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-   Provisioning: Food & Drink (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f91/)
-   -   Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f91/anyone-else-use-a-dehydrator-164993.html)

Cheechako 24-04-2016 16:59

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Fish jerky is great.... as I've posted here before. Brine it over night. You can actually dry it in the sunshine on cookie racks out on deck in hot climes.

SailingAzura 05-11-2016 17:11

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Hi everyone. My husband is a member here and encouraged me to come in and chat with you all about food dehydration. I've written a couple books on it. Funny enough one of my first reviewers was a boater and I never thought anything of it until we bought a sailboat a few weeks ago.

Probably your best use for a dehydrator is to prepare foods for longer trips or for when you want to be out on the water rather than in port. Simple foods that you dry at home can be rehydrated with boiling water (or some can be cold water rehydrated) and then you are spending less time in the galley.

I'm not sure what the rules are for posting links and I would be happy to share some recipes. I'm also going to be creating a bunch of one pan (or pot) dishes as we start to delve more into a sailboating life.

Anyway... feel free to pick my brain.

Laurie Ann

GordMay 06-11-2016 04:52

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Laurie Ann.

Pete7 06-11-2016 05:03

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
LA, welcome to CF. The rules cover links etc:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ork&page=rules

You are more than welcome to post recipes etc to stimulate a group discussion.

Regards

Peter

Mike OReilly 06-11-2016 10:19

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Cooking with dried food is pretty easy. Stews, soups, pastas, rice/vermicelli meals. The list is as endless as cooking in general. For canoe/kayak trips I assemble dried into meal packages, but while at home (on our boat) I just use our dried foods as I would any other food. Once itís reconstituted most foods can be used as per normal.

I would love to hear from anyone who has dried food while underway. Iíve built, but not yet used, a solar dehydrator (from Sailing the Farm plans). I think it will work, but Iím skeptical though that this will suffice for bulk drying.

Does anyone dry food while on their boat? My thought is to get one like this (4-Tray On/Off - Dehydrators - Shop) and use it while tied to a dock.

redhead 06-11-2016 10:56

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Mike - even though I'm tied to a dock I'm using my diesel stove as a dehydrator. I figure since it's on anyway and there's still a lot of fresh produce around, why not? I'm doing sun dried tomatoes right now and I've always got a batch of granola starting up. I don't have or plan to have an electric dehydrator since my stove (fondly named Esmerelda or "Esme" for short) serves almost all my wants. I'm always looking for new stuff to dry out though, even though we're tied to land because of the refit, I still try to be as independent as possible. Cruiser in training I guess...

UNCIVILIZED 06-11-2016 11:29

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
This may sound a little silly, but often times, kids who are picky eaters tend to love various sorts of dehydrated fruits, & other dehydrated treats. It may be due to the concentrated flavor, or something else. But if you have little ones that are a pain to feed, especially to get them to eat healthy things, then you might try bringing home some dehydrated fruits for them to try. And if they're a hit, then one of these units is worth looking into.

Jerky is popular too, probably for similar reasons. And you might try making (or buying) the sort which has a higher than optimal moisture content. Such as that which keeps for 2-4 months when properly packaged. As it's a lot easier to chew than the standard sort, & again, has that tasty concentrated flavor thing to it.

Mike OReilly 06-11-2016 15:59

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by redhead (Post 2251899)
Mike - even though I'm tied to a dock I'm using my diesel stove as a dehydrator. I figure since it's on anyway and there's still a lot of fresh produce around, why not? I'm doing sun dried tomatoes right now and I've always got a batch of granola starting up. I don't have or plan to have an electric dehydrator since my stove (fondly named Esmerelda or "Esme" for short) serves almost all my wants. I'm always looking for new stuff to dry out though, even though we're tied to land because of the refit, I still try to be as independent as possible. Cruiser in training I guess...

Iíve used an oven to dry stuff on land, but I donít think my propane oven would be an efficient way of drying on my boat. My oven is way too small, and I expect it would take more propane than itís worth. Sounds like it makes sense in your case though; as you say, if youíre running it anyway (for heat?), then why not.

In my ideal drying world Iíd have a large dehydrator that can handle large volumes, yet can still be disassembled and stored in a fairly small area. So far, I havenít found such a machine.

Hmmmm, perhaps I can fit a fan and heater in my solar dryer. Thereís a thought!

SailingAzura 08-11-2016 11:00

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Mike... all you need really is a fan and a lightbulb in a box. You could even make one out of foil lined cardboard that would fold down?

I tend to dry both full meals and ingredients. Our eventual goal is the Intercoastal down to the Atlantic and then south to the islands so when we do that I'll take many home-dehydrated meals then supplement with fresh foods as often as possible.

redhead... I love drying things like coleslaw and lentil salad and hummus. I love that you are using the heat that normally would be wasted too. Smart thinking.

CGirvan 08-11-2016 11:20

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Does anybody use a solar dehydrator on board? We are not planning on being in marinas often enough for a 120v unit to be worthwhile and I can't see propane or 12v being economical but we will be in the tropics. A foldable dehydrator that uses the power of the sun would be perfect, is there such a thing?
A quick google search showed plans for solar dehdrators but they all seemed to be large, heavy units for land based use, anybody make a marine unit?

Cheechako 08-11-2016 12:04

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CGirvan (Post 2253543)
Does anybody use a solar dehydrator on board? We are not planning on being in marinas often enough for a 120v unit to be worthwhile and I can't see propane or 12v being economical but we will be in the tropics. A foldable dehydrator that uses the power of the sun would be perfect, is there such a thing?
A quick google search showed plans for solar dehdrators but they all seemed to be large, heavy units for land based use, anybody make a marine unit?

You could probably make a folding one out of black plastic board or something like that.
In Baja I made fish jerky all the time out of just fish on a cookie rack on deck. A black box would get it done fast....

Mike OReilly 08-11-2016 12:32

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Iíve built a collapsable dryer out of black sunbrella (similar to the one in Sailing the Farm). Iíve yet to use it, but Iím sure it will work out in the hot sun. My concern is that this is not going to be very controllable. From experience I know some foods can take longer than the 8 to 12 hours to dry. What do you do when the sun goes down?

As you suggest SA, I think I can simply insert a heat source (incandescent bulb, or other small coil heater) into the base to make it work. If I can get good sun then I can probably sustain this on batteries (solar charged during the day), but short term shore power might be the simplest way.

Cheechako 08-11-2016 12:35

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
I just brought my jerky inside and back out the next day.

Mike OReilly 08-11-2016 13:01

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheechako (Post 2253602)
I just brought my jerky inside and back out the next day.

OK Ö I should just give it a try. Most veg/fruit dries faster than meats. Maybe Iím over-thinking this. Might be just fine in the full sun.

Cheechako 08-11-2016 13:06

Re: Anyone Else Use a Dehydrator?
 
Yeah, IIRC it took a couple days with meats to be fully dry. Of course the meat is salted so not sure how that comes into the equation. I brought it in to avoid getting damp from night dew etc. I loved fish jerky, surprisingly more like beef jerky etc than I would have thought. Mostly Bonita tuna and Mahi. Although some Sierra Mackeral which is oilier.


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