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Old 05-10-2020, 12:00 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
If you get a mandoline type slicer, the job is much easier and faster. This applies to most anything you would dehydrate. And they always slice the exact same thickness too.
Do be careful with those mandolin slicers!

My first one, 7 or 8 years ago, I thought it was the neatest thing. So easy to make nice, uniform slices.

And then I sliced the very tip of my pinky off. It looked a lot worse than it was. But I couldn't touch that mandolin again. Just looking at it gave me the willies and I finally threw it away. Just writing this kind of makes my pinky feel funny, lol.

I did get a newer mandolin slicer last year. Much safer and I haven't had any problems (yet!). But just be careful. Those little buggers are just itching to slice your fingers!
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:05 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
I realized I was wasting my wood stove (it's a combo heat/cook stove) and basically had the oven door cracked all winter. Did about 25 lbs of jerky (AFTER drying) have a big jar of Cajun red beans, and if nothing else was avalable i'd cook some rice real quick and make minute rice...
Can you elaborate more on this homemade minute rice?

You just make a normal batch of normal rice, then let it dry, and it's minute rice?

Hmmm....

I assume minute rice won't store as long as "normal" rice?
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dealfinder500 View Post
Can you elaborate more on this homemade minute rice?

You just make a normal batch of normal rice, then let it dry, and it's minute rice?

Hmmm....

I assume minute rice won't store as long as "normal" rice?
That's what minute rice in the store is.

I don't know if it will store "less time", but it will store years.

I figure just like I can dry beans in winter so I'm not running the stove longer in summer I'll just do ~ a years batch every winter.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:06 PM
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Price wise, if you have a Nesco 1018 sized dehydrator and want extra trays, it is cheaper to buy a whole new 8 try dehydrator with all the fruit roll trays and screens. Then you get a spare motor assembly. The last one I bought from Amazon was $108 shipped. I think IamZeke posted about running a bottom motor and a top motor at the same time to speed drying times when using a lot of trays. About 16 trays is all I can run without rotating trays with the Nesco 1018.

Which reminds me. We have 20 heads of cabbage and 10 lbs of carrots to get done.


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Old 05-10-2020, 02:07 PM
Cat wrangler Cat wrangler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
If you get a mandoline type slicer, the job is much easier and faster. This applies to most anything you would dehydrate. And they always slice the exact same thickness too.
My fingers hurt. I have a small slicer and have taken some nice chunks of hide off. I need to get a butchers glove. The mandolins really do work well for onions.

Hey, I have a really good gas mask now, hmmmm.

I did get a slicer that has multiple cone blades. Food is fed from a hopper and you use a crank to turn the blade. It works wonderfully on carrots, cheeses, cukes, etc. Haven't tried it on potatoes and we still have some that could be dried.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealfinder500 View Post
Do be careful with those mandolin slicers!

My first one, 7 or 8 years ago, I thought it was the neatest thing. So easy to make nice, uniform slices.

And then I sliced the very tip of my pinky off. It looked a lot worse than it was. But I couldn't touch that mandolin again. Just looking at it gave me the willies and I finally threw it away. Just writing this kind of makes my pinky feel funny, lol.

I did get a newer mandolin slicer last year. Much safer and I haven't had any problems (yet!). But just be careful. Those little buggers are just itching to slice your fingers!
I use the veggie holder. I can cut faster with it since I don't have to worry about how close I'm getting to the blade. I've used all sorts of slicers through the years, and the mandoline is the first thing I reach for, even if I'm not doing a large amount. It's really handy.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:20 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
I use the veggie holder. I can cut faster with it since I don't have to worry about how close I'm getting to the blade. I've used all sorts of slicers through the years, and the mandoline is the first thing I reach for, even if I'm not doing a large amount. It's really handy.
The veggie holder (at least mine) don't work that well for things like celery and carrots. I think it was celery that I was doing when I cut myself. But the setup on that first one was just asking for it.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:31 PM
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Price wise, if you have a Nesco 1018 sized dehydrator and want extra trays, it is cheaper to buy a whole new 8 try dehydrator with all the fruit roll trays and screens. Then you get a spare motor assembly. The last one I bought from Amazon was $108 shipped. I think IamZeke posted about running a bottom motor and a top motor at the same time to speed drying times when using a lot of trays. About 16 trays is all I can run without rotating trays with the Nesco 1018.

Which reminds me. We have 20 heads of cabbage and 10 lbs of carrots to get done.


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Well,that didn't take long.



But in the midsts of my break from painting the new patio cover for the wife, the grandbaby found my paint tray and proceeded to paint the concrete!!!



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Old 05-10-2020, 03:53 PM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Originally Posted by dealfinder500 View Post
Best low priced - https://smile.amazon.com/NESCO-FD-75...dp/B0090WOCN0/

Nesco. $50-$60. You can buy additional trays as well as screens. It comes with 5 and can hold as many as 12. Has an adjustable thermostat (don't buy a dehydrator without one).

Best overall - https://smile.amazon.com/Excalibur-3...dp/B008OV4FD0/

Excalibur. $285. It's pricey but it is worth it.

I found this video. Very helpful. The lady compares the Excalibur and the Nesco. The Nesco model she uses is the Nesco-American Harvest, otherwise known now as the NESCO Gardenmaster FD-1018A.

The Gardenmaster is currently OOS at Amazon, though Home Depot, Walmart, and eBay have them in stock. $110.

One hack I learned from that video is that if you want to do fruit leathers in the Excalibur, the round sheets from the Nesco will fit nicely on the Excalibur trays. A 2 pack of them can be purchased on Amazon for around $7.

She also comments on the Gardenmaster's 30 tray claim. She says you'd probably have some of it start to rot before it dehydrated. Unless you were doing light things like herbs, I would probably agree.

The Gardenmaster is 1000 watt. Both the $50 Nesco and the Excalibur are 600 watt. Meaning your food should dry faster in the Gardenmaster.
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:48 PM
catlady12 catlady12 is offline
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Got a new second dehydrator and it hasnít stopped since it was unboxed except to be unloaded and reloaded.

No meat shortages in our area but we raise our own so we donít pay much attention to that part of stores. We have expanded the garden and am taking advantage of sales to add to what we already have.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:07 PM
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I got into dehydrating several years ago as a way to reduce my food waste while enhancing my preps. Anytime I have veggies or fruit that is about to turn or no longer looks appetizing enough to serve, or maybe I only need half a can of something for a recipe and won't use the rest of it before it goes bad, I dehydrate it instead of throwing it out like I used to do. I've done strawberries, blueberries, spinach, tomatoes, celery, corn, carrots, potatoes, and peas. I tried bananas once but couldn't get them dry enough to trust for LTS so we ate them right away. I started when I came across a 4-tray Excaliber on clearance at Walmart for less than $50, the price was too good to pass up and it's been a workhorse ever since.

Produce never goes on sale around here for a price that ever makes any sense for bulk buying and my garden is tiny, but this method has worked well for me and allowed me to slowly build up my stock of dehydrated fruit and vegetables over the years. When produce became hard to find here in March and April, I didn't stress because I knew I had things I could add to soups or rice to make a complete meal. And dehydrated cherry tomatoes are the perfect substitute for overpriced sundried tomatoes packed in oil.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:46 PM
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So (Looks at tiny amount of greens)

Anyone known how much (obviously it varries, but a rough volume) powdered greens is a serving?

Couple tablespoons, or...?

Got the second batch drying now.

I grew up with Nesco's and always heard great things about the Excalibur.
Then I found one for $19.95 in a thrift store.
Excalibur ALLLLL the way.

But like I said (let me clairify, for non meat, I've only done it with fruit and vegies) the newby can just use your vehicle.


I will often eat dried meat And fruit as a meal in summer when I'm hungry but too tired/hot to cook.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
So (Looks at tiny amount of greens)

Anyone known how much (obviously it varries, but a rough volume) powdered greens is a serving?

Couple tablespoons, or...?

Got the second batch drying now.

I grew up with Nesco's and always heard great things about the Excalibur.
Then I found one for $19.95 in a thrift store.
Excalibur ALLLLL the way.

But like I said (let me clairify, for non meat, I've only done it with fruit and vegies) the newby can just use your vehicle.


I will often eat dried meat And fruit as a meal in summer when I'm hungry but too tired/hot to cook.

Gotta measure a batch/serving before you dry them and keep a serving on one tray. I just got done with 7 medium sized cabbages. I bet they all don't weigh a pound now. But I k ow I got one cabbage on 3 trays, so I'll weigh it out like that,then bag it up. I was surprised it only took 10 hours.

I made the mistake on drying potatoes. A big hand full of potatoes makes a huge bowl rehydrated. Way more than I needed.


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Old 05-11-2020, 07:03 PM
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I love dehydrated onions, peas, corn, mushrooms. Dehydrated some carrots though and can’t get them to rehydrate. Just have some hard little carrot nuggets. Not good. Will have to research what I did wrong unless anyone has some insight?
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer 1 View Post
Gotta measure a batch/serving before you dry them and keep a serving on one tray. I just got done with 7 medium sized cabbages. I bet they all don't weigh a pound now. But I k ow I got one cabbage on 3 trays, so I'll weigh it out like that,then bag it up. I was surprised it only took 10 hours.

I made the mistake on drying potatoes. A big hand full of potatoes makes a huge bowl rehydrated. Way more than I needed.


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I thought about doing that, but I just eat "giant bowl" salads and have no idea how much is needed nutritionally (Which is what the powder is for.)

I dry sweet potato chips, eat them along with the dried meat and fruit.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:24 PM
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I'd be tempted to try the car in the sun trick, but the local bears would smell a buffet under glass. I'm sure they'd break in.

bunkerbuster: I like the converted freezer idea though. I have an old chest freezer (now dead) that I might just convert to that purpose. Maybe get enough air through the bottom drain plug (removed) and a second airflow cut through the top lid gasket? What size ceramic fan blown heater did you use... and how many cubic feet for your upright?
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by firefly2378 View Post
I love dehydrated onions, peas, corn, mushrooms. Dehydrated some carrots though and canít get them to rehydrate. Just have some hard little carrot nuggets. Not good. Will have to research what I did wrong unless anyone has some insight?
Try slicing them into thin slices next time. You should be able to soak them in hot water or simmer them tender. I tend to have that same problem with the dried potato cubes I've picked up in #10 cans. Shreds rehydrate easily but those damned cubes give me fits.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:42 PM
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Try slicing them into thin slices next time. You should be able to soak them in hot water or simmer them tender. I tend to have that same problem with the dried potato cubes I've picked up in #10 cans. Shreds rehydrate easily but those damned cubes give me fits.

We did slices. We don't normally rehydrate but, add them to soups and stews and braised dishes. So, rehydration is not a problem. It can be done though and have used them in stir fry's. They are first simmered in whatever broth we are using, turn off the heat and let them soak a couple of hours before starting our dish. You run into a few tough ones but, for the most part it works just fine.

JME
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:43 PM
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Thanks everyone, this topic was worth bringing back into the forefront. Lots of good stuff being posted here. I appreciate your experiences and input. It is such a cheap way to put food back and this is needed by many right about now.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:57 AM
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Mega dittos on the slicer. I have been experimenting with different veggies and fruits in my quarantine here. I could not cut cabbage very uniformly and ended up with mold a couple of weeks later. Maybe it is better to separate the leaves in vegetables with leaves in a head? Tomatoes were great! I experimented with adding seasonings to make tomato chips. Good! And they don't cook like fresh tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes fall apart in whatever you cook them in and overpower the flavor but dried stay intact and contain the flavor. Incredible! Does anyone have experience dehydrating cooked food? Bean stew? spaghetti sauce? Egg, bacon cheese and much room casserole?
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