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Dehydrators?

edited December 2010 in Being Raw

Hey all, I was thinking about getting a dehydrator soon. Unfortunately all of them seem to be quite pricey. $200+ Wow! my blender was $160 and I thought that was a lot. Any ideas or suggestions would be great :) thanks!

Comments

  • Make your own? Get handy with a fan and a wooden box, it could work, I think there was a post about doing it yourself on here ages ago… Failing that, a thrift store or Ebay might be the place to go shopping for one.

  • I bought one at a kitchen supply store for $79 it has 5 trays..nothing name brand but, I have used it numerous times now and it works fine. Hope this helps.

  • i use the sun almost excursively for my raw creations. crackers, tortillas, granola.. you name it – i live in northern palestine in the mountains. weather similar to san francisco – but in the summer when it’s not raining most of north american will be fine for sun dehydrating. not only that my friend in new mexico in the winter was making crackers simply by putting them next to the window – the air was so dry – the temperature was of less significance.

    so some tips:

    • bring things inside or cover them during the night so they don’t get wet from dew.

    • if you plan to make completely dry crackers – i find that fermentation just enhances the flavor.

    • if you don’t want the fermented flavor – the trick is to get it dry enough in the first day – so start early enough to be able to flip the crackers or burgers and get a few hours sun on each side. this way – even if they are not completely dry – they will most likely not ferment – you can put them in the fridge at night if you want to absolutely guarantee non-fermenatation.

    • you can use banana leaves instead of evil dupont’s teflex.. thick nylon works as good and is much cheaper. simply spread the nylon on a table in your yard or on your roof – with laundry clips hold it on the table so it doesn’t fly – then pour you fruit/leather tortilla/cracker-batter or granola or sunflower crisps.. etc. minimize plastic-touching time by starting very early and then flip as soon as top drys.

    • for savory things i do not find a fly or insect problem – for sweet stuff i put it on the roof for direct sun and almost no flys come – if you have a problem – cover it all with a net.

    • you can see pictures of me drying a big tortilla (or lafa in the local jargon) at this page

  • I am looking for a dehydrator too. So between the 4 and 5 tray is just the difference in sice and watts?

    For those, who have the 4 tray: The watts are not that much, takes it longer to dehydrate the food?

    Thanks

  • Wow ofek!!! your pictures are inspirational! I’ll be moving back to the US soon. Next summer I’ll have me some giant tortillas too! Thank You!

  • Since I decided I would buy a dehydrator, it sounded like the Excalibur was a great brand and I chose the 9 tray since because they indicated it might be the best for people eating raw since you have more room and more air circulating. Also, although it was alot of $, it seemed that if we were going to use one, we might as well just spend a little more to get the bigger one (I got the 9 tray with 9 Teflex sheets for $208 from www.vitalityplus.com because they match all lower prices and provided the most free sheets (others charged extra for them)). We really love it and it has added to our raw lifestyle so much. Hope that helps if you decide to buy one, but ofex’s way sounds the most wonderful and earth-based—not just healthy for the body but great for the earth and mind!

  • ofek that’s awesome. I’m afraid I couldn’t pull that off with the humidy here in florida but I certainly wish I could!!

  • I believe that is the way to go, solar drying uses no non-renewable resources, costs nothing, and contains no toxins or unnatural radiation. I would think that a clean piece of glass would be great to use instead of toxic nylon. Too bad we all don’t live in the desert (although I live close to the Mojave). ofek, may I ask what is the recipe of the tortilla that you are drying? I’m sorry but I do not read Hebrew.

  • I do :c) He doesn’t specify quantities: grind up some golden flaxseed. blend a lot of celery, pumpkin, bananas, hot pepper and some salt. blend until texture is like soup, add flaxseed and pulse until mixed. that’s the batter. :c))) I hope it’s not rude to butt in…

  • Thanks Morning, where in Canada do you reside? I come from Montreal originally.

  • Winnipeg :c) hopefully not for long… I hear Montreal is gorgeous.

  • I also have some dehydrator questions… I’ve seen that ebay has some pretty cheap dehydrators going for 30-40 dollars. Theyre round and I think specifically made for jerky. My questions are, can these dehydratos be used for raw crackers, etc?? Also, I’m worried about my electricity bill, how do dehydrators affect your bills? Finally, I will be preparing food only for myself (another reason why the excalibur would be too overwhelming for me) will these small dehydrators be sufficient for one person?

  • I have heard that the round ones are hard to regulate the temperature. I will say though that before my family started going raw, I was the only one, and I had the 5 tray excaliber. It wasn’t big enough for me. I try to do most of my dehydrating for the next week all on one day so I would find myself running out of space.

  • In case anyone finds this helpful, the Excalibur website has a special through June 30th where you can get the dehydrator, the 10-year warranty, some solid paraflexx sheets, the screen trays, a book and free shipping (most locations) all bundled in. I got the 9-tray without the timer for a grand total of $219 for the dehydrator and all of the above. It was in the end a better deal than I could get anywhere else on the 9-tray unit with the exended warranty and the accessories. You can also get this same deal on the 4 and 5 tray models at an even lower price, but when you compare the prices the 9-tray makes the most sense I think.

    As for the timer, it seems you can buy a timer switch at your local hardware store for under $10, so save your money and dont pay extra for a unit with a timer built in.

  • I am the only vegetarian in my house and I am trying to slowly go raw. Is the 4 tray Excalibur big enough for one person? Does anyone own a 4 tray that can tell me? Thanks!

  • I just recently purchased a four tray Excalibur – definitely sufficient for one person.

    Also, the RawGuru website has a pretty good deal on dehydrators. And free shipping. The only thing is it took them like 2 weeks-ish to ship it, but how can I really complain if the shipping was free!

    Here is the link: www.rawguru.com

  • my sister and i recently bought a dehydrator from Harbor Freights for less than 30 dollars (it won’t come up online, so if i were you i’d go to their website and find out if there’s a store near you and call them to see if they carry any)... i dunno how well it works compared to the fancier ones though since i haven’t use it for long at all. actually i just used it last night to make my first batch of “cookies” and it seems to have worked fine. it doesn’t have a temperature gage (I had to call harbor freights just to find out that it heats up to 120 degrees – because it’s not even in the included manual) – which means I’m stuck figuring out how long to leave stuff in there mostly by trial and error. i don’t have $200 laying around, so having these minor flaws to work with is fine with me.

  • I have one of the “cheap round ones” so far when tested the temp stays well below 120…it takes forever to dry stuff like crackers though, its fine for my nuts, and seeds and the cookies and veggie burgers where great, but i gotta say that with the ant situation im having right now in my kitchen, im really worried about the openess of it…are the closed ones ant proof? didnt some one say they had a sausage dehydrator? where would i find this? im tempted to replace the oven with an industrial strenghth dehydrator, but im the only raw foodie in the house!

  • I just made my purchase directly from Excalibur (free shipping until June 30th)! I bought the 5 tray due to the free 10 year warranty. There is no free warranty on the 4 tray. I will let you know how it goes!

  • RawVegan4Health: I was wondering how quickly you received your dehydrator from Excalibur? Thanks!

  • I ordered mine late Friday night on 6/22. The shipped it via FedEx ground on Tuesday 6/26 from Sacramento CA. I live near Kansas City in KS. According to the tracking number it should arrive tomorrow 6/30. So roughly a week to go halfway across the USA.

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