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Author Topic: Dehydrators  (Read 355 times)

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ptarmigan

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Dehydrators
« on: August 25, 2017, 07:26 »
Anyone got one, any recommendations.,are they worth it?


Aidy

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 10:03 »
Yep
One word... "FANTASTIC"

The one I have is the Luvele Food Express ( https://www.luvele.co.uk/products/luvele-express-food-dehydrator-400w-6-trays-included )
at the time didnt want to spend masses but wanted one that would last longer than the cheaper ones.
Last year I dried thousands of chillies, bags of apples, beans, pea's all sorts.
The trays on this is far better quality than the cheaper ones, took a little time working out the drying times for different bits, also put it on a timer as it has a basic three settings but works a treat.
You can also buy the extra trays, it will take upto 15 and you can get other bits for them too.
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

Yorkie

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 18:30 »
I don't have one, but I do remember that there were quite a few threads about them a year or two back; might be worth doing a search on this board for those threads (if they are still on the site).
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

Blewit

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 19:20 »
I've had a nine tray Excalibur for the last eight years, they were a bit on the expensive side last time I looked (exchange rates maybe ??) but it does the business. Just processed a load of mirabelle plums and ended up with over 1.6kg of dried fruit. Apples the week before that. Doesn't seem to use much leccy either looking at the smart meter. They're a big outlay but for me it's been a good investment.

DanielCoffey

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 07:29 »
I have an old 5-tray Excalibur bought from a UK reseller. It is a little noisy but I understand the 9-tray uses a larger fan now so should be quieter.

I use mine for herb drying but do have my sights set on a 9-tray once we get our fruit trees in production in a couple of years.

New shoot

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 08:46 »
I use mine a lot.  Even when you don't have your own homegrown harvest to process, you can make some delicious stuff.

If you see pineapple, melon or bananas reduced or just at a good price, they make amazing dried fruit for cereal, baking or just snacking.  Home dried apple is amazing - nothing like shop bought.  Pears are wonderful, even bulk bag supermarket ones transform into sweet, intense lovliness.  Just dip anything that will discolour into lemon juice and water before drying.  Using fruit juices like orange or pineapple adds another dimension and the cheapest carton stuff is fine.

You can also make some seriously good flavouring ingredients.  Mushrooms dried and put through the food processor make a great powder.  I've done this with basic white mushrooms that were reduced and its good, but was gifted puffball powder recently and am happily experimenting with that.  Homemade onion and garlic powder are also great.  Streets ahead of anything you could buy.  Tomato powder is handy to have on hand as well.

Buy one with a temperature control if you can.  Herbs need around 40 degrees C, veg 50, fruit 55.

ptarmigan

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 13:09 »
Thanks all - I hadn't realised this has been moved.

Some good recs.  Are they quite easy to use - so the fruit/veg properly dries out?  Is it easy to tell when they are done??

Aidy

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 14:12 »
yep but dont expect food to be like a crisp, for instance apples, they dry well but are still a little flexible. I took a carry bag of cooking apples last year and dried them to a fraction of the size for storage, we used them throughout the winter in crumbles, sausages, apple sauce.

Beans dry very easy, as do chillies etc. Mine does not have a timer on it although there is a fairly decent guide of time for various veg, at the begining it was a little trial and error by keep checking on them but as they say its not rocket science once you know the heat settngs.

The Excalibur are the best from what I read and when mine decides not to dry them anymore than I will without hesitation buy one of those but ths one I have is easy to use and upgrade.

Just avoid the really cheap ones

ptarmigan

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 15:30 »
I really like the idea but seem to be dithering completely about which one to go for. 

ptarmigan

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 08:35 »
A friend has given me her Excalibur, which is incredibly generous.  I'm very excited to pick it up and try it!

New shoot

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 10:08 »
A friend has given me her Excalibur, which is incredibly generous.  I'm very excited to pick it up and try it!

Wow  8)  Lucky you and what a lovely friend  :D

If you want to try it out, I would recommend a test run of fruit and put a different kind in each tray so you see what you like best.  Apple slices dipped in orange juice, maybe banana dipped in pineapple juice, a few sliced strawberries, perhaps something a bit different like melon or mango.  All of these are immediately munchable as snacks.

You're in the gang now  ;)  :lol:

snowdrops

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 10:08 »
A friend has given me her Excalibur, which is incredibly generous.  I'm very excited to pick it up and try it!

Problem solved, I'll be interested to hear how you get on with it as I've been considering one for a while

DanielCoffey

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2017, 21:07 »
If you have been lucky enough to have been given the teflon sheets as well as the clear mesh sheets, you can make simple purees and spoon them onto the teflon to dry into leathers that are great trail or cycling snacks.

When drying chopped herbs such as parsley or thyme you may find the small fragments readily get blown around. I get round this by putting the chopped parsley on the teflon sheet then putting the clear mesh one over the top of the herbs. It allows most of the air in and stops them blowing about.

New shoot

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 13:59 »
I always dry herbs in big pieces and store them as is.  They seem to retain way more flavour if you crumble them directly into a dish as and when required. 

For thyme, you have to hold onto the stems and twizzle the leaves off into the pot or you end up with little sticks in your food.

Most are pretty similar in taste to good quality shop bought, except mint.  Mint done in the dehydrator is really good and not at all like shop bought  :)

Aidy

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Re: Dehydrators
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 15:05 »
I really like the idea but seem to be dithering completely about which one to go for.

Without question in my opinion the Excalibur is the No.1 (probably also the the most expensive) If like me at first I didn't want to spend that amount at first the one I have is good enough to dry pretty much everything out there.


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