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Old 08-04-2020, 03:51 AM
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Drying onions inside the house is something you'll ever only do one time! Ask me how I know.
Man, I'm glad I saw this. I was planning on doing it. Well, I still will dehydrate onion. Just not in the house!
See how useful this forum is? Probably just improved my marital relations.

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Old 08-04-2020, 04:51 AM
Aerindel Aerindel is offline
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
Man, I'm glad I saw this. I was planning on doing it. Well, I still will dehydrate onion. Just not in the house!
See how useful this forum is? Probably just improved my marital relations.

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Put it this way, I just got into bed at 3:45 am and my wife just said one word...."onions". All I did was walk through my shop to check on the machine but it seems I brought the smell to bed.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:48 PM
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Onions, garlic, peppers, the stronger radishes........

You need two dehydration locations. One indoors where you get the decreased effort on the dehydrator because you are in climate controlled space. The other where you get outside air taking away the potent vapors, but the unit is not subject to the elements.

Better to get the issue out of the way by making two appropriate spots at the outset.

Also another reason why summer porch kitchens are awesome.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:40 PM
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Another good solution to the odor problem is to sun dry foods. It's literally just as simple as putting them in the sun to dry. The prep is the same as you'd do for a dehydrator. If you'd blanch to dehydrate, then blanch to sun dry, etc.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
So I buy onions in 50lb bags and hang them in my storeroom. In the winter its cool enough in there we get through a full bag before they go bad, in the summer they usually start to turn in around the last 20 lbs but its still the cheapest way to buy them.

Having just bought a fresh 50lb sack, I just sliced up the rest of the old sack and loaded into the machine.

Now my eyes feel like I've been hanging out in portland and my shop reeks of onion but its at work, doing its thing
I absolutely *adore* saving my onion skins, ends and peels, dehydrating them, and then grinding them into onion powder in my blender.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:53 PM
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Summer squash sliced into rounds dries well. We season ours with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and a sprinkle of generic Splenda/sucralose. The squash chips are delicious as is or re-constituted in a pan with butter and a little bit of water.

We had an onslaught of cherry tomatoes so we quartered them, seasoned them in the same way, and dried them. Takes a little longer than other veggies due to the water content but they are delicious- especially mixed in with the squash, dry or reconstituted.

Yesterday my husband pulled all of our carrots, as the tops were starting to turn brown. I trimmed them, sliced them thinly with the mandolin accessory for my Kitchenaid mixer, and dried them. It took about 9 hours, give or take, and came out quite well. A solid sink full of carrots that trimmed and sliced into a full to almost overflowing steamer basket full of sliced carrots, the steamer basket fits my Fagor 8 qt. pressure cooker, reduced down to three pint jars. Super efficient in terms of storage and jar use. I'm very pleased.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Another good solution to the odor problem is to sun dry foods. It's literally just as simple as putting them in the sun to dry. The prep is the same as you'd do for a dehydrator. If you'd blanch to dehydrate, then blanch to sun dry, etc.
As seen by my recent onion thread, blanching needs to be lifted out of the dehydration process and elevated to a standard prep process.

If you plan to preserve any vegetable matter for later use, regardless of the method, then you should ask yourself if blanching is a bad idea. If blanching isn't a bad idea on the vegetable matter you intend to preserve then just do it.

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Originally Posted by OldSoul View Post
I absolutely *adore* saving my onion skins, ends and peels, dehydrating them, and then grinding them into onion powder in my blender.
Sorry, but I can't agree as you state it.

Skins and scraps are fine to boil down. Then you save the liquid, not the matter. You can dry or freeze the reduced liquid too. But trash is trash once you wring everything out of it. I only save the solids of the good parts.

I'm stating that for now because storage space should always be treated as a valuable commodity. Maybe after a disaster has gone long then the solid scraps would be worth saving.

The essence of scrap is always worth saving, if not the scraps themselves.


Have I not recently rambled on my old habit to fill my freezer with big ziplocs of parts?

Seafood parts, pig parts, beef parts, chicken parts, veggie parts, all get their own big bag because I made space in my kitchen fridge freezer and moved the finished food to the chest freezers. Without seeing my chest freezers you would think my kitchen freezer is a bit crazy. It's my frozen experiment space.

When I fill a particular named ziploc then it gets boiled long, strained, and reduced. I'll reduce down to stiff jello-like if I can. Going from strong reduction to dry powder is a mixed bag of success for me, maybe I don't bear down enough on the details because I can use the frozen reductions just fine. But I do have a lot of frozen reduction in my freezer space. A couple cubes in water with any dry starch is an instant meal base. My dry bouillon jars get dusty because I use them so little. I just grab a freezer flavor cube instead.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:07 AM
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Zeke, I'm not being deliberately obtuse, but I don't understand your response.

I read about drying onion skins, peels and ends and grinding them up for onion powder, so I tried it.

We are going through a period of stocking and using red/purple onions, because our Hungarian wax peppers are in, and I prefer to pickle them with purple onions. I prefer pickled red onions on their own too. I've been canning both, along with cucumber pickles and relishes, some using the red onions.

Long story short, lots of onion skins, peels and ends.

At first I tried it just to make onion powder for Husband's grill ribs. The onion powder turned out so well that now I make it a point to save the onion leaving in the fridge specifically to make and store onion powder.

The red/purple onions have a very present onion flavor without being obnoxiously pungent or bitter.

Nothing will ever replace a fresh, uncooked, non-frozen onion, but if one is simply storing 'onion flavor,' this works, and it's shelf stable and space efficient. You don't get much more space efficient than dried and ground into powder.

Furthermore, other than processing costs, which are minimal, and storage costs, ditto, it's practically free.

Our onion powder is so nice that I now wonder if *all* commercial onion powder is made from onion scraps. Haven't researched it but wouldn't be surprised.

I too have a friend who uses onion scraps for soup, broth and stocks. If it works well enough in that context, why would it not have enough flavor as onion powder?

Dehydrating a thing concentrates its flavor, it doesn't dilute it.

???
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSoul View Post
Zeke, I'm not being deliberately obtuse, but I don't understand your response.

I read about drying onion skins, peels and ends and grinding them up for onion powder, so I tried it.

We are going through a period of stocking and using red/purple onions, because our Hungarian wax peppers are in, and I prefer to pickle them with purple onions. I prefer pickled red onions on their own too. I've been canning both, along with cucumber pickles and relishes, some using the red onions.

Long story short, lots of onion skins, peels and ends.

At first I tried it just to make onion powder for Husband's grill ribs. The onion powder turned out so well that now I make it a point to save the onion leaving in the fridge specifically to make and store onion powder.

The red/purple onions have a very present onion flavor without being obnoxiously pungent or bitter.

Nothing will ever replace a fresh, uncooked, non-frozen onion, but if one is simply storing 'onion flavor,' this works, and it's shelf stable and space efficient. You don't get much more space efficient than dried and ground into powder.

Furthermore, other than processing costs, which are minimal, and storage costs, ditto, it's practically free.

Our onion powder is so nice that I now wonder if *all* commercial onion powder is made from onion scraps. Haven't researched it but wouldn't be surprised.

I too have a friend who uses onion scraps for soup, broth and stocks. If it works well enough in that context, why would it not have enough flavor as onion powder?

Dehydrating a thing concentrates its flavor, it doesn't dilute it.

???
For powders I use either the dried liquid essences than come from boiling scraps -or- dried and ground prime cuts.

Remember that I'm talking about all foods in general.

Can there be an exception to my habit rule? I'd be more surprised if there weren't exceptions. Rare is the rule being absolute.

I stick with my rule in actual practice because it's the easiest way.


You actually hold the key to the debate because you are running onion right now. You make a small batch of each type. One batch of only onion scraps and one batch of onion prime cuts. Dry and grind each batch. You will have the answer. Just be careful to use only scraps or prime cuts and not intermingle. A half onion is not a scrap. It is both and needs to be separated for the purpose of the experiment.

Run the test and come back with the answers.

If you are careful not to mix prime onion parts with scrap ends/peels then you should have solid results.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Drying onions inside the house is something you'll ever only do one time! Ask me how I know.
There is also the issue of multi-tasking in the dehydrator which can be done with no problem, but you will only dehydrate bananas (or any sweet fruit) with onions once!

Now, onions and carrots or tomatoes or celery no problems.

Just wanted you all to know.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by NCalHippie View Post
There is also the issue of multi-tasking in the dehydrator which can be done with no problem, but you will only dehydrate bananas (or any sweet fruit) with onions once!

Now, onions and carrots or tomatoes or celery no problems.

Just wanted you all to know.
Dry onions, carrots, and celery together and then grind them together to get instant mirapoix powder.

I've done it and it makes instant soup/stew starter. 2 parts each onions and carrots to 1 part celery.

Brown some meat and then dump in your bulk liquid to deglaze. Add a couple teaspoons of your mirapoix powder. 10 minutes later you can run a hundred different ways to make all kinds of soups and stews.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:05 AM
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Still have not received my order and Woot customer service sux.
Will not be using them again.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:05 AM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is offline
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Still have not received my order and Woot customer service sux.
Will not be using them again.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:13 PM
OldSoul OldSoul is offline
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Still have not received my order and Woot customer service sux.
Will not be using them again.
I'm sorry. I had high hopes for you on that deal. Maybe it will come through yet.

I did buy a second dehydrator in the interim. Just went with a slightly larger, more powerful, digital Nesco. I've been happy with my Craigslist Nesco for years, so why not? My original Nesco is the ubiquitous Snackmaster. The new one is a Gardenmaster, and it's a BEAST. I'm over the moon happy with it, but I know it's not an Excalibur. Again, I hope and I'm optimistic that the Woot! deal will come through for you.

IamZeke, I've been thinking about your response about scraps. Essentially you and I are doing the same thing by different means. You are choosing boiling down and freezing. I am choosing dehydrating and storing in jars.

As far as the quality of the end product goes, much of the nutrients, antioxidants and flavor is concentrated in the peels.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition...OC_TITLE_HDR_2

Dehydrating concentrates the flavor, and reduces the volume.

These three pint jars of whole carrots, peels and all, represent a saturated 4X4 raised bed of carrots, which amounted to an entire sink full of carrots. If I'd canned them or frozen them, they would be taking up a lot more jars or space in the freezer.

https://ibb.co/fSYt5Mc

These three jars are filled with:

purple onion powder from peels, ends and skins (often includes the first layer of onion right under the dry peels, which is often somewhat marred)

tomato powder, made from tomato peels left over from processing tomatoes for freezing, then canning

dehydrated red skin potato skins, seasoned, left over from peeling potatoes for canning (peeling prior to canning is recommended to mitigate botulism risk from being grown in the dirt)

We use the purple onion powder as, well, onion powder. It's delicious.

We will use the tomato powder in soups, stews, etc. so we don't have to use a can of tomatoes, sauce or paste just for 'tomato flavor.' If we accumulate enough (I STARTED TOO LATE THIS YEAR, DOH!) we can make tomato paste, tomato sauce, condiments from it as well. Flavor is intense and delicious.

We will use the potato peels in soups, stews, and we could rehydrate them and fry them up in butter with onions. We could grind them and use them as thickener.

https://ibb.co/pRN95Fk

It's just another way of gleaning, and storing.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:01 AM
Aerindel Aerindel is offline
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Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
Still have not received my order and Woot customer service sux.
Will not be using them again.
I was surprised that I actually got mine. That website did not look very legit.
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Old 08-27-2020, 01:32 AM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is offline
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My mother got hers.

Perhaps because I ordered 4....
Oh well, visa debit cards have the same protections as their credit cards.
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