Dehydrating over summer

  • Dehydrating over summer

    Posted by Redcap on May 18, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    The wood stove was our dehydrator for months but now that it’s warmer, I got onto the local buy and sell and free FB groups and managed a free dehydrator (that didn’t work) and another dehydrator for $15 but both turned out to be jerky dehydrators that would run way too hot for what I needed anyway.

    Yesterday, I tuned them into hanging air dryers using a picture from the internet as inspiration. I bring them in at night and hang them out during the day. I’ve got violet leaves in one and dandelion in the other.

    I did buy a used Nesco that I use for eggs and it works great, but I can see how much my electric bill is going to go up with that so I won’t likely use it to dry greens. Especially since I’m trying to fill half gallon jars with dried greens to add to soups and cooked dishes next winter. In two days, the greens are about half dried.

    How do you all dehydrate over summer?

    I also just found an Instructable for the yellow one (their picture). There are a lot of ways to make your own sun/air drying racks on the web. I’m going to need more racks so I can make more.

    Redcap replied 10 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Omasharon

    May 18, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    Wow this looks great. I could sew my left over tule material to the size I want. I just have to find something to add as Trays. I thought about my Excalibur trays but I would like to keep them freed up since I use it so much. I wonder if old picture frames with screen wood work. Just need larger picture frames. Something to think about.

    • Redcap

      May 23, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      I like that yellow one and I think you could use your trays and remove them when you want to use the Excalibur, but I guess you couldn’t use them at the same time. If I come up with good trays free or cheap, I think I’ll sew that one up.

  • HeidiRainCountry

    Community Leader
    May 19, 2023 at 12:21 am

    Nice! We also use our wood stove in winter but in summer, when it is raining or drizzling (which it does often in Rain Country) it is too cool and damp for things to dry well and if it is sunny, it is never dry because all that rain we got now turns to high humidity, yet again preventing foods from drying fast enough without the application of electricity. This is where we reply on our solar power to dehydrate.

    • Redcap

      May 23, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      Yes, I just discovered that dried greens will uptake moisture again from the air. I had to put air dried crispy greens into the Nesco for an hour and then jar them up soon after because they had gotten a little pliable again. I really didn’t want to up our bill except for dehydrating the eggs, but if it means finishing off tons of air dried greens for next winter, I’ll just have to go with “it’s worth it”.

  • Bobbymojo413

    May 19, 2023 at 1:54 am

    Looks good. Another method that uses less than our dehydrator is layers of 20″ x 20″ furnace filters bungee corded to a 20″ box fan on the intake side. Still uses power, but less than the dehydrator.

    • Redcap

      May 23, 2023 at 3:56 pm

      I think you’d just want to make sure you’re using filters that aren’t fiberglass. I saw folks using them for HEPA filtered covid masks and turns out they were breathing in fiberglass! You might not want those particles in your food.

  • MartHale7

    May 19, 2023 at 10:42 am

    I normally don’t dehydrate here in the summer, I save up items in my freezer for the winter as the heat is great to warm up my room. Mold is a huge issue here in Florida so I must rely on the dehydrator.

    • Redcap

      May 23, 2023 at 3:50 pm

      👍 Makes sense.

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