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Author Topic: veggie drying question.  (Read 3653 times)
Bee Happy
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« on: April 17, 2010, 09:45:27 PM »

Has anyone used a food dryer on garden veggies? - I'm thinking of doing that rather than canning to save shelf space and weight load on the shelves.
I mean stuff like green beans and corn, we'll probably dry a bunch of blueberries for sure.
I was wondering what you folks would recommend for drying, what would be OK and what I shouldn't bother with at all.
I'd love to dry some watermelon but I figure I'd wind up with paper thin leather with barely any flavor.
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 10:55:57 PM »

Well I got to say I have never dehydrated veggies but we do beef jerky the Alton Brown way.....  That's with a box fan and a few furnace filters!!! I know it sounds weird but it works GREAT!!  I will have to try it out of fruit and veggies or maybe someone already has and can report.  When I use the box fan way it takes right at 12 hrs to dry all the meat and it is wonderful.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 11:01:28 PM »

Green beans I string on a thread and hang them up somewhere out of the sun to dry.  Things like green peppers I slice and put in the food dehydrator or lay them out on cookie sheets in a low (120 to 150 F) oven.

You can dry virtually anything.  Dried fruit, of course, is delisious as is.  But anything dried can then be rehydrated and cooked the same as you do dry beans.  Soak overnight and then cook.
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Rebecka
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 11:03:32 PM »

We dehydrate lots of stuff. Watermelon is wonderful! Its like candy. Tons of flavor, since you are only taking the water out, all the flavor stays. I dont really bother with corn or green beans. Blueberries dry nice. Make sure you give them a nice lemon water bath first though. Same with potatoes and pears. I like drying onions , peppers, and mushrooms for dry soup mix. I also dry all of our herbs for use in tinctures and the kitchen. Same with hot peppers, we grow chili and habanero , dry them then grind for spicing. Ah yes, the Alton Brown method is actually what got us started. Now we have canning jars filled with dried stuff Smiley
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 11:14:13 PM »

the watermelon is actually a surprising answer.  I'm gonna google the alton brown drying method. we have very high heat and humidity here so we'll probably need an active dryer of some kind. (I remember accidentally making apple chips when I lived out west.)
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 11:21:12 PM »

With Alton Brown look up his show Good Eats.... you wont be disappointed.   grin  The idea behind the box fan is that its better to dry out meat with cool dry air vs over cooking it at low temps.  he has a whole 30 min show on making beef jerky. 
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Rebecka
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 05:32:23 AM »

With Alton Brown look up his show Good Eats.... you wont be disappointed.   

I absolutely love that show. Back when we still had TV, it was the only show I made it a point to drop what I was doing to watch.

Bee Happy, I neglected to mention. A nice way to be certain your food is actually dry is put it in a air tight bag in the freezer. Once its frozen, take it out and let it sit at room temp. If condensation appears on the inside of the bag, then it needs to go back in the dryer. On the very rare occasions I dry meats, I make this a must in the process. Safety first Smiley
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RayMarler
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 05:40:59 AM »

I've dried hot peppers in my solar wax melter with the top cover propped up with a stick. It's a solar melter I made out of an ice chest with a plexiglass lid. It was an old metal coleman ice chest. I took the dried peppers and ground them in the coffee grinder for some great hot pepper powder! I did Jalapeno and Ancho peppers, and each has it's own hot flavor. Over time, the powder loses it's heat some, but that just makes the flavors come out a bit more.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 02:37:59 AM »

My wife and i got in to dehydrating about a year and a half ago, and if u go to youtube there is a lady on there that has a series on drying all types of veggies and fruits. She also has a website www.dehydrate2store.com  there is a huge amount of info on there it should answer all your questions.

good luck
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 10:48:12 AM »

Very promising looking advice you guys thanks.
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Irwin
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 09:45:21 AM »

You guy's are getting me in trouble with my wife. You just gave me another thing to do and that's to build a food dryer got most of the stuff in the shed but she says it's just another thing to spend money on. grin
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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 10:35:37 AM »

when the volcano ash causes crop failure next year, she'll be glad yo dried this years veggies!!
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 10:56:17 AM »

You guy's are getting me in trouble with my wife. You just gave me another thing to do and that's to build a food dryer got most of the stuff in the shed but she says it's just another thing to spend money on. grin

Are you talking about the box fan dehydrator?  That's the cheepest one I have ever had.  Tell her you are saving her money!!   cool
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Rebecka
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 01:03:03 PM »

If you have already built a hot box  for starting seeds outdoors.. then you are 99% done for a solar dehydrator. Our hot box, we built with side vents for those random hot days in the spring. to use it for dehydrating.. just add more sun and a small fan. I find the fans out of my old computers to be more than sufficient when hooked up to a homemade solar panel. It makes two fans self regulating , more sun, the faster they go. I think the only thing we actually purchased for all of it was the black paint
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Irwin
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 01:07:59 PM »

Well I can't find my fan and heating element for my food dryer. I've been looking at plans and stuff but I would like to see pic's and plans of what you all are using.
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BeesNeeds
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2010, 05:55:27 PM »

I know the topic is sort of old but...

I use my oven for all sorts of dehydrating. I make sure my pan is lined with parchment paper or use a broiler for slices. I heat the oven up to it's minimum (mines 250), kill the heat, and pop the sheet in. After the oven has cooled enough that the sheet is handlable with my bare hands, I give the stuff a shake, stir, flip, whatever and redistribute over the sheet as I heat my oven up to minimum again. Then the sheet goes back in, and dries/cools. I repeat as often as necessary to dry the stuff.
I've used this method to dry all sorts of herbs, minced mushroom, garlic, and onion, citrus peels and zests, apple, pear, and tomato slices, small whole hot peppers, split jalapeno sized peppers. I've done shredded carrot, celery, and potato too. With delicate herbs, I've found it best to crack the oven door with a spoon during drying periods.
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iddee
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 06:37:57 PM »

I'm too lazy to build one. I just bought a 10 shelf dehydrator. I'm waiting to get my next deer to try it out.
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Irwin
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2010, 06:33:25 AM »

After allot of talking The wife said we could get this for or Christmas.

http://picasaweb.google.com/irwin453/MyPictures03?authkey=Gv1sRgCNnNq5PRpP2vSQ#5535268534323377010

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iddee
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2010, 09:46:26 AM »

I just bought this one. Still waiting to try it out. The price includes shipping.

http://www.cookware.com/asp/superbrowse.asp?clid=823&caid=&sku=WEN1053&refid=AC75-WEN1053
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Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2010, 11:24:36 AM »

Drying veggies and stuff is very good for you, easy to rehydrate and use later, takes up very little space.  In our previous life before we moved, my Sister made a veggie salt, all her kids helped with the picking of so many different veggies.  I think in the veggie salt there was at least 14 different kind of vegetables.  We had a 10 tier plastic dehydrator that worked for a good part of the summer.  Added some sea salt to the mixture and there was nothing on earth that tasted like it.  She made about 6 gallons of product that summer.  I still have some of the salt left, perhaps maybe a quart.  It is now my turn this coming year to prepare the salt for our families, and this shall be done.  I have time to garden this year coming, and garden I will.  I have every intention of growing every last vegetable that we would ever eat -- and it is very exciting to me, as for the past two years the food gardening has been so limited with all the work with preparing our home for selling.  I missed working the land as I used, so many years ago.  Good luck with the dehydration, so many forms can be used, all with wonderful and beautiful success.  Have that great, most wonderful day, with that same love and health.  Cindi
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