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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Food Dehydrators

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Post  camprn 9/25/2011, 3:59 pm

I use one like this:dehydrators - Food Dehydrators Food_dehydrator

but I just found plans for a homemade rig:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Box-food-dehydrator/

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Post  Kelejan 9/25/2011, 5:25 pm

I use a BERRON Food Hydrator and I am very happy with it. I have dried lots of veggies and fruits over the years. Love banana chips.



I have a store of dried food in case of emergencies, they keep for years but I rotate them each year.
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Post  shannon1 9/26/2011, 1:36 am

Camprn what is the make of the one in the photo?
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Post  pharmerphil 9/26/2011, 8:57 am

We use a 18 year old EXCALIBUR that I found at a yard sale..
They had 25 Bucks on it...it was clean, USED ONCE...had the book...
I offered 20..they took it!!
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Post  wncsohn 9/26/2011, 11:05 am

pharmerphil - Lucky you!!! That was an awesome find!

My DH just got me an excalibur for my birthday the end of August. I love it! But it certainly cost a WHOLE lot more than $20!!! LOL
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Post  camprn 9/26/2011, 5:07 pm

@shannon1 wrote:Camprn what is the make of the one in the photo?
I think it's a Ronco, I picked it up at a yard sale a few years ago. If you Google food dehydrators and then click on images you will see there are many styles available.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  pharmerphil 9/27/2011, 6:36 am

@wncsohn wrote:pharmerphil - Lucky you!!! That was an awesome find!

My DH just got me an excalibur for my birthday the end of August. I love it! But it certainly cost a WHOLE lot more than $20!!! LOL
I KNOW...had it NOT been a dehydrator...I'd a felt more like I had stole it...than I did Smile
I believe though that by the look in my eyes...the seller knew it was going to a good home...and would get a thorough workout!!!


Camprn, I agree, it looks like a Ronco, I had intended to give my opinion, and got hung up on my great yard sale buy... Rolling Eyes think I'm getting forgetful Shocked
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Post  walshevak 9/29/2011, 9:49 pm

I just found out yesterday that my son's tabletop convection broiler/oven has a DEH setting. So I tried it on some basil. Worked great.


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Post  NHGardener 9/30/2011, 8:28 am

@pharmerphil wrote:We use a 18 year old EXCALIBUR that I found at a yard sale..
They had 25 Bucks on it...it was clean, USED ONCE...had the book...
I offered 20..they took it!!

WOW!!! How did it work?

I was talking to some folks who said they had done a lot of research and liked the Excalibur the best.
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Post  pharmerphil 10/1/2011, 8:00 am

@NHGardener wrote:
@pharmerphil wrote:We use a 18 year old EXCALIBUR that I found at a yard sale..
They had 25 Bucks on it...it was clean, USED ONCE...had the book...
I offered 20..they took it!!

WOW!!! How did it work?

I was talking to some folks who said they had done a lot of research and liked the Excalibur the best.
It worked like a Charm, it had been used once for making beef jerky...the lady who had it stated that: 
They liked the jerky, but hated cleaning up the dehydrator...
well I'm glad she hated that part, she did a great job of cleaning it, it was spotless...
and I admit, if used for jerky, fruit leathers, etc. it is a bit hard to get the shelf liners clean...but not that hard!!
for dehydrating peppers, herbs, vegetables...it's fantastic...even had the book with it...
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Post  shannon1 10/11/2011, 1:44 am

you lucky duck. Must be good Karma.Very Happy
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/11/2011, 7:02 am

I love my EXCALIBUR dehydrator. We have had it for about a year and I have it going 3-4 days a week.

I could cut down the time for drying but one of the benefits of having the EXCALIBUR is that it has an adjustable thermostat. That was the main reason I chose that one. It has been proven that the enzymes in food are destroyed if the temperature exceeds 118 - 120 degrees. I have mine set at 115 degrees (I tested my unit for accuracy).

Raisins take the longest (depending on their size) 2-3 days
Tomatoes take 1 - 1 1/2 days
Kale Chips take 16 - 20 hours
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Post  pharmerphil 10/11/2011, 7:16 am

@shannon1 wrote:you lucky duck. Must be good Karma.Very Happy

I sure felt like it was, especially since I had just been shopping and priced a Ronco...thinking it was the most I could spend...
Karma? could be, I had been in rather good humor prior to that Laughing

MoneyMan...those raisins may take awhile...but they in no way resemble their store bought counterparts
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Post  MoneyMan94 10/11/2011, 2:32 pm

pharmerphil, you are head on. The taste is not to be matched with any store bought ones. We have had friends come over that dont like raisins and they tasted mine and they were hooked. Quite a few had bought a dehydrator from the same place I did.

Rob
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Post  nycquilter 1/9/2012, 10:56 pm

hi. I don't use a dehydrator for when I dry herbs. After I cut the herbs for drying, I "sew" them together (large needle, 100% cotton thread, sew through near to the bottom of the stem), then pin the thread to hand suspended in my basement. I dry all sorts of herbs, including those used for herbal medicine and considered weeds by many. My DH made an area for this in the basement, stringing up just between two suspended bars hung from the ceiling. We also "dry" Roma tomatoes partway in a low oven, at about 120 overnight after slicing in half, placing cut-side up on a rack in the oven, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil. Then store in a jar in the fridge well covered with olive oil (which can then be used as a flavored oil).
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Post  ilvalleygal 1/10/2012, 4:56 pm

While I would love an Excalibur now that I know how much I use my Nesco, one thing about any dehydrator you buy: check for the thermostat and a fan.

I didn't realize how much I would use it so I was very hesitant about getting the Excalibur and opted for the $60 Nesco and it works fine for dehydrating. Years ago I had a dehydrator that was just on/off and it was so uneven that I ended up pitching it after it gathered dust for one too many years.

I air dry herbs too mostly because my little dehydrator is usually busy with other jobs.
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Post  miinva 1/10/2012, 8:00 pm

I bet I'd use a dehydrator a lot more if I had one that wasn't cheap and uneven. I'm going to give that some thought, because I think it would probably be a worthwhile investment.
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Post  Goosegirl 1/10/2012, 8:15 pm

I have been very fortunate with my little cheapie. I got a Nesco several years ago for $29.99 - on/off only, with the blower fan that slides down the middle of the round trays. It has always heated/dried very evenly. Someday I would love to get one with a thermostat for more precise timing, but if it ain't broke.......

GG
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Post  ribarr4 1/11/2012, 11:00 am

Several years ago our old electric oven stoped working so we moved it down to the basement, put a small fan in it and use it as a dehydrator. We mostly do small tomatoes and herbs. No jerky or leathers, but it works great. We just turn the oven light and fan on and shut the door. In late winter we also germinate seeds in it. We have to crack the door open when we do that or it cooks the seeds. It's been so warm in TN this year we haven't had to use it so far though.
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Post  camprn 2/13/2012, 7:21 pm


____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  camprn 3/12/2012, 7:43 pm


____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  TejasTerry 3/12/2012, 8:42 pm

Just bought an Excaliber 3900. Will be using it for the first time tomorrow.

I bought this one after doing quite a bit of research. I've owned a round-type one for several years, but got tired of having to rotate the trays for even drying. I too liked the fact that I can adjust the thermostat.

Some day I will investigate the solar "do it yourself" one. For now, this should be good. Very Happy
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Post  ericam 3/12/2012, 9:48 pm

Not sure which model it is but my family gave us the 9 tray Excalibur with the timer for our birthdays and I love it!

Haven't used it for anything other than apples or mushrooms yet but I do have plans to try jerky and fruit leathers but I need to get the recipe book first.
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Post  shannon1 3/13/2012, 1:53 am

@TejasTerry wrote:Just bought an Excaliber 3900. Will be using it for the first time tomorrow.

I bought this one after doing quite a bit of research. I've owned a round-type one for several years, but got tired of having to rotate the trays for even drying. I too liked the fact that I can adjust the thermostat.

Some day I will investigate the solar "do it yourself" one. For now, this should be good. Very Happy
It is so hot down here I can close the windows in my car and use it as a solr dehydtator. No kidding.
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Post  camprn 3/24/2012, 7:45 am


____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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