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Dehydrating Your Own

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, May 27, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Do any of you out there do your own dehydration? Fruit, veggies, jerky?

    Just starting this myself (solar) and am looking for guidance. My solar oven without reflectors sits at about 150 degrees with the door open a crack. I've put a USB fan in the bottom and run it from my GoalZero panel. Stainless steel perforated trays.

    Headed for success or failure, am I?
  2. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA

    I do jerkey in the oven occasionally. The best way I've found it to hang about 5-8 strips of meat from a skewer and hang it on the racks rather than trying to use trays.

    Drying stuff yourself is great, but I've found it's not really cost effective unless you can get the fruit, meat, or whatever really cheap. Buying meat from the market and DIYing it seems to be about the same price as just buying jerkey. You do wind up with a better product though.

  3. Just1More


    Mar 18, 2009
    I do venison jerky (oven) and dry cayenne peppers (dehydrator)in the Fall.
  4. i use a regular dhydrator, not a solar oven but i do quite a bit of fruits and veggies. havedone jerkey in the past but it was to try out quality cuts ofmeat as jerky.

    i keep dhydrated veggies on hand for soups andsuch. fruits get eaten too fast to be considered storage.
  5. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Which vegetables work well, or do you like best?

    How do potatoes fare?
  6. most of the veggies ihave done are honestly fozen veggies. the blanching work is done for you. peas and corn are probably the easiest. ive also done diced potatoes and they turned out ok. ithink shredded would do better but i havent done any in a couple months. i did figur out that i left the diced potatoes in a bit too long and the edges of sme started to brown like chips. the browned ones dont rehydrate very well though.
  7. Hummer

    Hummer Big Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Western Colorado
    Sounds like a good plan to me, solar is good. I first started dehydrating jerky outside my college dorm (40 yrs ago), with meat strips on coat hangers with nylon hose covers to keep the flies off. I use an electric dehydrator and have dried fruit, veggies and venison and use them throughout the following year.
  8. I Shooter

    I Shooter

    Dec 22, 2011
    The wife and I have a dehydrator and we love it. We have used it for years. She has dun a lot of vegetables. She uses them in everything. We have made some beef jerky. I like the kind you grind up then dry. I need to make some jerky, haven't had any in about six months.
  9. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Righteous source, Unistat. Thanks. I need this sort of detailed instruction; so many places have a fly-by-the-seat of-your-pants approach.

    The neighbor gave me most of his loquat harvest (I guess he doesn't like them) and these are definitely better dried than fresh. I've had to employ a few tricks to keep the solar oven low enough, seems to be stable at 140 degrees now, so I'm not complaining.

    Here's the setup:


    Beneath those perforated stainless screens is a fan that runs off USB hookup. The fan isn't necessary, I'm lead to understand, because convection would take care of things by itself. Couldn't leave well enough alone when I found the fan for $5 at TJ Maxx.

    Yes, I know 110v Excalibur dryers are available; they're very nice, but I'm interested in proofing a grid-down system.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  10. Babynine


    Dec 8, 2009
    I dehydrated a batch of homemade organic hot chili and vaccum sealed it in a pratice run of making my own camping/backpacking meals. I ate it all within a few days because I did not use oxygen absorbers, and it rehydrated very well, and really worked great. I used parchment baking paper over the racks of my locally made Nesco(made in Wi!) dehydrator, and the dried chilli slipped right off the baking paper into the vaccum bags with no cleanup of the drying racks!

    I won't be harvesting any garden veggies for another month or more, but I do plan on dehydrating chili again for inexpensive camping meals that are easy to prepare in the woods along with rice cooked in my billy can.

    Mountain House is just to expensive for me to eat every day when just doing recreational camping, and lets face it, homecooked food is likely more healthy, and it tastes better too(Mountain House aint bad tho).
  11. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    Get a book.

    Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook
    [ame=""] Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook (9780688130244): Mary Bell: Books@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

    I suggest starting with apples. Learn how to cut them to get the right grain. I like my apple chips crisp.

    dehydrating meat is just expensive and I like mine better fresh/frozen. Then again, if I got good, I could have more deer in my life for field trips.
  12. i watched a bunch of videos on youtube from a user "dehydrate2store" iirc
  13. barbedwiresmile

    barbedwiresmile Unreconstructed

    Feb 3, 2008
    Mrs BWS dehydrates a bunch of different peppers - mostly cayennes and tobascos. And also some tomatoes.
  14. auto-5


    Nov 13, 2011
    I have a buddy that does 2 does at a time in his smoker made from an old school fridge.
  15. jr05


    Jun 9, 2007
    I dehydrate all my own herbs from the garden as well as fruit as fruit from the store, etc.

    Cannot beat dehydrating your own food. I do a lot of backpacking and dehydrating your own is pretty much a necessity if you want to pack light and also save money. The store bought stuff is pretty bad most of the time and costs a fortune.
  16. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    What are the secrets to your success?