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Old 08-12-2012, 22:04   #16
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Originally Posted by harmonysimone View Post
I found this solar dehydrator online (Amazon.com: Food Pantry Hanging Dehydrator / Dryer - Five Tray Non Electric Fruit, Vegetable, Jerky Dehydration - Food Pantrie: Kitchen & Dining) and think it's small enough to fit on a smaller boat (we're sailing on a 30 footer). The price is what prevented me from purchasing it ($50), though I'm sure you could make one quite easily (something I hope to do in the near future). The one requirement, of course, is lots of sunshine. Where do you cruise?

Smoking fish and meats - now that's a great idea. I wonder if I could find something compact enough for our boat.
Interesting. I wonder how well this would work on a boat though. You'd have to be in a place that is dry, with plenty of air flow. Otherwise things will rot before they dry.
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Old 27-09-2015, 16:15   #17
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Re: Dehydrator

Hi,
It's been a while since your post so I'm wondering how your Sunbrella solar dehydrator worked out. Do you have the plan as a pdf to share please? thanks
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Old 27-09-2015, 16:19   #18
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Re: Dehydrator

Hi, I'm fascinated at the idea of a fold-up smoker. Could you tell us all more please? Thanks
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:30   #19
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Re: Dehydrator

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Hi, I'm fascinated at the idea of a fold-up smoker. Could you tell us all more please? Thanks
OK here ya go first the last post on this thread was 4 years ago so not likelyto get ccurrent feedback but here is the sailing the farm PDF
http://www.cruisenews.net/sailfarm.pdf
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Old 27-09-2015, 18:06   #20
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Re: Dehydrator

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Originally Posted by Kuan Yin View Post
Hi,
It's been a while since your post so I'm wondering how your Sunbrella solar dehydrator worked out. Do you have the plan as a pdf to share please? thanks
It's built, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet Kuan. Next season I hope. I basically took the design from Sailing the Farm.
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Old 27-09-2015, 18:24   #21
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Re: Dehydrator

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It's built, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet Kuan. Next season I hope. I basically took the design from Sailing the Farm.
Dang mike you were gonna test that thing right away you really are a canuck from way up there lol .you do know it takes days above freezing to work well right otherwise its freeze drying
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Old 30-09-2015, 05:35   #22
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Re: Dehydrator

Ive gotten into dehydrating food this year. Mostly for making trail mix for hiking/camping/kayak trips, but considering what to dehydrate for the boat.

Cruising in the tropics we can get plenty of fresh tropical fruit so fruit is not a high priorirty. Im thinking certain veggies that are harder to come by or dont last long (usually by the time veggies get out to coastal areas they are not that fresh and dont last long). I just dried a batch of tomatoes for example. Thinking of peppers too.

Any other ideas?
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Old 30-09-2015, 05:57   #23
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Re: Dehydrator

Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonysimone View Post
I found this solar dehydrator online (Amazon.com: Food Pantry Hanging Dehydrator / Dryer - Five Tray Non Electric Fruit, Vegetable, Jerky Dehydration - Food Pantrie: Kitchen & Dining) and think it's small enough to fit on a smaller boat (we're sailing on a 30 footer). The price is what prevented me from purchasing it ($50), though I'm sure you could make one quite easily (something I hope to do in the near future). The one requirement, of course, is lots of sunshine.

....
...and low humidity.

Solar dehydrators are a challenge in the tropics due to high ambient humidity. Also temp and humidity are going to fluxuate a lot with a solar dryer thru sunrise/sunset cycles. Sun dried fruits/veggies are often sulfated first to prevent spoilage over the extended drying period (days) and resulting temp/humidity cycles.

Electrically powered dehydrators (ideally with a thermostat and fan forced ventilation) work great, but would be an energy challenge on most boats. They reduce drying time dramatically versus sun dried, down from days to 24 hours or less, but require constant significant AC power and of course are bulky to stow. I have one by Nesco that is great, but dont plan to use aboard, just ashore and then use the dried stuff on the boat.

Good link on dehydrating below. Backpacking oriented, but still very applicable to cruising. His idea of creating dehydrated "barks" using starches and broths is interesting and unique...have to give that a try.

www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-food.html
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Old 30-09-2015, 10:37   #24
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Re: Dehydrator

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I just dried a batch of tomatoes for example. Thinking of peppers too. Any other ideas?
Good stuff belizesailor. I love peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, eggplant, apples, pears, all sorts of berries. Celery is good, as is leeks. I've dried stuff like broccoli and cauliflower. The flower parts tend to powder in the storage bags, and they are harder to reconstitute, but as long as they are cut not too thick (say less than 1 cm) they're good. Carrots too, just cut them thin.

I also dry lean, lightly cooked ground beef, and cooked chicken. And I used to make beef jerky, although haven't for a while. I just find the beef mix is more versatile.

You can dry all manner of thick sauces and pureed fruits, creating leathers that can be reconstituted or eaten directly. I also like to dry whole stew-like meals such as chilli, beef/veggie stew, mulligatawny stew, and even thick pea soup.

I do wonder how the solar dehydrator will work in moist climates. I'm still considering buying an electric dryer like one from Excaliber. My thought (still untested) is that we could take a dock for a few days, stock up on all our fruit and veg from local markets while stuff is in-season (and therefore cheaper). Dry it quickly while tied to shore power, and then get going again for another few months.
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Old 30-09-2015, 19:42   #25
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Re: Dehydrator

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
...

You can dry all manner of thick sauces and pureed fruits, creating leathers that can be reconstituted or eaten directly. I also like to dry whole stew-like meals such as chilli, beef/veggie stew, mulligatawny stew, and even thick pea soup.

I do wonder how the solar dehydrator will work in moist climates. I'm still considering buying an electric dryer like one from Excaliber. My thought (still untested) is that we could take a dock for a few days, stock up on all our fruit and veg from local markets while stuff is in-season (and therefore cheaper). Dry it quickly while tied to shore power, and then get going again for another few months.
I like the stew/sauce idea too, especially for longer runs. Just vaccum bag to stow and add hot water to rehydrate...instant meal. Or, if the weather is REALLY bad, just eat it as is. Ive got a few 3-4 day runs planned for next year, so may try it out on those.

Also like the idea of dehydrating stuff that would do well in a stew...tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, etc. We have a Wonder Bag aboard and using dehydrated stock bark/leathers + some extra goodies sure would make for an easy meal.

Im skeptical of the solar dehydrator in the tropics, once the sun sets and the internal temp drops, the internal humidity is going to match ambient quickly and the food will reabsorb some moisture over night...so its going to be a cyclical daily struggle to get stuff dried. Most places that do open sun drying are in places like California with lower humidity and plenty of sun, and they sulfate or otherwise treat their items to avoid spoilage over days of drying. I expect in the tropics that a similar process would be necessary.

I have a Nesco dehydrator ashore like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Nesco-Snackmas...ords=Nesco+pro

Great machine. Dries most things in under 24 hours. Its 600W so would be a bit ugly to run off inverter for 24 hours, but genset or shore power would be viable. Ive got 9 trays in mine, but its expandable to 12, so over a few days you could dry a lot of stuff. For example, on mine a medium sized pineapple sliced fills one tray roughly.
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Old 30-09-2015, 20:54   #26
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Re: Dehydrator

In south Florida I made a dehydrator out of scrap plywood and a $5 hairdryer from the flea market. The first hairdryer only lasted a day, but the next one ran on and on, costing about a dollar a day to run. Mangos, potatoes, string beans, bananas, and more. The shelves were made by cutting slots in thin plywood with a table saw. YouTube and The Mother Earth News have plans for dehydrators.
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Old 30-09-2015, 21:34   #27
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Re: Dehydrator

I just sold our home-built dryer that I've used for the past 20 years. It was similar to one like this, except ours was wider and had 12 racks.



It's going to be interesting once we get to the warm waters down south. Won't be for a few years though.
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Old 04-10-2015, 17:19   #28
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Re: Dehydrator

Dehydrated some apple slices sprinkled with sugar & cinammon...yummy.

The sugar obviously would present long term storage issues, but just with cinammon they would be pretty good or maybe Stevia would stow better.
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Old 04-10-2015, 22:37   #29
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Re: Dehydrator

We did a lot of dehydrating before we left. We used the plastic rack plug in type dehydrator and vacuum bagged everything. In two years we had no spoilage. If I dig around, I could probably find some kale and apple chips around. Tomato's added a lot of flavor. We also took a lot of venison jerky but we used the oven to make that. A lot of the fruit was put into small vac bags and made great snacks while on watch. The problem on a boat with a 110 volt dehydrator is they draw between 200 and 600 watts, at it takes a while to get the job done.


A great treat is summer squash. Not dehydrated. Store whole in a dry place, when ready to use cut the top open as you would a pumpkin, clean, add brown sugar and butter, bake in the oven until soft, and enjoy. They keep a long long time.
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