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Old 10-02-2011, 09:37 AM   #31
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I had an Oster dehydrator from Walmart. It worked fine, but stopped the other day. I asked my DH to take a look at it to see if he could fix it. He can, the part is 98 cents, BUT it isn't safe. So now I'm looking for one with a fan. For those of you who have more expensive dehydrators, which ones have fans?

Thanks!
Below is what he wrote about the Oster's internal mechanisms.

>It's a thermal switch for temperature regulation that failed. I don't have one in
>> stock, so it would have to be ordered.
>>
>> On inspection of that dehydrator, it's the type of appliance that I
>> would rate as unsafe for use and I'm not known to be particularly
>> safety anal. It has an electric resistance heating coil within about
>> 1/2" of what appears to be a polyethylene case. Polyethylene is quite
>> flammable. To keep the temperature below the ignition temperature of
>> the case, a pair of thermal switches in series are used. One of them
>> is the above component. Dual failure may not be very likely, but if
>> it occurred and the switches failed short, meltdown would likely
>> happen within a minute or two. Note that the dual failure would not
>> have to be simultaneous, and for a fail short condition, you would
>> have no indication of a failure of one of the devices. The dryer
>> would just function normally until the other switch failed.
>>
>> It isn't an appliance that I would want to set on my table and use
>> unattended. Anything like that should have steel inner casings and a
>> steel outer case. Of course that would blow the cost and make it
>> uncompetitive.
>>
>> An oven with fans would be much safer. If it were mine, I would just
>> place it in the trash can.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:21 AM   #32
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I like my Nesco Dehydrator. It works well.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #33
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I wouldn't even guess at how many pounds of food I've put through my Garden Harvest dehydrator in the last ten years.

It's like a Timex...it just keeps on working.

I have 15 trays for it and it has a temperature control.

(Just don't do minced garlic in it. It turns into diamond hard crystals that even laugh at stainless steel blades)
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:41 PM   #34
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I have a dehydrator that no one has mentioned yet. I have the Good4U brand. It is almost identical to the Excalibur except it is quieter (so the reviews say) and is a little cheaper. I use mine weekly (currently drying some raw blanched almonds I made for an almond pesto) for all sorts of things and I love it.

Someone mentioned drying tomatoes. I don't like the sharp taste of sun dried tomatoes, so I dry mine in the dehydrator to about 75% with seasonings and then freeze them. It concentrates the flavors plenty and are great in cooking through winter. Add them directly to quiches, pasta dishes... thaw them and warm them a little for an antipasto platter......

My kids are so hooked on kale chips they demand I buy fresh kale and help me make it in the dehydrator. Then they have trouble waiting for them to dry.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:33 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceoflife View Post
My kids are so hooked on kale chips they demand I buy fresh kale and help me make it in the dehydrator.
Do you have a recipe you would like to share?
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:01 PM   #36
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It's not much of a recipe. I have tried different variations, but then the kids will not eat them.

They love the tang of lemon. So all we do is wash and strip the Dino kale (we like that one best because it lies flat) and put the strips in a bowl. Put a little olive oil, a little salt and a big squeeze of lemon. Toss them around and put them on the trays and away we go until they are super crisp.

They boys pull the trays out of the dehydrator and munch away. Usually they can go through 5 trays at a time. If there is any left over, I just leave them in the dehydrator and the next day give them 30 min extra time on a medium setting to re-crisp them and they finish them off.

They even guard them from each other. It's weird.

If I had it my way, I'd knock back some of the lemon, all of the regular salt and add in hickory salt instead. Yum.

If I cook kale any other way, they will not eat it.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:04 PM   #37
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Thanks spiceoflife. I will be trying this sometime soon. Sounds delicious.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:10 PM   #38
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Hope it works for you!

We were at the farmers market yesterday and my eldest son was getting frustrated at being there. He turns to me and says "Let's just get the kale and go home!"
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:12 PM   #39
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LOL
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:20 PM   #40
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I saw Alton brown use a box fan and layers of furnace filters as a dehydrator. he can be so McGyver sometimes.
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