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Old 08-25-2019, 05:59 PM   #1
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Dehydrator recommendations

Between me and my son, our dehydrator has been non stop for the last month. Everything from tomatoes, to eggplant my sone was drying mints and citrus rinds for tea...

Anyway, it has taken its toll on the dehydrator. There are visible signs the plastic trays warping and deforming. Its time for an upgrade.

Just curious who's using what and are you happy with it.

Id rather pay more and get quality, then get another crappy one that ill have to replace in a year or two.

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Old 08-25-2019, 06:33 PM   #2
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Several years ago, my mom gave me a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator. It works great, although I don't use it nearly as much as you and your son do. I have heard good things about it from people I know who preserve food in various ways.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
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I love my Nesco dehydrators. I have three.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:22 PM   #4
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My first dehydrator was a cheap, $19.95 thing I got, which had no thermostat - just on and off. It was round, with 4 shelves, and besides being small, the problem was that the peppers got toasted - they were all fairly dark, once dry. Good sometimes, but not usually, as they could easily burn. So next one I got had a thermostat, and 10 shelves. The only problem with it (besides still not being enough! lol), was the design made it so leaving a tray out for thicker items did not work - it left an open space in the front, which I would put duct tape over, to improvise. Here's a photo of the old dehydrator, so you know what the front looks like:
VegiKILN dehydrator by pepperhead212, on Flickr

A few years ago I got an Excalibur 3900 - the cheapest of their models, and what I wanted, because I didn't want a timer to shut the thing off. Some have a limit on the number of hours, and things might not be dry by then. I use low temps for longer, with most peppers, so that they are not darkened, like that first dehydrator did.
Excalibur dehydrator 3900 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

This brand of dehydrator has shelves that can be left out, as you can see, for thicker items, like eggplant and tomatoes. I had to buy a clear front to it, so I could see the items drying - it had a black door, which was the only thing I didn't like about it.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
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My toaster oven has a dehydrate setting and it works really well. I bought the dehydrator racks on Ebay and they are sturdy metal. I haven't used it a whole lot, but I'm happy with it.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:35 PM   #6
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I have the Excalibur-Black model.
https://excaliburdehydrator.com/prod...=1115247837230


It's definitely been reduced in price. But still after ten years of abuse (we use it often) It's still holding up as well as the first day.
I did purchase a set of metal racks and a timer to use on the side. And the flat sheets that are still in the original packing. Duh on me. I don't like fruit roll ups.



It's actually been one of the best investments I've made for the kitchen.
My oldest son now uses it more than I do. He makes extra cash selling his Beef jerky.



Hope this helps...


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Old 08-26-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Munky View Post
I have the Excalibur-Black model.
https://excaliburdehydrator.com/prod...=1115247837230


It's definitely been reduced in price. But still after ten years of abuse (we use it often) It's still holding up as well as the first day.
I did purchase a set of metal racks and a timer to use on the side. And the flat sheets that are still in the original packing. Duh on me. I don't like fruit roll ups.



It's actually been one of the best investments I've made for the kitchen.
My oldest son now uses it more than I do. He makes extra cash selling his Beef jerky.



Hope this helps...


Munky.
A friend of mine dehydrates garlic puree on those flat sheets to make garlic powder.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
A friend of mine dehydrates garlic puree on those flat sheets to make garlic powder.
Interesting. I could make chile powder with mine.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Interesting. I could make chile powder with mine.
For chile powder, why not just dry the peppers and then grind them? I think the reason for making the puree with the garlic is because once the garlic is cut, the pieces are likely to fall through the grate they are drying on.

But, maybe you can get finer pieces if you make a puree first.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:29 PM   #10
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I make various types of chile powders, but I leave them whole, until I need more of it. They keep the flavors better, this way. And things like habaneros, I grind less of, since less is used!
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