Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Houston,Texas
Posts: 55

S/C/G: 226/226/155

Height: 5'3"

Default Using the dehydrator

Hi folks. I just bought a dehydrator and realized I don't really know which veggies would be good and how to make them. Is it the same as baking them slowly in the oven? Should I use oil? I might take it back if it is better in the oven. Please help I am ready to get started.
Lotsahope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #2  
Carb Addict
 
Tigerlvr52's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 345

S/C/G: 290/290/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

I make Zucchini chips in the dehydrator. The biggest thing DH and I use it for is beef jerky. All natural OP snack food. Tasty.
Tigerlvr52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #3  
8/23/12 - 1/6/13
 
Fishette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 562

S/C/G: 170/140/135

Height: 5' 5"

Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotsahope View Post
Hi folks. I just bought a dehydrator and realized I don't really know which veggies would be good and how to make them. Is it the same as baking them slowly in the oven? Should I use oil? I might take it back if it is better in the oven. Please help I am ready to get started.
I made zucchini chips which were great. Today a batch of turnip chips were ready, but I must have sprinkled on too much Ms. Dash (before I used onion salt and garlic salt). Anyway, there weren't good.
Fishette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #4  
started IP 7/17/2012
 
Lizzy63's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 705

S/C/G: 200.5/167/150

Height: 5'4"

Default

Zucchini, eggplant, jicama are all good. I would set the temp around 145. Slice the veggies and spread them out in a single layer - no overlapping at all. Maybe mist lightly with olive oil (use a misto) then sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, whatever... go easy on the seasoning because there will be a lot less veggie after it's dehydrated and it's easy to over-season.

Time will depend on what it is and how thick you slice it. Jicima seems to take longer, in general, compared to zucchini or eggplant of similar thickness.

Just leave it alone for a couple of hours and don't worry about it - then check every hour or two depending on how it looks. If the edges curl up and it does not stick to the tray, it is probably pretty completely dehydrated. Doesn't hurt to pull one out for a bite to check.

Good luck!
Lizzy63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #5  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

Dehydrating really is not much like baking, especially if you have a decent dehydrator that can dehydrate at a lower range of temperatures and has a motorized fan to remove the moisture from the food.

Some newer ovens do have a temperature setting low-enough to dehydrate food, but most do not. You can dehydrate some foods at 190 to 200 degrees, but you are then starting to cross into the line between dehydrating and baking. I've never used the oven for dehydrating veggies except kale (which I've never dried in the dehydrator). The only food I've ever dehydrated both in the dehydrator and the oven is jerky.

In my opinion, jerky made in the dehydrator is far superior than made in the oven (keep in mind my oven's lowest temperature is 200 degrees. If your oven has a lower minimum setting, you might get different results).

Oven-made jerky has a more cooked meat flavor, and is much tougher.

Dehydrator-made jerky does not taste raw of course, because it isn't, but I'd describe the meat flavor as coming through more than the cooked flavor. Also, the texture tends to be much nicer. Chewy, but not as tough.

With fruits and veggies, I can't help, because I've never tried them in the oven.

Before my dehydrator absorbed all the smoky aroma, I dehydrated fruits and veggies, now I only dehydrate veggies that I don't mind smelling and tasting a bit like smoke (which is perfectly find for veggie "chips"). I like making zucchini chips. They're not exactly crisp in the same way a potato chip is. Your first bite or two is crispy, but the longer you chew, the more your saliva will soften the zucchini, so it's a bit more like a zuchini jerky than a true chip. With dip, the difference is barely noticeable, but on it's own, it feels a bit strange at first to have a chip become chewy rather than dissolve the way potato does.

As far as fruit goes, watermelon is incredibly fun to dehydrate, but the slices have to be a bit thicker than other fruits (a half inch if I remember correctly) because they shrink so much. My dehydrator described watermelon as drying like cotton candy, but it's more like a cross between packaged cotton candy (not the fresh stuff at the fair) and fruit leather.

I love watermelon too much though to "waste" it in the dehydrator. It also dehydrates into essentially pure sugar, so it has a high GI/GL, which isn't so great for my diabetes (dehydrated watermelon has the same GI as fresh, but a much higher GL - essentially that means dehydrated watermelon has a much higher potential for impacting blood sugar if you're diabetic or insulin resistant).

When dehydrating foods, adding oil is unnecessary, and usually a bad idea. Oil eventually goes rancid, so the less fat, the better - and if you do dehydrate a food that has added, or naturally occuring fat, you want to store in the freezer.

I love my dehydrator, especially for making jerky (in fact, if I wanted to make anything that isn't smoky flavored, I'd have to get a new dehydrator, because the motor has absorbed the scent of the liquid smoke in the jerky marinade).

For making jerky, I marinate my sliced meat, then dehydrate and after dehydrating I blot the meat with paper towels (to remove as much fat as possible), then use kitchen shears to cut the meat into strips, and to cut every strip of visible fat from the jerky). I still usually store jerky in the freezer if it's not going to be eaten within a week.

With most fruits and veggies and fruit you don't have to be as concerned about storage or rancidity unless you add oil. That's why it's best not to. Most dried fruits and veggies will have a very long shelf-life if you dry them thoroughly and do not add oil. If you have a vaccuum sealer like a Seal-a-Meal, the shelf-life will be even longer, measuring in years.


My first dehydrator (a simple Ronco with a heating element, but no fan) came with a handy little instruction booklet with recipes and instructions for drying a variety of meats, fruits, and veggies...

My second and current dehydrator (and one I'd highly recommend) is a Nesco American Harvester with temperature control and motor that operates a fan.

It also came with a nifty instruction/recipe manual.

If yours didn't come with a manual, I'd suggest going to your local library and checking out a book on the subject, or going to amazon.com and order a book that has good reviews.

I happened to have a "to read" list of dehydrator books stored in a file on my computer. So I've posted them. I don't remember which of these I've already read (I ordered a couple of them from through interlibrary loan from my library, but it was several years ago, so I don't remember which ones I've read).

There's also tons and tons of online information, just gogle "food dehydrating."



Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook by Mary T. Bell (May 23, 1994)

Food Drying with an Attitude: A Fun and Fabulous Guide to Creating Snacks, Meals, and Crafts by Mary T. Bell (Apr 17, 2008)



The Dehydrator Bible: Includes over 400 Recipes by Jennifer MacKenzie, Jay Nutt and Don Mercer (Mar 27, 2009)

Making & Using Dried Foods by Phyllis Hobson (Jan 8, 1994)

How to Dry Foods by Deanna DeLong (Sep 5, 2006)

The Complete Guide to Drying Foods at Home: Everything You Need to Know about Preparing, Storing, and Consuming Dried Foods (Back to Basics) by Terri Paajanen (Oct 30, 2011)

The Dehydrator Cookbook (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks) by Joanna White (Mar 1998)

The ABC's of Home Food Dehydration by Barbara Densley (Jun 1, 1995)
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #6  
Senior Member
 
Starshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 752

S/C/G: 250?/146.6/160?

Height: 5' 7 1/2"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy63 View Post
Zucchini, eggplant, jicama are all good. I would set the temp around 145. Slice the veggies and spread them out in a single layer - no overlapping at all. Maybe mist lightly with olive oil (use a misto) then sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, whatever... go easy on the seasoning because there will be a lot less veggie after it's dehydrated and it's easy to over-season.
Do you braise the veggies before hand? I just got a dehydrator and they recommend doing it. But for chips, that seems like it would be kind of strange. I'm going to use my mandoline to slice the yellow squash really thin.

Thanks!
Starshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #7  
Senior Member
 
Big Daddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Baton Rouge Louisiana
Posts: 265

S/C/G: 330/319/230

Height: 6'-0

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlvr52 View Post
I make Zucchini chips in the dehydrator. The biggest thing DH and I use it for is beef jerky. All natural OP snack food. Tasty.
Hey can you send me how and what to use for the jerky?
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 10:53 AM   #8  
IP: 2/28/12-9/1/12
 
LizRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,193

S/C/G: 200/177/145

Height: 5'5"/44yo

Default

I made zucchini & kale chips and they turned out DYNAMITE in my new Nesco American Harvester (good to hear the good reviews from kaplods!). I tried making okra chips - and they aren't so good - too 'stringy' - definitely okra is best roasted in the oven at high temperatures.

I need to get more dehydrator inspiration - so thank you for the book references! And I also want some Jerky Advice too - I had some last weekend on our roadtrip and AFTERWARDS saw that it had 15g of sugar! I'm in Phase 4 now, but I KNOW that I can make my own and it would be better tasting and better for us.

Last edited by LizRR; 09-14-2012 at 10:53 AM.
LizRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 11:16 AM   #9  
Senior Member
 
Starshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 752

S/C/G: 250?/146.6/160?

Height: 5' 7 1/2"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LizRR View Post
I made zucchini & kale chips and they turned out DYNAMITE in my new Nesco American Harvester (good to hear the good reviews from kaplods!).
I just got the same one, Liz. I just put in yellow squash chips to start. I'll do zucchini and kale next. I'm going to see about doing herbs from my garden too.

And yes, thanks above for the book suggestions. I need to find one that deals a lot with veggies.
Starshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 12:00 PM   #10  
IP: 2/28/12-9/1/12
 
LizRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,193

S/C/G: 200/177/145

Height: 5'5"/44yo

Default

FYI - this post reminded me to order more trays - it comes with 4 trays, but after my first batch I knew I needed more. In case anyone else has the same model (Nesco FD-61) I found it pretty cheap on Amazon ($12.22/2 trays and free shipping): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
LizRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 12:05 PM   #11  
Reboot 9/2014
 
scorbett1103's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,856

S/C/G: 198.6/173/165

Height: 5' 8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LizRR View Post
FYI - this post reminded me to order more trays - it comes with 4 trays, but after my first batch I knew I needed more. In case anyone else has the same model (Nesco FD-61) I found it pretty cheap on Amazon ($12.22/2 trays and free shipping): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
You actually just reminded me that I have a 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon that is dying to be used
scorbett1103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #12  
started IP 7/17/2012
 
Lizzy63's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 705

S/C/G: 200.5/167/150

Height: 5'4"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshine72 View Post
Do you braise the veggies before hand? I just got a dehydrator and they recommend doing it. But for chips, that seems like it would be kind of strange. I'm going to use my mandoline to slice the yellow squash really thin.

Thanks!
I have not done that - not very good at following instructions, though. I think the chips com out just fine without braising...
Lizzy63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 03:43 PM   #13  
Senior Member
 
Starshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 752

S/C/G: 250?/146.6/160?

Height: 5' 7 1/2"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy63 View Post
I have not done that - not very good at following instructions, though. I think the chips com out just fine without braising...
Thanks, Lizzy! I checked in the manual, and it said something like that if you aren't going to re-hydrate the veggie, that you didn't need to steam/braise them.
Starshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #14  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

I've done a lot of experimenting with jerky, different cuts of beef, different marinades, and all I can say is that even the worse "failures" still tasted WAY better than store-bought jerky.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you can cut the salt, especially if you're going to be eating the batch quickly (and/or storing any uneaten jerky in the freezer), but that it's not a great idea to eliminate the salt completely (both for flavor and preservation reasons).

The simplest marinade I've ever used is one small pureed onion, and 3 cups full-strength soy sauce. The onion actually dilutes the marinade, so if you use less soy sauce or use a reduced sodium soy sauce you may want to add a little more salt.

If you're going to use liquid smoke, read the bottle carefully. I was used to using a grocery store brand in a recipe that called for 3 cups soy sauce, 1/2 cup liquid smoke, 1 small onion pureed, and 1 cup of Splenda or brown sugar. Great basic marinade (a little high carb if using brown sugar).

I bought a liquid smoke from a camping store and didn't read the bottle. The marinade smelled much stronger so I ran a skillet test piece (soak a thin, small piece of meat in the marinade overnight or for at least a couple hours and saute the meat in a skillet until cooked. Taste). It was so horrible I had to throw out the marinade and start fresh. I read the bottle and the liquid smoke was a concentrate - 1/2 to 1 oz of liquid was supposed to flavor 100 lbs of beef and I had used 4 ounces to flavor 8 lbs of meat. 50 to 100 times what I needed.

I remade the marinade and only used a couple drops of the liquid smoke, with much better results.

Whenever I use a new recipe or a new ingredient, I usually do a skillet test.
The skillet test will not really taste like your jerky (the jerky will be more concentrated in flavor) but it will give you an idea of whether the jerky will taste good. If the skillet piece tastes bad, so will your jerky. If the skillet piece is too weak, your jerky might be ok, but if the skillet piece is too stronly flavored, the jerky is going to be even worse.


You can also buy premade jerky cures, mixes, rubs, and marinades. You can find organic, all-natural, and sugar free mixes. These are fun to experiment with, but kind of expensive.

I like to buy the best soysauce I can. I usually buy from asian markets, because you can buy gourmet and high-end soy sauces more cheaply than grocery store soy sauce.

I'm making a batch this week for a trip to family in IL, so we went to our local asian market. I bought a nice quality mushroom flavored soy for $2.30 in a 3/4 liter bottle (looks very much like a wine bottle).

Golden Mountain seasoning sauce is a great jerky base too (it's a slightly sweetened soy sauce - I don't use this anymore because it does have added sweetener. It's awesome though for a beginner as it makes a fine marinade on it's own (with or without a little bit of liquid smoke).

If you want spicy jerky, you have to ad TONS of spice to your marinade. It still shocks me how much hot sauce I have to add any spice at all to the meat. I like sriracha best of all (it's the hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle). For 3 cups of marinade, I have to add at least 1/3 of a cup of sriracha to get any heat at all, and usually end up using almost a cup.

You may want to start with less if you don't want much spice, but odds are you're going to be surprised at how much you need in comparison to what you'd use for a steak you were going to grill.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MiX'N' iN THE KiTCH'N....Recipes from the Rainbow rainbowsmiles Ideal Protein Diet 449 09-05-2015 10:22 PM
Home of the 100% Vol 12 wuv2bloved Ideal Protein Diet 524 09-03-2012 04:19 PM
The Weekend SBD Chat for 7/21 - 7/22 cottagebythesea South Beach Diet 18 07-22-2012 08:07 AM


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:45 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.