What is a Drying Oven?

Mary Elizabeth

A drying oven is a device for applying low heat over a long time to a variety of objects for a variety of purposes. Some kitchen ovens come with an option for one. This allows an appliance primarily for cooking to be used for drying flowers, as well as food dehydration to extend shelf life. A dedicated drying oven is often used in the food industry to create snacks such as pretzels, bagel crisps, crackers, extruded corn products, and chips.

Hot drying ovens are often used to sterilize equipment in labs and cleanrooms.
Hot drying ovens are often used to sterilize equipment in labs and cleanrooms.

Another use of the drying oven is sterilization and drying for laboratory equipment, such as glassware. Features may include forced convection, adjustable ventilation, and a digital timer. Air circulation may be achieved with either a fan or a turbine. Convection drying ovens may also be used for thermal testing, thermal storage, evaporation, and heat treatments. Larger models may include conveyor belts.

Use of the drying oven with ceramics is two-fold. For one thing, they are an essential element of commercial manufacture of a wide range of products, including sanitary ware such as toilet bowls, sewer pipe, tiles, and glass and porcelain. On the other hand, the pottery kiln, used for both built and thrown pottery, is another type of drying oven, found in the studios of many potters and a number of art departments.

Manufacturers of chemicals use two types of drying ovens: continuous dryers and batch dryers. In this industry, the ovens are used for slurries and stearates, among other compounds. They are also an important component in the manufacture of chlorine gas. The curing of rubber and plastics also takes place in a drying or curing oven.

Archaeological sites have turned up these types of ovens used in the past. An archaeological dig in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England in 2006 by Archenfield Archaeology Ltd. turned up a malt drying oven that might have been abandoned due to the Black Death. Another was found in Raunds, Northamptonshire, England in 1980, and a malt kiln was excavated in Great Linford, Milton Keynes, England in 1978.

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Discussion Comments


A fun activity to do with your kids is make your own potato chips. You don't need any kind of big, expensive industrial drying oven to do this. Your oven at home will work just fine.

Just wash and scrub the potatoes and slice them very thin. Next sprinkle them with a little salt or whatever other type of seasoning you would like. Just put them on a baking sheet - the silicone ones work the best for this. Bake them in a preheated oven at 225 degrees for about an hour.

They will be nice and crisp and probably won't last long!


If you like to dry your own fruit, but don't have a food dehydrator, you can use your oven. Drying fruit in the oven is not hard at all - it just takes some time.

Once you have your fruit ready to go, all you need to do is preheat your oven to 145 degrees. Place the fruit, single layer, right on your oven racks. If you prefer, you can place a layer of cheese cloth over the racks.

Leave the door propped open just a bit so the steam can escape. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours for the fruit to dry and be the texture you want it to be. It should be dry, but still a little flexible.


My oven comes with many options that I don't use very often, but the convection oven is one that I have come to enjoy. I like the taste of roasted peppers on salads and the convection oven makes it easy.

I just place the oven setting on convect roast at 400 degrees. Place the peppers in the oven for about 30 minutes until the skins start to char and bubble a little bit.

When I remove them from the oven, I put them in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes, then peel off the skin. They are the perfect texture and taste to top off a delicious salad.

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