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Old 22-04-2016, 13:45   #1
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Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

I have a food dehydrator, and we use it for preserving veggies, fruits, and meat. It works well, and the preserved stuff lasts quite well. We just ran out of the Dried Tomatoes I made last summer (they ended up in a one pot dinner!)

I don't have one of the big fancy ones, just a small one with six stacking trays and a blower and T-stat heat coil. Runs on house hold current.

Saves bucks on things that would be bulky, heavy or expensive if bought processed at the supermarket.
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Old 22-04-2016, 22:03   #2
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

I used to use a dehydrator when I lived on land. I haven't figured out how to justify the electrical use here on the boat. Other than Dried veg for soups, what else do you dehydrate?

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Old 23-04-2016, 01:16   #3
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

Friends of ours used one every day when in port in preparations for 4 month voyages.

Visitor fees are high so might as well make the most of the power available,
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Old 23-04-2016, 07:53   #4
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

I would suggest doing a search I know there's other threads on this. I have an Excalibur 9 tray that fits underneath my steps. I've had a lot of success with onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. I have about 20 amps Max solar panel production , two small wind generators, and a 1500 watt pure sine inverter. Because of the high humidity on a boat you have to run it may be 10 degrees hotter than you usually would. so I'll set it for 125-135 during the day and then at night I'll turn it down to 95 to conserve electricity. it definitely takes a lot longer with this method and I would not attempt to do meat ( which requires much higher temperatures) or very wet fruits and vegetables unless I was traveling and running my motor for at least 6 hours a day or had access to shore power.
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Old 23-04-2016, 09:21   #5
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

The four tray model that dried a full five gallon bucket of apples is worth the cost of dock electrons. Last Fall it turned about 60 lbs. of apples from an abandoned orchard into about six lbs. of golden goodness. Kept in a lidded bucket, they are still nice and dry, and terribly delicious. The dehydrator was a garage sale find: $5. This year I will be drying a lot of other things, too. It just makes sense; foods get lighter and smaller this way. Perfect for onboard storage.
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Old 23-04-2016, 09:37   #6
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

We used our dehydrator when we were land based- mainly prepping our own complete 'boil-in-bag' meals for 5 -6 weeks of continuous sea kayaking excursions each summer. It was handy for that. The meals were dried versions of what we normally cooked at home.

We didn't bring it with us to the boat as space and energy requirements outweigh the benefits for us. This is partly because where we are currently playing, commercially dried products are cheaper [including shipping] that buying fresh and drying yourself.

Therefore we are much more reliant on our Engle freezer on the boat for storing months worth of proteins, some harvested ourselves...

We did easily justify my well traveled, 30+ year old Biosta sprouter onboard... I love a mix of radish, mustard, and hull-less sunflower seed sprout salads...

Cheers!

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Old 23-04-2016, 09:37   #7
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

I've used a home made large box dehydrator for decades. Now that we're transitioning to full-timers I've stored up a bunch of dried food (probably 4 months worth). Sadly, our home made dryer won't fit on board, so I'm in the process of building a solar dryer (similar to the Sailing the Farm version), but I am still thinking of buying a smaller one from Excalibur Food Dehydrator | Buy Factory Direct & Save.
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Old 23-04-2016, 10:52   #8
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

Sorry I phrased my previous question so badly. I guess what I want to know is: other than drying veg for soups etc, and fruit to munch on, what else can it be used for? Can you add the veg to salad and it tastes "normal"? How do you use the meat?

I realize I may be hijacking this thread (and I'm sorry for that) and perhaps I should start a new thread about this. I want to be as independent as possible when we head north.
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Old 23-04-2016, 11:02   #9
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

My mother in law used to dry food with a home made one. It just had a light bulb in it. Man those dried tomatoes are tasty!
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Old 23-04-2016, 11:22   #10
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

I've dehydrated foods for trips: Canoeing, kayaking, canoeing, etc.

Some things include:

Beef jerky or venison jerky
Dried Apples to snack on.
Drives mixed/assorted veggies for rice dishes, stews, etc.

More recently, I've started making veggie chips that I first bake or deep fry and then remove any remaining moisture by dehydrating them. I use beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, etc.
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Old 23-04-2016, 13:16   #11
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Question Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

Finally signed up and First post after many months of just watching the forum.
I am an armchair sailor learning as much as I can before trading my mountain home for a watery one and as such very curious.
Dehydrators , smokers and sprouters all sound like a great way to make money go further , help extend range and safety of travel but don't you have troubles with customs?
The dried goods properly stored seem logical but how are you storing them? Vacuum bags?
And seeds for sprouting? as well as sprouts on board, do countries not get cranky about such things?
Thank You ..
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Old 23-04-2016, 17:22   #12
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtesio View Post
Finally signed up and First post after many months of just watching the forum.
I am an armchair sailor learning as much as I can before trading my mountain home for a watery one and as such very curious.
Dehydrators , smokers and sprouters all sound like a great way to make money go further , help extend range and safety of travel but don't you have troubles with customs?
The dried goods properly stored seem logical but how are you storing them? Vacuum bags?
And seeds for sprouting? as well as sprouts on board, do countries not get cranky about such things?
Thank You ..
Customs would definitely get cranky here in New Zealand if you tried to enter with seeds or dried meat.
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Old 23-04-2016, 18:14   #13
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

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Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
Customs would definitely get cranky here in New Zealand if you tried to enter with seeds or dried meat.

Can't one have a locked Cabinet secure box ect. for a customs seal to lock it up until you clear?
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Old 24-04-2016, 00:25   #14
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

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Originally Posted by peter57 View Post
Can't one have a locked Cabinet secure box ect. for a customs seal to lock it up until you clear?
Sorry dont know answer to that. You would have to contact MAF ( mininistry of agriculture & fisheries)
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:33   #15
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Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
Sorry I phrased my previous question so badly. I guess what I want to know is: other than drying veg for soups etc, and fruit to munch on, what else can it be used for? Can you add the veg to salad and it tastes "normal"? How do you use the meat?

I realize I may be hijacking this thread (and I'm sorry for that) and perhaps I should start a new thread about this. I want to be as independent as possible when we head north.

Seems like good questions to me! So I'm saying not a hijack!

Well, we've dried fruits, vegetables and meats.

I found that if I dry tomatoes very dry, I can pulverize them, either in a fo0od processor or by hand, and add them to soups, sauces etc. Or, I can dry diced toms and use them in about anything that gets some boiling water!

I make jerky of various types, and if you slice it very thin and "over dry" it, it can be powdered as used as a soup/stock base.

I make Hamburger Rocks---I put up a thread about them, and you can use those in about anything you use hamburger meat for other than patties.

I have found that trying to dry cucumbers works, if you like, tough, bitter inedible bits of horrible stuff.

If you have good, sweet watermelon, and dry it well, it's the best healthy candy substitute!

Drying cooked vegetables takes longer, but then they can be reconstituted.

We've dried our own herbs for use later.
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