I had a food dehydrator for years, one with just an element and no fan. Used it only seldom for some tomatoes and hot peppers cos it took forever to work. Now I’m developing a bigger garden plan for next year, hoping to grow (and preserve!) more things I can eat. I also know there will be a glut of other veggies available locally next summer from local growers, all reasonably priced.
So I bought a dehydrator with a fan and 400 watts of power, one made by Nesco. I’m happy to say it works just the way it is advertised to work. I like products that do that.
I’ve already played around with it cos I wanted to know now how it works, how long it takes, etc. I tried drying some cabbage and potatoes just to see how that worked. I liked the results.
Then I got 2 big bunches of collards, a veggie I’ve just recently learned to like. Prepared them for dehydration and ran them for about 3 hours and above is a whole bag of dried greens, ready to throw into soups or just simmer up with some onions. I don’t always want/need a big bunch, and this way I can use a lot or a little. (They should be soaked in hot water maybe an hour to rehydrate them if you’re not going to cook them very long.)
I had a lot of extra carrots and celery left from a holiday tray, too many to use fresh. So I dehydrated them and that worked well too! More good winter soup ingredients.
I always have lot of tomatoes in season and usually freeze a lot. A couple years I used the old dehydrator (for about 16 hours, yuk) to dehydrate some and I liked the way they were when they were dried. They stayed chunkier with more of their original consistency than they do when I freeze them, so I’ll be dehydrating them next year! And way quicker than my old machine.
This is all a learning experience, getting ready for more things to happen next summer. It’s also fun!