Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

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Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Redwinger » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:48 am

Some kindly soul decided we needed a food dehydrater. We've never owned one and I'm not certain how useful this gadget is, or if it should be relegated to a high shelf in the garage. Thoughts/Comments?
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:59 am

I used to own a large one with twelve racks. I dried fruit of all types, made jerky all the time. After there was just the two of us and kids living out of town, and a place that makes excellent jerky with no chemicals about 5 minutes away, I did not want to fool with it anymore. The racks were not hard to clean but I had to stack them in the service sink in the laundry room, and let them soak for a bit. It took lots of time to clean that baby up, and for two people it was not worth the time and effort. I pick up delicious dried fruits from the Farmer's Markets around here now. I guess if you lived out in the sticks somewhere and grew most of your food, it would be well worth it. I sold mine to a fellow who wanted it to make jerky, for himself and kids who live in town.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:27 pm

I have a dehydrator that is built into my countertop convection oven. I mainly use it to dry fruits for a variety of vinegars that we make at home, and also to dry tomatoes.

I also dehydrate beef liver in small pieces to use as treats for the dog. He follows me wherever I go--or to be more accurate, he follows my pocket where the treats are.

The dehydrator has been great and I wanted to find a second of the same convection oven, which I bought many years ago. Delonghi no longer makes that version. I swear, the next time I find an appliance that I really like, I am going to buy two!
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:38 pm

I've never had one but I read that the big win is to dehydrate tomatoes, particularly Roma tomatoes.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:05 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I've never had one but I read that the big win is to dehydrate tomatoes, particularly Roma tomatoes.


Yeah, it's a big win. Sometimes it takes two passes through the cycle, but it's always worth the trip.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Redwinger » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:17 am

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday the house smelled wonderfu,l filled with the aroma of apple butter simmering away and a freshly baked apple cake.
Today the aromatics of dehydrating shallots are much less appealing. Fortunately, one of us was smart enough to put the machine in the garage. 8)
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:14 pm

Redwinger wrote:What a difference a day makes. Yesterday the house smelled wonderfu,l filled with the aroma of apple butter simmering away and a freshly baked apple cake.
Today the aromatics of dehydrating shallots are much less appealing. Fortunately, one of us was smart enough to put the machine in the garage. 8)

There are just some things that are not worth cooking/drying. I buy liver brownies for our dog from our local doggie boutique, which has an inhouse bakery. Once, I decided to make my own. Thought I would never get that cooked liver smell out of my house. Never again.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:19 pm

Not having fruit trees that give forth stuff I have to come up with clever ways of preserving, my dehydrator doesn't come out often, but one of our favorite things to do (that we do a lot less often than I'd like because we're not talking healthy food here) is dehydrate salami. Large thin slices become slightly smaller, crisp little garlicky, winey, slightly chewy wafers of intensely flavored meat. Oh my god!
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Redwinger » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:51 pm

Damn, I'm now addicted to dehydrated apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon. We have a big bag on the counter and I must eat a slice or two every time I pass.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:48 pm

After borrowing my tenants' dehydrator a few times, I finally bought one at a garage sale. I do enjoy kale chips especially if doctored up with ground up nuts and hot sauce (Lan Chi!!). Got to get them crunchy. I don't have a fancy one, it's a "low power hair dryer" plastic cylinder with 4-5 shelves. I have also made thin sliced hard salami into "crackers" (a Martha Stewart idea) and those were nice but dubious whether it is worth the effort. Drying fruit and tomatoes sounds kind of promising.

So I'm not excited about it but I see it as something useful.
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Re: Do you own/use a food dehydrater?

Postby GeoCWeyer » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:24 am

My son & daughter-in-law gave me one a few years ago. I have been slow in getting it out and using it. I dry many of my herbs each year usually by placing them on paper towels in a sheetpan on my dining room table. This year I used the dryer. It is a little faster than my old method and the dehydrater does clean up easily.
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