View Full Version : I really want to get a dehydrator but ...
10-13-2009, 12:59 PM
I don't feel that I know enough about dehydrating to enable me to buy one without asking some questions first ...
How well does dehydrated stuff keep?
I need to know this as I'd like to use the dehydrator to make big batches rather than a single meal.
How do I square the idea that we need to use less electricity with the fact that a dehydrator may be on for very long periods of time?
Which dehydrator/s are recommended - particularly interested in lower priced ones as I doubt I can afford an Excalibur at the moment.
ps it's the Latke recipe that has made me decide to try dehydrating!
10-13-2009, 01:09 PM
I often freeze stuff like crackers so I just take them out as I want to eat them.
A dehydrator takes the same electricity to run as your fridge!
10-13-2009, 01:19 PM
Check this out:
I got a 9 tray and it's only me eating. But SOOOOO glad I did for like cobblers and recipes that require more space (like a taller pyrex pan for example)
How much electricity does the Excalibur consume? The average cost of electricity used by the Excalibur is about 4 - 5¢ an hour. Dry a full load of fruits or vegetables for less than a quarter!
10-13-2009, 01:51 PM
Thank you for the info . . .
I don't have a freezer but I do have a vac-packer machine so I could get extra shelf-life by using that I guess.
I use my fridge only in the summer so I'll be switching it off soon but I will see what the UK cost might be and since I'd not run it 24/7 it wouldn't be as costly as a fridge.
I definitely have my eye on the 9 tray Excalibur though :o
10-13-2009, 01:56 PM
You can always HALF the recipes. That's what I've been doing lately...
10-13-2009, 08:46 PM
I use my dehydrator mostly in spurts these days, I'm a little ashamed to say.
But not really, since I have experienced that dehydrated foods are very rich and concentrated and usually call for very sweet or fatty ingredients. So not for steady use, I think. That seems to be the feeling among many raw fooders. I kind of flip-flop on that.
So rather than not getting one, you could get a smaller one like I did to start with until I knew how much I'd use it. It's called L'Equip. It is very sturdy and seems to have good reports. I got it for less than $100. It has 6 trays and is rectangular, but has a hole through the middle for the air to blow like the round ones have. That is usually no problem. I find it more than adequate.
With Excalibur you can leave out a shelf and put in a higher pan which I can't do with mine, but I have a dehydrator setting on my countertop convection oven that I can use for that if need be.
Do you mind my asking why you only use your fridge in the summer? Do you have a climate suitable to use the outdoor air to keep things cool and not frozen in the winter? Bonus!
10-14-2009, 01:43 AM
On the cold side of the house - where the sun doesn't shine against the walls - it's easily cold enough in the winter to have an outdoor "fridge". I live in the UK.
I'm going to check out smaller dehydrators although part of me says that because i really want the Excalibur, I should save for that lol. My mind is muddled!
10-14-2009, 09:24 AM
I started out with a L'Equip and have since gone to the Excalibur. I really love the Excalibur - the L'Equip is much smaller and harder to use. Also, as has been said, the Excalibur will accommodate pyrex dishes and soup bowls. I wouldn't be without a dehydrator!
10-14-2009, 10:47 AM
Lucky you to have a winter so mild that it will not freeze your food, but keep it cool. I thought that might be the case. Such a fine way to conserve energy! In the old days they used to have "cold rooms", or keep some of their perishables in the well for coolness.
I think if we shop more frequently or can grow our foods, we won't have such a need for these big storage refrigerators. I know we shop once a week and that is way too much leafy green stuff at once, but what can you do? Hence, I have 2 large side-by-side fridges. I store a lot of my nuts, seeds, and other things that might normally be kept in the pantry in one of them since I had a problem with some pantry moths last year. I have a small apartment but a very good sized kitchen. Still the 2 fridges take up a lot of space. I have no freezer so I rely on the ones from the fridges which is pretty adequate, but certainly would not allow me to preserve larger amounts of food that way. Oh well, fresh is really best, right?
I know there are places where people don't have big kitchens at all-they just shop for the food they need fresh for each meal or at least each day. Personally I find that a daunting prospect - all that running around shopping, but you do what you have to do, and you can get used to whatever you have to get used to.
Yes, even though I mentioned the L'Equip as my starter dehydrator, my next move up will be the Excalibur for sure.
10-15-2009, 07:33 AM
any chance you have any friends in the states that are coming to visit you soon? or any friends that are going to the states for a visit soon? the reason i ask is that if you have someone willing to transport the thing for you, i believe you can get the excalibur FAR cheaper in the states, IF you have someone to bring it back for you. shipping would be far too expensive, but if you have a REALLY GOOD FRIEND, lol, thats your best bet. i believe you can get them with the UK voltage for the same or similar price to the one with the US voltage, even if you buy them in the US. you would probably have to make do with a 5 tray, as even the 5 tray is a hassle to ask someone to carry, and they will have to not be carryaiung alot of other luggage already so they dont have to pay extra baggage fees, but this is what i got a friend to do for me and it worked for me. i just checked online and in the uk it looks like the 9 tray excaliburs are about 220 american dollars, whereas in the UK they are 240 POUNDS! consider the exchange rate and see the amazing savings...if you have a way to transport it. just make sure if you do this that you tell the place you get it from that you need it with the UK voltage. this is what i did and no problem.
i dont advise dehydrators with non-removable trays because sometimes you might want to stick bigger stuff in there. if youre gonna spend the money, may as well get one thats adaptable. i wish i had a 9 tray instead of the 5 tray but if you decide to go with the "get someone to bring you one from the states" option, the 9 tray is probably just going to be too big. oh and make sure they package it carefully, layers of bubble wrap etc because the edge of mine got cracked in transit
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