My older brother sent me a dehydrator for Christmas. I was quite excited to figure out this new gadget for my kitchen, yet unsure whether I really was going to utilize this thing for all it was worth.
It is a rather large gadget. If you think about it, it can’t be too small or you would be working in small batches over and over. Each dehydrating cycle is…hours. So, it needs to be a bit large. The good part is there are multiple “shelves”. You can buy more than the five that come with it, but you can also use less.
It is pretty simple and self explanatory via the instruction book, as well as the machine itself. The tough part is knowing what is done, and when is it. If you dehydrate your items correctly, as suggested, in a single layer and nothing too thick, drying times can vary from 4 hours to 18. Really. The problem with this is, being inexperienced, when do I start the drying process, before i go to bed or first thing in the morning? So, I suppose, with practice, I will know what to do.
I have attempted: beef jerky, blueberries, strawberries, pears, carrots, onions, celery and bell peppers. As the instructions suggest, you do need to keep things in a single layer. It is even better if each blueberry is not touching. Again, really.
The beef jerky was good. We need to develop a recipe more to our taste. The fruit is doing well, stored away for scones in the future. The vegetables, I made individual soup kits so i could make a bowl of soup at a time. That turned out very well.
The machine is easy to clean. Very easy. You can also make your own fruit leathers, dry flowers for potpourri and can use it to dry small clay figures.
I am not a homesteader, or a survivalist, but I do think this is a cool gadget to have. Not only can you save some of your produce that you have grown from your garden, but also the product you overestimated and purchased at the store, and those kids won’t eat!
When I actually develop a recipe and process for something, I will post the recipe here. In the meantime, check it out here at Nesco.