Food dehydrator

Considering, or completed a DIY prepper project? Made something using traditional methods? Post it here!
Chef

Food dehydrator

Post by Chef » Mon May 28, 2012 6:37 am

I'm feeling strangely drawn to this food dehydration phenomenon, but as always am brassic. :(

Have had a couple of thoughts though if anyone has the bits lying around?

I remember way back my Mum (rest her soul) had one of those hood hairdryers with an adjustable stand and a drop down plastic rim round it with about 5 settings I think, I don't have one, (I shave my head so only have a hairdryer for my lad or guests), but they can't be that expensive from a charity shop, even better freecycle?

You know where this is going right? Next we need a steamer, one of those that fits over the pan preferably, even bamboo steamers would do I guess, the design of a steamer makes it equally as good for circulating steam as it does for warm air, so if we stand the steamer on a bench/worktop/whatever, bring the hood hairdryer down over the top on a lowish heat setting, maybe use some clingfilm to seal the drop down shield to the steamer if need be?

Anyone got both a hood hairdryer and a non-electric steamer and fancy giving my theory a test?

Just a thought... :D

User avatar
diamond lil
Posts: 6757
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:42 pm
Location: Scottish hills

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by diamond lil » Mon May 28, 2012 10:32 am

A south facing windowsill in this weather is even cheaper though :mrgreen: or the airing cupboard..

User avatar
nickdutch
Posts: 2915
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:53 am

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by nickdutch » Mon May 28, 2012 11:03 am

A steamer lacks the flat surface area and number of trays that you need. A hairdryer is probably too powerful for dehydration and might cook the foods.

My small dehydrator (5 trays, round) cost me just £35 from westfalia. it works ok. It aint perfect through, but, i could do with a lottery win and an Excalibur !!!
reperio a solutio
Resident and Co-Ordinator of AREA 2
Area 2 = Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Bucks

Chef

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by Chef » Mon May 28, 2012 11:59 am

My last steamer was about 12" diam and had plenty of space in it, had three tiers and you could add more if need be, just stack more on top, so I don't get that?

Those hoods hairdryers are designed to be used for quite a while and Mum's old one at least had about 5 settings, lowest was like a warm breeze so don't think that'd be a problem either, they're designed for people to sit under so they ain't gonna cook ya, besides the height adjustment options. :D

I'll have to round up the kit and give it go, I reckon it'll work just fine, when we don't have all this sunshine, like when most of the crops I'd like to dry are harvested.

User avatar
nickdutch
Posts: 2915
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:53 am

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by nickdutch » Mon May 28, 2012 9:14 pm

Chef wrote:My last steamer was about 12" diam and had plenty of space in it, had three tiers and you could add more if need be, just stack more on top, so I don't get that?

Those hoods hairdryers are designed to be used for quite a while and Mum's old one at least had about 5 settings, lowest was like a warm breeze so don't think that'd be a problem either, they're designed for people to sit under so they ain't gonna cook ya, besides the height adjustment options. :D

I'll have to round up the kit and give it go, I reckon it'll work just fine, when we don't have all this sunshine, like when most of the crops I'd like to dry are harvested.

Cool. Keep us posted. A few vids wont go amiss :)
reperio a solutio
Resident and Co-Ordinator of AREA 2
Area 2 = Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Bucks

Squirrel hunter

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by Squirrel hunter » Mon May 28, 2012 9:23 pm

Those hoods hairdryers are designed to be used for quite a while and Mum's old one at least had about 5 settings, lowest was like a warm breeze so don't think that'd be a problem either, they're designed for people to sit under so they ain't gonna cook ya, besides the height adjustment options.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/hsl_pdf/ ... l06114.pdf

Might be worth a read before using a salon type hair drier :shock:

Chef

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by Chef » Tue May 29, 2012 3:11 am

:lol: :lol:

:roll:

jean405

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by jean405 » Tue May 29, 2012 5:55 am

A hood hairdryer is very expensive to run for the amount of hours you need to dry fruit and veggies, a dehydrator from lakeland is about the cheapest to run, but doesn't look as if you can change temps.

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/14210/My-Kitc ... Dehydrator

Making your own is not always the cheapest solution in the long run, I have a mid range dehydrator, a Stockli, which I bought when it cost about 80 quid, you can buy extra trays for it. I even use it to dry clothes in, in an emergency.

http://www.juiceland.co.uk/cat--Food-De ... ators.html

Jean

Chef

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by Chef » Tue May 29, 2012 6:08 am

Thanks Jean, I keep looking at the Stockli ones, the cheaper ones just seem to be, well, cheap. Clothes :shock: wow :)

Have you used yours to do like meals, I've read about using them to dehydrate 'wet' meals using parchment paper to line the trays just wondering what the success rate is like?

I'd be interested in dehydrating some MRE type foods, I dunno, like spag bol maybe?

jean405

Re: Food dehydrator

Post by jean405 » Tue May 29, 2012 8:04 pm

Hi Chef, the most important thing when choosing a dehydrator is being able to control the temperature. I bought the Stokli because it was less expensive to run than Excalibur, it is very good quality and I haven't regretted it.

I bought mine because I wanted to dehydrate the surplus apples from the garden. I do use it year round to dehydrate veggies, and save space in the freezer for other stuff. I haven't tried spag bol, but you might find something on a bushcraft/camping site, I believe they use a lot of MRE type foods, and may dehydrate some of their own. I think I would buy the freeze dried mince, and make a spag bol sauce, dehydrate that, and mix together when heating up. Drying meat might be a bit tricky because of fat content going rancid. Try googling hamburger rocks.

Jean

Post Reply