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Dehydrator

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Stephen, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    I am looking for a good food dehydrator and was wondering who uses what brand/make/style and how you like or dislike it.

    Will mainly be doing fruit with a smattering of jerky.

    TIA--
     
  2. groundhawg

    groundhawg

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    i use and enjoy the "american harvest" brand dehydrator. whatever brand you buy, make sure that its one that has an air circulating fan. some of the cheap ones out there dont and tend to encourage mold on your food.......
     

  3. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    I have done MUCHO dehydrating!!!! If youre looking to just do the occasional Jerky or fruit as you say, and dont want to put ot mega bucks, I have found the NESCO American Harvest 600 watts(~50.00$) GREAT for the beginner, and the NESCO GARDENMASTER-1000 watts (~ 120.00$)works Great as well. The main thing to look at is wattage---for what you sound like doing, about 500-600 watts should be more than adequate. If consistently doing 10-20 pounds once or twice a month, I would recommend stepping up to about 1000 watts. I believe these two deh. are readily avail. at WAL MART. PM me fo whatever info you need. ----STEVE
     
  4. dubltap

    dubltap

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    Nesco Gardenmaster is top of the line.
     
  5. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    If you really what to ge dehydratin, get an EXCALIBUR, or one of the Cabelas Models, both WELL worth it for the price!!! Some other industrial units can get HIGH END 1911 PRICEY!!!:)
     
  6. Notrega

    Notrega

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    Nesco is good... lood for one with a good fan... preferable a top down model
     
  7. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys...

    I do like THIS one very much and it's priced pretty competitively.

    Is this the one that you were referring to??
     
  8. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    Not the exact one but, almost the same thing, I see that one has its heating element and fan bottom mounted, whereas THIS one is the one I started out with, it has a top mounted fan. BUT They are BOTH rated at 500 watts, i just dont have any experience with bottom fans! I dont see that it would make any difference, and it is a good price too. Id go for it! Trust me man, this dehydratin stuff gets pretty addicting!!! Ill have to post a pic of my setup!! Holler at me sometime if you want some terrific recipes!!!! WOOHOO
     
  9. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    I'm trying to figure out what the difference(s) are with the top mounted fan vs. the bottom mounted. Are the fans near the heating (?) element??

    I may stop over at Wally World later today and look at the options.
     
  10. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    Yep, top mount EQUALS fan and heating element in one unit, same with bottom mount. bASICALLY they just consist of the heating/fan unit, some racks, and a TOP/BOTTOM. BTW these are both expandable, meaning you can add more trays to them, but if you add too many, the efficiency goes WAAAYY down!
     
  11. Notrega

    Notrega

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    The one KY posted is the one I have. I got it after disappointment in a bottom unit....
     
  12. jawjaboy

    jawjaboy Casual lead ho

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  13. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    OK - I went to Super Wally World today and bought THIS unit... got it home, cleaned-up and ready to dehydrate some bananas, papaya, mango and apple.

    Question - I understand that bananas can be a bit sticky. How do I keep them from sticking? Do I use perforated parchment paper? Spray the rack with Pam?

    Other ideas/suggestions??
     
  14. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    I had to experiment with bananas. Ive found a good way is to treat while slicing with just a tad of lemon juice to keep them from browning while in the initial stage. Ive never had a problem with them being too mushy usually, I just slap em' on the tray. there are two methods.

    1)continuosly dry them at about 110 deg. this will keep more nutrients and enzymes in the chips-still have the same tasty flavor, but I guess healthier, but this can take 18-22 hours!!!!:(

    2)Start them out at the highest setting for about an hour, then drop it down to 135, for about 5-7 hours or until you like the texture. BUT remember this, especially with JERKY---anything will continue to cook when you take it out of the dehydrator, so take a peice out and let it cool down for a few, then try it out. You can easily ruin an entire batch of jerky when you turn it off because its "oh soooo perfect" only to find out 20 mins. later that its rock hard and crumbles into jerky bits!!I learned this from experience.;g ANTICIPATE< ANTICIPATE< ANTICIPATE;c Also, with anything im dehhydratin, I lke to rotate the trays, like you would tires, cuz the top two tend to dry faster.;) let me know how they turn out. ---Steve!
     
  15. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    OH BTW, they will stick while drying, but by the time they are done, they magically UNSTICK----WOOHOO. Also, did yours come with that little guide book. It is useful for some basic recipes. Ill post up my jerky recipe here too. ---Steve
     
  16. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    Cool - thanks for all of the information.

    It's a bit late to get started now (after 10PM) but I'll get on it in the morning.

    Is there any issues with doing multiple fruits in the same batch (not necessarily same tray)??
     
  17. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    Hey Stephen, doesnt it rock to be the "REAL" StePHen, Im a PH also, and I am certainly one bad-*** mofo!
    ----StePHen
     
  18. KYglockers

    KYglockers A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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    Oh, I almost forgot..... Ive never had a problem mixing it up with diff fruits on the trays. Just dont mix in jerky or garlic!;g You might get some insane mutation that will taste like the proverbial "pile o poo"
     
  19. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    Ah, yes... I've been around here for a long while and grabbed my name when I had the chance. Doesn't always work out...

    Actually I do NOT like being called Steve. Back in the mid-to-late 70's it was cool (for me) with the Steve Martin craze, but I went back to Stephen in 1980 when I started High School and never looked back.

    I am the badder MoFo ;c ;I :ladiesmn: ;W ^5 #wav
     
  20. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

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    OK I peeled/sliced 2 mangoes and a papaya and they are in the dehydrator now.

    I put them in for 2 hours on HI and plan on another 12-ish @ 135*.

    Sound good?

    I'm getting excited!