Author Topic: Help buying a dehydrator :)  (Read 8121 times)

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Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2017, 06:23:30 am »
My Westinghouse rectangular dehydrator just came. Compared to the round one I had before it's HUGE. It looks well made and seems like a really good dehydrator for the money. I spent a lot more for my old round one but probably paid extra buying it at the store instead of on the internet.

I've got some fatty hamburger defrosting in my sink and I'm going to make some hamburger jerky as soon as it defrosts. Will post the results in the recipe section!

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2017, 07:56:37 am »
I spiced up some hamburger and put it in the dehydrator about an hour ago. One thing I noticed was that the temperature is running low. I could feel it with my hand and there is no way it is operating at 104 degrees.

I put  a thermometer inside and I have another hand held infrared gun style and both of them are reading barely over room temperature.

I think what is happening is that the temperature set on the machine is of the air that is coming out of it and not the temperature of the actual food which is much lower. The thermostat must be located in the bottom of the machine because everything else is clear plastic.  My plan is to keep turning the temperature up every hour till it reaches around 100 F. degrees and try to maintain that temperature no matter what the temperature on my machine says. It probably doesn't help that I went and put 3 pounds of ground beef in there. I also adjusted the trays so that there is maximum space between them for more air circulation.

I guess this is only a minor inconvenience to me but could be a potential disaster for anyone that doesn't have a thermometer.

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2017, 05:06:42 am »
Damn! I just looked up my Westinghouse WFD201W dehydrator and was considering buying another one on Amazon and they jacked up the price another 30 dollars in less than a week!  I can still buy one on Ebay for a mere 10 dollars more but I think I'll wait and see if the price comes back down again and see how bad I actually want a 2nd one. Now I feel bad for giving it a 5 star rating and writing such a good review about it! Maybe my review is the reason they raised the price so high!

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2017, 07:36:06 am »
OMG! I can't believe it. I just put the dehydrator from Ebay in my shopping cart and went to take the trash to the dump while I was thinking about it. By the time I got back the price had gone up from 50 to 90 dollars! I found one at Walmart.com for 52 dollars including tax and shipping. It was the last one they had so I snapped it up. What is with these people? For 42.95 this dehydrator is a great deal but for 90 dollars it's an over priced piece of plastic!

It will be nice to have a second dehydrator for fruits or vegetables so I can do two things at the same time. I probably shouldn't be so squeamish about mixing the flavors. First thing I want to try is making sun dried tomatoes with it and if it works out I will by tons of them when they go on sale to dry. I wanted the exact same model in case one of them breaks, I can use the other one for parts. I don't have any of those fruit roll up trays. I may need them to do tomatoes but I'm planning on just using sheets of parchment paper. That should work out well with a rectangular drier. I can just tear off a sheet to length and cut a hole for the part in the middle. That will be one less thing to worry about washing.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 08:09:39 am by surfsteve »

Offline surfsteve

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Putting the electronics in the bottom of the dehydrator is not smart!
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2017, 05:29:14 am »
Well that does it! I went to plug my dehydrator in today and it died. I'm pretty sure it was because I added too much coconut to the beef heart jerky I made the day before, because it covered the bottom of the machine and when I went to wash the counter this morning some of it dripped all the way through and ended up on the counter below it.

I'm sending it back to Amazon. Now I'm faced with the prospect of sending the one I ordered from Walmart back too! I probably should because the same thing is going to eventually happen to it.

I'm going to recommend that if you buy a dehydrator, you buy one that has the electronics in the back or on the top so that the dripping food does not affect it's use!

Lesson learned!

Offline dariorpl

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2017, 08:09:41 am »
Another way to dehydrate things is to either hang them or make thin disks or strips and place them flat on a rack, then use an electric fan to keep the air flowing.
We now live in a world where medicine destroys health, law destroys justice, education destroys knowledge, government destroys order, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and banking destroys the economy

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2017, 10:54:42 am »
I actually considered doing that till I considered how many flies were hanging around. I accidentally left my door open a week or two ago and must have had a hundred of them in my house. If it weren't for that I could place them out in the sun and they would dry like mad here near Death Valley. But I thought about that too and it gets hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement on a cool day so I thought; what's to prevent them from cooking?

I found an 8 tray 12" by 18" dehydrator with the motor and electronics in the back on Ebay for 54.99 with no tax and free shipping that looks almost too good to be true. I read reviews for the same model on Amazon and they were pretty good. I placed it in my cart but I want to think about whether I really need a dehydrator for a day or two before I make up my mind.

Offline dariorpl

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2017, 11:41:00 am »
Shouldn't the fan get rid of the flies? When I used a fan to dry lemon peels and pulp, it prevented all fruit flies from proliferating. However, for meat flies, maybe you need a more powerful fan? Since the type of fly that likes meat (house fly) is much bigger and can probably resist milder air flows. Another option might be to use a sort of net or mesh over the top that prevents larger flies from accessing the meat, but allows the air to flow.

Keep in mind that once a thin crust of dried meat has formed on the surface, I don't think flies can do anything about it at that point, since they only feed or lay eggs in fresh, wet meat, and they prefer liquids only (they use their saliva to liquify meats before ingesting it)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 11:46:04 am by dariorpl »
We now live in a world where medicine destroys health, law destroys justice, education destroys knowledge, government destroys order, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and banking destroys the economy

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2017, 12:24:30 am »
I thought of all that. High powered fans use a lot of electricity. By the time you put all the food in a box to keep the flies off of it you pretty much got all the makings of a dehydrator and might as well buy one.

Hanging the food inside a screen and putting it outside in the sun is a pretty good idea. They actually sell solar dehydrators on ebay but they cost nearly as much as electric ones and don't look very durable. Also as I mentioned, it gets so hot here in Death Valley that putting it out in the sun actually cooks it.

I kept some bee pollen in my car all winter and used to eat it while driving but I had to throw it out in early may because it got too hot and the sun cooked it.

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2017, 12:41:05 am »
Here's a link to solar dehydrators on Ebay if anyone is interested.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=outdoor+dehydrator&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H1.Xhanging+dehydrator.TRS1&_nkw=hanging+dehydrator&_sacat=0

Here's a link to a large cheap plastic commercial style one with all the electronics located in the back or on top that I am considering buying if I decide to get another one. They are asking 54.99 including tax and shipping for it. Don't know why I didn't see this one before. I did see it on Amazon for 89.00 though. Luckily I'm getting a full refund on the one that broke and canceled my order on the second one. I thought when I woke up this morning I would have made a decision but I still want to wait a little longer and think about it a little more.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Tray-Commercial-Food-Dehydrator-Electric-Dryer-Blower-Jerky-Fruit-Meat-w-Timer-/292088170515?hash=item4401cfc813:g:Jz8AAOSweWVXf3Ls

Offline jibrael

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2017, 02:17:56 pm »
Here's a link to solar dehydrators on Ebay if anyone is interested.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=outdoor+dehydrator&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H1.Xhanging+dehydrator.TRS1&_nkw=hanging+dehydrator&_sacat=0

Here's a link to a large cheap plastic commercial style one with all the electronics located in the back or on top that I am considering buying if I decide to get another one. They are asking 54.99 including tax and shipping for it. Don't know why I didn't see this one before. I did see it on Amazon for 89.00 though. Luckily I'm getting a full refund on the one that broke and canceled my order on the second one. I thought when I woke up this morning I would have made a decision but I still want to wait a little longer and think about it a little more.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Tray-Commercial-Food-Dehydrator-Electric-Dryer-Blower-Jerky-Fruit-Meat-w-Timer-/292088170515?hash=item4401cfc813:g:Jz8AAOSweWVXf3Ls

Hanging dehydrators cost 12 USD if you buy them from China (but delivery time will take 2 to 3 weeks)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Layer-Universal-Fish-Net-Drying-Rack-Folding-Hanging-Prawn-Crab-Dryer-Hanger-F-/302275101216?hash=item4661000220:g:X-cAAOSw03lY5fiw

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2017, 12:09:38 am »
That's good. The cheapest electric dehydrators start at 25 dollars but they don't have a thermostat to turn down the temperature. You gotta pay 30 dollars to get one of those. I broke down and ordered the one I linked to in my last post. It should be here in a couple days and I'll be able to review it. The main thing I plan on making is ground beef heart jerky. It tastes almost as good as hamburger jerky. Tomatoes are on sale this week but they are the regular ones. Small Romas sliced in half and placed upright so they don't drip are the best for drying.


Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2017, 12:11:23 am »
Grapes are also on sale but that's way too much sugar for me!

Offline jibrael

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2017, 03:45:10 am »
That's good. The cheapest electric dehydrators start at 25 dollars but they don't have a thermostat to turn down the temperature. You gotta pay 30 dollars to get one of those. I broke down and ordered the one I linked to in my last post. It should be here in a couple days and I'll be able to review it. The main thing I plan on making is ground beef heart jerky. It tastes almost as good as hamburger jerky. Tomatoes are on sale this week but they are the regular ones. Small Romas sliced in half and placed upright so they don't drip are the best for drying.

I ordered the Solar Dehydrator. Do you have any idea how long will it take for tomatoes in  these Solar dehydrators?

I also have great interest in ground beef heart jerky. How much ground beef to ground heart ratio do you use?
Heart has the most pleasing taste for me in organs.

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2017, 04:08:08 am »
The time it would take would greatly vary. It wouldn't take long at all here near Death Valley but the temperature is so high that I was afraid it would actually cook the meat rather than simply dehydrate it.

I don't use a ratio but maybe that's a good idea! I either dehydrate hamburger or heart burger. I use my food processor to grind up the beef heart but I'm planning on asking my butcher to do it as soon as I run out of heart chunks I already cut up and have stored in my freezer.

Offline surfsteve

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2017, 12:28:37 am »

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Tray-Commercial-Food-Dehydrator-Electric-Dryer-Blower-Jerky-Fruit-Meat-w-Timer-/292088170515?hash=item4401cfc813:g:Jz8AAOSweWVXf3Ls

I am happy with this dehydrator. It easily holds 5 pounds of meat and I don't have to worry about grease dripping down and shorting out the electronics. Great value at 55 dollars. My Nesco America Harvest model can only hold a third as much and costed me quite a bit more when I bought it 20 years ago. It does dry more evenly and faster. It has a way more powerful fan and the heating element is nearly the same power as my cheap commercial one.  I been using it in place of a microwave to warm up foods from the refrigerator.

Never imagined I'd be using a dehydrator to warm up food that way. It is just as fast as putting it out in the sun but I don't have to worry about bugs. Warming raw food has become the new cooking for me. 5 or 10 minutes in the Nesco brings jerky from icebox cold to body temperature. The perfect temperature for eating jerky!

 

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