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Pineville, LA(Zone 8b)

Does anyone dehydrate fruits, vegetables?

I dehydrated some Roma tomatoes and packed them in olive oil. They are wonderful! I think I may be driven by market prices for the products that I "do". I don't like the hard, tasteless, and very expensive tomatoes you get in winter.

I also packed some hot peppers in olive oil - I never liked pepers in vinegar because they end up being mushy.

Bud, do you offer these type products in your market?


Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

Grits, you are talking my language! I bought a dehy. last spring. I was on a much I broke mine already. I am so upset that it is broken. I did onions (PU)but good! Very sweet. I also did figs, romas, bananas from my trees and garlic. I wish I could afford one of those 200.00 beauties!They seem so nice.Bye, Lisa Here is a site I like, now if I can only convert the metrics:

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

We just got a dehydrator in the mail yesterday. Hubby wanted one for jerky (he got a moose this year). Anyone make jerky before? I'm sure I'll get some use out of it this summer for herbs and flowers. The tomatoes sound good too -

Greenfield, IN(Zone 5b)

I have only tried "apple chips" & banana chips so far. The kids loved the apple chips. My banana chips turned brownish, any hints?

(Zone 6a)

Have been making jerky for years.Mostly deer. The easiest way is to get one of those guns from Wally-world.(looks like a caulk gun) the kit comes with seasoning and cure.I read somewhere to freeze wild game for 1 month before using to be sure and kill any parasites.They had dehydrators on sale when I was there last week..

Franktown, CO(Zone 5a)

I heard dipping the bananna in lemon juice will keep it from turning brown.

Batchelor, LA(Zone 8b)

We haven't yet.
I mentioned adding mushrooms and sprouts and my wife reminded me about the high cost of divorce, just as she did when I was thinking about growing free-range chickens.

Pineville, LA(Zone 8b)

Lisa: I want a banana tree!!!!! Trade, sell, beg, etc. Going to check out the site you recommended.

Bud: No divorces, please, lol. I wish we were far enough out in the country to grow the free range chickens, but alas, the neighbors would probably tar and "feather" me.

I have never made jerky, any good rubs that you recommend? I really like to dehydrate vegetables, and plan to do more next year. Bell peppers, garlic, onions, basil, thyme, etc.

Brewers, KY(Zone 6b) need to beg! I have sooooo many I could be in a jungle! Now, how do you want me to send them to you. They are(were) 15ft tall! Really, I have plenty "pups" I can send. Email me with the details...bye...Lisa

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

We bought a Magic Aire by Bosch several years ago. Yes they are expensive- about $180-but they also have a 5 or 7 year warrenty. We finally had to buy a new part of it last summer. It had to do with it heating. Cost was about $35. I also was blessed with a second one for about $35 a couple years ago that a friend wanted to sell. She had bought it even cheaper at a garage sale. But she owed me that much money so we called it even.
We usually dehydrate a LOT of peppers, mostly Habanaros, Chilis, Hungarian Hot Wax, etc. then some paprikas & pimentos. We also do bushels of Roma tomatoes which I then put thru the VitaMix and make into powder. You can put a bushel of Roma tomatoes in a quart jar that way! We've made turkey, rabbit, and now venison jerky. IMHO Venison is by far the best. I'll put the marinade on the recipes forum later. Really easy and very good. I dip bananas in 50/50 lemon juice and water to keep them from browning. Same for apples. Water with 2 tsp. salt to a quart works ok too. Zucchini cut into small chunks and marinated in strong flavored solutions make good snacks too. Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cukes, green beans and some other stuff didn't turn out well for us. I've done some herbs too.
Best wishes everyone.

Milton, FL(Zone 8a)

WE love our dryer.This summer try watermelon.Slice it about 1/4 inch thick and place in dryer.Takes a couple of days to dry but is sweet and chewey.

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

How about fruit leather?? Anyone make any or have advice? Should you add sugar to the fruit? And dried pineapple ...yum... I love dried pineapple! Can you use canned pineapple? Us Mainers don't have pineapple growing up here. I'd like to see your venison recipe leaflady. With 3 hunters here we have plenty of venison to use.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I forgot to mention that we do fruit leathers. I use the pulp from the grape that I would otherwise use for grape butter, smooth apple puree', etc.. No, we don't sweeten it if I left the grapes on the vine long enough. Otherwise I used Stevia or Equal. I don't know why you couldn't dry canned pineapple. There won't be any food value left tho.
I read once, long ago, in bulletin from the County Extension office that canning destroys 80% of the food value, freezing destroys 60% and dehydrating destroys just 20%. That alone sold us on dehydration.

Dequincy, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi Grits! First, I would like to invite everyone in Louisiana to join LouGarden which is an e-group started by Mr. Turley who is an LSU extension agent in SW Louisiana. He is currently conducting a Master Gardener Volunteer class at the LSU Extension Office in Lake Charles, LA. I have been in the class since the end of October and have really learned a lot from the literature and lectures. Lots of fun! He also started an annual garden show last year which will be held at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles the first weekend in March. You guys might be interested in attending if in the Lake Charles area!

Secondly, yes I have dehydrated some things. I like to dehydrate sweet peppers, then grind them in my food processor and make pepper flakes. At the supermarket, these flakes sell for several dollars for a very small bottle. You can make them for a little effort and practically no money. They will last for years in tightly closed bottles. They will fluff up when put in your cookpot and look/taste just like fresh. Would make good gifts for friends - put in a pretty glass bottle with a well sealing lid. Dehydrated persimmon pulp is so sweet! Delicious. I haven't tried dehydrating persimmon, but I ate some that was left for Mr. Turley at the Extension Center. Can be used like dates. Anything a date can do, a persimmon can do!

I made jerky once with the recipe included in my dehydrator and it was great! Any herbs dehydrate well - parsley, onions, etc. Store them in antique canning jars (the kind that are blue with zinc lids). I get a lot of compliments on my jars of herbs because they are decorative, as well as useful in cooking.

I just lucked up and found a Ronco dehydrator with 7 trays, slicer, and knife at an estate sell for just $10.00. It has never even been out of the box. A small dehydrator fills up real fast when you start loading it. I use several for large projects. I like the kind with a fan to force the air. They work better for thicker, denser products. The ones that rely on gravity flow of air are only good for thin items such as parsley or onions because they take too long to thoroughly dehydrate the product. I also would love to have one of those cadillac models! I have never heard of the namebrand Bosch. I am only familiar with advertisements for the Excalibur brand. I will have to check this brand name out.

I also dehydrate apples from my own trees. You have to put them in water with lemon juice and salt to keep them from browning while you are cutting them up. You can make dried apples for decorating wreaths or to use in other decorations. You can use leftover chips and pieces for potpourri. Coat them in cinnamon before dehydrating for added scent and color. Also the dried apples make delicious snacks, either plain or sprinkled with sugar prior to dehydrating. I have my own apple trees - yes apples grow in SW Louisiana! The low chilling varieties such as Anna are available at your local nursery or discount store. They start producing relatively soon after planting. My tree is always loaded, with plenty of apples for drying, for applesauce or jelly, fresh eating, and to share with family and friends. My fruit usually starts coming in down here in SW LA in May around Memorial Day and lasts through May, into early June. Fruit that falls and spoils before I can use it goes to the compost pile!
Redbug in SW LA (DeQuincy, Louisiana)

Cobleskill, NY(Zone 5a)

I am looking at getting a dehydrator right now. I am not sure how much use I will get out of it. What is everyones favorate use/food?

Glasgow, KY(Zone 6a)

I was able to find a very good deal on a dehydrator at ebay. It's an American Harvest elite and does a very nice job (with fan).
I have done peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, apples and bananas. I also powder some for cooking, but suggest not doing more than you will use in 1-2 months, as flavor and nutritional value deteriorate through oxidation and such.
To avoid the conflicting flavor of apples soaked in lemon juice, and enhance the apple, I recommend throwing apple slices in a sink of water and everfresh while processing, then soak for a couple of minutes in pineapple juice (and coconut milk if desired) prior to dehydrating. Excellent flavor!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I saw one that looked just like our MagicAire in either Nichol's or Garden Shepard catalog the other day. I don't remember the price.

Richmond Hill, GA(Zone 8b)

I love my Excalibur dehydrator! So far I've only dehydrated bananas, pears, apples, kiwi, and strawberries. I'd like to try vegetables and jerky next.

Cobleskill, NY(Zone 5a)

Where do you get recipies? I am not very inventive at cooking so I am afraid I won't be too inventive with dehydration

Lyndeborough, NH

I dehydrate lots of chile peppers in a cheap dehydrator from Wal-Mart.

I like ground chiles, takes a lot less storage space.
And I can mix to suit. Or sprinkle a little on my icecream


Ashland, OH(Zone 6a)

I'd like to try drying tomatoes this summer....never thot of doing that until I saw this forum! *lol* I'm a big tomatoe fan....but what do you do with dry ones??? And why do you put olive oil on them? (I've only dried herbs and jerky!)Do you just dampen them with the olive oil? Or do you fill the jar with oil too? If anyone has the instructions for drying tomatoes, I'd love it if you'd pass it on! Thanks a heap!

Austell, GA(Zone 7a)

My favorite thing to dry is peaches. They are wonderful. I don't dry them completely so I have to store in the freezer but they don't last long cause I can't stay out of them. Also, if you are turned off by lemon juice, you can use orange juice for apples - same effect. Have also done tomatoes and they are great!!! Brenda

Glasgow, KY(Zone 6a)

We use dried tomatoes in all the ways you would use them fresh, especially cooked into everything from stews to eggs. To cook with them, add them whole, crumple them up in your hand, use a blender and powder them, or you can rehydrate using a steamer. They last for quite a while if well-sealed and don't take up much room. I even mix some of the powder in breads for an interesting variation. And, they're great for camping!

Ashland, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info! One more question for ya tho:
Is there such a thing as a floor model dehydrator? I have an American Harvest dehydrator and I have 24 shelves that I use with it. I really like it and it's worked well for me, but I could really use a lot more drying room. I was wondering if there was something bigger that stood on the floor and had bigger square shelves to dry your stuff on. Thanks!

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

You know, Aunty, that people have been drying foods for thousands of years before there were modern dehydrators.

Around here, once the seasons start coming in, the two things that never stop are our dehydrator and drying racks, and the canning kettle.

Anyway, for large scale drying, try doing it outside. There are several ways. For things like chilis, you can string them, then hang them. Do he same thing with snap beans, and the result will be Leather Britches.

Or you can build a rack. Simplest thing is to build a frame whatever size you want, and stretch hardware cloth over it. Put a raised lip on top of the mesh.

Support this on sawhorses or the like. Spread the food out on the wire. Cover it with cheesecloth top and bottom. Leave out in the heat.

Bring the whole thing indoors in the evening, however, so that dew does not fall on the drying fruits & veggies.

Oh, and a note about dehydrators. Most of them come with instructions that have you set the temperature too high. You wind up cooking the food, rather than just drying it, and it won't rehydrate. I like to work no higher than 110 degrees.

When I'm smoke curing foods, I don't work any higher than 90 degrees.

Ashland, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Brook! If I try the outside method tho, I'm gonna hafta figure out how to keep our animals away from it! *lol*

Dequincy, LA(Zone 8b)

Pete2, does the Excalibur dehydrator really work as well as it advertises? I have been tempted several times to send off for one, but the price is a bit high. I am not sure it would have any more space than the several cheaper brands I use now. Meghan, there are several books out on dehydrating. You might also check your local library or the internet for recipes. Plantnutz, I have used orange juice on my apples prior to dehydrating and they taste good. Much better than the ones treated with the lemon juice solution.

Lyndeborough, NH

Drying outdoors:

A Heads up;

If you live in a humid area, things like chiles
might get moldy before drying.

If you have a greenhouse, good area for drying..


Reno, NV(Zone 6a)

Due to a sudden cold snap I had to harvest all my tomatoes, even the green ones. Besides fried green tomatoes what can be done with the green ones? I have a dehydrator but have only dried the red ones. Can you dry the green tomatoes? And then what do you do with them afterwards? Any recipes??

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Reno, I think somewhere on DG is my recipe for Green Tomato Marmalade. A little late to get this to you, but I am just now seeing this :( Tastes just like orange marmalade.

:) Kathy

Seward, NE(Zone 5a)

Quote from justmeLisa :
Grits, you are talking my language! I bought a dehy. last spring. I was on a much I broke mine already. I am so upset that it is broken. I did onions (PU)but good! Very sweet. I also did figs, romas, bananas from my trees and garlic. I wish I could afford one of those 200.00 beauties!They seem so nice.Bye, Lisa Here is a site I like, now if I can only convert the metrics:

I don't know if you ever found the conversions for this recipe you found but:

300 grams = 2/3 pounds
300 ml = 1 1/4 cups
750 ml = 25.36 fluid ounces

I am new to this site and was looking for information on dehydrators and came across this.
a good site for conversions on anything (and other information)


Alexandria, LA

Hey, Grits, another gardner from CENLA. I dehydrate, also, from tomatoes, peppers, to deer jerky. Love it. Would like to know what you put with your tomatoes beside olive oil, if anything. Any info appreciated. Thanks.

Talihina, OK

Whoa now this is getting scary someone else named Grits and from Pineville no less..I have a nephew in Pineville another in Ball (brothers) one in Alec ,fact is I bought my dehydrater at Acedemy in Alexandria ..I come down there 2x each year deer camp and once to just hang out with family,for sure coming when the figs are ripe and ready...

Talihina, OK

to blanch or not to blanch the instrution that came with my dehydrater say to blanch everything or nearly everything My question is do Y'all blanch or no ???

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