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Food Dehydrators

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/22/2016, 12:38 am

OK, thank you Kate and Marie, I get what you are saying....I am thinking I would start with a nice version with the fan top mounted, and stinky stuff outside!  LOL!  Or my garage...it is secure.  

Good advice as always.  Will not be doing jerky. No hunters yet.  I do like it tho!
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/22/2016, 7:22 am

The Nesco's that I have are the FD-60, FD-77DT, & the Gardenmaster Pro (which heats from the bottom. That's the one you can expand out to 30 trays.)

They're all on sale right now if you buy direct right.

Here's a link:

http://www.nesco.com/products/Dehydrators/Dehydrators/
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 12/22/2016, 2:30 pm

Shocked Wow!

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CitizenKate on 12/22/2016, 9:58 pm

Good deals! I'd add another one if we had room...
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Mellen on 12/23/2016, 8:22 pm

Hi CK:  One question:  do you put down parchment or anything before you put the fruit/veg/meat on the tray, or put it directly on the tray?

Also...does anyone out there use sun drying vs. electric?

Thanks for sharing your expertise!
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CitizenKate on 12/25/2016, 1:03 am

Mellen wrote:Hi CK:  One question:  do you put down parchment or anything before you put the fruit/veg/meat on the tray, or put it directly on the tray?
For most dehydrating, it's better to put the pieces to be dried directly on the tray, because the more air you have flowing all around them, the more quickly they will dry.

The only exception I know of is fruit roll-ups, which begins as a paste and has to go on solid sheets of plastic that fit into the trays.

Mellen wrote:
Also...does anyone out there use sun drying vs. electric?
I haven't done sun drying (yet), but I have dried herbs in paper bags, and that is very easy to do. Of course it takes much longer (2-3 weeks, depending on what's being dried and the humidity of your home environment), but has proven to be a reliable no-electricity method for something you don't have to worry about becoming fouled before it can dry out completely.
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 12/25/2016, 1:44 pm

Mellen,  I use sun dehydrating during our long hot summers.  Husband made me 2 boxes with trays from scraps.  The lift up doors seal tight enough to keep the food safe.  This was the original "solar power" design that was immediately modified by making the front and back like screened windows.  I now line line the trays with parchment paper.  I can send more info if you are interested.

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Mellen on 12/25/2016, 2:14 pm

Oh my gosh Sanderson!  That is marvelous.  Is there a link that will give me info on sun drying?  I bought through Amazon a 3-tier net contraption to use for sun drying.  I like yours better but can start the experiment with mine.  Information on timing would be helpful.

Citizen Kate mentioned that she dries herbs in paper bags.  I did that with sage that I container grow, & mountain bay that we pick at our favorite spot in Three Rivers.  I dried basil on paper towels on my kitchen counter ("Mom, what are these weeds all over the place in here"  Razz)  Mostly these were just an experiment, but it worked.

I have sheets of paper all over the place.  I drew different sized SFG's on them.  I downloaded SFG planting guides & cut them into little squares and am moving them all over the board.  Question:  I want to plant both Kentucky Wonder (because I KNOW them) and rattlesnake beans (because I like the name).  Can I put them side by side?  If not, how far apart.

Thanks everyone!    Wow!  Lots to remember!

Merry Christmas to all!  santa
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CitizenKate on 12/25/2016, 10:28 pm

sanderson wrote:Mellen,  I use sun dehydrating during our long hot summers.  Husband made me 2 boxes with trays from scraps.  The lift up doors seal tight enough to keep the food safe.  This was the original "solar power" design that was immediately modified by making the front and back like screened windows.  I now line line the trays with parchment paper.  I can send more info if you are interested.

That is fantastic! With the hot summers we have here, I could probably do something like this, too. From what I can see, this design allows air to flow across the trays, rather than through them? Does keeping the food safe mainly involve keeping insects away, or is bacteria a concern, also?
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CitizenKate on 12/25/2016, 10:42 pm

Mellen wrote:
Citizen Kate mentioned that she dries herbs in paper bags.  I did that with sage that I container grow, & mountain bay that we pick at our favorite spot in Three Rivers.  I dried basil on paper towels on my kitchen counter ("Mom, what are these weeds all over the place in here"  Razz)  Mostly these were just an experiment, but it worked.
For basil, I originally tried just stuffing several entire branches into a bag, but at the end of 2 weeks, I found several of the leaves had some kind of fungus on them, and in the course of the two weeks, it spread to the other leaves.  Then I tried cutting any leaves that had spots or other imperfections off the branches before putting them in the bags.  But some branches ended up with only a couple of leaves on them, and I was not getting much yield from each bag.

Now, I cut off individual leaves I want to dry, fold them flat in a paper towel, then put about 5 paper towels in small paper bags that have had holes punched in several places.  Then close them with clothes pins and set them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks.  The leaves are ready to store in airtight containers when they are so dry they crumble easily.  I try to store the leaves whole, and crush them when they are added to a recipe, because I think this helps preserve the flavor better.

This has worked great for me so far - good yields from each bag, and have had very little problems with fungus.
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/25/2016, 11:54 pm

Why not just hang up branches with the leaves on them?
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Mellen on 12/26/2016, 12:03 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Why not just hang up branches with the leaves on them?
I covered mine mainly to keep the dust off.  The sage & bay leaves I hung inside a paper bag & tied the top off; hung them in my pantry up out of the way.  The basil had paper towels under & over.  It sat back in the corner for 3 weeks or so (I don't even remember how long). I read about the paper bag trick on Google.  I don't even know why I didn't do the same thing with the basil.  I could have, I guess.   thinking
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  trolleydriver on 12/26/2016, 8:01 am

Paper bags work well for me.  I use a hole punch to make ventilation holes in the sides of the bags to improve the drying and help prevent mold/fungus. Also to avoid mold make sure what goes into each bag is dry (i.e.,  no wet or damp leaves).

This Fall I left some branches of Rosemary sitting in a bowl in the kitchen and they dried really well.

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CitizenKate on 12/26/2016, 9:59 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Why not just hang up branches with the leaves on them?
I also tried that, prior to using bags.  I ended up with a bunch of leaves that turned black.  Not sure what caused it - mold, fungus...? - but I just knew that wasn't good.  That was when I decided leaving them in the open air may not be a good thing.
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 1/1/2017, 3:52 pm

I've had this draft for a few days and just now finished. Some of my photos can be found at the bottom of page 3 and middle of page 6.

Found this photo online.  4-sided fly screen for maximum hot air flow in our summers.  I would fit this with more shelves closer together. The wing nuts could be a pain; I like the piano hinges and hooks style my husband used.


Another view of my smaller outdoor dehydrator.  The back panel still needs to be cut out and fitted with fly screen for more efficient air flow.


The bigger one with both front and back with fly screening. I keep meaning to have custom aluminum metal-framed screens as shelves.  I line with parchment paper, anyway, so I'm not worried about aluminum leaching onto acidic produce like hot peppers and tomatoes.

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/1/2017, 6:09 pm

That's very beautiful, Sanderson!

I know it makes perfect sense but I still can't wrap my head around dehydrating outside like that, without power. It gives me the willies.
hyper
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/1/2017, 8:27 pm

VERY nice.... I wouldn't mind having one of those! Hmmmmm...... "Oh, honey...."
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 1/2/2017, 4:14 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:That's very beautiful, Sanderson!

I know it makes perfect sense but I still can't wrap my head around dehydrating outside like that, without power. It gives me the willies.
hyper
Winter 2012-2013, I did some light off-the-grid survival reading and prepping, with growing, preserving and cooking food a big emphasis.  Sanitary sun dehydrating (not "Solar") was my first attempt at preserving.  If nothing else in cooler summer areas, a big part of the dehydration process can be achieved this way, and you can use the electric dehydrator for the finishing drying.  Saves electricity, which in CA, costs an arm and a leg.

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  Mellen on 1/2/2017, 7:08 pm

Thanks Sanderson for all the information.  I don't have a DH, but I do have a DB (dear brother) who I occasionally ask to do stuff for me.  He's always willing.  (I try not to abuse his good nature).  I think I'll show him those photos to see what he says.

I recently purchased one of these (because I also read prepper info): https://www.amazon.com/Dehydrator-Hanging-Drying-Electric-Vegetables/dp/B01GFOG742/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1483401822&sr=8-4&keywords=sun+dehydrator   

We will see how it works this summer.  CC:  In the Central Valley of California, our hot days start in June with 90° & just get worse.  There are some days we could fry an egg on the sidewalk (& people do just to say they did).  I don't think we would have many issues using non-electric dehydrators here.

(Edited to correct misspelled word   Mad )
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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 1/3/2017, 1:21 am

Mellen, The nice thing about that hanging basket is you can hang it indoors, like on a clothes hanger on a door jam. A "herb hanger"! Even if you get a wood framed dehydrator, the basket will still be very useful.

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Re: Food Dehydrators

Post  sanderson on 1/20/2017, 1:21 pm

I saw this post by Lauren River on Facebook (SFG, public group) and am posting here with her permission.  I think this is a clever, inexpensive re-purposing of an item for air-dehydrating herbs.

"I have a good, Tribest Sedona Dehydrator in the house. I utilize it for most of my dehydrating for fruits, veggies, fresh eggs and milk. I've seen so many outdoor dehydrators that cost $40 and up. I knew I had seen these before and finally found one today. Less than $6. I will be utilizing this for drying my herbs for myself and my chickens"


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