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Cheap dehydrator?

Discussion in 'OGF Kitchen' started by Star1pup, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. I inherited my mother's dehydrator. I think it was never used, but look pretty light and cheap. It's a Ronco and uses a 100 watt bulb for heat.

    I just want to play around with some jerky and maybe do some fruit so I don't need a heavy duty (read expensive) model.

    I also have been told that there are some decent dehydrators at Wal-Mart for less than $50. Any comments on these and the Ronco?
     
  2. sporty

    sporty OGF Team - Charter Member

    I just got a Home Essentials dehydrator for Christmas. It's one of those round jobs with plastic stacking trays. It doesn't use a light bulb for heat but it keeps the temps around 140. It's pretty much turn it on a walk away for hours. Of course your mouth will water everytime you walk back in the house!!!

    So far one batch of jerky has come out of it. I'm happy with how easy it is to use and the results.

    -Jeff
     

  3. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    I got mine at Walmart. It was around $30. I've made tons of jerky with it so far. Works great.
     
  4. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    You can't beat free! If when you plug it in the bulb lights up and you hear a fan start, I would use it until it dies. My dehyd. takes between 8-10 hrs. for a batch. I think most do.
     
  5. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

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    I have a Nesco American Harvest.

    $30, probably the same one hetfieldinn has.

    I really like it!!

    I havent tried making jerky yet but it does a great job on herbs and vegetables and stuff like that.
     
  6. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    Correct, mine is a Nesco. It does a great job on jerky. I grind my meat once through a course grinder plate, then season it and let it sit overnight in the fridge. I then put the ground meat in a "Jerky Cannon", and "caulk" the meat onto the dehydrator trays. Set the dial for jerky (155 degrees), and let it go for three hours, at which time I rotate the trays. I rotate evry three hours until jerky is done.


    I bought four extra trays for the dehydrator. The four extras cost as much as the original machine (about $30, $15 for two trays). This way I can do a whole lot of jerky at once. One tube of the Jerky Cannon holds about 1 1/2 pounds of meat, which will do 2 trays of jerky.
     
  7. I finally went to Wal-Mart and bought a Nesco. Used it for the first time yesterday and the results were delicious! I just mixed the seasoning that came with the dehydrator into ground venison, shot it through my jerky pistol and dried for about 6 hours. It turned out great.

    Next I might try drying some fruit such as apples.

    I'm going to take the cheaper dehydrator down to my cottage to use to dry chicken livers for catfish bait. I think it will work fine for that job.
     
  8. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

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    heres something else you can do with a dehydrator if youre also into gardeing....fresh herbs from the garden are great and ive only tried to grow them for the first time this last season but i figured why not dry them to have them indefinitely. my wife likes the look of them in the jars and she uses them for cooking too. next year im gonna try some other herbs, cilantro for sure (need it for homemade salsa!! :D )
     

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  9. Be careful when drying herbs because its the oil in the herbs that give them their flavor ;)
    I freeze mine and use them all winter long :D
     
  10. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    But....dehydrating brings the oils to the surface, and evaporates the water...leaving the concentrated oil behind ;)
     
  11. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    That's why recipes when calling for fresh herbs vs. dried ones always call for more of the fresh and less of the dried. The fresh are full of water.
     
  12. I think you have that one backwards ;)
    Thats is why it is far better to freeze herbs then use a dehydrator and an even better idea is to make a herb oil or vinager by placing your herb of choice into a glass jar (glass works better then any other container) and add either the oil or vinager for a tasty way to enhance any recipie calling for oil or vinager :D ...
    Fresh herbs with stems, such as thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, lavender, and tarragon, can be dried easily by tying the stems with string and hanging them upside-down on a wire hanger. Let them dry in a cool, dark place. Fresh basil is better off if pureed with a little olive oil and frozen until ready to use.


    Fresh vs. Dried
    Yes, fresh, is almost always better, except in a few cases. There are several herbs from the country of origin that taste better in their dried form than fresh from a local source. Dried sage and dried mint imported from the Middle East have more desirable and distinctive flavors. One of my favorite dried herbs is the Spice Island brand of California Bay Leaves. Greek- or Mediterranean-grown dried oregano is preferable to fresh oregano in many dishes; if a recipe suggests using fresh, substitute dry sparingly. For example, if a recipe calls for ¼ cup of fresh herbs you might substitute a tablespoon of dried, but it depends entirely on the herb. So be a little daring and experiment...
     
  13. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    How was I wrong with this quote from which you just posted. It says 1/4 cup of fresh or 1 Tbs of Dried ;)

     
  14. You would not want to use a 1/4 cup of dried in place of 1/4 cup of fresh or sub equal amounts of dried for the fresh...
    I did not want anyone to get that impression and destroy a meal :eek: not that you were suggesting that...
     
  15. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    That's what I originally said. Recipes always call for more fresh or less dried. A recipe may call for 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, but also says you may substitute dried instead.....quantity of 1/2 Tbs or such. :) Dired is stronger than fresh. But......it DOES vary by herb.
     
  16. My buddy has this awesome little herb garden contained in a very small, eye level when your kneeling, hot house that keeps him (me too) in fresh herbs till Christmas every year... I have tried but just can't duplicate hsi setup SNIFF SNIFF
    My little herb garden dies out every fall...
     
  17. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    I used to have one back when I was in school. Left them in the window one night uncovered, and it got down to 20 F. They froze. :( Couldn't revive them.......gave up and never tried it again. I plan to do it again sometime though. :)
     
  18. I had good luck using clay pots like that... I think I'll get something together again too for the window...
    I had this lemon basil that was great on baked fish...
     
  19. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    I always loved having fresh sage. My grandfather and I would make Sausage Gravy every Saturday morning......and I'd have him load it up with sage. Would make the gravy green I'd want so much in there at times. LOL. :) Those are the memories.
     
  20. hahahaa
    I never tried to grow sage guess I'll have to give it a shot since I like it on my pork steaks...
     
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