By Helen from U.K
Yep, I have a couple dehydrators and when I have just a few items to do, I don't drag them out. I keep separate ones for meat that are not used for the other foods. Contamination is something I am not willing to contend with. Intense bleaching of the screens between food items and it would be o.k.
I have a digital regular oven and use that a lot. Set at 190 Degrees and that is the fruit/vegi temp also on the larger dehydrators. Meat has a minimum temp for safety, check a meat thermometer, it states that on it.
I love 'sundried' tomatoes. I do not do any of it outside, just quickly toss it into the oven.
Yep! Just slice the fruit or veggie very thin. Place on a piece of covered tin or cookie sheets, then cover with a thin sheet and place out in the sun and let Mother Nature do her work. I've been doing this for years. I was taught by my grandmother when I was a child. You can also put them inside a vehicle and keep the windows up, they tend to dry faster when done this way. It takes several days of putting the items outside to dry them thoroughly. If they aren't dried completely, they will mold.
There are lots of ideas in the ThriftyFun archives below the comments here. You could also try Googling 'how to dehydrate fruit in the oven'. I liked the one idea in the archives below for dehydrating meat :-)
Does anyone know how to dehydrate fruit (especially plums to make prunes) without a dehydrator? We are dry here until mid-october at least! Is there another way for jerky, too?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
camo_angels from Willamina, OR
Line a pan with tin foil, place an oiled rack on the pan and place in an oven set to 225 degrees F. Prop the oven door opened a bit with a wad of tin foil or a crushed disposable pie plate. Depending on humidity, this should take between 1 - 3 hours. Happy munching. (08/26/2006)
By Doggy U*u*U
Here are directions on how to build a solar food dehydrator from motherearthnews.com. They also have a wonderful bunch of helpful people in their forums. (08/26/2006)
An oven on about 150 to 200 degrees F should work, too. There are library books on the subject that should tell you all you need to know. The old Foxfire series tells how the old timers did it. Good luck. (08/28/2006)
Personally if your climate permits I'd (now) go with the natural, sun-dried idea. You might still find the foil-in-a-box idea helpful: use a somewhat cone-shaped box (tapering smaller at the bottom), line it with shiny-side-showing foil, place the grill rack inside and cover with clear plastic or cheese cloth.
If drying meat (I've never tried that) I'd be very careful with it. I'd probably either salt the dickens out of it or marinate it in something heavy in whiskey. Good luck! (08/28/2006)
By Bridget (bee for short)
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