By the Power of the Sun...Dehydrating?

Hey, has anyone ever tried dehydrating using the sun? I live in the SoCal desert and our summer is coming up here soon, so i was wondering how this could be done. How do you deal with the bugs and sand? Do you just stick it out there on a tray and wait for it to dry? And does it actually work? Thank you.:)


  • Here’s a plan for a cheap homemade solar dehydrator. I don’t know how else you’d keep out bugs and sand though.…

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    I am sure you could dehydrate using the sun -lots of people do it. I have seen people put stuff on aluminum foil and do it that way – reflects sun better.

    Keep in mind that your stuff might turn out a bit differently than in your in-home dehydrator though – only because the electric dehydrator uses heat and circulating air to dehydrate.

    So, unless you have a good amount of breeze, you might be drying out your stuff a bit different if it is getting direct sun exposure.

    If you do a comparsion test let us know if your things taste different. :)

  • rachel_akikorachel_akiko Raw Newbie

    Wow, that homemade solar dehydrator looks like a lot of work. I’d rather get an electric one, but they’re soooo expensive!

  • greeniegreenie Raw Newbie
  • Hey Superkat92-I live in the SoCal desert-where r u ? I am afraid to leave stuff out to dry due to birds picking at it? -Good question:)

  • geniusrawmodel23geniusrawmodel23 Raw Newbie

    Thanks everbody for the info. Raw_Chocoholic…thanks for the link. I guess that would work. Idk if the intense wind here might blow it over though :) Hey rawcakes! I’m in the palm springs/palm desert/la quinta/desert hot springs area. I live in palm springs…you?

  • coconuttycoconutty Raw Newbie

    Well I’m moving to Arizona and YES I will be using the sun for a dehydrator!!! Not sure I will get down there soon enough to catch this summer, but come next summer, oh baby, I will be ready! I’ve seen homemade solar dehydrators like that before. The page I had come across before actually had better instructions. I hope I have the link saved somewhere. But you could easily cut a hole in the side to place a small fan, if you need more air. Doesn’t seem too hard.

  • greeniegreenie Raw Newbie

    How about building a screened-in box to prevent pests or animals from getting to the food. Then line the bottom of the box with aluminum foil to reflect the sun and make a hotter drier area. And then have mesh trays in the box, much like regular dehydrator trays, on which you put the food to be dried. This would keep the food protected and allow for air flow. You would need to research and find non-toxic trays on which to put the food. Perhaps you could get them at regular dehydrator supply places.

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie


    What would you think about storm window or door screens? If you had a matching pair, you could put herbs or sliced tomatores on one and top it with the other. Use c-clamps to connect them shut, sit on top of saw horses or the backs of two chairs or whatever. There would be no blockage of the breeze and maybe the bugs wont be able to reach the product.

    Just an idea that would be cost effective and workable.

  • geniusrawmodel23geniusrawmodel23 Raw Newbie

    Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. greenie and waterbaby- those are great ideas…thanks!

  • jsorensens2jsorensens2 Raw Jr. Superstar

    I just dehydrated outside this last weekend and used my excalibur dehydrators trays and mesh, since there was a little air underneath for circulation when I laid it on the patio table. I put those mesh pop-open picnic food saver type pyramids over each tray and weighted all four sides down with some candles I had so the wind wouldn’t blow it away. It kept the bugs out, but it wouldn’t keep sand out. Krystale mentioned on another topic that he dehydrates on his car dashboard! That would certainly keep the bugs and wind out!

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