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Thread: Drying fruit or dehydrator

  1. #1

    Drying fruit or dehydrator

    Hi Folks,

    I would like some advice please.

    I have searched on here and found an old thread but nothing too new. Does anyone have experience of using dehydrators or have upcycled one of their own out of other items?

    Keen to dry fruit, etc. during times of glut and to make healthier snacks.

    All advice welcome - even if it is go buy it it's better!

    Many thanks,

    BB
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  2. #2
    Hi. I dehydrated some wild garlic but it lost its flavour. I think it was all blown into the house cos it stank of garlic for days....my housemate does not like garlic. At all. Whoops!

    He bought the dehydrator because he was doing a walk across Scotland where he was going to carry all his food. The funniest thing he dried was pasta...so it had been made, dried, packaged, cooked, dried, packaged and rehydrated

    I think it's a great idea and it was fun to have a go of, but I'd have a look at how much it costs to buy the equipment, plus the energy it takes as it seemed to take a loooong time to work, versus the cost of buying ready dried fruit.
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  3. #3
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting this thread. I was attracted to it because I keep throwing away fruit and veg that I've either got for nothing, or for a very low price. It looks as if driers start at over 100 if you are buying a new one, so I guess it would be best to look for a second hand one, Some of them use under 300 watts, so they could be used with an inverter.

    I found this review site. I haven't read all the reviews, but I like the idea of using one.

    http://www.greendehydrators.com/
    View my picture galleries at http://JazzPics.com
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  4. #4
    Green around the gills ThreeMoons's Avatar
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    I dry stuff all the time. Of course I prefer the sun but this is not always possible all the time. Any stuff I can't dry outdoors I put in my oven BUT only when it is switched off but has recently been used and is still warm. The stuff just goes in a few times over a week and in between it gets wrapped up in a cotton pillow case and hung up somewhere.
    Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up on your dreams and ideals, wrinkles the soul.
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  5. #5
    I don't have a dehydrater but a friend of mine who has one makes the most wonderful fruit leathers using hers.
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  6. #6
    The truth is out there NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishLens View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread. I was attracted to it because I keep throwing away fruit and veg that I've either got for nothing, or for a very low price. It looks as if driers start at over 100 if you are buying a new one, so I guess it would be best to look for a second hand one, Some of them use under 300 watts, so they could be used with an inverter.

    I found this review site. I haven't read all the reviews, but I like the idea of using one.

    http://www.greendehydrators.com/
    You can get food dehydrators from.amazon uk from around 30 squid.I hsd one but gave it awsy as i dont have mains electric now.The fancy semi commercisl ones are over 100 but you dont need one like thst for average use....i just use my oven on very cool.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  7. #7
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    I am going to give drying apples a go later today in the warming oven on our rayburn, I saw this earlier.

    http://englishcountrycooking.co.uk/r.../dried-apples/
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  8. #8
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    They are in the oven now ! I have tried 6 apples to start with as they are quite large Laxton Superbs

  9. #9
    Heavenly Creature
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    The abundance of nature that myself and rm have encountered, in the last couple of years alone, would keep the lot of us supplied with some lovely fresh foods half the year. But living in a van we have insufficient storage space or freezing facilities to take loads of it home for future use. So this thread is great, just thought I'd say that.

    Thinking out loud ...... Aha, get a solar-dryer

  10. #10
    Thank you all for the replies.
    It would seem there is some more research to do - the length of time for some of the cheaper ones to work seems to be an issue, as well as the need to frequently move the trays around to get even drying. Would prefer something fuss free but unless long dry summer days can be guaranteed I guess it is probably compromise all the way. May start experimenting when the oven has been on for other cooking and see what results we get.
    No ideas yet on upcycling projects - might have to have a furkle in shed!
    Keep the ideas coming and thank you.

    BB

  11. #11
    Transcending wobblyjim's Avatar
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    sorry I'm late to the party,

    A few years back, my hobby was aquaponics.

    The resultant medicinal herbs, were cured and dried with an electric herb drier.

    like this one on ebay : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-9-Tray-Electric-Food-Dehydrator-Fruit-Meat-Dryer-Beef-Jerky-Maker-Machine-/301907707023?hash=item464b1a048f:g:hQ8AA OSwZtJW82qD

    The one I had used around 6 trays in a stack with a mesh base in each.

    Set the controls and leave it alone till it stops whirring.

    a bit of a learning curve to get it just right.

    But you soon get the hang of it and get the results that you want.

    I cured mine in a dark breezy room until a certain stage then trimmed the buds and laid them in the trays,
    I wanted just the right dryness to keep them as fresh as possible before vacuum packing then freezing them.

    6 months or more later the herb smelled as sweet as fresh

    Expensive but gives you a professional grade tool.

    edit : I just did a quick ebay scan and you can get a good one for around 100 quid

  12. #12
    The truth is out there NomadicRT's Avatar
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    I dry all my herbs in tied bundles in my van high up near the roof .they dry out lovely then i store them in airtight lunch boxes.Ive dried fruit outside on cake racks in the shade in summer just covered with a mosquito net to keep off greedy insects...i shall use them over the winter in puddings.
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 25-10--2016 at 11:57 PM.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  13. #13
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    This is what my 6 apples look like after 24 hrs in the warming oven , but I confess I let the fire go out last night as I put a log on before I went to bed , but opened the damper and chimney to get it going and forgot to close them ,so it was a blast furnace and then went out . Another 25 hrs should do it though , they have nort gone brown despite me not dipping them in lemon water. They taste amazing already !

    IMG_20161026_160619.jpg
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  14. #14
    Heavenly Creature
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    If I was going to dry fruit I would look at passive solar as a heat source. Otherwise it would be uneconomical.

    No, start again. If I was going to dry fruit I would move to a suitably sunny location and use direct solar!
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  15. #15
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd View Post
    a suitably sunny location and use direct solar!
    When I was a kid in Australia, my parents used to dry apricots on wooden racks in the garden... bloody lovely!

  16. #16
    Radiant Being Sootyfoot's Avatar
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    i used to sun dry tomatoes in Spain......Gorgeous!
    Those Mountains that you're carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

  17. #17
    I must admit that looking at all angles I can see the attraction of direct solar drying, long tested results, low cost and wonderful surroundings. Thinking about the quantities we could realistically consume it may be better (cheaper) to ethically source commercially dried fruit when available.
    I will keep exploring all avenues though especially the upcycled route possibly taking advantage of a wood burner when running.

    Thank you all for the thoughts and input so far.

    BB

  18. #18
    yeah i think having a food dehydrator sounds like a great idea

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