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Old 03-04-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Good Dehydrators?

Hi Everyone,

I am thinking of trying dehydration as a way to preserve foods instead of canning because I want to be able to make it lighter and easier to transport, as well as not worry about things being breakable.

Can anyone recommend the best dehydrator and why?

And if there are any tips on dehydration, I would appreciate it

I want to do some canning, but it takes so long, and so much energy, so I thought this might be a better option.

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Old 03-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Excalibur are supposed to be the top of the heap. They are very well-made, come with bells and whistles such as timers, as well as heat controls. They are very nice, and expensive. I have a Nesco Gardenmaster. It came from a thrift store, so it was cheap, but they're not that expensive new. What is expensive is expansion trays, to increase their capacity. The Excaliburs' capacity cannot be expanded. Nesco dehydrators do not come equipped with timers, but they do come with thermostatic heat controls. Both are fan-forced heated air dehydrators, and the Nesco works quite well. I have a friend who has an Excalibur, and she really likes it. Then there are Ronco and such, which are good dehydrators, much less expensive and not as well-made, generally. If you have access to thrift stores, you might want to try a second-hand for cheap first, to see if it is really somethingyou want to do.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
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Yup, Excalibur is one of the great ones and you will pay the $$$ for them too, unless you luck out and find one at a garage sale or something.

If you want to start out on a smaller scale, the NESCO/American Harvester has several models, but you want one that has a variable temperature control and of course a fan. They have circular stacking trays and can stack as many as you want if you have extras. The one's I see in Wal-Mart are "SnackMaster" and don't have a variable temperature and are slightly smaller than the "GardenMaster".

Do not ever buy a RONCO. They aren't safe.

I've been dehydrating foods for 15 or more years, but it is not a replacement for canning or freezing foods and I don't think you want all your meats in the form of jerky.

I recommend getting the book "Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook". It is the bible for dehydrating foods and has all the information you will ever need.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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I might mention that I have a Nesco Snackmaster as well, and it does have a variable heat control. I would look for that feature.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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i bought one, used it twice. don't remember brand but don't use anymore. i found getting the food really was way to much trouble for the amount i got.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #6
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One of my favorite dried veggies is Roma tomatoes. Their firm enough to slice in the cuis', and dry nicely. Then put 'em up in jars with olive oil. Not much work to it.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:03 AM   #7
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I'm surprised you haven't heard that storing things like dried tomatoes in oil is a potential Botulism growing field. Same goes for garlic stored in oil. Absolute safety no-no's.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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Oh, I have heard that any acidic fruit or veggie can be problematic if not thoroughly dried. I haven't had a problem yet, knock wood.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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Actually it is more the opposite. Just make sure you're luck is good if you continue the practice since the alternative is not pleasant.
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