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KLeth
2005-07-13, 12:00
Does anyone know one or more of these books ?
ISBN: 0070344361
Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling
ISBN: 0688130240
Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook
ISBN: 1558671951
The Dehydrator Cook Book (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks S.)
ISBN: 0811726347
Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy and Healthy Eating on the Trail
ISBN: 1557880506
How to Dry Foods
ISBN: 1875657614
Drying Food

For our trip this year we've bought quite a lot freezedried food and it's kind of expensive. So for next year I want to dry food myself - I've read quite a lot about it online but either it requires me to construct a large dehydrator, buy an electrical oven (we've only got gas) or buy an expensive food dehydrator.
I've found a simple design for a diy dehydrator (http://www.utsidan.se/mat/kokbok/tork.html) that I want experiment with and maybe later buy a real dehydrator with more control and options.

SGT Rock
2005-07-13, 12:27
I've never used any of those drying books, just the instruction manual that came with my drier and the Internet. Luckily I got mine for free as a gift so I avoided the cost of buying one.

That drier looks like it would work for some things, but not for drying a lot of stuff in a processor like fashion. I found that it took a great deal of tray space to get the process of hiking food producing at even a modest pace. I ended up purchasing many extra trays to get it going. Just look at the design you choose for the amount of rack space. This is the model I have with about 8 trays: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005OA2T/ref=pd_sxp_f/102-2745799-8306520?v=glance&s=kitchen

dropkick
2005-07-15, 01:36
For our trip this year we've bought quite a lot freezedried food and it's kind of expensive. So for next year I want to dry food myself - I've read quite a lot about it online but either it requires me to construct a large dehydrator, buy an electrical oven (we've only got gas) or buy an expensive food dehydrator.
I've found a simple design for a diy dehydrator (http://www.utsidan.se/mat/kokbok/tork.html) that I want experiment with and maybe later buy a real dehydrator with more control and options.

KLeth,

I've dehydrated many foods with my gas oven, so I don't understand why you think you need an electric.
The only possible worry I can think of is carbon monoxide poisoning, and for that to happen you have to have a fairly airtight house, no stove vent, and a poorly adjusted stove - but in that case you shouldn't have a gas oven to begin with.
My advice, if you decide to do it, is open a kitchen widow and don't worry.


I have also been thinking about building myself a dehydrator.
-So I would be able to make bigger batches, not have the oven tied up for hours, and not add to the heat in the kitchen during the summer.
Also I'm too cheap to spend the money it would cost to buy one.

Most of the plans I've seen are basically a box, with shelves made of screen, a vent up top and a heating element below (usually a light bulb or bulbs).
Which as far as I can tell is what the site you gave us shows (can't read the Danish though)

I'm planning to make mine of plywood, use hardware cloth for the shelves, and possibly insulate the sides. There are many sites out there with free plans.

Good luck.

KLeth
2005-07-15, 05:10
KLeth,
I've dehydrated many foods with my gas oven, so I don't understand why you think you need an electric. Our oven doesn't go below 150C which scorches quite a lot of foods before it's dried out, even if I leave the oven door open.
Is that the same way you're doing it ? Or what am I doing wrong ?


Most of the plans I've seen are basically a box, with shelves made of screen, a vent up top and a heating element below (usually a light bulb or bulbs).
The picture I linked to is basicly a cardbboard box with screen shelves and a heatfan blowing through the bottom. I would construct a dehydrator with a vertical airflow and solid shelves so I would be able to dry things as sauce and tomato pre.

Got any links for the plans you've found ? Most I've found requires a house- or phonebooth-size construction.
I'd rather make a dehydrator that doesn't blow through loads of unfiltered air, due to the risk of dust and spure (mould) contamination.

dropkick
2005-07-16, 01:26
Our oven doesn't go below 150C which scorches quite a lot of foods before it's dried out, even if I leave the oven door open.
Is that the same way you're doing it ? Or what am I doing wrong ?
The picture I linked to is basicly a cardbboard box with screen shelves and a heatfan blowing through the bottom. I would construct a dehydrator with a vertical airflow and solid shelves so I would be able to dry things as sauce and tomato pre.

My oven goes lower than 150F (pretty sure you meant 150F instead of 150C or 302F) so I haven't had the problem.
Does your oven have a pilot light? If it does the pilot light can provide enough heat for drying fruit (tomato is a fruit) it just takes longer (sometimes much longer). Turn the oven to it's lowest setting (150F) wait till it reaches temperature and then turn it off.
Or you could even use the oven as the outer casing on a dehydrator - just run a cord through the open door and put a light bulb for a heat source in the bottom of the oven.

You don't want solid shelves, because it would both restrict airflow and heat movement. Besides if you're drying sauces you would want to do it on plastic wrap, or wax paper anyway, as doing it directly on the shelves or in pans would add cleaning and handling problems.



Got any links for the plans you've found ? Most I've found requires a house- or phonebooth-size construction.
I'd rather make a dehydrator that doesn't blow through loads of unfiltered air, due to the risk of dust and spure (mould) contamination.

Lack of air movement will lead to the food molding, as it needs the moist air driven off in order to dry. The growth of mold when drying food is normally caused by poor ventilation.
However I wouldn't add a fan (as some dehydrators plans have) unless it moved the air very slowly, as you also need warmth to dry the food.
-I would rely on the fact that moist/warm air rises and have good vents in the top.

Here are a few links, hope they give you some ideas.

Good description and pictures of a homemade dehydrator
http://www.k-clements.fsnet.co.uk/dehydrator.html

Gives some advice on dehydrating plus some links
http://users.chariot.net.au/~gloria/dehydrator.htm

Basics & solar
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/shaffer58.html

More basics
http://www.romwell.com/cookbook/Preserve/methods.shtml

Another solar
http://www.organicdownunder.com/solar_dryer.htm

pdf of a dryer using an electric heater
http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/6252.pdf

Wood heat dryer
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/hooker41.html

A homemade solar version permanent (not moveable) you might get some ideas from it
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/environment/alternative-energy/energy-resources/homepower-magazine/archives/29/29p62.txt

some pictures of dehydrators didnt like the article with it but liked the pics.
http://www.msbuilder.com/dulley/il/792.jpg

pdf of a solar dryer
http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/6244.pdf

Cardboard solar
http://www.jrwhipple.com/sr/soldehydrate.html

KLeth
2005-07-16, 08:03
Thank you very much, got something to work with now :biggrin:

I actually meant 150C since we're using the metric system here in Denmark.