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food dehydrator

Karen_Wise's picture

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Has anyone ever used an electric food dehydrator? I'm interested to know how fruit comes out -- is it almost as dry as chalk or somewhat moist like raisins and dried apricots? (My daughter is hooked on the chalk-like dried fruits and veggies that we get at our natural store. The brand is Just Tomatoes, but they make Just Bananas, Just Peas, Just Mangoes, you name it -- everything from garlic to persimmon! They come in a 2.5-oz. tub at OUTRAGEOUS prices, like $4.98 for bananas and $6.98 for pineapples! They have no added anything (hence the name), and my daughter loves them. I wonder if I could make them at home.) Thanks!

Gretchen_'s picture

(post #53604, reply #1 of 5)

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I could get hooked on the Just stuff too. It is SO dry I think you could do it in your oven on a screen at 180 or so.Sort of like making jerky.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53604, reply #2 of 5)

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Karen - I don't have a dehydrator, but like to put in my two cents' worth whether I actually know something about the topic or not, so here goes.

Methinks you should be able to set it up so that your stuff turns out however dry you want it to be. I mean, they don't sell toasters with just one setting, do they? (No, not unless you count the ones where the bagels always get stuck and char themselves into oblivion before you smell them and drop the load of laundry you were trying to fold and run into the kitchen to pry the charcoal-like remnant from your smoking appliance . . . I guess you could say those toasters just have one setting) Logically speaking, even if your dehydrator just has one setting, you could theoretically turn it off or pull the plug or something partway through the cycle, in case you want moister fruits. And if you're looking to make dry-as-the-desert banana chips, you could run the little suckers through two cycles, couldn't you, if they weren't arid enough after one cycle?

Jean_'s picture

(post #53604, reply #3 of 5)

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No "cycles" on mine. You plug the thing in and let it run until your stuff is as dry as you want it. Just that easy.

Choo_d'Phet's picture

(post #53604, reply #4 of 5)

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Are you sure the "dry as dust" fruits aren't freeze dried? A home dehydrator can dry some fruits to the point of crispy if left on long enough, but I've never had them come out like the freeze dried ones.

Fruits with high sugar content tend to stay chewy.

(Canned pineapple dries to a really sweet chewy treat!)

Karen_Wise's picture

(post #53604, reply #5 of 5)

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Hmmm, no I'm not sure about that! Maybe that explains why they're so different from the typical dried fruits I've had before. I don't suppose there's a home freeze-drying machine out there...?