Drying food

nitrambur

Settler
Jan 14, 2010
731
55
50
Nottingham
Further inspection....traced the wiring to the board, live is connected where it's labelled ACN and neutral to ACL, I don't imagine for a second that can be right. Swapped em over and still no joy (maybe I should move this to the "problems of being practical" thread??)
I know it's a 220/240v controller now anyway so I can order one. Just hope it is that and not the heating element itself that's gone, any way to check that?

Wouldn't you know it, it's the heating element that's gone
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Is that a herb? ( sorry for ignorance!)

Yes, it's got quite a strong sweet aniseed flavour in the leaves. It's from the same family as cow parsley and hemlock and the leaves are very similar to hemlock apart from hemlock smells awful, likely an old wet dog or something.
 

nitrambur

Settler
Jan 14, 2010
731
55
50
Nottingham
Cheap, got it in the sales at the start of the year. Only 250W so wasn't expecting it to be brilliant, but it's just pathetic
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Ah okay. If it ends up being a scrapper Have a look at second hand Stockli dehydrators on eBay. I got one for £33 and it's like new. :)
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The cheapo dryer I bought was not so good, it had no sdjustsble heat, so I bought a new one. Quite a bit more expensive, but seems to be much more advanced.
Brand is Excalibur and it has 9 racks, so plenty of space!
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Just won a Stockli for £50 delivered, was mistyped as Stocki so I was the only bidder :)

Mega bonus!!!
Let the dehydrating begin! :D

I've just done whole strawberries (big ones halved) and peaches cut into 1/8 as a big fruit dehydrating test. They took 18 hours at 55C so definitely a bit electric heavy. They taste good, though I'll stick to slicing them thin from now on as it's a damn sight quicker.

In apple world. So far I like Granny Smiths the best, as they have a wonderful intense sour hit going on. :)
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
600
358
Ceredigion
I found it hard to know when to stop the drying process. In that, the guide times where clearly not long enough, but if I left it until really dry then it would take ages to rehydrate.

I want to get my dehydrator out again and stock up on some things but am worried that I won't get it right and thereby waste food.
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
I've never used any official guides to be honest.
I've just been running them until they go rubbery or completely crisp if I want them like that. I have found the rubbery ones firm up even more once they've cooled.
Not that I've been dehydrating for very long to really give any professional advice. But my wife lives off dehydrated products that she buys from Asian supermarkets and just puts them in a bowl of hot water and leaves over night. Some of them are mushrooms the size of small potatoes. They always have plenty of flavour.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,643
McBride, BC
Follow the instructions which came with the dehydrator as a guide. Mine is a top heater into a chimney so the fan doesn't
get crapped up with food juice. Take notes and be done with guessing.

I don't hesitate to buy a 25lb box of fresh-picked Roma tomatoes ($15.00) from an irrigated garden in the desert.
Sliced in thirds, check my notes, set it and forget it. Give them a poke, rotate the trays, eat some just to be sure!
Other fruits are the same only different.
 

dean4442

Full Member
Nov 11, 2004
536
2
Wokingham UK
The house opposite me has an apple tree outside which has a beautiful crop this year, chatted with him last night and he said to take as many as I want! Seeing this thread has got me thinking about drying some.
Colin
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The house opposite me has an apple tree outside which has a beautiful crop this year, chatted with him last night and he said to take as many as I want! Seeing this thread has got me thinking about drying some.
Colin

What sort?
Do not forget to freeze some and maybe make Apple butter!

Apples are a most versatile and delicious fruit.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,643
McBride, BC
Cut a few of the apples and leave the slices lying about to see how fast they 'brown' (from polyphenol oxidase enzyme activity.)
If it's fast, the cosmetic appearance is lost.
So
Toss the freshly sliced apple with cheap lemon juice. The increased acidity will knock off the enzyme activity.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
70
SE Wales
I found it hard to know when to stop the drying process. In that, the guide times where clearly not long enough, but if I left it until really dry then it would take ages to rehydrate.

I want to get my dehydrator out again and stock up on some things but am worried that I won't get it right and thereby waste food.

How dry a food is has no direct bearing on how long it takes to rehydrate; of all the things I dry I find that Ceps take a really long time to get dry to the point where I know they'll keep without spoiling. Yet to rehydrate it just needs twenty minutes or so in ambient temperature water, any longer will just leech the flavour out of the mushrooms. I've found the same with most of the fruits I dry, as well; just a short time in ambient temp. water does the trick.

My experience of using modern dehydraters has led me to believe that the trick to successfuly drying is to find the lowest temperature for any given food; I dry most of my stuff to crispy dry or very close thereto, otherwise you run the risk of partial cooking which ruins things, or else under dried food will spoil.

One thing's for sure, the recommendations in the booklets that come with the machines are to be taken with a pinch of salt :)