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New dehydrator
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Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
New dehydrator on 11/02/2010 03:51:41 MDT Print View

Hey all,
I bought a dehydrator the other day and tried some tomatoes and banana. The banana was sliced and cherry tomatoes halved. The book said about 8 hours for banana and 8 for semi of 12 for totally dried tomatoes. They were nowhere near ready after 8 hours. I took them out after 24 hours and the tomatoes were about right. Maybe still a bit juicy and the banana was hard and dry but chewy not crispy to eat (but delicious). Is this normal?
I had it on 55C / 131F


Edited by benen on 11/02/2010 04:05:10 MDT.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Deepfried? on 11/02/2010 05:27:24 MDT Print View


Those crispy banana chips you buy are deep fried, not dried. Dried bananas are chewy like yours. I like to add some lemon wash before drying, so they don't o as brown, but it's purely cosmetic.

Time to dry also relies on humidity, and if you're sitting under the same weather pattern as Melbourne at the moment, that sounds about right. Try it during one of those hot weeks in Adelaide, with the wind from the north. You won't even need to turn the dehydrator on!

Edited by Rod_Lawlor on 11/02/2010 05:29:57 MDT.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Thanks on 11/02/2010 08:14:52 MDT Print View

Great. Thanks very much :-)
A bit off topic but do you walk through the grampians much? What do you do for water during summer and autumn when all of the tanks at the camp sites are empty?

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: New Dehydrator. on 11/02/2010 08:52:14 MDT Print View

Not really pertaining to your original question and disregard if you're a vegetarian, but I was just using my new..ish dehydrator and came across your thread.

You may want to check this out if you haven't already:

Lean ground beef de-rehydrates really well. Rotini with meat sauce, with instant rice etc. I'm lazy so I just open a jar of store bought sauce, and put it straight into the fruit roll up tray, dehydrate and then put it into the blender to turn into powder.

Slow cooked beef stew, potatoes and carrots (cut into smaller pieces after cooking) works really really well. The beef, and vegetables are super tender from slow cooking which makes them rehydrate well. I do the same thing to the liquid portion of the stew as the spaghetti sauce.

Add a little instant rice and sure beats oatmeal for breakfast.

You'll be shocked at how light a stew with 4 kgs of raw materials ends up being dried.

I haven't dried any fruits or vegetables yet, so can't be any help there.

Hope this helps.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
dehydrating fun on 11/02/2010 09:37:06 MDT Print View


You'll have lots of fun with that dehydrator of yours. Here is a small primer I wrote for the Washington Trails Association's magazine on dehydrating meals for backpacking (with a couple recipes) that might be of help.

How To Do It >> Dehydrating Foods

If you have any questions BPL is a great resource too, as there are lots of cooks here.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Thanks! on 11/03/2010 22:45:08 MDT Print View

Thanks very much for your replies guys! I really appreciate it.
Laurie, that PDF was fantastic. Thanks so much :)


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
totally off tangent on 11/04/2010 01:15:00 MDT Print View

but id love to know how rooo jerky tastes

its supposed to be super lean and healthy ...

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Thanks! on 11/04/2010 04:44:25 MDT Print View

Thanks Benen. It's pretty easy to convert many of your favorite foods to backpacking fare. Anything that is saucy or stew-like usually does fairly well.

I am also interested in the roo jerky. I've never had roo before but it sounds like the meat would be similar to emu or venision when it comes to being lean. Both emu and venison make gorgeous jerky.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Roo jerky on 11/04/2010 19:48:37 MDT Print View

I've never tried roo jerky. I love beef jerky and I love too steak so I'm sure it will be delicious!

Dave Osbourne
(SuperDaveOsbourne) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountain
Elk Jerky is to me the best... on 11/06/2010 00:15:27 MDT Print View

Lots of it per cow in the last season, takes very little time to find/kill and clean, dries wonderfully and tastes GREAT. You'll have more jerky than you know how to eat in a year of overnights.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
checking in on 11/29/2010 20:39:51 MST Print View

Benen... just checking in to see how your adventures in food dehydration are progressing.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
New Dehydrator on 11/30/2010 16:48:34 MST Print View

Hey Laurie,
Thanks so much for checking in :) I actually haven't had a chance to get it out again. Things have been pretty hectic.
I am heading away this weekend for our first overnight hike so I'm pretty disappointed that I have not been able to put the dehydrator to use. I might get some more banana's in it before we go but unfortunately no dinners.
I think the plan is cereal for breakfast, those cheese, mash & salsa wraps for lunch and probably some instant rice, tin chicken and some kind of sauce for dinner.
Looks like we're in for some heavy rain both days too so it should be interesting haha. I don't get too many weekends off though so I don't want to miss the chance. Even if it doesn't go so well it's still a learning experience.

As far as the dehydrator goes, I was thinking of cooking something in the slow cooker when I get a chance, then seperating the meat, sauce and veg and dehydrating that. Probably a lamb stew or something?

Cheers again :)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: New Dehydrator on 12/01/2010 10:20:23 MST Print View

Have a great trip. It has been raining here and now it is snowing! Finally!

Slow cooker meals dehydrate beautifully and generally come back fairly decently too. Lamb is something I haven't tried yet but I am sure the results would be similar to beef.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
New Dehydrator on 12/01/2010 14:36:20 MST Print View

I've only seen snow once in my life when I went to New Zealand in December. It was so much fun!
I love beef steak and beef mince but prefer lamb if I'm using a diced meat or chops. I find it so much tastier and much much more tender than beef (except in the slow cooker where a boot would go tender.)

Thanks again for your help :-)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: New Dehydrator on 12/01/2010 15:57:57 MST Print View

Lamb dries well - especially when slow cooked first, so that it stays moist and tender during the cooking.

And yeah, way more flavor than beef!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: New Dehydrator on 12/01/2010 16:24:39 MST Print View

You are most welcome. I love the snow, but I am also Canadian - you have to love it.

We love lamb here too and I'm actually a little puzzled that I haven't dried it before. I make a wicked lamb tagine that would dry amazingly.

bill king
(Darto501) - F
New dehydrator on 12/03/2010 19:10:59 MST Print View

The hamburger dehydrating link above in thread was great!
Just what I need for pasta.

I am long time user of pasta (and backpacks), never mixed the two before.

I found this pasta tomatoe sauce dehydrating thread.

The pakcaged pasta in the stores itself is already dehydrated (sphagetti, rigatoni, etc.).

Kitchen aid makes pasta making attchments to their mixers, for making your own pasta, or there are cheap hand crank models.

I love using canned salmon instead of hamburger, ground turkey is also great.

Can't believe I never tried dehydrating, guess I need to buy the appliance and give it a try.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: New dehydrator on 12/04/2010 13:52:50 MST Print View

Check out

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
dehydrating on 12/05/2010 07:01:39 MST Print View

Bill... even an inexpensive unit from Nesco would do the trick. Sometimes you can even find them used for under $20. That way if you don't like drying your own foods you aren't out of pocket too too much. I have a feeling that you'll like it though - it opens up the menu options more than any other bit of at-home kitchen gear.

Edited to add...

Bill... I forgot to mention. You can take Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage, remove it from the casings, and treat it like hamburger for adding to sauce and such. A few notes about that... you'll need to rinse it with boiling water (usually 1 more time than you would ground beef). I reseason after the rinsing. You'll need to use that up fairly early in a trip (in the first 7 days) but with some dried roasted red peppers and some dried spaghetti sauce you can have one tasty pasta meal.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/05/2010 07:05:15 MST.

Coin Page
(Page0018) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern USA
Paraflexx sheet substitute? on 12/05/2010 08:44:39 MST Print View

Laurie, Sarah, and all

What's a good substitute for the Paraflexx sheets that come with an Excalibur dehydrator? Is there something that works well for making "bark" or fruit roll ups, etc, that I can get at my local grocery store, or hardware store?