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Food Dehydrator - Anyone uses it a lot & what do you make?

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  • Food Dehydrator - Anyone uses it a lot & what do you make?

    Folks, is food dehydrator a worthwhile appliance? I can think of beef jerky and fruit chips. Anything else it does for you on a weekly basis that totally rocks?
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
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  • #2
    I've never used mine on a weekly basis. I'd say I use it monthly, maybe slightly less. But it is awesome for making jerky. I've also made fruit leathers and sweet potato leather (mixed in some pecan pieces and shredded coconut).

    I think it's a worthwhile appliance to get.

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    • #3
      You can make Kale Chips too. I haven't done it but one of the organic vendors at the local farmers' market does.
      There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

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      • #4
        I use it to dry my own fruit for energy bars - since unsweetened blueberries are all but impossible to find. Last week I dried cilantro. When the peaches come on I'll be drying peach slices. yummo
        42 yo female; 5'8"
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        • #5
          I make a lot of jerky. My other use for mine is when I actually have a decent crop of peppers I dehydrate them and grind them into powder.
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          • #6
            Last summer I used it DAILY when I had an excess of garden squash to make squash chips. Alas, my garden is not thriving this year and I haven't had any extra to dehydrate.

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            • #7
              I make kale chips, beef jerky, dried apple chips, fruit leathers for the kids, and drying berries and herbs. I don't use it weekly, more like semi-monthly, and starting from around now till mid-October it has a big "season" where it stays out so I can do all the drying. Otherwise it is stored in the basement and brought up when needed, as it's a counter hog and we have a tiny house.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bokbadok View Post
                I use it to dry my own fruit for energy bars - since unsweetened blueberries are all but impossible to find.
                +1

                I also make jerky, using one of Mark's recipes, that is way better than anything I've ever bought in a store. Have dried some other fruit also. The unit is used about every other week. And I second the observation that it's a counter hog.

                Word of advice: if you get a dehydrator, get one that has adjustable heat settings. Meat and fish should be dehydrated at a higher temp than fruit.
                Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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                • #9
                  Dried onions are amazing as are tomatoes. Almost any veggie can be dried with good results.

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                  • #10
                    I use mine for jerky, but the various replies are making me feel I underutilize it.
                    "Wait! I'll fix it!"
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                    • #11
                      We are in the market for one too. We make our Kale chips in the oven, but I bet they would be better in the dehydrator, more crispy! Anybody have a brand that they like? We have been looking at a Nesco.
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                      • #12
                        I just used a dehydrator for the first time yesterday, put some zucchini slices in it for a few hours. They shrunk to paper thin crisps and are kind of not useful for dipping in anything like I had originally planned. Should I cut them thicker next time? The mandolin I bought from Fred Meyer made them really thin even on the thickest setting. :/
                        Doing the Primal 30 Day Challenge since August 8th, 2011!



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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KatyNC View Post
                          Anybody have a brand that they like? We have been looking at a Nesco.
                          I have a Nesco FD-75PR and love it. It has a temp adjustment from 95-160 degrees and is easy to clean. It also runs pretty quietly. It comes with 5 trays, expandable to 12.
                          Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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                          • #14
                            I just bought one and so far I've been drying my cherry tomatoes (sliced in half). I threw some into my beef broth soup and BAM flavor explosion. I chopped some up and put it into my sardines (mayo, onion, celery) - LOVE IT!

                            Kathy

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                            • #15
                              I have had one for years. Lots of garden produce, stuff for camping trips, and recently for drying soaked nuts. American harvester is the brand we have. It has worked fine for 15 years

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