This is my dehydrator, only 4 trays but it does a good job. Plug it in and hot air blows through drying whatever you put in the tray. How long does it take? Depends on the food, how large the pieces area and how much water content they have.
I used to use it for drying herbs but found the microwave to be much faster and energy efficient. But now I am drying vegetables for long term storage for those just in case times. I already dried 2 large packages of mixed veggies so they are ready to use in soups.
I had gotten some green bell peppers on sale for 4 for $1. I scooped up 8 of them, nice big ones in a lovely green and in excellent condition. Cut in half, seeds & stem removed then sliced into strips and chopped into roughly 1/2" pieces.
6 peppers filled my four trays. As they dried I rotated trays every couple of hours. I think they took about 8 hours, I didn't keep track as I was doing other stuff.
I unplugged the unit when I went to bed. I checked them this morning and they looked like this. I promise you the tray was completely full and covered when they were put in fresh.
Now they are perfectly dry so I packed them into one of my vintage blue jars.
This is a pint jar and when I dry the other 2 peppers it will be full. They can be rehydrated for use in anything, I'm thinking meatloaf. I can also add some to soups. I have a great recipe for stuffed bell pepper soup, basically chop up all the same ingredients, add beef broth and you have a wonderful soup!
Think I'll go chop up the other bell peppers and maybe some carrots to dry today.
Everyone have a safe and happy Christmas!