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Food Dehydrators

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/10/2016, 7:12 am

We've got a Cabela's commercial-type that we love. It's got 54 sq ft of drying space, so probably larger than what most of you would want. (They delivered it on a semi-truck!)

Nesco/American Harvester recently donated 3 dehydrators for us to use in our classes - kind of a "good, better, best" selection. I haven't had the chance to try them yet, but will let you know when we do.
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Post  sanderson on 7/10/2016, 8:04 am

CC, Some folks listed their make and model earlier in the thread.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/12/2016, 10:22 am

OK, so I just ordered a cheapo one - $20, free shipping - to see if I'll use it often enough to justify putting the moola into a good one.  It arrives mid next week and first on the agenda is kale, sweet potato, apple and pear chips!
hungry

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nesco-500-Watt-Food-Dehydrator-FD-39P/24919945

I'll be keeping the box in case it breaks before the year long warranty is up.

CC
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Post  yolos on 7/12/2016, 11:30 am

You are right CC, that is a great price.  But don't get discouraged with dehydrating if it doesn't work perfectly.  From my reading of various reviews on Amazon, It has three main flaws.  

- you cannot set the heat temperature and products (veggies) things work best at different temperatures.

- it does not have a timer so you have to be available when you expect the food to be completely dehydrated.

- it is very noisy so put it somewhere where you won't hear the plane taking off.

There are a few other problems, but these are the three I would be worried about.  But like you said, it is cheap and an easy way to try dehydrating.  Good luck and hope it works for you.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/12/2016, 1:44 pm

@yolos wrote:
- you cannot set the heat temperature and products (veggies) things work best at different temperatures.

- it does not have a timer so you have to be available when you expect the food to be completely dehydrated.

- it is very noisy so put it somewhere where you won't hear the plane taking off.

Yes, I read those also.  Can't do anything about no temp settings but I did figure I could use it in the basement in lieu of the dehumidifier or to dry out the garage or warm my bedroom in winter, hence no noise in the living area.  Also, I use plug in timers A LOT!  Like on my old fashioned Mr Coffee maker so it starts brewing before i get up, lights in my house during winter so it's not dark when I get home from work, and my bedroom heater so the room is warmed up before I go in to bed.  I'll put one on this li'l puppy, too, as well as using the stove timer to remind me to check on it occaisionally.
Smile
Ooooo...just thought of another use...put it in my box bay window to keep the March planted starts warm.  While I'm at work of course. Wink
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Post  llama momma on 7/12/2016, 3:10 pm

My un- programmable dehydrator experience -Or - another point of view:


Operate  when you are going to be home.

I flip trays to make things heat evenly and have also turned contents over to even out the heat. This greatly reduces sticking to trays also.

Husband doesn't complain about noise, and I don't hear it running until I put in the hearing aids.  Don't wear them while dehydrating. Wink Easy peasy.


Last edited by llama momma on 7/12/2016, 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : expand thoughts)
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Post  trolleydriver on 7/12/2016, 5:01 pm

CC ... I got a "cheapo" last year. Well not so cheap up here. I paid more than twice what you paid. It has the "Mr Coffee" brand name on it.  Like yours it has no heat control and no timer. Even so, I thought it worked OK and I plan on using it again.
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Post  sanderson on 7/16/2016, 8:34 pm

My hi-tech.  Cayenne and herbs: dehydrators - Food Dehydrators - Page 6 Dehydr11
Dehydrator with the screened front pane hooked open for photo. Hot chilies and sage:  dehydrators - Food Dehydrators - Page 6 Dehydr10

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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/17/2016, 6:16 am

@sanderson wrote:My hi-tech.  Cayenne and herbs: dehydrators - Food Dehydrators - Page 6 Dehydr11

That's really funny, Sanderson! Laughing  Wouldn't work here though...too humid.  I'm struggling to get some Pak choi pods to dry enuff to crack open before they get moldy.
Hey, can dehydrator be used for seed harvesting, as in putting pods in to dry out???
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/17/2016, 6:26 am

Sure, CC. I'd put it on a low temp, like for herbs, if the temp's adjustable.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/17/2016, 6:36 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Sure, CC.  I'd put it on a low temp, like for herbs, if the temp's adjustable.

Hm, one temp only on mine.  Probably best to heat it up then turn it off before adding the pods.
Thanks Marie.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/17/2016, 1:10 pm

How about your oven? How low a temp can you put in for that?
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Post  sanderson on 7/17/2016, 3:03 pm

I wonder if drying seeds in a low oven or too high of a temp with a dehydrator would kill them??  My oven only goes down to 150*F. They are living organisms.

Yes, in the summer it is dry and hot here.

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/17/2016, 4:22 pm

Oh, I wouldn't use the oven if it only goes that low! You're correct, Sanderson. It would kill them.

I'd say no higher than 90 or maybe 95...
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Post  sanderson on 7/17/2016, 4:42 pm

Body temp!

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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/23/2016, 11:21 am

We like this book for some great tips and recipes. No dehydrators - Food Dehydrators - Page 6 Img_2056

500 watt Nesco for 4 hours worked great for kale chips. I also made beet chips and chard chips. I really really like the beet chips as they have a slight sweetness to them. The kale chips were very thin as the bed is covered and so they don't get tough. I'll try the Dino kale next and see if I can get a firmer chip.

CC
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/12/2016, 11:44 am

I love dehydrating! I'm filling quart jars with crumbled dried greens for winter smoothies and soups! This ROCKS!
What a Face
If I could grow summer squash I'd fill jars with those, too. What else should I jar up? Not garlic or onions since those store so well...and I don't really use many spices and don't have enough carrots. Guess I should do at least one of tomatoes. I did beets but they turned into tiny little 'raisens' and went into a tiny refrigerated jar. Will cukes work?

CC
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/12/2016, 11:54 am

Sweet potato chips, potato slices for scalloped potatoes, potato cubes.

Just be sure to blanch the potatoes. They turn an ugly black/purple if you don't, lol.

Apple skins, make fruit into leather...

The list goes on.

If you're on fb, there's a group called Dehydrating Divas & Dudes. LOTS of great info there... You'll see me - I'm the ostrich face picture!
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/12/2016, 12:03 pm

Just joined the fb group. Thanks, Marie!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/27/2016, 11:31 am

I am buying one today and joining the fb group!
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Post  trolleydriver on 8/27/2016, 11:41 am

Need to dig out my dehydrator that I bought used. The problem is that it only has an on/off switch (no temp control and no timer). I keep thinking I should buy a better one but my cheapness stops me.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/27/2016, 11:51 am

@trolleydriver wrote:Need to dig out my dehydrator that I bought used. The problem is that it only has an on/off switch (no temp control and no timer). I keep thinking I should buy a better one but my cheapness stops me.

Mine is like that, TD, no frills. I love it. It will dehydrate everything. Today I'm dehydrating beets, squash, apples and oranges all in one batch. I have no idea how this works out but if they are finished at different times I'll just take them out and keep the rest going,  checking on them every couple of hours or so.
What a Face
I had to turn off the dehydrating Facebook forum because it was taking up all my space and I was missing whatever my friends were posting. But I can always go to the dehydrating fb page and take a look to see what everybody's doing rather than having it post to my wall. It's amazingly interesting! Even if you don't dehydrate it's worth looking at.

CC
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Post  trolleydriver on 8/27/2016, 11:59 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:

I had to turn off the dehydrating Facebook forum because it was taking up all my space and I was missing whatever my friends were posting. But I can always go to the dehydrating fb page and take a look to see what everybody's doing rather than having it post to my wall. It's amazingly interesting! Even if you don't dehydrate it's worth looking at.

CC

Thanks CC ... I'd like to take a look at that Facebook forum. Do you have a specific link?
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/27/2016, 12:06 pm

I don't, TD. Do you have Facebook? If so just type in Dehydrating Divas & Dudes into the fb find friends box and it should take you there. If not let me know and I'll see if I can get the link.
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Post  llama momma on 8/27/2016, 12:10 pm

Just now tried to join fb page, can't see any posts until membership is accepted. So it's in pending mode for now.
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