Drying Food - No Electricity ?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Ganado, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    So I store herbs i grow in the rafter of my storage building kinda like these flowers are

    I braide my onions, garlic and corn and hang them as well.
    Why You Should Braid Your Onions Like a Pioneer Woman — Tips from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

    Herbs can hang like this in the kitchen for easy access. but I find delicate herbs like basil and oregano need to hang dry with a paper bag on them or newspaper on the floor. (contrary to popular belief if you are drying in a paper bag you do not need to wash herbs before drying them) Its a waste of water and nutrients.

    How to Dry Herbs - Vegetable Gardener

    The thing I need a solution for two fold. I need to be able to walk under them items i have drying and have easy access.

    The pulley system I currently use can raise and lower the small cords that I have bunches of herbs, garlic, corn etc attached too but it still leaves about 3-4 feet at the end I cant use because of pulling. I have thought about using a board or pvc and just lowering and raising a board in stead of tying to cord but by myself lowing and raising one end at a time wont work. Just not sure what to use that is light weight.

    (soz no pics, too dark and you cant see anything and im too lazy to put in a bunch of light just for pics but its simalr to the above pic just ceiling isn't as high)

    Any suggestion?

    I love this post https://www.survivalmonkey.com/attachments/jerkydrierinstructions-pdf.5677/
  2. kellory

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

    The PDF for the meat dryer was interesting, and quite easy to build, but cardboard is a very poor choice of material, except for a throw away type of deal. It will absorb lots of moisture into itself, and can not be cleaned.
    I would suggest either metal or plastic for the inside surface.
    Some sheet plastic for window repair would do, and assembled with PVC glue for pipes at all edges. Then, if it is sized to fit the box, use the box (outside) as insulation. Then you could use it for several years.

    I have been interested in growing ginseng, myself, and these are much like the racks used by ginseng hunters to dry their harvests.

    Growers Edge - Hang Time Drying Rack 728765 - Medium
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Nice I may try a set of these

    have to read arrange some things and put on the edges or hoist up high. Have to think about this
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Great link
    I like that closets are okay to dry herbs in. I have a space in a closet that would be perfect. The door is always open so there would be some air circulation but otherwise free from sun and stuff that floats in the air.
  5. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Bud just dried their Oregano. As a kid we used the roof of a storage room. It had "12 V" tin and we would put an old sheet on it. Then the fruit and another sheet. We would turn the fruit over mid afternoon and recover. Usually one day would do it.
    Motomom34, Ganado and Sapper John like this.
  6. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    It is surprising what can be done with simple drying racks and low DC voltage/low speed fans working off of very inexpensive small solar panels with car battery storage.

    Just sayin'
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  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Pax you are correct. I'm lazy I like to hang them to dry and walk away so that they are stored once I've hung them up. I like to handle things as few times as possible. Prolly a silly response but it works for me

    06. What is a 12 v tin? You lost me there
  8. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Tossing a few bags of herbs up in the average attic in Florida will dry them amazingly well. Another convenient high-volume dryer is your car. Just roll the windows up, leaving one open about a quarter-inch, and lay your stuff out five of six layers deep on salvaged windows screens spaced apart by scraps of 1X2. Works great in the Florida sun. You can not only dry LOTS of stuff at a time, but your car will smell wonderful. Especially when you're drying strawberries.

    Most window repair/replacement businesses have a pile of old nylon window screens you can get either free or super-cheap. I bought a double arm-load once at six for a dollar. That was roughly the value of the aluminum screen frames.

    I spread a couple of sheets out under the screens to catch anything that falls off. I finally solved the problem of Houdini-peas. They're the ones that roll off a screen at the slightest incline. I bought a bunch of embroidery hoops at an auction, and now I just corral them.

    Toss down a hoop. Pour it full of peas. When they're shoulder-to-shoulder, toss down another hoop.

    One thing, though. You'll probably want to do your auto-drying on days you don't plan to drive your dryer.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Solar is the way to go for drying in my area. When the Bad Years came I was in the process of building a solar unit. Even have stainless steel racks of perforated steel. Maybe I'll get to that soon.
    kellory likes this.
  10. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Agree with your take on limitations of cardboard as a material for long term usage. However, if new to dehydrating food, and not wishing to invest a great deal of resources (time/effort/money/materials) in constructing a long term solution, that may be just a flash in the pan fancy, cardboard will do just fine for a while. Cardboard would be ok for concept testing and the kind of trial and error experimentation which may result in committing to the effort of making a permanent dehydrator or discarding the the dehydrating project entirely.

    these problems may be reduced by stapling tinfoil to the interior surfaces of the dehydrator.

    Making a cardboard dehydrator with your children is a cheap way of getting your children interested in self sufficiency and food processing / storage: Especially if you teach them how to make fruit leathers!
  11. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I don't think anything that works for someone is silly. I just think different and never have enough of anything...so hang and forget just doesn't work for me unless I keep building more places to hang.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    This is the chart for my dehydrator (Nesco American Harvest) listed on the lid.

    Herbs and Spices: 95 F / 35 C
    Nuts and Seeds: 105 F / 41 C
    Fruits and Vegetables: 135 F / 57 C
    Jerky/Meats/Fish: 160 F / 71 C

    Basically, it wouldn't be tough to acquire a bit of resources to mimic these conditions without the use of power. I would build a framed box, top and cover with glass or other clear material. Keep bottom open and a gap in the top to circulate air. Line the inside of the box (but keep top clear) with aluminum foil. Depending on where you live, and based on the food you are drying, add or subtract foil material. You wouldn't even need the sun for herbs and spices or even nuts and seeds in particularly hot environments, just a dry place (and humidity can be a real pain)...
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  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Lol @broker. You are a tinker/fixer. I mean that in the best possible way. :) I'm really liking the car idea. No electricity the cars prolly won't work
    Brokor likes this.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If one were to modify their "Smoker" with an Air to Air Heat Exchanger, so the Smoke/Fire just heats one side of the Heat Exchanger, and the other side of the Heat Exchanger was setup to heat Smoke Free Recirculating Air thru the Goods to be Dried.... That would work, and could be converted back to a Smoker, easy enough.... Dual Purpose device...

    What got me thinking along this line, was I have a Propane fired Thermal Electric Power Generator, that lives down at the Beach Cabin, and the Exhaust Stack on the Propane Burner, could be used to supply the Heat for a Dryer Box, OR, the Electrical Side of device takes Ambient Temp Air and uses the Temp difference between that Air and the Temp of the Propane side of the TEG (ThermalElectricGenerator) to make Electricity. With a ByProduct of Heating the Ambient Temp Air to about 130F... If you didn't want to use the Propane Exhaust side Air, you could use the Ambient Temp Air side, to feed your Drying Box, all the while making Electricity to charge your Battery Bank. My unit is a 240 Watt TEG and only burns 1 USG/24Hour Operation.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Nice idea. I'm not picturing how to set it up. Would you happen to have a m picture or something.

    I'm kind of simple. A car I can picture but a dual purpose smoker dryer. No mental picture forms ; )
  16. kellory

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

    something like this would do well. just run the exhaust pipe intact through the second barrel without venting, and add a hatch to the upper barrel. It would heat, without smoke, though waste heat off the exhaust pipe.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    And if that was your Heat Source for a Cabin that you have to keep going, to keep warm, you get a Dual Use Device right off, and can Dry or Smoke depending on whether you Vent or do NOT Vent into the upper chamber.... Great Idea Kell.....
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  18. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    I slapped together a reflector oven one summer. Mainly for fresh bannock. I'll try a bigger one with a bit different design this summer for veggies.

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  19. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Tin roofing comes in many designs today but years ago you could only get tin with five or twelve raised ridges. The ridges were about one inch apart so that gave the fruit/veggies air from the bottom also. Dried much faster than a flat surface 5V Metal Roof Panels - 5V Metal Roofing Panels - Union Corrugating
    ETA: here is a pic of 5 V tin---
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  20. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    That's weird. We roofed our cabin with that type tin. I have a piece or 2 left over. I was just thinking today about using them. I also thought a grill set on top of the ridges would allow smaller pieces of fruit an veggies to be dried.
    chelloveck, Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
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