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Old 08-23-2010, 11:21 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
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Default DIY food dehydrator ala alton brown



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for those looking to get started in drying you dont need to buy a food dehydrator. alton shows how to make your own dehydrator using a box fan and several cheap air handler filters

fruits and vegis
and jerkey

like him or hate him he does teach you a thing or two. this works a treat. as he says do not stack more then 3 high. this also preserves the food much better then with heat though it does take longer. now that summer is soon to be over you will be able to purchase box fans on the cheap.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:52 PM
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Huh...I got 3 older round dehydrators I use to use before we built our outdoor one...wonder if I can use a 15 inch fan and use the trays from the round dehydrators with it I still need some things drying at night when the sun isnt out.....the sun never hits our foods but we use the captured heat from the solar to dry it from underneath.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:55 AM
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That's actually way cool but make sure you use paper filters rather than fiber ones.
Old 08-25-2010, 01:09 AM
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when drying some foods you dont want it to cook. and yes use the cheap paper filters not the fiber ;-)
Old 08-29-2011, 03:17 AM
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figured id bump this as its that time of year again
Old 08-29-2011, 03:38 AM
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I would think you would use more electric when using fans. Plus a couple of fans and filter would cost more money than a dehydrator.

I just don't see the point in doing this versus using a dehydrator.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:46 AM
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I would think you would use more electric when using fans. Plus a couple of fans and filter would cost more money than a dehydrator.

I just don't see the point in doing this versus using a dehydrator.
most dehydrators have heat which over cooks the material being dehydrated. many already have a box fan. remove the 100watts of heat in your dehydrator and you just have a fan. i do not believe my 20" box pulls 100watts
Old 08-29-2011, 04:05 AM
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thanks been looking for an easy way to make jerky at home the info is greatly appreciated
Old 08-29-2011, 08:15 AM
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Here is a solar one I just finished and testing with some Okra. So far internal temperature has made it to 100 degrees and holds. It has an old crank window from a camper to regulate air flow out the top. Right now it has a 1/2 inch gap at the bottom where the window butts up to the heat chamber and after I get that sealed off hopefully I can obtain 120 degrees for at least 6 hours given enough direct sun.

I took an old snackmaster dehydrator whose element burned out and rewired it so I could use the fan. Not sure how that is going to help.

I don't have any building plans for this as it is just something I cobbled together from scrap wood. Total cost $0.00 it's all recycled.

The next one will be a downdraft dehydrator in hopes of getting more airflow without using a fan.

For now it will be used for vegetables with little water content. If I can't get the temps up to at least 120 then tomatoes are probably out. I still have to fix the heat chamber and line it with aluminum cans. As of right know it just has a piece of corrugated aluminum roofing painted black I may just add another piece about 2 inches on top of the other one instead of the aluminum cans.

The trays are just some cheap dehydrator trays from a couple of dehydrators I purchased at the consignment center. The dehydrators were the blower-less kind you have to rotate the trays on and I didn't like them. The rest on cut to fit pieces of garden fence. See I told you it was cobbled together.



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Old 11-06-2011, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek Walker View Post
See I told you it was cobbled together
Hey, it works and looks great! I have one of those dehydrators without a fan (53 watt element) and the tomatoes had white spots on them which I suspect was mold. Threw 'em all out

Right now I've got an easy bake set up in my kitchen oven with 100 watt light bulb and small fan and thinking about getting an old non working oven or dishwasher to use as the box for a permanent installation. Another DIY build uses a lower thermostat for a water heater and it's 8 bucks at HD or Lowes.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:34 PM
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Hey, it works and looks great! I have one of those dehydrators without a fan (53 watt element) and the tomatoes had white spots on them which I suspect was mold. Threw 'em all out

Right now I've got an easy bake set up in my kitchen oven with 100 watt light bulb and small fan and thinking about getting an old non working oven or dishwasher to use as the box for a permanent installation. Another DIY build uses a lower thermostat for a water heater and it's 8 bucks at HD or Lowes.
I haven't thought of that. I've been looking for the right thermostat for my diy dehydrator design, and these things are in the right temp and power range. Any link to the web page?

Thanks.
Old 11-07-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default DIY Build a Dehydrator

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...these things are in the right temp and power range. Any link to the web page?
Exactly! 100 - 160 degrees is perfect.

http://courtneymeier.artifex.org/deh...ator_plans.pdf
Old 11-08-2011, 03:11 PM
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Exactly! 100 - 160 degrees is perfect.

http://courtneymeier.artifex.org/deh...ator_plans.pdf
That design is amazingly similar to mine. The cross flow is something I wanted and had never seen in any diy, and I looked a lot. And the thermostat is a perfect hit.

I don't like using light bulbs; They're very inefficient heat producers. I like the heating element in this design:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/sanders63.html

But, I can't for the life of me find it anywhere. If I could, I would use two to get 1200 watts. These boards had some coverage and claimed they could be had, but I can't find them:

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=171149

I can use a small space heater and with it being garage sale season here, I can probably pick one up for a few bucks.

I would also have an active venting of the moist inside air instead of propping the door open. I'm trying to find a way to control exhaust fans base on the humidity in the box. Might have to make my own sensor.
Old 11-08-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadPrepper View Post
I don't like using light bulbs; They're very inefficient heat producers. I like the heating element in this design:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/sanders63.html

But, I can't for the life of me find it anywhere. If I could, I would use two to get 1200 watts. These boards had some coverage and claimed they could be had, but I can't find them:
Alton uses a ceramic heat coil from the pet store typically used for keeping reptiles warm and I'm pretty sure they aren't 600 watts and cost 30 bucks, not $5.

Walmart sells a little 200 watt ceramic heater that I plan to try out and Instructables has a hack using a dorm fridge and a heating element from a crock pot. I'm not a fan of the light bulbs either.
Old 10-10-2013, 11:47 PM
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hi, i'm new here! when it comes to a solar dehydrator, here is some recommendations to get more airflow- the same way you get more airflow for your wood stove- a chimney.
get some 4 inch dryer pipe. install a fitting on top of your dryer box,and put about 10 feet of it straight up in the air. put a damper in the pipe, so you can regulate the airflow
on the bottom of your dryer box, put another pitting for pipe, but this time, use the flexible dryer pipe. if its silver paint it black. lay out a coil at least 15 feet long in a spiral, preferably on dark pavement. get your self a thermometer, and use the damper to control both airflow and temperature. this works, you can get 140 degrees to make jerky with this, no problem. concievably, you could use steel pipe on the intake with parabolic mirrors poited at it, and get it hot enough in there to cook a turkey.
Old 10-10-2013, 11:53 PM
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if you are looking for ceramic heat coils, here is a link.
http://www.processheating.com/index....ge=Coneheater2
you can get any size/voltage for it.
here is another airflow hack...
take the blower out of a car. ( and of course the rheostat to control its speed) make a box for it, and use it for air for your dehydrator. to power it, use a computer power supply that has a 12v dc plug on it, or, a solar panel. or a transformer of appropriate amperage. ( you could use a deep cycle marine battery to run it, and to charge it get an alternator and hook it to an exercise bike)
Old 10-11-2013, 12:06 AM
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Geez, just make a small box with wooden cleats for frames, and open bottom, and slots on the sides, just under the top. Make sure it has a tight door, window screen on the bottom and over the slots under the top. Then make several square frames and stretch window screen over them. A small light will supply the heat and create the air currents to remove moisture.

For green beans, just dry them the old fashioned way. Soak them in salt water, then use a needle and thread to string them together. Theyre called leather britches.

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Old 10-11-2013, 09:46 AM
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Geez, just make a small box with wooden cleats for frames, and open bottom, and slots on the sides, just under the top. Make sure it has a tight door, window screen on the bottom and over the slots under the top. Then make several square frames and stretch window screen over them. A small light will supply the heat and create the air currents to remove moisture.

For green beans, just dry them the old fashioned way. Soak them in salt water, then use a needle and thread to string them together. Theyre called leather britches.

I've dried mine that way for years. The one thing I miss most about my last house was the giant porch with large beams. I always had stuff hanging under it to dry.

Nothing like the smell of leather britches beans with ham hock, onions and hot dried chilies simmering low and slow on a cold winter's day. Corn bread in the oven, just waiting to soak up some of the pot liquor. MMMMM
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:56 AM
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I've dried mine that way for years. The one thing I miss most about my last house was the giant porch with large beams. I always had stuff hanging under it to dry.

Nothing like the smell of leather britches beans with ham hock, onions and hot dried chilies simmering low and slow on a cold winter's day. Corn bread in the oven, just waiting to soak up some of the pot liquor. MMMMM
Aww, I just had breakfast and you made me hungry again! You just described one of the best scents in the world.
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