Food Dehydrators

10:00 a.m. on April 20, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Does anyone in this community have experience with dehydrators? I am interested in buying one, but suspect the "cheap looking" tray types. Are they really adequate or is there a more "commercial" type to look into. Also, where would one go to for these. BTW, I live in Lexington, KY (but not from here) - not a place conducive to mountain stuff - THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!

6:37 p.m. on April 20, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

Does anyone in this community have experience with dehydrators?

I have an American Harvest with 4 trays. So far I have dried carrots, green peppers, roma tomatoes and pineapple. I have not tried any of the dried food yet, but will very soon when I go backpacking. I put them into those special bags used with a vaccum/seal machine and have checked them regularly. They still have good color and look fine.

I would not buy an expensive dehydrator unless you plan to get into it big time.

My 2 cents.

Hikergirl

10:40 a.m. on April 21, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Me, Me Again

Quote:

Does anyone in this community have experience with dehydrators? I am interested in buying one, but suspect the "cheap looking" tray types. Are they really adequate or is there a more "commercial" type to look into. Also, where would one go to for these. BTW, I live in Lexington, KY (but not from here) - not a place conducive to mountain stuff - THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!

I have an American Harvest dehydrator with seven trays. It works well. I use it most for drying beef into jerky for hiking. I have also used it for fruit and veggies, but have found these items to be less expensive to buy in the store than they are to make myself.
I don't think you need a commercial dehydrator unless you were drying large amounts.

3:06 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have a tray type also. I think my mother in law ordered it from an infomercial for "just 4 easy payments of $19.99" (Ronco?)

It has 10 trays and works great. I cut ripe fruit into thin slices and leave 'em in the thing til their dry as paper. I can get 10 bananas or 3 qts of strawberries into a sandwich baggie that weighs 4-6 ozs. I also have done apples, pears, melons, cherries and blueberries. Pears are my favorite.

On your climb, you can eat the fruit as a snack or as part of a recipe - e.g, boil the dried fruit mix in water until it hydrates, take out the hot fruit, cook oatmeal in the water, put the fruit back, mix and eat. Super ltwt and delicious!

Commercial "dehydrated" fruits are expensive, heavy (because it's sold by the lb, they take out the very minimum h2o to qualify as dehydrated, probably a % set by the FDA) and it's usually loaded with sulphur or some other preservative. "Freeze dried" is lots lighter, but even more expensive, and will crush into dust when you smash it into your pack.

Dehydrating your own food is a bit time consuming, but you control the level of dehydration, it's much cheaper and no chemicals added. The only drawback is that dried fruit can really gum up your teeth. I always bring bring dental floss which doubles as emergency repair thread.

I've never done any jerky, but I'd like to some day. Unlike fruit, most commercial jerky seems plenty dehydrated, but you still have the expense and preservatives to deal with.

Bottom line: Dehydrators are a great way to eat well, save weight and money. You don't need commercial unit since the home models work fine. (It ain't rocket science.)

My $.04

6:56 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Thanks all!!
I appreciate the info. It's kinda nice to know i don't have to get the "gee whiz" commercial version when a simple "home" version works just fine for you folks.
I guess the this is where the old gear list expands to appliances!!

Missionsman

10:49 p.m. on April 25, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have a dehydrator i got at Kmart--$30.00. i do all kinds of fruit and veggies for home use. also dry everything from cooked rice to hoisen flavored jerky, or red wine and garlic jerky. i also make fruit leathers for hiking. the machine is a wonder and goes forever. so much can be done with dried foods for hiking. Don't be afraid of an inexpensive machine. No need for big bucks here. Save it for good hiking equipment.

Quote:

Quote:

Does anyone in this community have experience with dehydrators?

I have an American Harvest with 4 trays. So far I have dried carrots, green peppers, roma tomatoes and pineapple. I have not tried any of the dried food yet, but will very soon when I go backpacking. I put them into those special bags used with a vaccum/seal machine and have checked them regularly. They still have good color and look fine.

I would not buy an expensive dehydrator unless you plan to get into it big time.

My 2 cents.

Hikergirl

July 25, 2014
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