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Old 01-21-2005, 04:24 PM   #1
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Anyone use a dehydrator?

Dad just gave me a dehydrator he had but never used....he couldn't find the instructions though.

Does anyone use one of these? If so, what do you use it for?

How long does it take to dehydrate something. Is it worth my while to try and hunt down the instructions and take up cabinet space?

Sizz

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Old 01-21-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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sizz, it's funny you should mention this. i just dug out an excalibur dehydrator from the basement that i was given as a present and have never used (and i've never heard the end of that fact).
but i am planning to make some jerky and dried fruits this week since i have it all set up in the downstairs kitchen. i just started collecting jerky marinade recipes, so i'll let you know how it goes. gonna buy some thick sliced roast beast this weekend and give it a whirl.
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:52 PM   #3
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thanks Bucky!
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:58 AM   #4
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I have one that I love ... for jerky, fruit, and what the instruction/recipe booklet called "fruit leathers" (same thing as the stuff they sell in the store under the name "Fruit Rollups"). After I made a couple of batches of jerky, trail mix, and some fruit leathers for my grand-daughters my son borrowed it to try it out before he bought one ... haven't seen it in almost 3 years now (except for when I go over to his house).
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
After I made a couple of batches of jerky, trail mix, and some fruit leathers for my grand-daughters my son borrowed it to try it out before he bought one ... haven't seen it in almost 3 years now (except for when I go over to his house).
Ah, the sacrifices that we make for our children....
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:50 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
sizz, it's funny you should mention this. i just dug out an excalibur dehydrator from the basement that i was given as a present and have never used (and i've never heard the end of that fact).
but i am planning to make some jerky and dried fruits this week since i have it all set up in the downstairs kitchen. i just started collecting jerky marinade recipes, so i'll let you know how it goes. gonna buy some thick sliced roast beast this weekend and give it a whirl.
bucky, dry some canned pineapple pieces! They are absolutely luscious.

I had a excalibur dehydrator until I found out that I could use my convection oven on the lowest setting.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:59 AM   #7
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I have the old Ronco dehydrator that I've had for about 10 years now, it works great. It does not have different temp settings, just on/off. I've made many things - dried just about every fruit, fruit leather, jerky, dried flowers and herbs. It works great. My husbands Aunt has a dehydrator that she made, it works great also. Someday I might get a fancier one or two, it would make things go much quicker with more than one. :)
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:20 AM   #8
 
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Sizzlin,i have a dehydrator. Don't know what kind it is though. We used it once or twice. Made strawberries, bananas, deer jerky, a couple of other things also. My favorite was the banana chips. I think it would make a good trial mix add some chex in there, pretzels and peanuts.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:16 AM   #9
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choc, thanks for the tip. i bought a golden pineapple, sliced it up and dehydrated it. i cut it into several sizes to see which would come out best. 1/2" to 3/4" slices seemed to work best. over an inch too too long to dehydrate, and the very thin ones were ok but very hard. the medium sized pieces were like candy.

i also made some beef jerky, marinating it in 1 tbsp. each of red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; 2 cups water, 1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce, and a cup of franks hot sauce.

i also made one with oj, franks hot sauce, thyme and oregano. came out strange but very tasty.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:01 AM   #10
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The pineapple sounds delicious!!!

I dry slices of tomatoes or halved plum tomatoes when the garden is producing a lot. They turn out very well.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:30 AM   #11
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thanks essie. i always have too many tomatoes in the summer. never thought of dehydrating them.
i am going to try nectarines and cantelope next, since they are on sale this week, and i had a few; very sweet.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:01 PM   #12
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I've done jerky in the dehydrator but prefer our smoker for that. BUT whenever I find mushrooms at a decent price I buy a bunch, slice them and dry them - boy do they come in handy especially for red sauce!

The pineapple sounds wonderful! And, I'm told, it's the best thing you can eat to flush toxins of any sort out of your system. My MIL was on Prednisone and her Dr. told her to eat pineapple to get it out of her system.

When I use my steamer to make jellies I spread out the remaining pulp to dry for fruit strips.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:13 PM   #13
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My husband's favorite is dried nectarines. I've tried doing bananas, soaked them in pineapple juice and they were really good. But my kids were expecting the harder ones like in the grocery store. Someone told me the banana slices have to be soaked in some kind of coconut oil to get that crunch and flavor of store bought. I know my dehydrator came with a cookbook but I haven't a clue where it is! :)
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:28 PM   #14
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i remember reading on another foodie site (gasp, yes, sadly i have internet baggage 8-) ) that the banana slices were soaked in a simple syrup to get them to crunch when dehydrated. but i've never tried it. i would imagine it also adds a lot of sweetness. for health purposes, i could do without the extra refined sugars. i'm gonna have to find out about the oil thing.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:51 PM   #15
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Sizz, someone gave me one as well. I used it several times, but it really took a long time for dehydrate things, I remember peaches took 36 hours, tomatoes probably about the same. If there is no receipe book along with it, remember the more moisture in the fresh/raw product, the longer it takes to dehydrate. google dehydrator, perhaps recipes will come up. I sold mine in a garage sale. There were recipes for jerky, herbs, fruit roll-ups.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:42 PM   #16
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Remember one thing about dehydrating food ... it takes time - the temp is just high enough to evaporate the moisture as it migrates to the surface but too low to cook the food (about 110-F or so). And, the more moisture in the food, and the thicker it is, the longer it will take.

I did tomatoes .... and depending on when they were harvested (the moisture content) ... they took from 3-7 days. Of course, if I was "sun drying" them .... it would have taken several weeks.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:41 PM   #17
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Should you peel and seed tomatoes before drying? What about pureeing and making tomato leather? If you go that route should you reduce to a paste befire drying?
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by purrfectlydevine
Should you peel and seed tomatoes before drying? What about pureeing and making tomato leather? If you go that route should you reduce to a paste befire drying?
Purr never tried that, but I imagine it would work. If my memory is not failing, the fruit was pureed before spreading on the plastic sheet.
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