dehydrator

(37 Posts)
lifeistooshort Wed 05-Oct-16 10:46:00

So I bought a dehydrator about two years ago. Tired it once and it took forever and the courgette crisps I was trying to make didn't really end up crispy. I am wondering though if maybe I am not using it properly or if I am missing a trick.

So for the novice that I am, how are you using your dehydrators and why?

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:21:44

Watching with interest. I don't have a dehydrator but I know that some people on this board do and have great fun with them. Are courgettes the only thing you've tried? smile

DailyMailFuckRightOff Wed 05-Oct-16 12:31:48

Dehydrating fruit and making granola / muesli with it. You can also blend fruit beforehand and make those fruit rolls.
Make your own crackers (I once managed some that tastes exactly like pickles onion monster munch but have never managed to replicate).
You can also do beef jerky / biltong I think but I've never tried.
Also activated nuts, where you soak them and then season and dehydrate. Allows nutrients to be more easily absorbed I think?

RE the veg crisps it is really difficult to get them crispy. There are loads on online threads about the temp and time needed - but I can't remember the optimum combination as I also failed and so lost interest.

Might get the dehydrator out this afternoon - thanks!

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 12:34:45

We only really do berries and apples as we have a free supply at home. We'll occasionally sling in veg from the fridge if it won't last much longer however we prefer pickling.

I would like to get into it a bit more. I fancy making jerky and maybe even sauces and soups.

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Oct-16 12:39:42

I don't use mine very often as it takes so long. My favourite thing and the only one I do regularly is tomatoes. Once they're dry I store them in olive oil. I've also successfully done pears (think it took about 2 days though) which were nice on porridge, cereal etc

Haven't really tried anything else though.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:44:08

By the way, are dehydrators electrically powered?

IamWendy Wed 05-Oct-16 12:48:07

Has anybody tried 'canning'? Would that be a more sustainable way to preserve food 'off grid'?

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 12:48:36

Our dehydrator is electrically powered but uses a lot less energy than I had anticipated. My friend experimented with using hers hooked up to a solar panel in the summer and said it worked fantastically. I might try that next year.

I have actually heard putting food on trays, inside a car on a hot day is just as effective.

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Oct-16 12:50:13

I've bottled fruit which is quite easy. Canning veg needs some sort of pressure cooker type contraption (iirc), think it needs a higher temperature or something. They're a lot more common in America than here. I ended up salting runner beans instead as it was less hassle grin

IamWendy Wed 05-Oct-16 12:56:08

Yes prof, I've seen pictures and they seem to boil jars in a pressure cooker! I wondered though if the pressure cooker could be used on a wood burning stove???

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:56:14

It sounds, then, as if a dehydrator might be an enjoyable tool to make things you want to make but not necessarily something for the long term? I rather like the notion of canning.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:57:37

By 'canning' I mean preserving generally. Glass jars seem a goody.

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Oct-16 12:58:36

I've only ever used my dehydrator as a fun thing, never really tried to use it in a practical way iyswim.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:58:51

I see no reason why not, Iam.

ValiaH Wed 05-Oct-16 13:06:06

Prof how do you go about bottling fruit? I've always wondered how it works rather than making jam to use up fruits. Is it an easy to follow process?

lifeistooshort Wed 05-Oct-16 13:37:32

Thanks all. Yep only ever tried the courgettes and that put me off because as someone pointed out they never got crispy.

Are you then meant to rehydrate the food?

I don't think I can make fruit leather as mine has holes in every level

crackers sounds nice!

atticusclaw2 Wed 05-Oct-16 18:59:36

pineapple, pineapple, pineapple! It is amazing in the dehydrater. I have to make sure I don't do too much though because I sit here and would quite easily eat a whole pineapple in one sitting were it not for the fact that the enzyme in it starts burning you.

I have sealed jars in the store containing dehydrated:
apples
bananas
strawberries
raspberries
pineapples
peas
carrots
potatoes
aubergines
mushrooms
onions
blackberries
blueberries
peaches

Most things you rehydrate to reuse but some things can be used from dehydrated such as if you are throwing bits into a soup.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 19:12:06

Do you put those little sachets in with your dehydrated food atticus?

LyraMortalia Wed 05-Oct-16 19:13:37

I love mine this year I made loads of beetroot crisps took six hours to get them nice and chewy with crispy edges, twelve to be really crispy but I prefer the chewy ones. Dried pears are sublime so are banana and strawberries dgc call them sweeties.
I do mushrooms and onions so that I always have them in the cupboard great for stews, pasta sauces, pizza toppings I don't rehydrate just bung them on
This year I have a bumper harvest of cherries toms which I halved and dehydrated they last up to three months in the fridge in sealed jars I don't bother with olive oil, we had some in a baked stuffed marrow tonight they intensify the flavour in the meaty stuffing.
I've also dried lots of citrus fruit for Christmas maybe for cooking or for decoration maybe for fruit teas. I flipping LOVE my dehydrator.
We have solar but it's les than 3p an hour to run with no solar so pretty cheap. I use a mandolin to get even slices and use it somewhere dry and sunny if you have it on in the kitchen whilst cooking it has to work harder due to the moisture in the air.

LyraMortalia Wed 05-Oct-16 19:14:28

Ooh that a bit long blush sorry

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 20:21:20

No - it was good, Lyra. smile

(I was wondering about power sources because of thoughts about lack of power.)

Do you do any canning/preserving in other ways?

LyraMortalia Wed 05-Oct-16 20:38:28

I make a lot of jams, artisan conserves aka jam that didn't set grin and pickles. I seem to be amazingly successful at growing rhubarb and luckily we all love rhubarb and ginger pickle. I only prep food for short term two, three months maybe so I haven't got into canning really. I've pickled beetroot and garlic this year but dh isn't keen on pickles so it seems a bit pointless to do loads.
My biggest success this year was overflowed champagne it was gorgeous really bubbly I'm definitely making that again I shall need plenty of bubbles if the shtf

LyraMortalia Wed 05-Oct-16 20:39:18

Elderflower bloody spell check is first on the hitlist

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 20:39:57

Ah. I have various bottles of hard liquor instead. grin

LyraMortalia Wed 05-Oct-16 20:56:21

I like your style we try to have hard liquor but I think the mice must be getting to it wink

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