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Food Dehydrators: The Topic


Gabe Q
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On 9/14/2018 at 6:38 AM, rotuts said:

not very far Id say , yet

 

resting comfortably in its box.

 

I do hope to get to the Indian Market for some green Thai Birds 

 

to dry out and also make some green chili oil.

 

someday.

Dude! Dry them?! 

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A while ago I did one apple, which I turned into some kind of meat or vegetable sauce. Very yummy.

None of the following have been used yet:

  • I dehydrated some strips of Japanese eggplant the other day.
  • Also some cherry tomatoes, which after 15 hours were still half dry.
  • Today I'm marinating zucchini which has been sliced in half, seeds removed, then sliced into 3/16" moons. I will probably start drying it today.
  • I also have more zucchini which has had the seeds removed which I plan to grate. (Can I dehydrate these two zucchini products at the same time?)

Jo, have you ever dehydrated peaches?

Edited by TdeV
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4 hours ago, TdeV said:

A while ago I did one apple, which I turned into some kind of meat or vegetable sauce. Very yummy.

None of the following have been used yet:

  • I dehydrated some strips of Japanese eggplant the other day.
  • Also some cherry tomatoes, which after 15 hours were still half dry.
  • Today I'm marinating zucchini which has been sliced in half, seeds removed, then sliced into 3/16" moons. I will probably start drying it today.
  • I also have more zucchini which has had the seeds removed which I plan to grate. (Can I dehydrate these two zucchini products at the same time?)

Jo, have you ever dehydrated peaches?

 

Please don't think less of me for this:  I confess the only things I've dehydrated are apples and cherries.  Apples work really well.  Cherries take a long time to dry out and the results are difficult to process with my teeth.  The cherries I've dried are very sweet but they do not taste much like cherries.

 

When you dehydrate vegetables like eggplant and zucchini can you eat them raw?

 

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16 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

When you dehydrate vegetables like eggplant and zucchini can you eat them raw?

 

I don't know. This is a new venture for me.

 

I did marinate some zucchini chips, and I'll report on the flavour.

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This brings to mind dried apples, which my grandmother would make by the bushel every fall.

 

First, we picked and peeled lots and lots of apples. Then cored and sliced them about 1/8 inch thick. Then they were carefully spread on a white sheet stretched across the roof of the wellhouse, which caught the south-facing sun, early in the morning, and taken in if rain threatened or in the early evening. They lived tied up in their somewhat-less-than-white, by this time, sheet in a kitchen chair overnight, and went back out the next day. Seems the drying took about four or five days, depending on the weather. Then they were moved to a fabric bag and hung from a joist in the basement, from which they'd be pulled a couple of cups at a time to be rehydrated, simmered, spiced and used as the filling for fried apple pies.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I have an Excalibur drier which I find fantastic.

Recently I wanted to convert my frozen roasted garlic and regular garlic into dried powder.  It took a number of hours..lost track how many…at least 24.  Just sliced the garlic.

the powder is amazing.  Just like when I dried sliced onions and made a powder.

yes the house smelt delicious.🤯

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The marinated zucchini was fantastic! Some other stuff in the oven hadn't dried, so I left everything in for 18 hours. I had 2+ trays full and I have eaten it all . . . I'm going to do this again and take it out sooner – I think it might be better "less dry".

 

IMG_3418s_cropped.thumb.jpg.23adc925e81e2d69fa0ab0ffbb0e65e7.jpg

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The recipe from Mary T. Bell called for 1/4 cup soy sauce (but mine is lighter sauce so I used more), 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon roasted garlic (changed to 4 freshly roasted cloves), 1 tablespoon sesame oil for 4 cups raw zucchini chips. The chips are created by halving large zucchini and scooping out the seeds, then slicing on a mandolin.

 

They're very addictive – even as dried out as those pictured above.

Edited by TdeV
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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, TdeV said:

@kayb, up this thread a bit you mention dehydrating roma tomatoes. Do you skin them first?

No, I don't. I usually wind up just eating them out of hand or tossing them in a salad, so the skin isn't problematic. If I were adding to a tomato sauce, I'd probably blitz it in the blender or food processor first to deal with the skins.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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  • 5 weeks later...

When making a leather (e.g. applesauce), how do you make sure that the glop is all the same thickness? I've looked on the Excalibur site and, actually, can't tell whether the trays have a lip on them, so I've no guesses as to how it's done.

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35 minutes ago, TdeV said:

When making a leather (e.g. applesauce), how do you make sure that the glop is all the same thickness? I've looked on the Excalibur site and, actually, can't tell whether the trays have a lip on them, so I've no guesses as to how it's done.

I just eyeball it pretty much.  And I often put chopped walnuts in the 'glop' which makes getting a level playing surface even more difficult.  I've never found that it mattered much in the end. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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55 minutes ago, TdeV said:

@Darienne, doesn't the glop spread all over the place? How do you keep it in place?

I would be using only enough in one place to spread only so far.  (Actually, I make the apple leather on cookie sheets in the oven.)  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 2 weeks later...

What's the hottest I can dehydrate fresh peaches?

 

I've found that peaches do better in @Ann_T's Summer Torte if they spend a little time in the dehydrator. The peaches are now peeled and cut, and they're in the Anova Oven at 127°F/53°C. Problem is that it's 3 p.m. and I'd like to deliver a slice of the torte today.

 

It would help if I could accomplish some drying of the peaches in about 2 hours.

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3 minutes ago, TdeV said:

What's the hottest I can dehydrate fresh peaches?

 

I've found that peaches do better in @Ann_T's Summer Torte if they spend a little time in the dehydrator. The peaches are now peeled and cut, and they're in the Anova Oven at 127°F/53°C. Problem is that it's 3 p.m. and I'd like to deliver a slice of the torte today.

 

It would help if I could accomplish some drying of the peaches in about 2 hours.

A quick Googling says you can go up to 140*F. I would think that would be okay since you’re going to be cooking them more anyway.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I may need an intervention.

I am seriously considering buying a dehydrator.

 

Looking for input from owners, once you had/have it, how long did the rapture last before it was "stored" or are you still using it?

 

I would use it as whatever seasonal fruit/veg comes my way or whatever "can't pass up deal" at stores tempt me.  

 

I also do beef jerky and think I would do more if I had a focused tool with lots of trays to binge batch it.   Excalibur would be my focus, due to @andiesenji and @Shelby reviews.

Right now I use an Oster countertop oven to do jerky but I have to jimmy-rig enough trays to make it work somewhat efficiently.

 

I do have room in another building other than the house where odor/noise wouldn't bother anyone. 

 

So enablers/disablers, have at it. 

Edited by lemniscate (log)
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I have a nine tray Excalibur which I bought 8 or so years ago.  Great machine.  The only way to go imho.  I had a cheapie before the Excalibur and not nearly as even at drying and it died.

 

There are only two of us but a family would definitely get more use out of it.  I use it in the summer to dry fruit and some vegetables.  Cherries, apples and peaches.  Onion, garlic scapes and tomatoes.  The dried onion makes the most amazing onion powder for rubs, etc.  I think once you start using it you will find many other uses for it.  I have made really good jerky with it.

 

So I’d say go for it.

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I have the Anova Precision Oven (which has many other features for steam cooking and roasting) but as I am very interested in dehydrating, I have been heavily using this device as a dehydrator this summer and fall. The APO comes with two racks, so I bought 3 other trays and 5 Silpat trays (mesh with small holes) [thanks to @palo and @JoNorvelleWalker ] and 3 Fruit Leather Silicone Dehydrator sheets.

 

The ridges on the side of the oven are a bit less than 1.25" apart. Adding the tray and a silpat, food needs to be cut into pieces no larger than a fat 0.5" in height for the trays to slide without colliding. The open mesh on the Silpat is 14.1875" x 9.5" which totals 141 sqare inches (one sq foot = 144 sq in). All 5 trays could provide drying surface of 706.5 square inches.

 

Dehydration occurs by setting steam at 0%, oven temp using rear convection element at 95-145°F (more for meat), and with a chopstick stuck in the door to speed up the exit of damp air. Most of my dehydrating experiments include an overnight. DH did calculate the electrical energy usage which totalled a few cents.

 

I heard elsewhere on eG that Anova happens to be having a sale at the moment.

 

 

Also there is a eG topic for cookbooks about dehydrating food here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/28/2021 at 9:06 AM, TdeV said:

The marinated zucchini was fantastic! Some other stuff in the oven hadn't dried, so I left everything in for 18 hours. I had 2+ trays full and I have eaten it all . . . I'm going to do this again and take it out sooner – I think it might be better "less

dry".

 

IMG_3418s_cropped.thumb.jpg.23adc925e81e2d69fa0ab0ffbb0e65e7.jpg

 

@TdeV Do you think doing spiralized or zoodles this way would work?   Looking at using as a ramen add-in and/or pasta sub.  I think dried would be more robust texture and soak-in the flavored both.  Marinated makes it sound more palatable.

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Hi @lemniscate. First, I've never spiralized anything and not sure if I've ever eaten anything spiralized. However, I think it's an interesting idea (I regularly add thinly sliced cabbage to spaghetti).

 

I think you'd need to slice the noodles quite thickly. The zucchini in the referenced photo was maybe 5" wide at the base, so those half moons were between 2.5" - 5" long when fresh. The original zucchini was 12" - 18" long. It was peeled, sliced in half longitudinally, then seeds removed. I don't remember exactly but the slices might have been 3/8" thick. So I think you'd need to start with at least 1/4" thick noodles before dehydrating.

 

Rehydrated dried vegetables definitely have an attractive, thicker, chewier texture and don't dissolve as quickly as fresh vegetables. And the marinade made them very tasty as a snack.

 

Please let us know if you try it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got a 9 tray Excalibur.

 

Split and dried cherry tomatoes are excellent.  But, don't put black pepper on them as a prep because somehow it becomes bitter.  Still edible, but a bit bitter.  Salt is best prep I have found so far.  Win.

 

Cooked cubed carrots.  I ate them like carrot flavored jelly beans.  Win.

 

I saw a recipe in the Excalibur book for eggplant parmesan chips.  Basically eggplant slices brushed with tomato paste and garlic powder.  Unfortunately found I had no parm, so did it without.  Win, with reservations.  With parm would be a Win.  Ate these with a pesto dip.

 

Saw a recipe for dehydrated dill pickle chips.  Someone gave me a jar of spicy pickles for Christmas I hadn't opened.  Sliced them and dehydrated.  Big mistake.  The spicy is now 100x concentrated and these little green bits will blow you head off.  LOSE.  This was a dumb idea in retrospect.  I bet sweet pickle chips would be fine dehydrated.  

 

I did barbeque sauce leather for adding to sandwiches.  That works well.  Makes the sandwich less gooshy while adding the sauce flavor to it.  Works well on grilled cheese.  Win.

 

Since I bought the thing to maximize beef jerky production, these veg experiments are just a lark.  But I have found there are some value to some of the techniques.

 

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