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Talk to me about your dehydrator-and why I need one!

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:25 PM   #16
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I have a HUGE stack of their coupons. I bet I get one a week.

Wherever I read what I did, someone was talking about having one with a fan and one without, and why they liked one versus the other, etc. I just don't have the patience to go through 3 pages of threads to find it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #17
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From what I've read in various reviews online, the ones with fans are better because they circulate the air for you - without a fan, you have to go in and rotate the trays manually. The one at BB&B has a fan, and you can buy extra trays for it
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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I've "maxed out" my American Harvester (12 trays), so to have even drying time (so the bottom trays aren't finished hours before the top tray, I still have to rotate the trays if I'm using them all. I've been tempted to exceed the recommended 12 tray capacity at times (because even without rotating the trays, the top tray still dries MUCH faster than my old fanless Ronco dehydrator).

I think for most foods it would be safe to exceed max capacity IF you were frequently rotating the trays (I usually rotate the trays, swithching the top half of trays for the bottom about every 4 to 6 hours). However, since I usually am dehydrating jerky, I don't want to mess around with the recommendations too much, because meat bacteria issues are usually more risky than most veggie bacteria issues.

That being said, the only bacteria problems I ever had were with veggies. In Illinois, and without a fan, I could not dehydrate dense, wet fruits and veggies (such as grapes and tomatoes). The grapes never really dried enough to call raisins (and they had a weird fermented wine-smell), and the tomatoes were down right scary. A white foamy liquid formed, and it was hard to tell whether that was normal, or some kind of bacterial growth, so I left them be for a while, then the smell went sour and it was obvious something was wrong with them.

The tomatoes were so icky, that I've never been tempted to try drying tomatoes again (even though many people have great success doing so).

I'd be less concerned in my current dehydrator because of the fan, but the horrible smell of the "bad batch" stuck with me to such a degree that I can't even stomach the thought of trying again.

Because of my experience, I'd recommend at least for the first trial, not doing more than four trays of tomatoes, grapes or other dense, wet foods and put them closest to the fan (usually the bottom). If that works great then next time add more trays if that works well.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #19
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Anyone else?
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:32 PM   #20
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I'm looking at the Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster - they have it at Bed Bath & Beyond and I'm always getting 20% off coupons for them!
did you ever get a dehydrator? if so....do you like using it, has it been worth the investment?? thanks
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:41 AM   #21
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Default Dehydrated kale chips

I make kale chips in mine. I clean and strip the leaves off the stems, put them in a big bowl and mix with olive oil, sea salt and fresh lemon juice. I massage that into the leaves for a while and then let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next morning I dehydrate them for about 4 hours and they are lacy, crispy, light, green and delicious.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:23 PM   #22
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I make kale chips in mine. I clean and strip the leaves off the stems, put them in a big bowl and mix with olive oil, sea salt and fresh lemon juice. I massage that into the leaves for a while and then let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next morning I dehydrate them for about 4 hours and they are lacy, crispy, light, green and delicious.
which dehydrator do you have?? i LOVE kale chips and make them in my oven in 1o mins, so easy to do. but i am still considering a dehydrator!
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:47 PM   #23
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which dehydrator do you have?? i LOVE kale chips and make them in my oven in 1o mins, so easy to do. but i am still considering a dehydrator!
I made Kale chips for the first time last week. I have a question though, are they supposed to stay firm or become soggy if you let them sit? Mine were soggy, unless I didn't cook them long enough?
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:23 PM   #24
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I made Kale chips for the first time last week. I have a question though, are they supposed to stay firm or become soggy if you let them sit? Mine were soggy, unless I didn't cook them long enough?
they have to be fully cooked and dry. if you cook pieces that are not the same size, i take the smaller ones off the pan and continue to rest until they are all crisp and dry. then i continue to air dry them on a cookie rack. if you put them in a bowl while they are still warm, they will get limp and soggy from the heat i suppose.

once i air dry them completely i can keep them in an air tight container for several days....not that they ever last that long!! they are delicious!!

if your pieces are really lacy leafy, make sure you spread them out as flat as possible so they crisp in the lacy bits to avoid limp soggy bits.
hope that helps
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