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Any FReepers use a food dehydrator??

Posted on 06/08/2013 2:36:26 PM PDT by djf

I wuz at a yard sale and bought a couple do-it-yourself type handbooks.

Gal had a Ronco food dehydrator but I didn't get it then... after driving around a bit I went back and got it.

Hitting it with bleach and all the cleaning stuff now.

So! Any FReepers use a dehydrator? Experiences? Good things to dehydrate or not-so-good?

Manual says you can use it to make jerky. Anybody tried that?

All ideas welcome!


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: dehydrator; preppers
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1 posted on 06/08/2013 2:36:26 PM PDT by djf
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To: djf

None that I know of!


2 posted on 06/08/2013 2:37:35 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: djf

Cat jerky


3 posted on 06/08/2013 2:40:02 PM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: djf

Post your query on the weekly garden thread. I remember justadumbblonde talking about it and maybe greeneyes.


4 posted on 06/08/2013 2:40:14 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: djf

I’ve got a small cheap one and have actually dried a fair number of tomato slices. I haven’t tried meat but I’ve been thinking about drying some turkey for doggie treats first.

I’ve got a plastic 55 gallon drum I’ve been thinking about making into a dehydrator.


5 posted on 06/08/2013 2:41:29 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: djf

I have a dehydrator & mostly use it for apples. Sliced dried apples make a nice snack. I’ve also made jerky & have a pretty good marinade:

It’s recommended that you use either 1pound of very lean round or flank steak to make jerky. We use any meat we have, but most often we use shoulder roasts and round roasts. When the meat is semi-frozen it is easily sliced to about 3/8 inch thick (the thinner the slices the faster the drying). Meat cut with the grain will be chewy while the cuts against the grain will be tender and break more easily when dried. Marinate the meat in a sauce of:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon onion salt
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper (more if you like)
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke

Marinate the meat for at least 4 hours, then drain in a colander. Place the meat on trays to dry. For fastest drying time, do not overlap the meat on the trays and turn the meat over at least once during the drying period if it doesn’t look as though it’s drying evenly.

Dry at 145º F. for 8 to 10 hours. It is ready when it bends like a green willow without breaking. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or ziplock freezer bags. Long-term storage should be in a refrigerator or freezer.


6 posted on 06/08/2013 2:41:58 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: djf

The Scoutmaster of my son’s troop used one for beef and veggies. I never tasted it but he would use it to make beef stew with the added water on hiking trips.


7 posted on 06/08/2013 2:42:36 PM PDT by DeFault User
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To: djf

If you dry peppers, or onions, those dehydrators become tear gas generators if used inside. Best to dry anything hot and spicy outside.


8 posted on 06/08/2013 2:43:05 PM PDT by fso301
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To: djf
Years ago I had a Four Seasons food dryer made by a guy in So Oregon and used it primarily for making venison and elk jerky, it worked great.

I preferred only putting salt and pepper on the strips of meat before drying it. Some people use different flavorings like teriyaki, liquid smoke, etc but I don't care for that.

9 posted on 06/08/2013 2:45:41 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: djf

I have a dehydrator and use it all summer long. Anything from the garden that is not eaten gets sliced up and dehydrated. I then put them in zip lock baggies and freeze them. They last forever and are great for whatever you need, soups, etc. If you want to just eat the veggie just add water and rehydrate them.


10 posted on 06/08/2013 2:45:50 PM PDT by sheana
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To: djf

I use one. I have an apple orchard. I dehydrated hundreds of pounds of apple slices. They are wonderful! Use an acid in the water that you slice the apples into. Lemon juice or Fruit Fresh

I dehydrated potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery. Those need to be blanched after slicing, so they don’t brown. I also dehydrated bags of frozen veggies. This way, they don’t require refrigeration, they last forever and they weigh little and don’t take up much space.


11 posted on 06/08/2013 2:46:07 PM PDT by passionfruit (When illegals become legal, even they won't do the work Americans won't do)
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To: djf
I use a dehydrator, depending on the time of the year. If it is dry, sunny and hot, just use the sun ... saves electricity. Use cheese cloth or something similar to keep bugs off the food.

I make deer jerky in the fall using a dehydrator. I typically freeze some of the jerky to be safe ... for like 6 months. Short-term, just keep things dry and covered.

12 posted on 06/08/2013 2:47:57 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA (Molon Labe - Shall not be questioned)
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To: djf

I’m cherry-smoking the chopped up remains of some salt-brined bottom round beef for a couple of hours, then will use my dehydrator for 24 hours. Makes great jerky.

Have only done jerky in mine and have not been disappointed.


13 posted on 06/08/2013 2:48:37 PM PDT by Textide
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To: djf

My wife uses it mostly to make her own granola. We’ve done jerky, fruit, etc. I made powdered eggs once for a scout trip.


14 posted on 06/08/2013 2:48:46 PM PDT by cyclotic (Hey BSA-NOT IN MY TROOP)
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To: djf

They are useful, do some pineapple and bananas, apricots, herbs, tomatoes, dehydrated refried beans are very cool.

http://www.campingrecipes.co/recipes/9-home-made-dehydrated-refried-beans


15 posted on 06/08/2013 2:51:13 PM PDT by ansel12 (Social liberalism/libertarianism, empowers, creates and imports, and breeds, economic liberals.)
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To: djf
I’ve had my Ronco for years and use it to make jerky. It always comes out great so I’d give it an A.
16 posted on 06/08/2013 2:52:00 PM PDT by JPG (Stay strong.)
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To: djf

Dehydrating is fun. If I have too much of something, I dehydrate it or it ends up as worm food.

Try dehydrating watermelon or cantaloupe. Cut each into one inch squares. When dry they are fantastic, so sweet!

You can make your own raisins. Poke grapes with a large needle and dry ‘em.


17 posted on 06/08/2013 2:52:43 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: djf

They dry everything out. I hate dehydrators.


18 posted on 06/08/2013 2:53:33 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I voted Republican, no Conservative was on the ballot.)
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To: djf
Well, the Ronco can dehydrate up to a little over 130F, but I like 160-180F for jerky. Ronco is designed to dehydrate fruit slices, but it will do jerky.

Best jerky is done in a smoker, then can be finished in a dehydrator if you like.

Most important thing about your jerky is the cut followed by the seasoning/smoking. I use brisket cut *along* the grain, which is the opposite of roasting brisket for maximum tenderness by slicing it against the grain. I call it done dehydrating once it's the moistness of Jack Link's commercially-made jerky. Then I vacuum seal it. Dry, crisp jerky is just wrong in my opinion, and I used to think the opposite.

A simple brining/seasoning to leave the brisket slices for 24 hours before smoking/dehydrating is one cup each of soy, Worcestershire, and some A-1 sauce thrown in with onion powder and a little garlic. Mix until it's thin with some fresh water and let it soak in the fridge overnight at least. I like adding Zatarain's blackening seasoning before smoking. This recipe is if you don't have any special homespun recipe and just need quick seasoning. Smoking with hickory does a world's better job.

My next door neighbor makes Elk and pronghorn antelope brisket jerky that's just beyond compare. He once made antelope jerky from a local tribe's recipe that was just amazing.

Have fun!

19 posted on 06/08/2013 2:54:29 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Demand Common Sense Nut Control.)
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To: djf

I’ve got several, use them all summer and fall to dehydrate vegetables from the garden and fruit. I’ve made jerky several times from antelope meat.

I make trail mixes and soup mixes along with just filling jars and seal a meals with vegetables for winter.


20 posted on 06/08/2013 2:55:17 PM PDT by Duchess47 ("One day I will leave this world and dream myself to Reality" Crazy Horse)
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To: djf

We have one by Nesco. We love it. Just finished drying a bunch of oregano leaves, which we then grind up and use on pizza/sauce etc. I dried some Stevia (sweetleaf) and the kids were actually snacking on the leaves all winter. I kid you not...they would go into the pantry themselves and just munch on leaves.

Fruit leather turns out well—like a fruit rollup only all natural. Some fruit like berries end up kinda watery and thin, so with anything like that, just mix in some apples to thicken it up. We never tried jerky but I’d like to.

By far the biggest success was dried apple rings. We get apples from an orchard, run them through our peeler/corer and then slice downward through the stack to make rings. Dip the rings in lemon or orange juice (the acidity will keep them from browning) and then spread them out on the dehydrator. No sugar or anything. They come out fantastic. We couldn’t make them fast enough.

I know for a fact potatoes don’t work. Don’t ask. :)


21 posted on 06/08/2013 2:56:06 PM PDT by Claud
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To: djf

The stuff in my fridge gets pretty dehydrated after a few months in there. I’ve never tried to rehydrate it though, since it usually looks pretty nasty at that point.


22 posted on 06/08/2013 2:57:39 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: cyclotic

Granola, really? How does she do that? I’ve only made it in the toaster oven.


23 posted on 06/08/2013 2:57:49 PM PDT by Claud
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To: Silentgypsy; TheOldLady

Doesn’t one of you dehydrate?


24 posted on 06/08/2013 2:58:55 PM PDT by Tax-chick (More open defiance is needed.)
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To: fso301
"If you dry peppers, or onions, those dehydrators become tear gas generators if used inside. Best to dry anything hot and spicy outside."

Someone gave me 50 lbs of onions last winter. I tried dehydrating them in the mud room but it as too cold. I ended up dehydrating in the attic. It drove the mice crazy. They moved downstairs becoming easy prey to a feline.

25 posted on 06/08/2013 2:59:08 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: djf

no my mil does its called everdays dinner


26 posted on 06/08/2013 3:00:20 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: djf

What type dehydrator did you get?

Jerky is always great in the dehydrator as are fresh mushrooms.


27 posted on 06/08/2013 3:01:54 PM PDT by Randy Larsen (Aim small, Miss small.)
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To: Claud

Oregano - good idea. I have it in my garden and every year hang some upside down in a plastic bag and let it dry.

Comes out super, just not very efficient and I lose alot.


28 posted on 06/08/2013 3:02:29 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
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To: djf
I've done it for years. It's easy, and once you get a recipe you like no store-bought jerky will do it for you anymore.

Also, try drying apples with it...they're fantastic. Just slice them the very same width and put your slices (pealed) in a zip-lock bag. Add some lemon juice and shake to coat them, then put them in, making sure not to overlap them, and have at it.

29 posted on 06/08/2013 3:02:53 PM PDT by RavenATB
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To: djf

I dry my Habaneros for my friends. Pack them in baby food jars with “Radioactive” stickers on them. Cut them in half, and scrape out the seeds.

As for zip bags, the ones from the store are cr@p. Reuse the zip bags that frozen fish come in. Everything about them is stronger and thicker. Food lasts much longer.


30 posted on 06/08/2013 3:03:01 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: djf

I’ve used mine for everything and love it. The only bad experience I had was drying wild chives....I cut them up first and then once they dehydrated the blower blew little chives everywhere. What a mess. :)


31 posted on 06/08/2013 3:03:07 PM PDT by JouleZ (You are the company you keep.)
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To: djf
I use heck out of them. I make everything from dehydrated refried beans to jerky with them.

Almost anything extra from the garden/fridge that doesn't get eaten or canned gets dehydrated.

/johnny

32 posted on 06/08/2013 3:10:17 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Claud
I know for a fact potatoes don’t work.

I dehydrate potatoes. You have to blanch them first.

/johnny

33 posted on 06/08/2013 3:13:53 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: djf

Fruits and veggies — some will do better than others. Drying times will vary also. Apples turn out pretty good, also banana slices, most anything really. It’s been a while since we’ve used ours, but we liked what we did.


34 posted on 06/08/2013 3:15:43 PM PDT by JLLH
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To: Claud
"I know for a fact potatoes don’t work. Don’t ask. :)"

I have dehydrated potatoes as a puree on the jerky tray. Boil potatoes, puree, add water then pour on the tray in a thin layer. Thinner is better because it dries faster and the end result easier to work with. When dry, I break it up, place through grinder and then store it in a canning jar.

35 posted on 06/08/2013 3:15:45 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: Kartographer

Thought you might want to chime in on this and/or ping the prepper list?


36 posted on 06/08/2013 3:16:31 PM PDT by Roos_Girl (The world is full of educated derelicts. - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: djf

We have two. We use them for produce when we can’t eat it fast enough. We dried spinach this year for the first time because we grew a lot of it. Works great in omelets.


37 posted on 06/08/2013 3:16:43 PM PDT by BipolarBob
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To: djf

I’ve had the same Nesco American Harvest food dehydrator for 10 years. I make jerky, dehydrate veggies and fruit, and make fruit leather almost weekly. It was incredibly cheap but just continues to work like a champ. I highly recommend the brand.


38 posted on 06/08/2013 3:19:40 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Twotone; djf

We dehydrate fruits, veggies and venison. The marinate recipe listed is a good one. Just one caveat: When drying meat, put the dehydrator in the garage overnight. The meaty smell in the kitchen can get overwhelming.


39 posted on 06/08/2013 3:20:20 PM PDT by melissa_in_ga (Laz would hit it.)
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To: JRandomFreeper; 1_Rain_Drop

Aha! So potatoes are possible! Thank you both, that makes sense.


40 posted on 06/08/2013 3:23:49 PM PDT by Claud
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To: djf

I’ve had the same Ronco for 40 years. Don’t try fruit roll ups on it because they’ll turn to mold before they dry out but it makes great jerky.

Have the top and bottom vents open to halfway each. Set the machine on a baking pan to catch the drippings. Get an arm roast with little to not fat on it. Slice it thin with an electric knife (quarter to less than a quarter an inch). Dunk the pieces into a bowl of soy sauce and sugar (sugar to taste). They don’t need to be in the sauce but for a minute. Lift out of the sauce and let drip a second and place onto the tray. Sprinkle pepper on top of each. It will take over night and into the next day but rotate the trays every few hours (before you go to bed and again in the morning and a third time - top to bottom). Some may take longer than other pieces but take the ones that are done off and reduce the number of trays as they get done. They’re done when they turn leathery. Place the done pieces on a tray to air out a bit and cool down before storing them in a baggie. Don’t think you’re going to store them for the end of times because you’ll have them eaten long before that but realistically, they’ll last 6 months as is in the baggies.

Tomatoes work well on it. Just slice and let it go until they’re done. What’s weird is you house will smell like you’re baking bread. Don’t know why.

Apples and pears do great on it.

The manual will have a recipe for yogurt but I;ve never tried it as I do the heating pad and quart jar method instead.


41 posted on 06/08/2013 3:23:54 PM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: Randy Larsen

It’s a Ronco.

Has five trays and the top lid along with the top vent. It’s missing the bottom vent, but I don’t think that’s a biggie.

I washed and bleached it good - now it is dehydrating it’s first item:
Itself!!

I got a couple loaves of really good rye bread, I might try some of that first.


42 posted on 06/08/2013 3:25:27 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
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To: Claud
If you don't blanch or cook them they wind up looking like something the cat hocked up under the sofa 18 months ago, and you just found.

You can, however, use those bad potato brickbats to whack squirrels, if you have a slingshot.

/johnny

43 posted on 06/08/2013 3:26:41 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

There ya go!

Squirrel jerky!


44 posted on 06/08/2013 3:28:39 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I just let my hot peppers dry naturally on a cookie sheet on the kitchen counter. It takes a couple weeks but beats getting run outta the house from them getting heated in the dehydrator.


45 posted on 06/08/2013 3:30:12 PM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: djf; appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

Preppers’ PING!!


46 posted on 06/08/2013 3:33:53 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Claud

I do herbs in the microwave. Place them on a paper towel and zap them for a few minutes. Fast and easy. Crumble them and store them in a jar.

One day, a repairman was here and kept looking at it with a stange look on his face. I’m sure he thought I was doing something illegal!


47 posted on 06/08/2013 3:34:29 PM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: djf
Ain't much meat on a squirrel. I prefer mine fresh the day I kilt 'em.

/johnny

48 posted on 06/08/2013 3:34:32 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: djf

No, you don’t have to worry about the missing bottom vent.


49 posted on 06/08/2013 3:35:22 PM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: Kartographer

I dehydrate a lot of vegetables and then vacuum pack them in canning jars. There’s a section in my Preparedness Manual that details the process.


50 posted on 06/08/2013 3:36:29 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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