Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Seacowboys, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I am investigating the acquisition of a reliable and simple to use dehydrator for drying fruits, vegetables, and meats. Criteria would include ease of operation and cleaning, foot-print size, reliability, and costs. Anyone with recommendations would be appreciated.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    I came across this site a couple months ago. The owners are "save the world, earth before man" types, but they have a great dehydration method. You could probably replicate this. I have labeled this site on my history: Strawbalenuts (just a bit further out than me, but what they do is very applicable to survival.
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The wife and I just picked up a new one. I forget the name though. BassPro had it on sale a couple of weeks ago.
    We had been using her parents, which is several years old, but still works.

    The biggest difference between the old and the new is the motor/blower location. On the old one it's on the bottom, which allows stuff to "drop" in to that area, making it difficult to clean. The new one has the motor/blower on top, and has an adjustable temp.

    I'll try to get the name and model and post here later tonight.

    How much are you planning on using it? There are MANY options out there from round units (which is what we have) to ones that look like a mid-sized toaster oven.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I have the NESCO FD-60 with 12 trays and so far it works great!
    2 years and running....
    pearlselby likes this.
  5. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    I picked one up at a salvation army store. Like 8 trays. Kinda cheap, but simple.
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Found a "solar" dehydrator made of window screens, at local goodwill store....
    Not sure how well it would work, but it is made fairly simple and straightforward enough.
    Has 4 "shelves", all screened except for aluminum frame.
    I'll have to try it with some tomatoes (more acidic= less chance of spoilage)
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Air flow, air flow, air flow.

    I lost food to spoilage when I first began dehydrating due to improper airflow. If you have proper airflow, you don't even need to worry too much about tray rotation.
  8. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    I got one for Christmas can't think of the name off the top of my head but it is round with the plastic trays. The blower is ontop and moves a lot of air.

    I've dehydrated apples and some banana's have not tried much more yet. going to try jerky one of these days

    My plans are to dehydrate the left overs from my garden the past few years I have given most of my extras to friends.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I settled on a 9-tray Excalibur 3900 Commercial dehydrator. Costed around $220.00 but is a serious tool that gets really good reviews.
    68_9 tray timer - trays.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Let us know how it works. I've always thought it is better to spend the money on one that works rather than an experiment. If it is a "good" one, then you know it's your technique and not a hardware problem.
  11. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

  12. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    a clip on fan over your half open oven set on low will work great also, just alot of energy.
  13. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Don't know about your oven but ours will go down to 170 and that's even to hot for good jerky !!

  14. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    I got the 9 tray excalibur too and I like it a lot, so far its the best dehydrator I have used.
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We have a thread on the Excalibur dehydrator here-
    Excalibur dehydrator | Survival Forums

    In the thread above I see Nesco & the Brass Pro shop dehydrators mentioned. << those prices are more reasonable vs. the Excalibur. I am looking to find a dehydrator that does fruit strips. I had an old round dehydrator that someone gifted. It was a waste of time and money. Is the Excalibur still the one to invest in or are there comparable dehydrators at a lower price?
    Ganado likes this.
  16. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Wally World has Excalibur dehydrators from $99 for a 4 tray up to almost $400. LOVE my Excalibur! Linkee: dehydrators -

    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Two things matter with dehydrators. A fan (airflow) and sized to fit what you want done.
    The fruit strips, just require the flat liners like the one shown here. This is mine. They are available as a multi-pack. 1447006153414365729067.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  18. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Kellory I never could get those round ones to do jerky the meat always rotted before it got fry. How do you get that to work? They work great for fruit leather but terrible for meat
    Motomom34 likes this.
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I do at least 20lbs of dried venison every year. Never had anything rot, even with the heat only versions. (Which I still have) the one shown is fan forced. Which makes it a lot faster. (Fan up top means it stays clean).
    I've turned two complete deer into jerky with that machine. No issues.
    I start with meat on the slicer set at 1/4" thick. (For consistent drying) and you must have airflow.(do do not cover every square inch of rack space.)
    Ganado likes this.
  20. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
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