse kosher salt - blend until fully combined. Some people prefer this to be a powder consistency, but I like a little bit more structure to my celery salt.

For example, blend 3/4 cup dried celery and 1/4 cup kosher salt in a blender. Once it reaches your desired consistency, transfer it to an airtight container for storage.

To make dried celery flakes, simply place dehydrated celery pieces between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll over them with a heavy rolling pin!

limitations

You won't be able to rehydrate a rib of celery, smear with peanut butter, sprinkle with raisins and call it ants on a log.

Dehydrated celery is excellent in cooked dishes that need celery, like soups, stews, stocks, sauces. Any time you need celery flavor and not the crunch or structure, you can use dehydrated celery!

storage

Dehydrated celery, properly stored in airtight, preferably glass jars, in a climate controlled location will maintain its quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.

I store dehydrated celery in mason jars and vacuum seal them in my Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer! It works amazing for removing the air from mason jars, giving my dehydrated goods a longer shelf life.

Recommended Products

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